The third lot into the ring Nov. 22, the feature day of the Goffs November foal sale, provided the highlight to three days of foal trade that saw turnover rise by 43% and average by 22% over the equivalent sessions in 2016.
Lot 541, a filly by Galileo—Inca Princess, who is a full sister to group 1 winner and Emirates Melbourne Cup (G1) runner-up Johannes Vermeer sold for €1.1 million (US$1,291,180) to Hugo Lascelles on behalf of American interests. Offered by The Castlebridge Consignment, the filly was one of three Galileos on offer Wednesday—the only foals by the champion sire to be sold at public auction anywhere in the world this year.
Ken Bolger purchased the remaining two Galileos—a colt out of Australian group 1 winner Melito (Lot 569) for €625,000 ($733,625) and a filly out of New Zealand group 2 winner, Fix (Lot 732) who was knocked down for €400,000 ($469,520).
First-season sires were popular, as Shadwell Estates bought the first Muhaarar foal through the ring, a colt out of group 1 winner Miss Beatrix (Lot 575) for €340,000 ($399,092).
A total of 50 lots brough €100,000 or more compared to 31 in 2016, with 10 foals bringing north of €250,000 compared to just four in 2016. Trade was unrelenting, as the third-highest and last lot of the day, a Sea The Stars colt (Lot 752), was knocked down for €460,000 ($543,651) to Peter Vaughan on behalf of Capital Bloodstock.
"It is rare for any foal to realize over 1 million at any sale, but there was something very special about the sale-topping Galileo filly that headed today's incredibly strong sale at €1.1 million," said Henry Beeby, group chief executive of Goffs. "Trade over the three days has made significant advances, and we have to put a lot of that down to the more customer-friendly format that has allowed purchasers considerably more time to view all the Part 1 foals. ... It is our firm belief that Part 2 will also benefit from the change and the level of trade so far.
"Since the weekend Kildare Paddocks has been buzzing, and that positive atmosphere was very evident from the first lot on Monday morning. Statistically the sale has advanced in every area, with a mighty 81% clearance, more than double the number breaking the €250,000 barrier, and significantly more making over €100,000, whilst the average leapt by 22%. For the third time in four years, the sale has been topped by a millionaire foal, but the constant of the week has been the sustained demand at all levels, as end users and pinhookers battled each other for lot after lot each day."