The first session of this year's Tattersalls Houghton Sale -- Europe's leading yearling auction -- delivered record-breaking results in terms of average and median.
During the evening of Wednesday, Oct. 1, at Newmarket, England, 53 lots were sold for an average of 269,566 guineas and a median of 230,000 guineas. The average price represented a gain of 17% and the median was up 53% over the comparable session one year ago when 62 horses averaged 230,435 guineas, with a median price of 150,000 guineas.
The top lot came early on, with Lot 5 fetching 1-million guineas from John Magnier, the Coolmore Stud supremo who outlasted Angus Gold, Hamdan Al Maktoum's racing manager, for the Kingmambo colt. Produced out of British classic winner Lady Carla, the colt was consigned by Lord and Lady Lloyd Webber's Watership Down Stud as part of the Wafic Said dispersal,
Agents Paul Webber and Joss Collins, followed by the American ambassador to Britain, Will Farish, who stands Kingmambo at his Lane's End Farm in Kentucky, were among the early bidders.
Sheikh Hamdan, who attended the sale, later took the highest priced filly for his Shadwell Estates. The Darshaan filly, consigned by Ireland's Loughbrown Stud, went for 600,000 guineas. The filly is a half sister to the 2003 stakes winner Chercheuse. Sheikh Hamdan also purchased a Seeking The Gold filly for 500,000 guineas.
Sheikh Mohammed was also present and his top two buys were both Machiavellian colts costing 525,000 guineas each.
The leading purchaser of the first evening was John Ferguson Bloodstock, bloodstock advisor for Sheikh Mohammed and Godolphin, who bought 10 for 3,175,000 guineas, while the combined force of John Magnier and Demi O'Byrne, acting for Coolmore, acquired eight for 2,940,000 guineas, followed by Hamdan al Maktoum's Shadwell Estates securing six for 2,200,000 guineas and agent Charlie Gordon-Watson spending 1,560,000 guineas on five.
The leading vendors were Lord and Lady Lloyd Webber's Watership Down Stud, selling six for 2,065,000 guineas followed by Timmy Hyde's Camas Park Stud ( five for 1,580,000 guineas) and Meon Valley Stud (four for 1,375,000).
The final session of the auction is scheduled for Thursday evening.