The Tattersalls December Foal Sale concluded in Newmarket on Saturday with a strong fourth and final session that saw nine lots realise 50,000 guineas or more, The most expensive lot was Alvediston Stud's Expert Eye (Acclamation) colt who sold for 80,000 guineas. There were increases in aggregate and average pushing turnover for the sale past 31 million guineas.
Foley Buys Expert Eye Colt for 80,000 Guineas
The top price on Saturday came when Joe Foley went to 80,000 guineas for Lot 1136. The January born colt was consigned by Paul and Sara Thorman's Trickledown Stud on behalf of Alvediston Stud and purchased on behalf of Steve Parkin's Clipper Logistics. He is out of the placed Oasis Dream (Green Desert) mare Respondez who is a sister to Group One winner Prohibit.
"He was bred by the Wardalls, very good breeders," said Foley. "We have supported the sire well in his first years, we have got some very nice yearlings to go into training by him. We are a fan of the sire, he was a very good racehorse from a very good sire line."
The colt is from the second crop of Juddmonte Farm's Breeders' Cup Mile (Gr 1, 8f) winner Expert Eye.
"He is a lovely well-developed foal, he looks like Prohibit, freakishly like him. Oasis Dream mares are very good, I like his pedigree, I have seen all the foals out of the mare over the years and he is the best one out of her. Let's hope he can prove that on the track. I was keen to buy one by Expert Eye this week, and he was my pick."
Chappell Buys Out Partner in Dark Angel Filly
The top priced filly for the day was the Dark Angel (Acclamation) daughter of the Listed placed Exceed And Excel (Danehill) mare Thesme who was sold to Simon Chappell for 70,000 guineas, buying out his breeding partner Dean Fielding.
"She has been a lovely foal to deal with, very correct, strong and solid and the image of her Mum, she is just a 'mini me'," reported Kate Sigsworth of consignor West Moor Stud. "She is obviously young for this sale, which is the reason why I was keen to sell her on the Saturday rather than the Friday. It is a lovely page, the mare Thesme was very quick and this foal looked quick too, even though she was only a May foal. She had a great backside on her!"
Sigsworth explained the background to the mare, who is a half-sister to the Group 3 winner Last Empire (Pivotal).
"The Fools Gold partnership owned the mare in training, she was bought as a yearling by Nigel Tinkler. She was a little star, the owners are close to York and she loved the track there – she won three times and was fifth in the Nunthorpe, she was very fast."
Over the four day sale 734 lots sold for 31,301,500 guineas. With 17 per cent more horses sold this year the aggregate rose 19 per cent. The average showed a small gain, up from 31,807 in 2020 to 42,645gns. The median however rose 25 per cent from 20,000 guineas a year ago to 25,000 guineas.
At the conclusion of the 2021 Tattersalls December Foal Sale, Tattersalls Chairman Edmond Mahony commented;
"The highest priced foal sold in Europe since 2002, fourteen of the fifteen highest priced foals sold in Europe this year, turnover in excess of 30 million guineas and a clearance rate bettered only twice this century are all impressive statistics reinforcing the status of the Tattersalls December Foal Sale as the premier sale of its kind in Europe.
"The obvious highlight of the past four days was the spectacular sale of the Swinburn family's outstanding Dubawi colt out of their wonderful mare Madonna Dell'Orto for 1.8 million guineas; the highest price for a foal in Europe and North America this year, but the real feature of the 2021 renewal of Europe's premier foal sale has been the unrelenting British and Irish demand from start to finish.
"Strong yearling sales drive the foal trade and the significant rises in all the key indicators this week reflect the extraordinary strength of the market throughout the Tattersalls October Yearling Sale and also pay tribute to the endeavours of the pinhookers who have worked tirelessly all week. Owners looking for quality foals to race in the future have also made a major contribution to a successful sale, but as ever during the December Foal Sale, Park Paddocks has primarily been the domain of the British and Irish pinhookers, joined by many of their counterparts from throughout Europe."The sustained demand at all levels has been notable and the record number of foals selling for 50,000 guineas or more has demonstrated a depth to the market which is encouraging as we turn our attention to a quality renewal of the Tattersalls December Mares Sale which begins on Monday and showcases the finest breeding stock to be found in Europe."