Yet another record year of trade for historic auction house
December Mares Sale helped contribute to increase in turnover
After a year in which all of its auctions posted significant gains in key market areas, Tattersalls has ended 2017 with another record year of turnover, with around 331 million guineas in total sales.
The previous record had been set during Tattersalls' 250th anniversary of operation last year, when it posted turnover of 265,519,379gns.
During 2017, some 5,282 lots from 6,441 offered were sold for an incredible 331,489,750gns and an average of 62,758gns.
The December Mares Sale, which concluded on Thursday, was a big factor in the staggering rise in turnover thanks to Marsha's headline-topping sale when knocked down for a European record of 6,000,000gns to MV Magnier on Tuesday.
Tattersalls' chairman Edmond Mahony said: "The demand for quality bloodstock at Tattersalls has been unprecedented throughout 2017. Every single Tattersalls sale this year has achieved record figures and last year’s best ever annual turnover of 265 million guineas has soared to a truly remarkable 331 million guineas."
Another big contributing factor of the boost in turnover was the record-breaking edition of Book 1 of the October Yearling Sale, at which Dank's Galileo filly sold for four million guineas to Godolphin - one of 17 million-guinea lots to change hands at the auction. Those high prices contributed to whopping takings of 102,290,000gns.
Highlights of 2017 also included a strong edition of the Autumn Horses in Training Sale, at which Group 2 winner Elizabeth Browning became the highest-priced horse ever to sell at the auction when bought by Alex Elliott for 700,000gns. In all, 1,065 lots sold that week in October for a total of 27,282,200gns.
Mahony added: "Individual highlights have come thick and fast throughout our autumn sales season. The four million guineas October Book 1 sale-topper was the highest price for a yearling in the world this year and was followed by record top prices at Book 2 of the October Yearling Sale and the Autumn Horses in Training Sale.
"Nothing, however, compares with the pure theatre of the Tuesday evening session of this week's December Mares Sale. All of us lucky enough to have witnessed and participated in such a spectacular sale will have memories to treasure.
"Each of the eleven fillies and mares who sold for one million guineas or more was exceptional, but the new European record of six million guineas for the dual Group 1-winning filly Marsha was genuinely unforgettable and a wonderful reward for the Elite Racing Club, her trainer Sir Mark Prescott and all associated with such a special filly."
The Newmarket sales house also conducted the dispersal of Ballymacoll Stud's stock throughout the year, with highlights including a Kingman filly out of Justlookdontouch fetching 1.7 million guineas from Fiona Craig of Moyglare Stud at Book 1 and Justlookdontouch herself selling for 1.2 million guineas to Peter Brant's White Birch Farm on Tuesday.
Mahony said: "Equally memorable was the final episode in the history of the Weinstock family's legendary Ballymacoll Stud, appropriately played out in front of a packed sale ring. We have been immensely proud to have conducted the dispersal on behalf of the trustees of Ballymacoll Stud.
"In its rich 58 year history Ballymacoll Stud has achieved greatness and the success of the dispersal was a magnificent tribute to an impeccably run and uniquely successful breeding operation.
"Wider tribute should also be paid to each and every vendor and purchaser, all of whom have made important contributions. We recognise that not every sector of the industry is flourishing, but we continue to explore as many overseas markets as possible and we are enormously grateful to everyone who has helped to make the 2017 December Mares Sale a record-breaking renewal.
"We knew that we had a catalogue of real depth and quality, but we could still not have predicted the extraordinary global demand that has been the feature of the week.
"The Tattersalls December Sale has long been regarded as uniquely international and buyers from every continent in the world have yet again shown that the finest European bloodstock continues to be held in the very highest esteem."
The auction action returns to Tattersalls in 2018 for the February Sale on February 1-2.