Tattersalls Sale Soars to Record Levels

Tattersalls October Sale, traditionally the best barometer to the state of the European yearling market, didn't just surpass previous records -- it obliterated them.

The final statistics for the sale that ended Oct. 14 were quite staggering. In all, 73 yearlings brought bids of 100,000 guineas (about US$113,400) or more, compared to 19 last year. The records from 1999 for aggregate, average, and median were topped by 49%, 62%, and 37%, respectively.

A string of agents and trainers with decent orders went home empty-handed, while there were plenty of breeders and pinhookers who believed Christmas had come early.

"It was generally agreed that the catalog was exceptional and the buyers
turned up in their battalions to produce a remarkable sale, the like of
which could not have been predicted," said Tattersalls Edmond Mahony.

The October record price of 430,000 guineas ($487,000), set in 1997 for a Woodman filly, was broken twice Oct. 12. The new record is now the 450,000 guineas ($510,300) paid by agent Anthony Stroud on behalf of Hong Kong trainer and owner Ivan Allan for a French-bred Darshaan colt offered from Brendan Hayes' Knocktoran Stud.

John Ferguson, who acted principally for Godolphin, bought 20 lots for
2,526,000 guineas ($2.86 million), while Sheikh Hamdan's purchased 13
horses for 2,195,000 guineas ($2.49 million).