Roger O’Callaghan of Tally-Ho Stud got a big surprise April 19 during the second and final session of the Tattersalls Craven breeze up sale in England. A son of Shamardal that was in the Tally-Ho consignment brought 500,000 guineas ($838,189 in U.S. funds) from Sheikh Mohammed’s bloodstock manager, John Ferguson, to top the auction.
"He is easily our biggest sale," said a stunned O'Callaghan. "We were hoping for 100,000 guineas ($167,638) or 150,000 guineas ($251,457), but this far exceeded our expectations. We have loved this horse from the day we bought him."
Tally-Ho purchased the chestnut colt as a weanling for 53,000 guineas ($87,827) at the 2010 Tattersalls December foal sale. Last year, Tally-Ho bought him back for 45,000 guineas ($73,186) when he was consigned to the book two portion of the Tattersalls October yearling sale.
Bred by Mark and Pippa Hackett in Ireland, the 2-year-old colt is out of the winning Swain mare Balloura. His second dam, Mowaadah (by Alzao), captured the Summit at Lloyds Rosemary Rated Stakes in England in 2001. Balloura produced a Hernando filly named Without Question in 2008 and a colt by Tiger Hill in 2009 that died in 2011. The mare had a Manduro colt in 2011.
The results for the Craven breeze up auction included a gross of 8,578,000 guineas ($14,379,960) for the 117 juveniles that were sold. The average price was 73,316 guineas ($122,906) and the median price was 57,000 guineas ($95,553). Compared to last year, when 112 horses were sold, the gross and average rose 7.4% and 2.8%, respectively. But the median declined 5%.
The clearance rate was 78%, up from 68.3% in 2011.
“There has been plenty of competition at the top of the market this week, a number of spectacular pinhooking successes, and the individual highlight of the 500,000 guineas sale-topper which was the (joint) third-highest price ever at the Craven breeze up,” said Tattersalls chairman Edmond Mahony. “Buyers from throughout the world, most notably the Gulf region and Hong Kong, have had a major impact on the sale and we are naturally delighted that the key indicators of turnover, average, median, and clearance rate have held up so well.
“The figures should also be placed in the context of conditions for the breeze which were far from ideal. The 2-year-olds coped admirably in wind and driving rain and, as ever, paid tribute to the professionalism of the consignors, who brought some outstanding individuals to the marketplace. Nevertheless, it would be wrong to pretend that all has been plain sailing over the last two days. The market has been selective at times and served as a reminder that the continuing economic uncertainty, particularly in Europe, continues to pose challenges. The positives that can be taken from this sale should, however, give cause for cautious optimism as we look forward to the Tattersalls Guineas breeze up and horses in training sale which takes place here on May 3 and 4.”
The results for the second session only included a gross of 5,148,000 guineas ($8,629,992) for the 63 juveniles that were sold. The average was 81,714 guineas ($147,042) and the median was 60,000 guineas ($100,583). The clearance rate was 85.1%.