Henry Beeby Hails “Sensational” November Foal Sale At Goffs

Rebecca King leads up a foal at the November Foal Sale | Goffs


The Havana Grey (GB) train is showing no sign of slowing down and, after a booming debut season at stud that saw his fee at Whitsbury Manor Stud bumped up to £18,500, he supplied the sales-topping filly on the final day of what Henry Beeby described as a “sensational” November Foal Sale at Goffs.

That €68,000 filly (lot 962) was signed for by renowned judge Paul McCartan of Ballyphillip Stud, best known for breeding speedballs Harry Angel (Ire) and Tiggy Wiggy (Ire) (Kodiac {GB}), and was consigned by Olive O'Connor Bloodstock.

McCartan said, “She was a beautiful filly out of a Showcasing (GB) mare and there are plenty of 2-year-old winners in the pedigree. I've been very impressed by Havana Grey. I really liked his foals from his first crop as well.”

He added, “I thought there were some lovely foals here this year but they were hard bought. We didn't get all that we wanted. There was great trade here but I am happy with what we have bought.”

It was the younger sires who came up trumps on Thursday where 176 of the 235 foals were sold which equates to a 75% clearance rate in a week where the overall turnover rose 16% to €29,561,000.

The strong figures didn't stop there. The average rose 15% to €40,110 while the median climbed 9% to €24,000. All told, 737 of the 917 lots offered were sold, translating to a 80% clearance rate.

Goffs chief Henry Beeby said, “Sensational. That is the only description of the amazing trade this week headed by an especially vibrant day of sustained demand at the top of the market yesterday.

“As ever we extend our sincere thanks to every vendor as we know we are nothing without their wonderful horses and we are so grateful for the huge support from so many vendors who choose the Irish National Foal Sale for their best foals. That allows us to credibly promote the sale as featuring the cream of the Irish foal crop which drives every serious buyer of foals to Kildare Paddocks.”

He added, “Indeed, we have welcomed a huge group of purchasers headed, of course, by the mighty Irish pinhookers who have been taken on by bidders from the UK and across Europe. They were joined by several significant end-users, not least from Japan, who bought to race all of which led to a trade of strength, depth and vibrancy from start to finish.

“As was very clear at an excellent renewal of the Orby Sale, quality is what is selling best and that was illustrated by the strongest clearance rate of 85% coming on Wednesday and we look forward to offering many of those top foals at the Orby next year following so many great pinhooking successes here in September.

“The unique Goffs Customer Loyalty Scheme makes that option especially appealing as does the depth and diversity of our international buying bench this year. In fact the only real complaint from several overseas buyers at Orby this year was that we ran out of top tier yearlings so that is the target next year. We now turn our attention to our two-day Breeding Stock catalogue which continues to be so well supported by leading breeders and enjoys such a superb record with its graduates' progeny at the highest level.”

Along with the sales-topping Havana Grey, a filly by the Ballyhane-based Soldier's Call (lot 869) sold similarly well at €65,000 from Monanny Farm to Bitzen Bloodstock while the Aga Khan's emerging force Zarak (Fr) enjoyed a good afternoon when lot 843 was knocked down to Fort Middle Stud for €60,000.

That filly, consigned by Browne Brothers Bloodstock, was just the second by the sire to go through the ring at Goffs; the other (lot 283) sold earlier in the week for €52,000 to Guy Pariente Holding from Baroda Stud.

Not only did Far Above (Ire) win the prize for the best promoted stallion on the sales ground at Goffs this week, with shareholder Jack Cantillon and Starfield Stud boss Micheal Orlandi hard to miss in their yellow jackets, but he also posted some solid results in the ring.

The best of which was lot 834, a colt who sold from the Cantillon's family-run operation, Tinnakill House, to Richard Brown of Blandford Bloodstock for €48,000.

Brown is an advisor for Sheikh Rashid Dalmook Al Maktoum, whose familiar yellow silks were carried by Far Above to Group 3 success on the racetrack, and the leading bloodstock agent revealed how connections were keen to support the horse at stud.

Brown said, “He is a smashing colt by Far Above, who Sheikh Rashid raced, and is from a  family we know well; out of a sister to Perfect Power (Ire). Sheikh Rashid said to me when I was coming over here to let him know that, if I saw a nice Far Above to let him know, which I did. I saw him last night and was keen to have a go. I want to support the stallion as he gave us a lot of pleasure. He was a very good horse, very fast, and we wanted to buy this lad to race. We'll go on to Newmarket and see if we can buy a couple more.”

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