KEENELAND SEPTEMBER YEARLING SALE
8 - 21 September 2014
The premier session of the biggest sale of yearling racehorses in the world, Keeneland September, has just come to an end. Like Arqana’s sale in France last month, it was an encouraging marker for the recovering health of the world thoroughbred market, with the average up 7% in an almost-zero inflationary environment (at $300,535 or +-R3,300,000), and the median advancing by a really impressive 15.7%. For what it’s worth, the median is the mid-point between the top price and the bottom price, and is probably the most reliable indicator of depth in a sale.
While the current weakness of the Rand (11 to the dollar this morning) only serves to telescope the difference, it emphasizes too, the exceptional value our horses represent right now. With Variety Club currently ranked as the second highest rated horse in the world, and Vercingetorix in the top fifty, you begin to get a sense that there’s no way American horses (or those of any other country) are eleven times better than the South African product, given that the average for our own National Yearling Sale earlier this year, settled at R338,229.
We’ve been saying this for a while, but it’s a sign of the lack of depth in the American stallion ranks at the moment, that just two stallions stood out head and shoulders above the entire pack, with Claiborne’s War Front the emerging giant, and Tapit (like our own A.P. Arrow, bred on the A.P.Indy/Mr Prospector cross) the reigning champion. Indeed, on the last day of the sale, eight of the top eleven lots fell to the progeny of Tapit, numbers that hark back to the days of the greatest stallion of all-time, Northern Dancer. Let’s not forget though, Northern Dancer’s adversaries of the era included Nijinsky, Nureyev, Mr. Prospector, Lyphard, Riverman, Blushing Groom and Danzig and, in his earlier years, Bold Ruler and Round Table. It doesn’t get any tougher than that, and it’s arguable that of all the great stallion eras in the history of thoroughbred breeding, this was the golden epoch.
KEENELAND SEPTEMBER YEARLINGS
End Session 2 Cumulative
|High Price||$2,200,000 (2)||$2,500,000|
|Average (% change)||$202,770 (+4.3%)||$194,375|
|Median (% change)||$150,000 (+3.5%)||$145,000|