Records smashed at Tatts Autumn Sale

The promising High Commader will continue his career in Qatar

PICTURE: TATTERSALLS Records smashed at Tatts Autumn Sale
By James Thomas at Tattersalls 6:01PM 27 OCT 2016

WHAT goes up must come down, and after three days of strong trade at the Tattersalls Autumn Horses in Training Sale the fourth and final session ended on a rather low-key note on Thursday.

However, the four sessions generated a record aggregate and median, with turnover of 25,137,100gns – a year-on-year increase of 24 per cent, an average of 26,488gns – a 35 per cent gain, a median of 13,500gns – up 35 per cent and an impressive clearance-rate of 92 per cent.

The final day's top price went the way of Qatari champion trainer Gassim Mohammad Ghazali, who parted with 57,000gns for High Commander, a son of Teofilo that has shown promise on both of his starts for Andrew Balding.

"He's a lightly raced colt with a good profile," said Will Douglass of Charlie Gordon-Watson Bloodstock who has been assisting Ghazali this week. "He's shown good form already.

"It's always nice to buy off Andrew Balding and he's closely related to Footstepsinthesand, who is about the most popular stallion in Qatar, he gets winner after winner out there. It's also nice he's out of a Giant's Causeway mare."

The colt was purchased for 160,000gns during Book 1 of last year's Tattersalls October Yearling Sale.

The purchase took Ghazali's spending to nine lots throughout the week for a total of 1,055,000gns.

The sale has been dominated by purchasers sourcing horses to continue their careers abroad, and by the close of trade on Thursday the list of destinations that this week's lots are bound for numbered more than 30.

Racing strongholds of Hong Kong, Australia and the US are set to receive their fair share of Autumn Sale lots, but buyers from the likes of Barbados, Morocco and Pakistan were also in action throughout the auction.

Another lot bound for Qatar is Dariga, who went the way of Abdulaziz Al Boenain for 52,000gns. The two-year-old Medicean filly, owned and bred by Nurlan Bizakov, displayed a fair level of ability in her two starts for Roger Varian, the latest of which came in a Newmarket maiden earlier in the month.

"She's shown ability and I think in time that she will be a very good filly in Qatar," said Al Boenain. "She's very good-looking and has the pedigree as well – it's a very good page and she'll be good to breedfrom at the end of her racing career."

Bradley back in action

One of the moe familiar faces in action at Tattersalls was Nick Bradley, who has been stocking up on horses for his Nick Bradley Racing syndicate. The Park Paddocks ring have been a happy hunting ground for Bradley, having bought subsequent Group 1 Sprint Cup winner G Force for just 25,000gns from the 2013 renewal of this sale.

On Thursday Bradley added to his haul with Natajack, a two-year-old son of Showcasing from Tom Dascombe's draft, for 40,000gns. The colt will head into training with Richard Fahey.

"When I bought G Force a couple of years ago there was only me and the auctioneer stood in the ring," said Bradley. "There's about a thousand people here today, which is a bit different, but this horse has a similar profile having also finished second in a Newbury maiden. He's got a serious engine, I know Tom wanted to keep him."

Bradley reflected on a week of strong trade, saying: "I bought ten for ourselves to race, so we've done alright. I think the obvious ones made a lot of money, but you have to look outside of the obvious ones. Myself and a team of three or four people probably did a hundred hours work researching the catalogue.

"We know what's going to make six figures so we try and steer clear of those ones. We've had a tremendous amount of investment this year and we've had a lot of success, including a Royal Ascot winner, and the portfolio of horses value has rocketed, so so far so good."

Despite having enjoyed plenty of success with his horses-in-training buys, Bradley insists there is no magic formula to how he selects his purchases.

"A lot of it is gut and luck – in terms of who else is trying to buy those horses," he said. "If guys from Hong Kong or America are on one you like, forget it. I try and look for ones below the top level that I can improve to the top level."

Final figures

By the close of trade the fourth and final session had generated turnover of 1,668,100gns – up 24 per cent on 2015's figure, an average of 9,115gns – up 67 per cent, a median of 7,000gns – a gain of 75 per cent and a clearance-rate of 92 per cent.

In his close of sale statement Tattersalls chairman Edmond Mahony said: "In a year when the Tattersalls Autumn Horses in Training Sale has produced a Classic winner purchased for 12,000gns, it is perhaps not surprising to see such frenetic demand at this unique sale.

"Jet Setting winning this year's Tattersalls Irish 1,000 Guineas only seven months after being bought here is yet another in a long list of outstanding success stories to come from the Autumn Horses in Training Sale, and I have no doubt that there will be plenty more to come from this year's sale.

"Every year we reflect on the extraordinary diversity of buyers, both domestic and overseas, who attend the Autumn Horses in Training, but the sheer number of people here this week has been almost overwhelming.

"Competition at the top of the market has been particularly fierce with the number of lots making 200,000gns or more rising from five last year to twelve this week, but it has been the sustained demand at every level of the market which has been the real feature.

"A huge proportion of the horses sold this week will go abroad, but the renewed vigour from the British and Irish National Hunt fraternity has also been particularly welcome and another major factor in making the 2016 renewal of the Tattersalls Autumn Horses in Training Sale so vibrant."

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