The international preference for buying horses at the gallop, rather than the conventional way of doing so at the walk, was well illustrated in the outcome of the UK Ready to Run sale this past week. Despite their apparent economic woes with the sub-prime fallout, the English were there in force to pick up the best prospects at the annual Newmarket Tattersalls Breeze-up (Ready to Run).
Ready To Run maestro Willie Browne sold a record-breaking Mr Greeley filly for 540,000gns at the Craven Sale in Newmarket last thursday, then summed up trade by saying: “I’ve never known anything like it.”
Willie Browne’s comment came at the conclusion of a two-day sale that contained some fabulous prices and achieved European record turnover of 11,884,000gns, up a remarkable 35% on last year and bigger than both of Tattersalls’ breeze-up sales combined in 2007. The average topped out at a withering 102,448gns, up 40%, while the median rose 27% to 70,000gns. For the record, no fewer than 16 horses sold for more than 200,000gns and ten went past 300,000gns – all this without a single Japanese buyer being present.
In previous years the Yen has been a significant factor at this auction, but a weakening currency and the success of home-produced horses meant that Japanese agents and trainers chose not to travel to Britain for this sale. Despite that, a parade of undreamt affluence walked through the ring, headed by Mr Greeley’s daughter who was bought by Kerri Radcliffe. Jamie McCalmont, taking instructions from the Irish team of Paul Shanahan, Michael Tabor and Tim Hyde, pushed Kerri Radcliffe to the price that set a new mark for a filly at a European breeze, but the winning bid left the Irishmen shaking their heads. It seems Willie Browne was not alone in feeling amazement at some of the prices achieved.
The same filly had been bought in this ring last year for a humble 62,000gns (478,000gns less than she achieved yesterday), when the successful bidder was, ironically, Jamie McCalmont. Willie Browne, who consigns under the name of Mocklershill Stud, sold 18 lots for 3,197,000gns during the sale, achieving an average of 177,611gns. He commented: “I could never have predicted the results. It seemed we couldn’t do anything wrong from the start. We had good horses and they breezed well.
Click here to view Pedigree of Lot 189 Mr Greeley (USA) - Silver Kestrel (USA)
Extract from European Bloodstock News