The Tattersalls December foal sale closed Nov. 30. with records for total sales and average and median prices during the four-day auction in Newmarket.
Overall, 740 horses sold for total receipts of 31,420,400 guineas ($54,011,667 in United States funds), a 30.1% rise from last year. The average price climbed 24.6% to a record 42,460 guineas ($72,988), while the median rose 15% to 23,000 guineas (39,537), also a new benchmark.
"As ever, the cream of the British and Irish foal crop has been sent to the Tattersalls December foal sale, and Park Paddocks has been a hive of activity all week, with pinhookers and many of the world's leading owners battling at all levels of the market," Tattersalls chairman Edmund Mahoney said at the conclusion of the sale.
The clearance rate dipped from 83% last year to 78.5%.
The sale's overall leading buyer was John Ferguson, bloodstock adviser to Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, who purchased 20 foals for 3,209,000 guineas ($5,516,271). The leading consignor was The Castlebridge Consignment, which sold 39 horses for 1,725,500 guineas ($2,966,134).
The sale's highest price of 450,000 guineas ($773,307) came on day three, Nov. 29, when Ferguson secured a Dubawi
filly out of group III winner and 2009 Epsom Oaks (Eng-I) third-place finisher High Heeled
, by High Chaparral
The Irish-bred chestnut filly was co-bred by James Wigan and George Strawbridge and offered by Wigan's West Blagdon Stud.
The top-priced horse on the sale's final day was an Invincible Spirit colt out the Celtic Swing mare Growling that was knocked down to Ferguson for 220,000 guineas ($378,180). The colt was offered by the Irish National Stud on behalf of Italian breeder Giovanni Caiani.
"The sustained demand for foals certainly gives cause for optimism as we look forward to the Tattersalls December mares sale starting on Monday (Dec. 2)," remarked Mahoney.
The four-day mare sale runs through Dec. 5.