We welcome Andrew Fletcher at the Horse Racing Tavern, who will be bringing his knowledge of bloodstock and sales to the Tavern. Andrew takes a look at the recent December Mare Sale at Tattersalls and the lots to keep an eye on in the future.
The December Mare Sale at Tattersalls in Newmarket is usually an interesting sale to watch unfold. For those who enjoy a bidding war this sale has not disappointed in recent times with a lot selling for one million guineas or more in 7 of the last 9 years. The 2011 edition was no exception with several high-class lots, with the top 5 well worth some analysis.
The sale topper was a Danehill mare, Sumora who is also a three parts sister to the 2011 Oaks winner Dancing Rain. This mare went for 2.4 million Guineas to M.V Magnier of Coolmore; she has produced one of Coolmore’s leading lights this year in the 2yo Champion filly Maybe (Galileo). The dam is carrying a full sibling to Maybe and is scheduled to go back to Galileo in 2012.
Lot 1752, Reve d’Iman was purchased for 1.7 million Guineas by Katsumi Yoshida. She produced the 2010 Irish 1000 Guineas winner Bethrah (Marju) and is currently in foal to Montjeu. Her full sister Reve D’Oscar has been a very popular dam in Japan having produced Reve D’Essor who was the Japanese Champion 2 year-old filly in 2010. It is understood that she will be sent to either Deep Impact or the 2010 Derby winner Workforce who is beginning his stallion career in Japan. The sale topper was a Danehill mare, Sumora who is also a three parts sister to the 2011 Oaks winner Dancing Rain. This mare went for 2.4 million Guineas to M.V Magnier of Coolmore; she has produced one of Coolmore’s leading lights this year in the 2yo Champion filly Maybe (Galileo). The dam is carrying a full sibling to Maybe and is scheduled to go back to Galileo in 2012.
Pearling was purchased by Tony Nerses for 1.3 million Guineas on behalf of Saleh al Homazi and Imad al Sagar. These Kuwaiti businessmen own Blue Diamond Stud and she has been bought to improve their book of mares. She is a full sister to Giant’s Causeway and You’resothrilling and is believed to be carrying a foal by Galileo. The stud will be retaining the foal to race in their colours and the mare will no doubt become a focal point of their stud.
The final lot that made over a million was Testosterone who was bought by Charlie Gordon-Watson for 1.2 million Guineas. This filly was a winner at Group 2 and Group 3 level as a 3 year-old this year as well as finishing second in the Prix Vermeille. She is a Dansili filly out of a Sadler’s Wells mare and is set to continue her racing career as a 4 year-old with Ed Dunlop.
The top 5 was completed by Ventura, whose progeny include Cedar Mountain (Galileo) and Moonlight Cloud (Invincible Spirit) who won the 2011 Prix Maurice de Gheest. She was purchased by M.V Magnier for 900,000 Guineas and will be part of the first book of mares for the 2011 Derby winner, Pour Moi.
This year’s sale saw an improvement in overall sales compared to recent years, the sale’s average price 70,145 Guineas was the highest since 2007 when it was in excess of 90,000 Guineas. That year there were no less than five lots sold at 3 million guineas or more with the top lot being a Muhtathir mare, Satwa Queen who was purchased by John Ferguson for 3.4 million Guineas. In fact John Ferguson purchased 6 out of the top 10 lots in 2007 for around 14.7 million Guineas on behalf of his employer, Sheikh Mohammed. To date, Satwa Queen has had a filly by Cape Cross, who fetched 17,000 Euros at the Arqana Breeding Stock Sales as a 2 year-old last week. The dam was also scheduled to visit Shamardal in the early part of this year.
However, the largest fee received for a mare at these sales and at the time the world was in 2006. London Thoroughbred Services were acting on behalf of Lady Serena Rothschild and bought Magical Romance for 4.6 million Guineas. She is a 3 parts sister to Alexandrova, who in the year in question had won the Epsom Oaks, the Irish Oaks and the Yorkshire Oaks at York. In the following years, Magical Romance visited Dansili (2007), Selkirk (2008), Dansili (2009) and Sea the Stars in 2010. Whilst she has produced nothing to date worthy of any note, the Sea the Stars colt has already been named Tall Ship and may be worth following given the quality pedigree that he possesses.
Like most years, the sales have thrown up some exciting lots that could be worth keeping an eye on in the next couple of years. The Breeding stock sales attract the best studs from around the world and as this year has shown, they are prepared to pay huge sums of money in order to acquire the best mares to produce tomorrow’s champions.
Photo credit: Tattersalls.com