"What a difference a year makes. We had the most extraordinary yearling sales season last year with records galore, but it has been a very different story this year," said Mahony.
"After a decade-long period of growth we have seen the foal crops increase dramatically, and the sheer numbers are now taking their toll. The total spend on yearlings at Tattersalls over the last two weeks has been just over 65 million guineas, a total only bettered twice, but this year the pot has had to be spread that much more widely. We have never catalogued such enormous numbers of yearlings with 240 more than last year, and a massive 36% more than in 2002.
"These are sobering figures. Despite good demand for smart individuals in both parts one and two of the sale, and significant contributions from throughout Europe and further afield, the past two weeks have given all of us involved in the British and Irish bloodstock industry plenty of food for thought.
"The reality is that while the foal crops have been rising steadily we have been experiencing a period of relative economic stagnation, prize-money levels have plateaued, interest rates are on the rise, the property market has slowed and oil prices have gone through the roof. Combine these dynamics with a British and Irish foal crop which has increased by nearly 2,000 in the last two years, and it is little wonder that we have seen a correction in the market.
"On a positive note, overseas buyers, and in particular the prolific team of Greeks accompanied by our representative Chris Imirziadis, will be returning home with huge numbers of yearlings. And we still have the Autumn Horses in Training Sale and the December Sales ahead of us, both of which promise to attract their usual cosmopolitan gatherings. However, at their conclusion we will have to assess how best to tackle the issues associated with the record foal crops that lie ahead."
Saturday's trading was headed by a Pursuit Of Love filly out of group II winner Daring Destiny who was sold to David Redvers for only $11,700. Agent Redvers reported she would be joining trainer Hughie Morrison. COMPARATIVE FIGURES (U.S. dollars)
2003 (no comparative figures) TATTERSALLS OCTOBER (PART 2)
2003 (no comparative figures) TATTERSALLS OCTOBER (PARTS 1 AND 2)
(*) Houghton, October 1 and October 2