(Edited Goffs press release)
Midnight Angel, the dam of 2007 Shadwell Stud Middle Park Stakes (Eng-I) winner Dark Angel, became the most expensive horse sold during the upbeat Goffs February mixed sale when she brought €145,000 ($199,524 in U.S. funds) during the auction’s second and final session Feb. 10 in Ireland. The 16-year-old mare, which is in foal to Dark Angel’s sire, Acclamation, was purchased by Con Marnane, on behalf of Malih Al Basti, from Knocktarina House.
Al Basti owns the winner Angel’s Pursuit, a Pastoral Pursuits half-brother to Dark Angel. Angel’s Pursuit finished second in the 2009 Dubai Duty Free Mill Reef Stakes (Eng-II). Dark Angel captured the Mill Reef in 2007.
The sale’s final figures included a gross of €1,856,100 ($2,554,050) for the 193 horses that sold. The average price was €9,617 ($13,233), and the median price was €4,000 ($5,504). Compared to a year ago, when 188 horses were sold, the gross was up 14% from €1,628,000. The average increased 11.1% from €8,660, and the median grew 14.3% from €3,500. The clearance rate rose from 47.4% in 2009 to 49.1% this year.
"A sale that posts improved figures in every department is always pleasing as it demonstrates that we are moving in the right direction,” said Goffs chief executive Henry Beeby. “Of course we are happy to have returned a stronger trade than 12 months ago, and it is a great way to start the New Year and decade. But it would be naïve to claim that the industry's problems are over as we are still some way shy of the 2008 sale results.
“The (approximately) 50% clearance rate on both days clearly illustrates that the market remains selective and we have a long way to go before we can start celebrating. That said, the Goffs February sale has proved to be the best of its kind once again with a strong international presence and keen pinhooker interest for the most commercial youngsters.
“This is the third Goffs sale in succession to have enjoyed some recovery, and this surely suggests that a corner has been turned following steep declines at most British and Irish sales between the autumns of 2008 and 2009. Our challenge is to maintain the momentum."