The Sept. 19 opening day of the Tattersalls Ireland September yearling sale produced a set of results not witnessed at the sale since the pre-recession year of 2006.
The highlight of the Tuesday session was Lot 219, a son of Showcasing sold by Ballyphilip Stud. Out of the winning Invincible Spirit mare Starfly, he became the most expensive horse ever sold at the September sale when he brought a record €230,000 (US$288,690).
The successful purchaser was Michael O'Hagan, acting on behalf of James B. Keogh's Grovendale Advisory Services. On the phone throughout the bidding process, O'Hagan edged out agent Matt Coleman of Stroud Coleman Bloodstock to secure the colt.
"He's a real athlete," O'Hagan said. "We thought he was one of the nicest horses in the sale. Trainer Clive Cox picked him out individually, and he will be going into training with Clive on behalf of a client."
The day's second highest-priced lot, a Kodiac colt consigned by Ballyvolane Stud (Lot 152), was knocked down for €200,000 (US$251,034) to agent Anthony Stroud on behalf of Godolphin. It is the first time Godolphin has been listed as a buyer at Tattersalls Ireland.
"He is a lovely, athletic horse by a wonderful stallion who continues to produce good horses," Stroud said. "This is my first time back at this sale in a good few years and I am very happy to be here."
The March-born colt is out of the Shamardal mare Queen Wasp and is a half brother to two winners, including the Arcano runner Rusumaat, winner of a Newbury handicap off a rating of 105 in July.
Last week Mrs. Maura Gittins celebrated at the Doncaster St Leger Festival with her 2-year-old Ellthea, who was purchased at Tattersalls Ireland last year for €88,000 (US$98,138). The winning Kodiac colt trained by Karl Burke is now aiming toward a listed stakes start.
Hoping lightning will strike twice, Maura's son Mark Gittins purchased Lot 104, a Rathbarry Stud-consigned Acclamation colt, for €110,000 (US$138,069).
"He will go into training with Karl Burke and, for me, he was the stand-out yearling today," Gittins said. "He is by a very good sire who is having a great year and we are happy to get him."
The Tuesday action produced the best set of returns ever for day one of the September sale, despite a smaller catalogue compared to 2016, with an aggregate of €5,624,500 ($6,747,431.26) up 2%, a median that rose 20% to €24,000 ($28,791.60), an average up 11% to €28,844 ($34,602.70), and an unrivalled clearance rate of 90% (up 7%), concluding the day on a hugely positive note.
The September yearling sale continues Sept. 20, and Part II of the sale concludes Sept. 21.