Beeby insists quality the key at Champions Sale

Henry Beeby with Sheikh Fahad

Beeby insists quality the key at Champions Sale
By Martin Stevens 1:09PM 10 SEP 2016

ONLY four horses will be offered at the Goffs Champions Sale before racing at Leopardstown on Saturday, but the company's chief executive Henry Beeby is adamant a small, select catalogue is better than a larger one diluted in quality.

The auction comprises two fillies, Group 3 winner Madam Dancealot and Parish Hall's Listed-placed sister Siamsaiocht, and two colts, the winning two-year-olds Forrest Prince and Grand Coalition.
Eleven horses were catalogued for each of the first two editions of the sale, with 20 the maximum number due to capacity in the Leopardstown saddling-box area.

"With sales like this you can't have run-of-the-mill horses – it's not an open sale, it's selected," said Beeby. "We've had an average price of around €200,000 the first two years and that's what we have to aspire to.

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"We may be down in numbers but this is not the place for a five- to-ten-thousand-euro horse – that's not meant to be elitist, but it is the curtain-raiser to Irish Champions Weekend.

"We had around 20 or 22 horses offered to us, but we said to many that one of our other Goffs or Goffs UK standard horses-in-training sales would suit them better."

There is also added time pressure with the Leopardstown sale as, unlike those at Cheltenham, Aintree or Punchestown, selling takes place before racing rather than afterwards.

Beeby did concede, though, that he would have preferred to be selling more than four lots.

"Of course, we would have liked more," he said. "We targeted some who weren't for sale and there were others who were not up to the stringent vetting procedures in place for the sale."

He also acknowledged the competitive nature of the horses-in-training market. "The private sale sphere is pretty strong at the moment and we're competing with lots of proactive agents who are as quick on the phone as we would be," he added.

"There are also certain sensitivities involved – we don't want to be trying to convince owners to potentially remove horses from trainers who might be good clients of ours, and the same goes for agents."

Goffs managed a horses-in-training sale coup in June when achieving the rare feat of selling a Classic winner – Irish 1,000 Guineas heroine Jet Setting – midway through her three-year-old season. She made £1.3 million at the London Sale.

    Read More at Racing Post Bloodstock

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