Azamour Colt Tops Craven Sale Opener

He brings 315,000 guineas ($487,989 in U.S. funds).

Tattersalls’ Craven breeze-up sale in England kicked off its two day-run April 13 with a 315,000-guinea ($487,989 in U.S. funds) Azamour colt that topped the opening session. Sir Robert Ogden purchased the bay juvenile from Willie Browne’s Mocklershill, outlasting bloodstock agent Dwayne Woods, who was taking instructions from his brother, Hong Kong-based trainer Sean Woods.

"We liked this horse an awful lot," said Barry Simpson, Robert Ogden's racing manager, "and it seemed another man was as keen as we were! We saw the horse in Ireland and liked him then and his breeze yesterday confirmed our belief. We have not yet decided upon a trainer.

"Sir Robert takes a very active role when buying his horses and it is always his decision,” Simpson added. “He likes looking at the horses and we started with a short list of 30, which we whittled down to seven or eight."

The colt is out of the Polar Falcon mare Khayrat, who failed to win or place in her only career race. But she is a half sister to Khaytada (by Doyoun), who scored in the Leopardstown One Thousand Guineas Trial Stakes and Ali Retza & Mamadi Soudavar Garnet Stakes in Ireland in 1995. Khaytada also finished second in the 1994 JRA Killavullan Stakes (Ire-III) and third in the 1995 Airlie Coolmore Irish One Thousand Guineas (Ire-I).

A half brother to the winners Lime Tree Valley (by Val Royal) and Beautiful Breeze (by Tobougg), the colt was purchased as a yearling by Margaret O’Toole for the equivalent of $78,132 at Goffs in Ireland last September.

The first day’s results for the Craven breeze-up sale included a gross of 4,394,000 guineas ($6,807,060) for the 59 horses that were sold. The average price was 74,475 guineas ($115,375) and the median price was 60,000 guineas ($92,950).

Compared to last year, when 46 horses were sold, the gross rose 22.5%. The average and median declined 4.5% and 8.5%, respectively. The clearance rate increased to 72% from 63.9% in 2010.

In addition, three horses were sold privately this year for 58,500 guineas ($90,626).