Tattersalls’ five-day December foal ended in England Nov. 29 with figures sharply down from 2007’s results.
The 14,549,100-guinea gross fell 49% while the 25,888-guinea average price declined 29%. The 8,750-guinea median price dropped 56%. Sixty percent of the weanlings offered found new homes.
"These are testing times globally and no period of sharp readjustment, in whatever sphere, is easy,” said Tattersalls chairman Edmond Mahony. “We have experienced significant declines this week, in particular at the beginning of the week when the lesser foals struggled to find buyers, but quality foals have continued to attract plenty of competition, albeit at lower levels than we have been used to in recent years.
"In that respect, this week’s foal trade has mirrored our yearling market where the upper echelons held up remarkably well, but the heavily populated lower levels looked very exposed to the harsh realities of the global economy. As we have previously stressed, none of us can expect to be immune from the impact of the prevailing conditions, but we have a good breeding stock catalogue to look forward to, starting on Monday (Dec. 1), which as ever looks set to attract an international cast of buyers. The quality of the catalogue is the key ingredient, but in addition the majority of the overseas buyers will benefit from the dramatic strengthening of almost all currencies against sterling which is one positive to take from the recent upheavals."
Coolmore long-term racing prospects dominated the day, headed by a first-crop Holy Roman Emperor colt out of the 1996 group I Irish One Thousand Guineas winner Tarascon that was consigned by Tom Gaffney’s Churchtown House Stud. Demi O’Byrne outbid Rudiger Alles at 425,000 guineas for the colt and also bought three well-bred Galileos.
The first was a 380,000-guinea colt out of a half-sister to group I Oaks winner Alexandrova, consigned from the Pocock family’s Stringston Farm. Tony Nerses was the immediate underbidder. The weanling’s 2-year-old half-brother is Aidan O’Brien’s Fairyhouse maiden winner Golden Sword (by High Chaparral).
Shortly afterward, O’Byrne paid 210,000 guineas for a Galileo filly consigned by Joe Rogers’ Ballintry Stud, and later the Irish veterinarian saw off Seamus Burns for a 280,000-guinea Galileo half-sister to listed-placed Humungous bred by Marston Stud and the Australian-based Fleming Thoroughbreds.