A Kentucky-bred Distorted Humor colt topped the Tattersalls Craven breeze-up sale, commanding 320,000 guineas (approximately $546,525 in U.S. funds) on the second and final day of the auction in England. Sir Robert Ogden purchased the bay 2-year-old from Willie Browne’s Mocklershill April 14.
The disappointed underbidders included Stephen Hillen and Hugo Merry, who was standing with trainer Brian Meehan.
"This colt was an exceptional individual," said Barry Simpson, Ogden’s racing manager. "We really liked him. He is a very refined individual and breezed nicely. He is a fine horse.”
Ogden also bought the opening day’s most expensive horse, an Azamour – Khayrat colt, for 315,000 guineas ($487,989) from Mocklershill.
"It is so important that these horses are prepared well and we know that from Mocklershill there is plenty to go on with from here,” Simpson said. “They are not hard trained to get here and they arrive in great condition.”
Bred by Winsong Farms, the Distorted Humor colt is out of the Dynaformer mare Stupendous Miss, who captured the 2005 Mede Cahaba All Along Breeders’ Cup Stakes (gr. III). He is a full brother to the winner Do It All, who finished third in this year’s San Fernando Stakes (gr. II).
The final results for the Craven auction included a gross of 7,987,000 guineas ($13,641,495) for the 112 juveniles that were sold. The average price was 71,313 guineas ($121,800) and the median price was 60,000 guineas ($102,478). Compared to last year, when 96 horses were sold, the gross rose 4.3% The average fell 10.6% while the median dropped 14.3%.
The clearance rate of 68.3% was down from 69.1% in 2010.
In addition this year, 11 horses were sold privately for 353,500 guineas.($371,175).
“There have been a number of positives to take from the trade at this year’s Tattersalls Craven breeze-up sale,” Tattersalls chairman Edmond Mahony said. “Having taken the decision not to stage the Guineas breeze-up sale this year, we compiled a larger and more diverse Craven catalog and this has attracted buyers at all levels of the market from throughout the world. We have seen an increase in turnover and the extra numbers have not had an adverse impact on the all-important clearance rate, which has held up well.
“While the larger catalogue has understandably produced declines in other key indicators,” Mahony continued, “it would be fair to say that the average purchase price of the 2-year- olds coming into the sale was less than in recent years and we have seen some spectacular pinhooking successes over the past two days. The top end of the market has been particularly competitive with domestic buyers facing stiff opposition from their overseas counterparts and the increased participation from Hong Kong buyers has been one of the most encouraging features of the sale.”