Five things we learned at Tatts Autumn Sale

Lot 1097: sale-topping son of Champs Elysees Harlem made 520,000gns

PICTURE: Laura Green Five things we learned at Tattersalls Autumn Sale
By James Thomas 11:16AM 30 OCT 2016

1 Overseas demand drives strong trade
A running theme throughout the sale was the demand from international buyers, with purchasers from more than 30 countries in action.

Those from Kuwait, who accounted for at least 118 lots, Greece (50) and Saudi Arabia (33), were among the most prolific buyers. Even a conservative estimate has 394 (42 per cent) of the 949 sold lots now destined for foreign shores, and that doesn't account for lots signed for by British or Irish agents on behalf of clients from abroad.

With such strong competition it was no surprise to see such a positive set of year-on-year returns.

The aggregate climbed by 24 per cent to an Autumn Sale record of 25,137,100gns and the average and median both rose by 35 per cent to 26,488gns and 13,500gns respectively, with the latter figure also a sale record.

Perhaps the most encouraging figure of all, though, was the clearance-rate, with an impressive 92 per cent of those offered selling.

2 National Hunt market in good health

Besides those sourcing Flat horses for far-away climes, another group that were kept busy during the auction were those sourcing talent for the National Hunt season.

Familiar names like Tom Malone, Highflyer and Willie Mullins' bloodstock adviser Harold Kirk all signed for a number of lots throughout the week, and it was particularly encouraging to see National Hunt buyers active at the upper echelons of the market.

There is also plenty to be learned by looking at the prices agents went to on the lots they didn't buy. During Wednesday's session Malone raised eyebrows when, accompanied by Joe Tizzard, he struck a bid of 500,000gns for the four-year-old Harlem.

That price wasn't enough to secure the sale-topping son of Champs Elysees after Alastair Donald went to 520,000gns on behalf of an undisclosed Hong Kong-based client, but the fact that owners are prepared to part with such eye-watering sums on horses for the winter game can only be a positive sign for the National Hunt industry.

3 A fine week for Champs Elysees

Banstead Manor resident Champs Elysees is garnering a reputation as a source of staying power, with the likes of Gold Cup winner Trip To Paris and useful middle-distance performers Dal Harraild and Suffused emerging from his first four crops.

His achievements clearly haven't gone unnoticed as the son of Danehill supplied the Autumn Sale's top lot, the 520,000gns Harlem, and also topped the sires' list at the auction by aggregate, with 20 of his offspring selling for 1,374,000gns at an average of 68,700gns.

He himself was a smart middle-distance runner that progressed well with age, winning two Grade 1s as a five-year-old before adding a Canadian International to his top-level haul at the age of six.

As his progeny look set to follow in their sire's footsteps, those looking for Melbourne Cup types as well as potential jumping talent were keen to snap up his runners, with Chris Waller and Willie Mullins among those to sign for lots by the Juddmonte homebred.

4 Juddmonte stock in high demand

With their illustrious catalogue pages and owner-breeder upbringings it is little surprise that the ‘cast-offs' offered by Khalid Abdullah's Juddmonte operation are so sought after.

The demand for the 32 Juddmonte-consigned lots generated turnover of 2,257,500gns, a figure that saw the operation run away with the leading vendors' title by almost double its nearest pursuer, and an average of 70,547gns – the best of any consignor to sell more than three lots.

The Juddmonte haul represented nine per cent of turnover despite the draft representing just three per cent of all lots sold.

Other major operations such as Coolmore, Shadwell and Qatar Racing all had drafts which proved popular too, and with Godolphin set to offer a host of desirable lots at the upcoming Goffs UK Autumn Horses in Training Sale and Tattersalls Ireland Ascot November Sale it will be interesting to see how demand holds up.

5 Gender gap is noticeable

Of the 949 lots that changed hands at Park Paddocks only 25 per cent, or 234, of them were fillies or mares. With breeding stock sales fast approaching such a divide is to be expected.

However, a little more surprising is the difference between the prices given for the fillies and mares that did come under the hammer.

Only one realised a six-figure sum, the 140,000gns Bellajeu, and their average of 14,362gns is less than half that of the 30,456gns reached by their male counterparts.

In a market that was heavily influenced by buyers from the Middle East and Gulf region it is notable that only one of the 20 most expensive fillies or mares was bought by someone from those locations.

With the bulk of foreign money seemingly being spent on colts or geldings, it may just be that those in the market for a filly or mare at Tattersalls managed to scoop themselves something of a bargain.

    Read More at Racing Post Bloodstock

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