110,000gns Iffraaj filly closes strong renewal of December Foal Sale
Nancy Sexton reports from the concluding session of trade
A strong renewal of the Tattersalls December Foal Sale closed last night in Newmarket with a pair of six-figure lots led by a 110,000gns daughter of Iffraaj who provided a fine return for her breeder Overbury Stud.
This year’s yearling sales were kind to a number of pinhookers and they duly returned to stock up with a zest that propelled the week’s trade to record levels. The average price finished at a record 44,027gns, up seven per cent from last year, while the median of 25,000gns was another record landmark. Only the aggregate failed to reach new heights - although at a hefty 32,668,200gns, it provided yet another demonstration of the current strong appetite for foals.
"If you're selling, the market is extraordinary, absolutely unbelievable,” said Richard Brown of Blandford Bloodstock. “However, if you're buying it's very difficult!”
Tattersalls chairman Edmond Mahony added: “The correlation between the yearling market and the foal market is well established and the record breaking Tattersalls October Yearling Sale has been matched by an equally dynamic Tattersalls December Foal Sale.
“Tribute must go to the vendors who yet again have brought the cream of the British and Irish foal crops to Tattersalls and the buyers have responded accordingly.”
Swift return for Overbury
Overbury Stud’s investment in the Oasis Dream mare Arabian Mirage at last year’s December Mares Sale reaped major dividends for the Gloucestershire-based stud yesterday when the Iffraaj filly she was carrying at the time of her purchase realised a session-topping 110,000gns to Liam Norris of Norris/Huntingdon.
The filly is the fifth foal out of her Listed-placed dam, who is a half-sister to Dubai Duty Free winner Al Shemali and classy stayer Tungsten Strike - like the sale-topping 750,000gns Dubawi filly, she belongs to a family that has been developed in recent years by Willie and Elaine Carson.
"I'm delighted, particularly as she's going to such a good home,” said Simon Sweeting of Overbury Stud. “Liam and Jenny do such a good job, which is so important as the mare is still with us and young.
"Richard Brown bought the mare for me last year. We liked the cover and we thought at the price that she was good value."
Plans call for the filly to be resold at next year’s yearling sales.
"She's for a syndicate to come back and sell through Norris Bloodstock,” said Liam Norris. “I thought she was a lovely filly, the pick of the day. In fact, she was the only one I had on my list.”
Iffraaj was also responsible for a colt out of Kodi Bear’s half-sister Princess Cammie who was snapped up by Harry Sweeney on behalf of Darley Japan for 80,000gns. The highlight of yesterday’s draft hailing from Aston Mullins Stud, he was the tenth purchase of the week for Darley Japan and brought their expenditure to 492,000gns.
Thunder colt takes Tatts by storm
There was also a happy outcome for breeders Kirtlington Stud and Sarah Hamilton when their Night Of Thunder colt made 100,000gns to Yeomanstown Stud, one of the busiest buyers of the week with 18 purchases to their name.
From the first crop of his sire, the colt was bred by Kirtlington and Hamilton out of White Wedding, a Green Desert half-sister to Fillies' Mile heroine Simply Perfect who is from the further family of Postponed.
"We bought the mare for €54,000 while she was in foal to Air Chief Marshal at the Arqana February Sale," said Kirtlington's Chris Budgett. "It's a wonderful family and the foal she was carrying turned out to be Zack Mayo [a three time winner this year for Charlie McBride].
He added: “Night Of Thunder worked for the mare on paper - for us, it's all about breeding racehorses."
Pinhook prospects to Blandford
Meanwhile, Richard Brown of Blandford Bloodstock concluded a productive week when coming out on top for Sea The Stars colt at 95,000gns shortly after signing at 80,000gns for a Kingman grandson of Islington. Both are set to return to auction next year.
"He's a smashing colt by an exceptional stallion,” said Brown of the Sea The Stars colt, sold by Usk Valley Stud. “He's from a great Usk Valley line - it’s one of their best families.”
He is a half-brother to Listed scorer Nantyglo and out of Bright Halo, a winning half-sister to Irish Oaks winner Moonstone, the dam of Nelson and US Army Ranger.
Genesis Green family hits right note
The virtues of taking the time to cultivate a family were on show during the early hours of the session in a Showcasing colt that sold out of the Genesis Green Stud draft for 78,000gns to Matt Coleman, signing as Hennessey Bloodstock.
The colt is a half-brother to Madam President, the dam of Showcasing's first really good horse Cappella Sansevero, and out of the winning White House, a half-sister to Group 2 winners Little Rock and Whitewater Affair, herself dam of Dubai World Cup winner Victoire Pisa.
"I bought the mare off John Greetham for 18,500gns in 2003 and it's now become one of our main families as we also have some of her daughters," said Michael Swinburn of Genesis Green. "It's a really tough family. I'm not sure whether it's commercial but they're as hard as nails and at the end of the day, I'm trying to breed a racehorse.”
The December Sale resumes on Monday at 10am with the four-day Mares Sale.
How we covered the December Foal Sale: