Airlie Beach puts the icing on outstanding trade at Fairyhouse
Average and median soars for jumps foals and breeding stock
A resoundingly successful Tattersalls Ireland November National Hunt Sale was crowned on Friday when Grade 1 winner Airlie Beach went for €140,000, making her the most expensive horse sold over the six days of trade.
Built on remarkably strong foal sales, particularly on Tuesday and Wednesday, the sale posted its best results since it reverted to a shorter format and set records for the average and median prices.
Total turnover for the week was the largest recorded since the heady days of 2007, before the economic crash. Over the six days, horses worth a staggering €13,848,300 changed hands for an increase of 15 per cent on 2016 turnover.
An average of €15,991 represented a year-on-year growth of 12 per cent, while the median of €11,250 was another one for the record books and was up by seven per cent from last year.
All of this amazing growth came on the back of an improved clearance rate at 73 per cent, up by seven per cent from last year’s rate of 68 per cent.
The top end of the market grabbed the headlines with huge foal sales but the strength of the middle sector was notable. At the 2016 renewal eight horses sold for at least €60,000, but that number was more than trebled this week with 21 horses making that amount and more. This week 32 horses sold for €50,000 or more, an increase of nine on last year’s total of 32, while in 2016 some 96 horses made €30,000, a figure that grew by 50 percent to 140.
The largest increase, however, was in the horses selling for €20,000 and above. In 2016 that figure was 177 but this week it was an astounding 256, demonstrating the strength and depth of the market.
Beach caps off glittering week
Star of the week was Airlie Beach, winner of the Grade 1 Royal Bond Novice Hurdle at Fairyhouse last season and the Listed Oyster Stakes on the Flat, the seven-year-old daughter of Shantou was offered in foal to Mount Nelson from Willie Mullins’ Closutton Stables.
Bidders representing the major National Hunt breeders and studs were in place for Airlie Beach’s arrival into the ring with Stephanie Searle and plenty got in on the bidding action. But when it came down to it, John Flood who stands Mount Nelson, Califet, Court Cave and Kalanisi at Boardsmill Stud, was the man with the winning bid.
Flood said: “She was the pick of the day and obviously we knew her from being at the farm. Her race record speaks for itself, and she was rated 100 on the Flat after her last win.
"Mount Nelson is a good match for her as he is a big horse and will put a bit of size into her. She is for a client of the farm who is building a nice band of high-class broodmares."
I'm All You Need indeed
A combination of King’s Theatre as damsire and a covering sire listed as Walk In The Park proved extremely popular with buyers on Friday when Marilyn Syme of Ashwood Stud went to €62,000 for I’m All You Need, a winner over hurdles and fences, with a Listed placing in the Opera Hat Mares’ Chase on her CV.
Consigned by Coolamurray Stud, the seven-year-old possessed those two magic ingredients of King’s Theatre and Walk In The Park but she also comes from one of the deepest pedigrees in the book.
I'm All You Need is out of Jolie Landaise, a half-sister to the brilliant racemare Bilboa and to Makounji, herself no slouch as the winner of four chases including the Grade 2 Pendil Novices’ Chase. Makounji is also the dam of Roulez Cool and is from the the family of Group 3 winner and Group 1-placed sire Mansonnien.
“She's a beautiful mare, said Syme of her new purchase. “I loved everything about her, it's a wonderful page and she's by a great damsire in King’s Theatre with a covering by a very popular stallion.”
Syme was reinvesting some of the money she earned earlier in the week when she sold a son of Fame And Glory out of Shuil Dorcha, the dam of Bright New Dawn and Lyrical Theatre, who was purchased by Ian Ferguson for €75,000 on Tuesday.
The recipe for success
Side Saddle was another good-looking mare with a strong page, by King’s Theatre and in foal to Walk In The Park, so it was only natural that she attracted plenty of attention. Kieran Mariga of Coolmara Stud bought the sister to Grade 1 winner Voler La Vedette and half-sister to Hennessy for €50,000 from owner Lawrence Byrne.
“She's a gorgeous mare by a wonderful sire and in foal to another good stallion that I like," said Mariga. "I sold a filly by Walk In The Park earlier this week for €21,000 and a Fame And Glory filly for €10,000,” said Mariga. “We will see what she foals but I would like to send her back to Walk In The Park or maybe Flemensfirth.”
He later added another mare to the ten he has on his Cork farm, which include Petite Parisienne, a Grade 1 winner for Willie Mullins who he bought carrying a filly foal by Shantou last December for €130,000.
Mariga purchased Daydream Beach, an unraced Mahler half-sister to sale-topper Airlie Beach, in foal to that mare’s sire Shantou for €42,000.
The seven-time winner Ballychorus was another daughter of King’s Theatre to cause a stir in the ring. Offered by owner Barry Connell, the eight-year-old is a three-parts sister to Grade 1 Punchestown Gold Cup winner Follow The Plan and was knocked down to Tom Coughlan for €31,000.
Presenting the pick
All week buyers had mentioned the presence of Presenting as damsire as one of the main factors influencing their interest in a foal. Daughters of the recently deceased Rathbarry Stud sire were in demand from breeders and Denis Cusack bought For A While out of a sister to Gold Cup winner Kicking King for €36,000. Offered from Ridge Manor Stud, the four-year-old is in foal to Saddex, a dual Group 1 winner who stands at Haras de Grandcamp for €3,000.
Aulne River, the dam of Wait For Me who was third in the 2015 Champion Bumper for Philip Hobbs, was sold in foal to Kayf Tara for €35,000 to Michael Whitty.
The River Mist mare won twice in her native France at four and is the dam of three winners including the Listed-placed Yoneti. Offered by Peter Nolan Bloodstock, she is in foal to one of the hottest sires of the week as Overbury Stud’s star had 14 progeny sold at an average price of €39,943 – a figure bettered only by Kapgarde and Martaline among the sires with more than one horse sold.
The mare sale could not reach the astounding heights of the foal sale and today’s final session recorded declines in many categories. However it did post a noticeable improvement in the clearance rate, which leapt by 60 points for 42 per cent last year to 67 on 2017.
Turnover dropped slightly from €786,250 in 2016 to €766,900 – a difference of two per cent while the average price was down by eight per cent to €15,338 from 2016’s average of €16,729.
The steepest decline was recorded by the median which dropped 35 per cent from €10,000 to €8,500.