Significant Downturn at Doncaster

Yearling sale down considerably by gross and average.

Doncaster’s two-part St Leger festival sale concluded Sept. 11 with figures below those of the 2007 numbers.

Although the £10,000 median was down only £250, the turnover for a reduced catalog fell 42% to £1,244,699 and the £11,697 average dropped by 22%.

But Doncaster managing director Henry Beeby was happy with the sale.

"Satisfied; that is the word that would sum up the last two days’ trade for the newest sale on the oldest date in the DBS sale calendar," said Beeby. "The market is selective, but bring a likely sort to the sales arena and competition is as fierce as ever.

"While we have failed to match last year’s figures the consensus among our vendors was that they were happy with the trade, pinhookers made profits, and the unique St Leger sales atmosphere was backed up by plenty of potential buyers viewing proceedings. Given worldwide economic trends, that has to mean satisfied is a fair reflection.

"A clearance rate of 73% and a median that was essentially identical to last year tell the real story and while the sale is down we purposely took fewer horses so a turnover comparison is irrelevant."

The sale topper came on the second night of the auction, a £50,000 Xaar half-sister to group III winner Ancien Regime, who was bought by agent Bobby O’Ryan to race for a syndicate in Ireland.

On day two, 71 were offered and 53 sold for £548,500, an average of £11,026 and median of £8,000.

For the two days, 143 were offered and 104 sold. The gross was £1,244,600 and the median $10,000. Last year, 189 were offered and 143 sold for £2,152,815, an average of £15,055 and a median of £10,250.