Heeraat lands another top lot as Autumn Sale gets underway
Tim Easterby to train the £20,000 session-topper
Goffs UK's two-day Autumn Sale kicked off in Doncaster on Tuesday with a steady session of yearling trade that saw Heeraat scoop a second sale-topper of the year.
A total of 110 yearlings were offered throughout a brisk session of selling that generated turnover of £347,000 - down 20 per cent on 2016's returns from 23 fewer offered lots, an average of £4,230 - down 15 per cent, and a median of £3,200 - up seven points. A total of 82 lots had changed hands for an improved clearance rate of 76 per cent.
As had been the case at the Silver Sale in August, a son of Mickley Stud's first-crop sire Heeraat claimed top lot honours, with trainer Tim Easterby signing the docket at £20,000 to take the colt back to his North Yorkshire base.
The May born colt, described by his purchaser as "a bloody nice horse", is the second foal out of the Doyen mare Another Sunset, an unraced sister to the Listed-placed Wrekin Sunset.
"He's a good sort with a great attitude, a great walk and he looks like a galloper," said Easterby, who gave Mickley Stud's son of Dark Angel a ringing endoresment. "I've got a few by Heeraat, we're just breaking them in at the moment, and I really like the ones I've got - they look very solid, racy types. He throws good-looking horses generally but this lad stood out."
With a host of trainers in attendance, including the likes of Richard Fahey, Gay Kelleway, Tom Tate, Philip Kirby and Scott Dixon, Easterby felt that there was plenty of life in the market.
"The market has been alright - it's fairly buoyant - something might come out of here and win the Queen Mary - I just don't know which one yet!" he said with a wry smile.
Heeraat was also responsible for the colt out of Ringtail who topped the Silver Sale at £48,000 in the same ring earlier in the year, and the reception that the Hackwood Stakes winner has received has left Mickley Stud's Richard Kent understandably chuffed.
"We bred this horse in partnership with Ray Bailey, who raced all the family," said Kent. "He's just a lovely, straightforward horse, very typical of Heeraat with a great temperament and great movement.
"There's plenty of people here and there's a good atmosphere and we couldn't be happier."
Despite the unspectacular prices involved the prevailing sense among both buyers and sellers come the close of trade seemed to be one of contentment.
"Nobody breeds a horse to bring it to this kind of sale, these horses happen, but it's too easy to blame overproduction for a bottom-end sale as breeders don't do it on purpose," said Trickledown Stud's Paul Thorman, whose nine offerings changed hands for an aggregate of £55,100. "People are too quick to say we've bred too many, but these sales are going to happen.
"If we cut production we're still going to get these horses; the ones by stallions that become unfashionable and the yearlings that don't grow. But somewhere in this sale there will be a good horse, you might need a pin to pick it, but there is always one that beats the odds.
"From a selling point of view, any yearling costs at least £7,000 plus the stud fee, so most of these horses are selling at a loss, but most of us are relieved to sell them as it stops the tap dripping. Do they make a profit? Probably not, but they have sold. The disaster is not selling, not the price they make."
"You'll never go through life with horses that deserve to be in the top-end events so inevitably some will have to come to sales like this, but if you can find a buyer, that is the main thing," said Catridge Farm Stud's David Powell, who sold four lots for a total of £17,400. "All of ours found a new home so it's been a good day."
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