Average and Median Grow at Craven Sale

An Elusive Quality colt brings 400,000 guineas ($648,539 in U.S. funds).

The Tattersalls Craven breeze up sale ended April 15 in England with upswings of 7.1% in average price and 16.7% in median price from a year ago. A Kentucky-bred Elusive Quality colt sold for 400,000 guineas ($648,539 in U.S. funds) during the second and final session to top the auction.

Italian agent Federico Barberini handled the bidding on the bay juvenile for buyer Oliver St. Lawrence Bloodstock and its Bahrain-based owner Fawzi Nass. Willie Browne’s Mocklershill Stables consigned the colt, which had been purchased by Meadowlands Stud for $150,000 from Eaton Sales, agent, at last year’s Keeneland September yearling sale.

Bred by Anne Wrenn Poulson and Hare Forest Farm, the colt is first live foal produced from the 10-year-old Partner's Hero mare Love Match, who captured the 2005 Taylor Made Matchmaker Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Monmouth Park. 

The results for the Craven breeze up auction included a gross of 7,656,500 guineas ($12,413,800) for the 96 horses that sold. The average was 79,755 guineas ($129,309), and the median was 70,000 guineas ($113,494). The gross was down 10.6% from 2009, when 115 horses were sold.

The buy-back rate rose from 29.4% last year to 30.9% this year.

“It was a slow start to the sale yesterday evening, but happily for all concerned, trade picked up considerably as the sale progressed and the final figures compare very favorably with last year's sale,” said Tattersalls chairman Edmond Mahony.

“Turnover (gross) is down, as expected with a smaller catalog, but both the average and median have risen, which is a tribute to the quality of the horses and to the professionalism of the consignors. The market has been selective at times, but we have seen plenty of international competition at the top end and the success of recent graduates of the sale has clearly not gone unnoticed.

“Alongside the positive aspects, however, the prevailing economic uncertainties continue to have an impact on the European bloodstock market, and the domestic demand, with a few notable and welcome exceptions, remains tentative. The recent income tax rise in Britain, combined with the usual pre-election caution, have not inspired renewed confidence, and while the weakness of sterling has definitely helped our overseas buyers, we continue to face challenges on the home front.”

During the final session, the 50 horses that sold grossed 4,069,000 guineas ($6,597,260) and averaged 81,380 guineas ($131,945). The median was 58,500 guineas ($98,849), and the buy-back rate was 25.4%.