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Monday, 22 October, 2018

How the last five most expensive Tattersalls yearlings fared

Have previous top-sellers justified their enormous price-tags?

Gloam - later renamed Maria Danilova - selling for 4,000,000gns at Tattersalls last year
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Eye-watering sums have once again been spent by the world's leading owners attempting to secure high-class horses at Book 1 of the Tattersalls October Yearling Sale this week.

Most strikingly, Qatar Racing have spent 3,500,000gns on a Dubawi colt and Coolmore have given 3,400,000gns for a son of Galileo.

Prodigious price-tags are no guarantee of success, however, and for every former top lot at Book 1 or its equivalent that has shone on the track – such as Classic winners Bosra Sham and Was – there are more who do not live up to expectations.

Such is the nature of yearling trade, where the stock on offer is untried and so the actual commodity being sold is the dream of Group 1 glory and finding valuable stallion and broodmare prospects.

Here we look at how the five most expensive yearlings to go through the ring at Tattersalls before this year fared for their purchasers.

5,000,000gns (2013)

Al Naamah
Pedigree b f Galileo-Alluring Park (Green Desert)
Consignor Lodge Park Stud
Buyer Al Shaqab Racing

The then still emerging Qatari outfit Al Shaqab Racing, spearheaded by Sheikh Joaan Al Thani, caused a storm when they stretched to a European yearling record price of 5,000,000gns for this Galileo filly in the year after her sister Was landed the Oaks.

Named Al Naamah and sent to Andre Fabre, she was an impressive two-length winner on debut at Chantilly but never quite lived up to that promise, although she posted decent placed efforts in Group 3 company.

She earned only around £44,000 on the track but still has a chance of recouping her owners' outlay by producing top-class offspring, and to that end she has a yearling filly by Siyouni and filly foal by Dubawi.

Coolmore went to 1,300,000gns to secure the Galileo brother to Was and Al Naamah at Book 1 on Wednesday.

4,000,000gns (2017)

Maria Danilova
Pedigree b f Galileo-Dank (Dansili)
Consignor West Blagdon Stud from Norris Bloodstock
Buyer Godolphin

The Godolphin buying team had bought some high-priced lots by Coolmore stallions earlier in the 2017 sales season, but Sheikh Mohammed's operation ended its decade-long embargo of yearlings by their Irish rivals' sires most spectacularly when striking for this Galileo filly who is the first foal out of Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf heroine Dank.

The filly went through the ring having already been named Gloam, but has since been re-registered as Maria Danilova. In training with John Gosden, the now two-year-old holds no entries at present.

Switching names has worked well before for Sheikh Mohammed, who turned Yaazer into Dubai Millennium.

3,600,000gns (2013)

Sir Isaac Newton
Pedigree b c Galileo-Shastye (Danehill)
Consignor Newsells Park Stud
Buyer MV Magnier

Al Naamah's sale at Book 1 in 2013 was actually the second time the European record yearling price had fallen at Tattersalls that week.

A day earlier, Coolmore's MV Magnier had given 3,600,000gns for a Galileo brother to high-class filly Secret Gesture.

Sir Isaac Newton, as the colt was named, entered Ballydoyle and although he has not nearly clawed back his purchase price in prize-money – it currently stands at around £280,000, boosted by earnings after being exported to Australia – he did grant his owners a priceless trip into the Royal Ascot winner's enclosure when he took the Wolferton Handicap in 2016.

Magnier returned to the source on Tuesday, paying 3,400,000gns for Sir Isaac Newton and Secret Gesture's yearling brother.

3,400,000gns (2000)

Diaghilev/River Dancer
Pedigree b c Sadler's Wells-Darara (Top Ville)
Consignor Watership Down Stud
Buyer Demi O'Byrne

This son of Sadler's Wells and Prix Vermeille winner Darara was not bad but not great when racing under the name of Diaghilev for his purchasers Coolmore. He won the Group 3 Prix La Force but was well held on both his starts in elite company.

But, rechristened River Dancer after being resold to race in Hong Kong, he claimed Group 1 laurels in the Audemars Piguet QEII Cup.

River Dancer was one of four Group 1 winners produced by Darara and it is another in that quartet – the brilliant racemare Dar Re Mi – who is the dam of exciting two-year-old Too Darn Hot and the Dubawi colt who sold to Qatar Racing for 3,500,000gns at Book 1 on Wednesday.

3,000,000gns (1998)

Pedigree b c Nureyev-Go Solo (Riverman)
Consignor Camas Park Stud
Buyer Godolphin

Little to say about this son of Nureyev other than he was an abject failure who ran few times and failed to reach the places despite David Loder, Saeed Bin Suroor and Kieran McLaughlin all having a turn at trying to eke some ability out of him.

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