Ireland’s premier yearling auction, the Goffs Million sale, recorded its lowest turnover for over 10 years by the time selling concluded at the Co. Kildare, Ireland, vendue Oct. 1.
Out of the 655 horses catalogued, 592 were offered and 444 sold for 32,353,000 euros. The lowest total seen in the last decade was 32,422,600 euros in 2004, closely followed by 33,998, 434 euros in 1998.
The average was 72,867 euros compared to 110,350 euros in 2007.
Last year, 488 yearlings sold for 53,851,000 euros.
This year’s gross was down nearly 40% and the average fell by almost 34%. There was a clearance rate of 75% compared to 86.4% in 2007.
The final session’s trade was topped by a 340,000-euro, June 17-foaled Galileo half-sister to U.S. champion Escena consigned from Mark Dwyer’s Oaks Farm Stables. She was bought by Blandford Bloodstock.
Coolmore’s Demi O’Byrne - who accounted for 4,020,000 euros of the sale’s turnover, including six of the top 10 prices paid - spent 320,000 euros on a Danehill Dancer colt, whose full-brother Misu Bond won the 2006 listed European Free Handicap. The colt was consigned from David Nagle’s Barronstown Stud.
"Fourteen Goffs group I wins, four Classics, two Derbys, and two brand new Goffs Millionaires on Sunday. That was the backdrop to this week’s Million Sale and we were hopeful of a trade that would come close to last year’s solid renewal,” said Goffs’ chief executive, Henry Beeby. “However, who could have predicted the scale of the worldwide financial meltdown that took place on Monday with the worst financial crisis since the 1920s?
"In those circumstances, we have been pleasantly surprised at the measured calm and determination of our loyal vendors who have worked with us to produce another catalogue of potential winners. Goffs graduates racetrack success this year has been extraordinary, and any serious buyers who chose not to make their mark should look at the European classic results of those winners who were sold at public auction and they will see "Goffs Graduate" with a regularity unmatched by any other.
"The Goffs Million rejuvenated this sale in 2005 and provided a leap of 183% over three years from a platform of a 40,226-euro average. This week’s results still compare very favourably with those statistics and represent an 81% advance over just four years, but we must concede disappointment with the scale of the slowdown although the general consensus appears to have been that we have hit the most difficult week in which to sell a luxury item in living memory.
"To record a top price of 1 million euros and return a 75% clearance rate speaks for itself -- down on last year but still figures many would celebrate. Yes, it has been a tough week for vendors and auctioneers but plenty of buyers have told us it has been hard to buy their selections.
"It’s been a testing few days for us all but we would like to thank our vendors, who have provided us with a catalogue of which we are proud; the purchasers, who kept plugging away despite the truly shocking news that seemed to break each day; and our partners Irish Thoroughbred Marketing, who helped us ensure a positivity and atmosphere throughout that will not be found at any other sale.”