A Kentucky-bred Elusive Quality colt sold for 760,000 guineas (US$1,215,999), a European record for a breeze-up horse, at the second and final session of the Tattersalls Craven sale April 18 in Newmarket.
Although trading throughout the auction was periodically selective, the record-priced colt was among a number of sale highlights. They included respective 7.7% and 23.3% increases in total sales and average price, as well as the first Tattersalls purchases by mainland Chinese buyers.
Bought by Jamie McCalmont from Eddie O'Leary's Lynn Lodge Stud consignment, the record-priced colt is out of the winning Miesque's Son mare Gender Dance.
"He is a very athletic colt and is by a sire who is doing very well," McCalmont said. "To be honest I had not thought too much beforehand where his price would get to. I am not sure who is to train him."
Lynn Lodge enjoyed a handsome pinhooking profit on the colt, who was acquired for $120,000 through bloodstock agent Margaret O'Toole at the 2012 Keeneland September yearling sale, where he was consigned by Taylor Made Sales Agency.
Gender Dance is out of the Green Dancer mare Gender War, a half sister to multiple graded stakes winner and graded stakes producer Possible Mate. The extended family includes grade I winners Dream Empress, Prenup, and Yonaguska. Gender Dance has produced two winners, including English group III-placed Quarrel, from four starters.
Elusive Quality is the sire of 94 stakes winners and four champions, including last year's unbeaten European champion juvenile filly Certify. The 20-year-old son of Gone West stands at Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum's Darley in Lexington.
The Elusive Quality colt's price tag surpasses the previous record price of 625,000 guineas (US$1,176,328) set in 2006 at the Craven sale for a Green Desert colt out of Alexander Three D, by Pennekamp. The colt was bought by Kazuko Yoshida from the Mocklershill Stables consignment.
Tattersalls reported 103 horses sold at the two-day sale for cumulative total receipts of 9,235,000 guineas (US$14,775,991). The average price of 89,660 guineas (US$143,456) was the best since 2008.
Median price of 55,000 guineas (US$88,000) was up 3.5%. The clearance rate slid to 66.5%, compared with 78% at last year's sale.
"Competition at the top of the market has, without doubt, been the feature of the sale and the number of six figure lots (33) has only been bettered once," Tattersalls chairman Edmond Mahony remarked when the sale concluded at Park Paddocks.
"We would have liked to have seen a higher clearance rate, and economic realities understandably continue to play a part in this business, but overall the 2013 Tattersalls Craven breeze-up sale has served as another reminder of the enduring global demand for quality bloodstock."