Book 1 of the Tattersalls October yearling sale in England saved the best for last. During the third and final session of the auction Oct. 11, a son of Galileo named Hydrogen commanded 2.5 million guineas ($4,200,609), the highest price for a yearling sold at public auction in the world this year.
The amount surpassed the previous world high of 1.5 million guineas ($2,522,940) for a Galileo—Alluring Park filly that was sold in Book 1’s second session Oct. 10. Also going through the auction ring during Book 2’s second session was 2012’s third-most-expensive yearling in the world, a 1.3 million guinea ($2,186,552) Galileo—Shadow Song filly.
In addition, Book 1 of the October auction finished with a gross of 68,102,500 guineas ($114,429,000), which is the highest total ever for a yearling sale in Europe, according to Tattersalls. Also setting a record was the average price of 162,925 guineas ($273,753). The median price of 100,000 guineas ($142,821) equaled the mark that had been established last year.
The gross and average were up 31.9% and 14.9%, respectively from 2011. The number of horses that were sold was 418 compared to 364 last year. The buy-back rate was 81.3% compared to 81.6%.
"Book 1 of last year’s Tattersalls October yearling sale produced a remarkable set of results with huge rises in average, median, and turnover. Even though we knew this was an exceptional catalog, it seems extraordinary that we have bettered those figures this week," said Tattersalls chairman Edmond Mahony.
"Tribute really must be paid to the vendors, who yet again have enabled us to compile an outstanding catalog for Europe’s premier yearling sale. They have sent us the cream of the European yearling crop and have been rewarded by a truly cosmopolitan cast of buyers attracted to Park Paddocks by world class yearlings and a sale with a reputation second to none for producing European classic and group 1 winners."
According to Tattersalls, the 2.5 million guinea price for Hydrogen is the third-highest ever for a yearling colt sold at public auction in Europe. Bloodstock agent David Redvers purchased the bay colt for Sheikh Fahad al Thani. The immediate underbidder was John Magnier of Coolmore Stud.
"It’s a cliché, but this horse is the complete package," Redvers said. "I am just incredibly lucky to have the best and most enthusiastic, yet measured, client in the business."
The colt is out of the unraced Saumarez mare Funsie. He is a half brother to European champion Authorized (by Montjeu), who won the Vodafone Epsom Derby (Eng-I), Juddmonte International Stakes (Eng-I), and Totesport.com Dante Stakes (Eng-II) in 2007. Authorized also captured the Racing Post Trophy (Eng-I) in 2006.
Paul Makin of Paulyn Ltd. bred Hydrogen in Great Britain.
"I didn’t try to anticipate what would happen," Makin said. "I paid a lot for the mare and I do have three brothers at home and you can’t keep them all … well you can, but really I wanted to try the discipline of selling one that I really like. I have not bought one at this sale, which is a first, so now that I have sold one, I am the complete package. I just hope the horse goes on to excel for his new owner, who is terrific for racing in this country. They (the yearling’s new connections) are positive people and I like that."
The results for Book 1’s final session included a gross of 20,064,500 guineas ($33,713,190) for the 139 yearlings that were sold. The average was 144,349 guineas ($242,542) and the median was 85,000 ($142,821). The clearance rate was 81.3%.
"The statistics for this week’s sale make impressive reading, especially in a climate of continued economic uncertainty," Mahony said. "The second smallest Book 1 catalogue has produced the highest ever turnover for this sale, the average has reached unprecedented levels, and Book 1 of the October yearling sale has produced the highest priced yearling in the world this year. The 2,500,000 guinea sale-topping Galileo colt was the obvious highlight of the sale, but the real feature has been the fierce and diverse competition at the top of the market
"We have had a record number of yearlings sell for 400,000 guineas ($672,097) or more – 12 of them by the phenomenal Galileo - and there have been no less than 16 different buyers at this level," Mahony continued. "Our long-standing clients, both domestic and overseas, have been as active, if not more so, than ever, and buyers from established markets such as Australia, Hong Kong, Japan, and the USA have been more prolific than in recent years.
"In addition, the contribution from new or relatively new participants has been a real source of encouragement for all involved in the industry. The Qatari influence, in particular, has been immense and buyers from Malaysia, Russia, South Africa, and Turkey have all made a significant impact."