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Gains across the board as Kingston colt tops final day of Foal Sale

Aisling Crowe on the reformatted November auction deemed a success

The Kingston Hill colt who topped the final day of the Goffs November Sale on Sunday at €26,000
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Goffs' reformatted November Breeding Stock Sale concluded on Sunday, and with the week-long auction having recorded gains in all key market sectors the changes were deemed a success.

Turnover for the seven days increased by three points year-on-year to €42,084,400, aided by an improved clearance rate of 77 per cent, up from 73 per cent in 2016. The average price of €38,965 was up by nearly five per cent, while the median of €18,000 saw the largest gain of the week, up 20 per cent on last year’s figure of €15,000.

"The feedback we have received all week has been overwhelmingly positive and the new format has been well received by purchasers in particular," remarked Henry Beeby, Goffs' group chief executive, who added that the company is looking at ways to improve on the changes initiated for future editions of the sale.

"The format next year will be very similar but there will be some tweaks. We had some teething issues, such as problems with double standing, and didn't get everything right but we are working to ensure that next year these will be eliminated," he said. "There was a better, more positive feel around the sale both [Saturday] and [Sunday] with plenty of people looking at foals, particularly pinhookers. The feedback has been that the format worked for the sale and that means it worked for clients."

When looked at in its entirety, the decision to split the five days of foals into Parts 1 and 2 either side of the Breeding Stock sales seems a resoundingly successful one. The clearance rate for the whole foal sale jumped from 67 per cent in 2016 to 77 per cent, while there was gains across the board.

An average price of €37,175 was an improvement of 29 per cent on last year’s foal sale while the median increased by more, up one-third to €20,000 from the 2016 figure of €15,000. The turnover showed the biggest gain, increasing by 35 per cent to €27,137,000 from the 2016 total of €20,048,350.

The sale-topping price of €1.1 million for the Galileo sister to Group 1 winner and Melbourne Cup runner-up Johannes Vermeer was much higher than the €775,000 paid for last year's sale-topper, A Nous La Liberte, a daughter of Siyouni sold as part of the Wildenstein Dispersal, which constituted an important element of the 2016 renewal of the November Sale.

Beeby said that Goffs were particularly pleased with the performance of Part 1 which improved in all areas in comparison to the equivalent days in 2016.

"Statistically the Part 1 Foals advanced in every area with a mighty 81 per cent clearance, more than double the number breaking the €250,000 barrier and significantly more making over €100,000 whilst the average leapt by 22 per cent," Beeby commented. "For the third time in four years the sale was topped by a millionaire foal, but the constant of the week has been the sustained demand at all levels as end users and pinhookers battled each other for lot after lot each day."

The median price for Part 1 of the Foal Sale also improved, up eight per cent from last year's figure of €25,000 to €27,000 earlier this week.

It was a different story for Part 2, which is directly comparable with the opening two days in 2016, save for one important respect, with the 66 per cent clearance rate looking healthier than that recorded last year, which was just 55 per cent.

However, the turnover for Part 2 decreased to €1,605,250 from the total sales for the equivalent days last year, where turnover was €2,238,850, and that represented a decline of 28 per cent. Part 2 also recorded drops in the average and median for both days while neither day could match the top prices of €42,000 and €85,000 respectively from last year.

Beeby acknowledged the difficulties faced by breeders and vendors at the lower end of the market: "Trade has, of course, been at a lower level over the last two days of the Part 2 Foals but the number of buyers inspecting foals from Friday vindicated the decision to change the format and gave these foals greater exposure to potential purchasers.

"No one is denying that the going has been tougher but we would suggest that has been very much a reflection of the polarised yearling market that was so evident this autumn. The improved clearance rate over the two days, up 11 points to 66 per cent, is a plus and we will continue to work hard to provide the best possible market for this category."

King of the hill

As anticipated, Sunday's final foal session was a more muted affair with a much smaller catalogue than the previous day. The action in the ring revolved around three foals, with colts from the first crops of Coolmore sires Ivawood and Kingston Hill the main protagonists.

Ridge Manor Stud’s Kingston Hill colt out of a half-sister to the 2005 Irish Derby third Shalapour from the family of the dual Derby winner Sharastani made €26,000 when selling to John Walsh of Euross.

"He's a good-walking foal with a nice pedigree. I bought him for a new client and we had hoped not to have to pay quite so much for him. The foal will be back for sale as a yearling," said Walsh.

Rockview Stables, who purchased a Make Believe filly and a colt by Anjaal earlier in the week, added to their haul on Sunday with a €23,000 Ivawood colt. Consigned by Jossestown Stud for breeder Ann Morris, the colt is the second foal out of the eight-time winner Perfect Blossom. Her first foal, a colt by the Irish National Stud’s Gale Force Ten, was bought for €20,000 by trainer Bryan Smart at the Sportsman’s Sale here in September.

Paddy Dunne, who signed for the Ivawood colt on behalf of his brother Dermot said: "We liked the pedigree, he's from a fast family out of a mare who was rated 94 and I quite like the Ivawood foals I have seen, they are sharp early looking sorts."

Trainer Martyn Meade was also in purchasing mode on Sunday as he went to €22,000 for Clonmult Farm's chestnut colt by Pastoral Pursuits - who Meade owns and will stand at Norton Grove Stud next year - out of the Listed winner Tora Bora.

How we covered the Goffs November Sale:

Strong trade for mares but figures can't match Wildenstein dispersal

Outstrip colt stars as Part Two of the Foal Sale gets under way

Benoit has final say on Johannes Vermeer dam with €1.9m bid

Johannes Vermeer sister looks picture perfect at €1.1 million

€260,000 Australia colt steals the show at November Sale

Reformatting reaps rewards with strong trade in foal opener

Click here to read our guide to the European breeding-stock sales, including catalogue previews, broodmare sire stats and more


The feedback we have received all week has been overwhelmingly positive and the new format has been well received by purchasers in particular

Key data

Kingston Hill
E.W. Terms
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