Night Of Thunder Filly Tops Sportsman's Sale

Lot 730, the sale-topping Night Of Thunder filly | Goffs

There was just one offering by Night Of Thunder (Ire) in this year's Goffs Sportsman's Sale, and the Castlebridge-consigned filly duly topped the two-day auction with bid of £72,000 from Peter and Ross Doyle. Lot 730 is the fourth foal out of the placed Manduro (Ger) mare Muzhil (Ire), whose 3-year-old Monzoon (Ire) (Bated Breath {GB}) has become the mare's first winner since the catalogue was published. Muzhil is a half-sister to Godolphin's triple group winner Beautiful Romance (GB) (New Approach {Ire}). The filly proved a profitable pinhook, having cost 21,000gns last December.

The highest-priced colt of the session was the Ballyhane-bred and consigned (lot 698), a son of that stud's resident sire Dandy Man (Ire). He was bought by Mags O'Toole for £50,000 and is out of Little Kipling (GB) (Royal Applause {GB}), a full-sister to Royal Albert Hall (GB) (Royal Applause {GB}) who won a listed stake in the U.S. last year.

The relocation of the Sportsman's Sale to Doncaster this year meant that a significant number of vendors opted to withdraw their yearlings and wait for later opportunities to sell in Ireland. As such just 273 of the 387 offered went through the ring, and 185 were sold for £2,468,900; 98 more were sold last year for an aggregate of £4,320,862. The clearance rate of 67.8% was down from 78.6% last year, while the average and median each dipped 13% to £13,345 and £10,000, respectively. Figures from last year's sale were converted to sterling for ease of comparison.

Goffs Group Chief Executive Henry Beeby said, “moving the Sportsman's Sale to our UK sales complex was not a straightforward decision but, on balance, was deemed the right one in the circumstances. Frankly all of us are in a quandary about what is the right thing to do at the moment especially as things can change from day to day. Indeed, it is worth bearing in mind that the British Prime Minister announced new restrictions to help in the fight against Covid-19 on Tuesday so we are constantly having to react and adapt at short notice. In that connection we are indebted to Doncaster Council with whom we have liaised closely in recent months as they have provided feedback and support as we have drawn up the detailed protocols required to conduct a sale in the current climate.

“We are also very thankful to our vendors who embraced the change of date and location with hardly a murmur and worked with us to stage a sale that has returned a trade of relative strength on both days. Indeed, those yearlings that appealed most drew the normal level of activity from a large group of buyers from the UK, Ireland and those European countries on the UK's current green list.

“We also want to acknowledge our appreciation to all attendees over the last few days as we are very aware that the protocols in place, whilst very necessary, can be frustrating on occasions. However they have been embraced with a level of acceptance and good humour which is helpful as we strive to do the right thing when no one really knows what that entails.

“Of course the stats do not compare with previous renewals of the Sportsman's Sale but the key point is liquidity and the ability to trade. In that connection the last two days have delivered although comparing with 12 months ago is made even harder by the fluctuation of sterling in the intervening period so we would suggest that the most revealing figure is the clearance rate.”

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