Five things we learned at Book 1 of Tatts October

Lot 39: Dubawi colt out of Fallen For You fetched 2,600,000gns

PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos) Five things we learned at Book 1 of Tatts October
By Martin Stevens 1:00PM 9 OCT 2016

1 Trio of big-hitting sires dominate top tier
Progeny of Dubawi, Galileo and his celebrated first-season sire son Frankel were the must-have items at Book 1. Between them, the three supplied all of the ten most expensive lots and 16 of the top 20.

The determination of Godolphin chief executive John Ferguson, Shadwell's Angus Gold and Sheikh Mohammed Obaid Al Maktoum to secure the best Dubawi yearlings on offer created some blockbuster prices, including the biggest of the week – 2,600,000gns -given for colts out of Fallen For You and Zee Zee Top.

The 41 lots by Dubawi, Frankel and Galileo who changed hands accounted for 11 per cent of all those sold at Book 1, but together they were responsible for 36 per cent of sale turnover.

Dubawi had 15 sell for an average of 972,667gns and median of 575,000gns. There was something of a gender bias, with a 1,130,909gns average for his colts versus 537,500gns for the fillies.

Top-end buyers evidently like what they have seen of the first-crop Frankels. His ten second-crop representatives sold for an average of 733,500gns and median of 587,500gns with his sons once again more popular, as a 990,000gns average against a 477,000gns figure for his daughters demonstrates.

Galileo, streets ahead in the European sire rankings by prize-money this year, was actually outdone by his up-and-coming son Frankel at Tattersalls, with 16 sold for an average of 610,313gns. In the week after Alice Springs and Found hit the headlines on the track, it is perhaps no surprise that the 733,333gns average for his fillies surpassed the 452,143gns figure for the colts.

2 Sun Bloodstock looks set to shine on global stage
A tally of four purchases who totalled 800,000gns does not tell the whole story of the contribution that Sun Bloodstock made to trade at Tattersalls this week.

The operation's team – on a high after the wide-margin victory of its charge National Defense in the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere – were noted to be bidding on many of the top sellers and even though they did not secure them they helped drive prices.

Sun Bloodstock's Book 1 haul were all colts, three of them by Shamardal and one by National Defense's sire Invincible Spirit.

Formerly known as Eliza Park International, Hong Kong-owned Sun Bloodstock has bases in Victoria and Queensland in Australia and it had eight two-year-olds in training in Europe this year with Hugo Palmer and Criquette Head-Maarek (one of which was National Defense).

The stud has also been in the news this year with some big purchases at the Australian sales and as the owners of the dam of American Grade 1-winning two-year-old Klimt.

Sun Bloodstock looks an operation whose profile on the world stage can only grow.

3 Progeny of first-crop sire Intello in demand
By virtue of having one lot sold for 200,000gns – a colt out of Listed winner Waveband to Al Shaqab Racing – Havana Gold technically returned the best average of any new sire at Book 1. And a fine result that was too for the Tweenhills stallion, considering he stands at only £8,500 and the lot was a 90,000gns pinhook.

But the first-crop sire who delivered the best average with a draft of considerable quantity was former Cheveley Park Stud resident Intello.

The son of Galileo had 13 on offer – all colts – and ten sold for an average of 185,000gns, over seven times the cost of his introductory covering fee at Cheveley Park of £25,000.

Cheveley Park Stud was well rewarded for showcasing its stallion with three well-bred lots: a son of 1,000 Guineas runner-up Spacious was sold to Shadwell for 300,000gns; a colt out of Cheveley Park Stakes winner Hooray went to Stroud Coleman Bloodstock and Mayfair Speculators for 200,000gns; and a colt out of Fillies' Mile heroine Red Bloom was bought by Roger Varian for 210,000gns.

Another well-bred Intello in demand was a half-brother to British Champions Fillies and Mares Stakes winner Seal Of Approval knocked down to Blandford Bloodstock for 300,000gns.

Late Tally-Ho Stud sire Society Rock's results also caught the eye considering he stood at just €8,000 in his first season. His four first-crop offspring at Park Paddocks sold for 210,000gns, 175,000gns, 170,000gns and 25,000gns for a remarkable average of 145,000gns.

4 Al Shaqab still spending despite rise of homebreds
Al Shaqab Racing might not attract the headlines at auctions as much as it did when it was laying the foundations of its racing and breeding operation by paying auction-topping prices – in fact a Book 1 top ten lot has not been signed for in the Qatari operation's name since 2013 when it rocked Park Paddocks by giving 5,000,000gns for a Galileo sister to Was – but it is still quietly spending plenty.

It was always inevitable that as Al Shaqab's early broodmare purchases began to produce runners for the operation – early homebreds such as Al Johrah and Doha Dream will give plenty of hope for the future – the need to buy yearlings would decrease.

Al Shaqab featured on dockets for 17 lots this week – five times each alongside Mandore and Peter and Ross Doyle, four with Charlie Gordon-Watson, one with John and Jake Warren and twice where its name appeared on its own. Together they cost 4,415,000gns.

Even though that is some way down on the 32 who cost 8,955,000gns at Book 1 last year, again signed for by a variety of agents, it is fair to say Al Shaqab is still a major buying force.

5 Dark Angel confirms place among elite-level sires
Results from Tattersalls this week anointed Dark Angel as a premier-league sire.

The Yeomanstown Stud resident stood at just €7,000 as recently as 2011 but, after siring the likes of Lethal Force, Alhebayeb and Heeraat, his fee crept up to €27,500 in 2014, the season in which this year's yearlings were conceived.

Book 1 showed that even at that inflated fee he still represented good value for breeders, with a 227,095gns average and 200,000gns median.

Highlights were a 700,000gns brother to Group 3-placed Midnite Angel bought by Charlie Gordon-Watson and a 500,000gns colt who is the first foal out of classy sprinter Tickled Pink signed for by Shadwell.

Those figures will be reassuring to breeders who have paid the €60,000 fee that Dark Angel commanded this year after Mecca's Angel, Birchwood and Gutaifan joined his roll of honour.

    Read More at Racing Post Bloodstock

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