An extraordinary yearling sale that defied the current economic gloom, let alone expectations, was completed at Tattersalls’ Newmarket (England) headquarters last night.

The European Bloodstock News reports that apparently immune from a banking industry’s folly that has led to meltdown and bankruptcy in some sectors and seen world leaders scrambling for solutions, the October Sale Book One sailed ahead as if beautiful horses with strong pedigrees are a commodity that cannot be resisted.

Incredibly, the overall sales figures matched those of twelve months ago, a scenario dismissed as highly improbable on the eve of the event. We now look foolish for being so pessimistic, because the median price set a new record at 85,000gns, up 6% on last year, while the average dipped just 5% to 121,515gns.

No one doubts the significance of Maktoum and Coolmore roles in this hedonistic state of affairs. The Dubai-based family’s role has been of special significance this week, a fact that was not lost on grateful breeders and consignors.

Peter Stanley, of New England Stud, made a pertinent point when saying: “Sheikh Mohammed, the Maktoum family and supporters, have achieved in our market what the American and British governments have been trying and failing to do in the financial world.”

Darley’s John Ferguson (51 horses for 9,342,000gns) and Shadwell Estates’ Angus Gold (23 horses for 4,440,00gns) contributed 13,782,000gns to overall turnover of 49,821,000gns. That is 28% of the trade without taking into account Rabbah Bloodstock’s 32 horses for 1,763,000gns.

Demi O’Byrne and John Magnier of Coolmore Stud bought 17 horses in total for 4,480,000gns.

Edmond Mahony
, chairman of Tattersalls, echoed the surprise of industry players when he said: “To say Book One of the October Yearling Sale has exceeded our expectations would be something of an understatement. With turmoil in the financial markets throughout the world we, along with pretty well everyone else, approached this week with a certain amount of trepidation and to record an average and median all but matching last year’s figures is a great result for all concerned.”