A colt from the first crop of Rip Van Winkle led trading Nov. 25 at the single-session Tattersalls December yearling sale, which saw a marginal decline in total sales, compared with 2012, but increases in average price and median.
The sale topper was knocked down to BBA Ireland's Patrick Cooper for 200,000 guineas ($340,746) after he saw off Japanese owner Ryoichi Ohtsuka.
The bay colt was one of 185 horses sold during the single session, pushing the aggregate to 3,570,100 guineas ($6,082,486), off just 0.7% from last year's total sales in guineas when 235 horses sold.
The average of 24,621 guineas ($41,947) and median of 15,000 guineas ($25,556) where up 14% and 16%, respectively. The clearance rate slid to 81.9% from 83.6% last year.
Furnace Mill Stud offered the top-priced Rip Van Winkle colt for small Carmarthenshire breeder Richard Moses, who bought his dam, the winning Rainbow Quest mare Aurelia as a 4-year-old at the 2005 Tattersalls December mare sale. Aurelia is the dam of two winners from four to race. She has a Canford Cliffs weanling and is in foal to Paco Boy.
The Rip Van Winkle colt was bound for the elite Book 1 session of the Tattersalls October yearling sale, but an injury kept him out.
"The colt has always been a lovely horse," said Trish Brown of Furnace Mill. "Unfortunately, he pricked his foot ahead of Book 1, maybe in the end it was for luck."
A multiple group I winner, Rip Van Winkle stands alongside his sire Galileo at Coolmore Stud in Ireland.
Bloodstock agent David Redvers secured the only Galileo horse offered, going to 135,000 guineas ($230,003) for a filly out of the Green Desert mare Artful. Offered by Denford Stud, the bay filly is a half sister to stakes winner Duplicity and is from the family of 2012 Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe (Fr-I) winner Solemia.
"I thought she was a standout and from a very current family, you couldn't get more up to date," Redvers said. "The mare has already produced a stakes winner and she should be worth that money on residual value alone."
John Ferguson, bloodstock adviser to Sheikh Mohammed, went to the day's third-highest price of 120,000 guineas ($204,447) for a Teofilo colt offered by Ireland's Taroka Stud.
"The sire has done well and I thought he was a lovely colt and is from a family that Sheikh Mohammed knows well and has had a lot of success with," Ferguson said.
The bay colt is out of the unraced Cape Cross mare Henties Bay, a half sister to Sheikh Mohammed's 1995 European champion two-year-old Blue Duster and 1992 Middle Park Stakes (Eng-I) winner Zieten.
The four-day Tattersalls December foal sale starts at 9.30 a.m., Nov. 27, at Park Paddocks in Newmarket.