Record Books Rewritten as Book 1 Bonanza Concludes

Alexandra and Philipp Stauffenberg were among the many consignors who enjoyed a good sale | Laura Green/Tattersalls

By Emma Berry and Brian Sheerin

NEWMARKET, UK–And breathe. Book 1 is over, galloping out the door after a three-day bonanza of record returns, the highest-grossing single day of horse trade in Europe, and the world's most expensive yearling of 2022.

What this all means for next week and Books 2, 3 and 4 of the October Yearling Sale is anyone's guess, but a safe bet would be that all those potential buyers so frustrated at playing bridesmaid during Book 1 still have rolls of grubby fifty-pound notes burning holes in their pockets.

But before the bell rings for the first session of Book 2 on Monday morning, let's have a closer look at the facts and figures of three days of rip-roaring trade that  had even seasoned sales-goers walking around Park Paddocks shaking their heads in disbelief. It's no wonder really, as the sale's aggregate reached an all-time high of 126,671,000gns, soaring 45% on decent levels of trade at last year's Book 1. At 200,000gns, the median was also a new record, and was up by 25%, while the record average rose by 30% to 298,752gns. With 424 sold of the 489 yearlings offered, the clearance rate climbed by 4% to 87%.

Let's Hear It For…

This time 10 years ago, Frankel (GB) was preparing for his swansong on British Champions Day, and in that time he has gone from ruling the racecourse to ruling the ring: his 25 offspring at Book 1 accounted for 15% of the turnover over the three days, amassing a tally of 18,745,000gns and selling at an average price of 749,800gns. His greatest rival Dubawi (Ire) beat that figure, with an average of 849,524gns for 21 sold. Together, Frankel and Dubawi accounted for 14 of the 16 yearlings to have sold for a million gns or more, with the four most expensive yearlings of the sale all being by Frankel.

Newsells Park Stud completed a five-timer of successive leading vendor titles, a mantle it has achieved on seven occasions in total. From 29 consigned, the stud sold 23 yearlings for a total of 10,985,000gns.

Fellow British farms Watership Down Stud and Fittocks Stud also fared very well during Book 1, the former selling 10 yearlings for 8,780,000gns, and the latter 11 for 6,010,000gns.

Leading Investors

Brightly attired each day, Sheikh Mohammed was easy to spot at Tattersalls but nowhere was his presence more greatly felt than on the buyers' list, which he dominated almost from flagfall.

Bidding through Anthony Stroud at the group's favoured spot next to the walking ring, Sheikh Mohammed lent enormous support to the elite yearling market, adding 35 yearlings by a range of top sires to his Godolphin string for a total outlay of 25,355,000gns, which was roughly 20% of the sale's record turnover.

The Coolmore and White Birch Farm partnership spent 10.2 million gns on 13 yearlings, and agent Richard Knight signed for 15 for just over 10 million gns.

“This has been an extraordinary yearling sale,” said Tattersalls chairman Edmond Mahony. “When the first two lots through the ring on Tuesday morning made 500,000gns and 1,300,000gns, the stage was set and the pace has been unrelenting from that moment on. Book 1 of the Tattersalls October Yearling Sale annually showcases the very best yearlings to be found in Europe, and even by the lofty standards of this special sale we felt that this year's catalogue was out of the ordinary. Nevertheless we could not have predicted the extraordinary level of trade we have experienced over the past three days.”

He continued, “Record turnover in excess of 125 million gns, a rise of almost 40 million gns on last year's October Book 1, as well as a record median and a record average price just under 300,000gns are impressive statistics by any standards, but the progression of this sale in recent years has been truly remarkable. Only 12 years ago Book 1 of the October Yearling Sale produced turnover of 48 million gns and an average of 107,000gns, which puts this week's remarkable figures into context.

“As well as the huge rises in all of the key indicators, an unprecedented 73 yearlings have sold for 500,000gns or more and there have been 16 which have broken the million-guineas mark with the 2.8 million-guineas Frankel colt from Watership Down Stud being the highest-priced yearling sold anywhere in the world this year.”

Watership Up

Different day, same story. Within an hour of the start of the final session of Book 1, a colt by Frankel (GB) offered by Watership Down Stud shot to the top of the leaderboard at 2 million gns. The previous day's high of 2.8 million gns was not reached again, meaning that the team at Lord and Lady Lloyd Webber's Watership Down Stud can exit Book 1 with major brownie points for having consigned two of the top three lots of the most extraordinary sale witnessed at Tattersalls, or indeed anywhere in Europe.

Lot 381 was added to the extensive shopping list of agent Richard Knight and, bred by Bjorn Nielsen on the same cross as this year's G1 Grand Prix de Paris winner Onesto (Ire), he has plenty to recommend him.

“The dam has produced a 100-plus-rated horse already, he comes from a nice family. He is just a lovely colt. It was the top of our budget and where we saw we'd have to go to get him,” Knight said.

“We underbid a filly yesterday by Frankel and they are as hot as anything and hard to buy. We were well aware we'd have to pay a good price to get him.”

“There is a beautiful bunch of horses here, it is the best catalogue of individuals we have seen at any yearling sale this year. You often get into some sales and individuals don't match up to the pedigrees. Here, the individuals have matched up as well–there are some lovely horses.”

 

Cumani Identifies Reason Behind Record Figures

Trust Luca Cumani to come up with a playful reason behind the sky-rocketing spend at Tattersalls this week.

“Maybe people want to enjoy themselves before Putin strikes the nuclear button?”

The legendary trainer-turned-breeder had reason to crack a joke after selling his Frankel colt (lot 379) to MV Magnier and White Birch Farm for 1.9 million gns.

Cumani, who, along with his wife Sara, operates under the banner of Fittocks Stud, may have been all smiles after the hammer fell, but revealed that his heart won't be thanking him after a pulsating few days.

“Boom, boom, boom,” he said, beating his chest with his fist. “I'm still an apprentice at this job and this is only our third year consigning.”

Fittocks Stud sold 11 yearlings this week for a total of 6.01 million gns.

Cumani added, “We sold a Dubawi yesterday for 1.6 million gns (lot 301) and now this Frankel for 1.9 million gns–it's been an amazing week.

“The market is very strong and long may it continue. It's very exciting to be a part of this environment. I love it.”

The sale to MV Magnier and White Birch Farm represents a continuation of a long-lasting relationship between Cumani and the owners.

He said, “Peter Brant has been a friend for many years. I used to train for him in the eighties and early nineties. I trained the dam of Thunder Gulch [Line Of Thunder] for him. I've known him for donkey's years.

“I am very grateful to MV and Paul Shanahan. I'm especially very grateful to my staff. They have done a great job today and excelled themselves.

“It's especially good that this horse stays in Europe. We need those good horses. Everybody reckons that, if you want class horses, you have to come to this sale to get them.”

Cumani also trained the dam of the Frankel colt, Blue Waltz (GB), to win three times. A daughter of Pivotal (GB), her mating with the champion sire represents a cross that has already worked notably well and includes the Group 1 winners Cracksman (GB) and Hungry Heart (Aus).

 

 

God Given Keeps Giving

Another two seven-figure lots were to follow the early Frankel flurry, and those waiting to see the Whatton Manor Stud-consigned Dubawi colt out the Group 1 winner God Given (GB) (Nathaniel {Ire}) (lot 504) were not disappointed. Following his half-brother, the G3 Solario S. winner Silver Knott (GB) (Lope De Vega Ire}), into the Godolphin string, he made more than double the price his elder sibling had fetched in the same ring last year, and was eventually knocked down at 1.5 million gns, with David Redvers as underbidder to Anthony Stroud.

The colt, who is also a three-parts-brother to multiple Group 1 winner Postponed (Ire), was bred by Andrew Stone of St Albans Bloodstock, who also bred and raced his dam. He said, “When you breed a lovely horse, it is always sad to see them go. I have 16 mares and one has to keep the operation going. We are so blessed to have wonderful buyers in the market who are prepared to pay such a wonderful price. Having bred Postponed, I was so excited to see him go on so well, and now Silver Knott. I hope this horse is really good for them.”

Stone, who boards God Given at Whatton Manor Stud, continued, “A lot of credit must go to the Players and the team at Whatton, they do such a fantastic job. I am very blessed to have the majority of my mares with them and with Julian [Dollar] at Newsells Park.”

Ed Player, who was celebrating a first seven-figure sale for his Nottinghamshire farm, added, “Last year was our highest with his half-brother when he made 725,000gns, so to hit the million was unbelievably exciting. We are so delighted for Andrew. He is such a great guy, and a massive supporter of the industry.

“All year we have known he is a beautiful horse. He has the pedigree, the looks, everything, but to hit that sort of level, you dream about it, but in reality you have so many hoops to jump.”

Silver Knott is entered for Saturday's G3 Autumn S. at Newmarket and is pencilled in for a trip to the Breeders' Cup at Keeneland.

 

Stroud also won the bidding war for lot 530, a son of Dubawi (Ire) out of How (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}), the final seven-figure lot of the sale. Consigned by Longview Stud, the bay was secured for 1.6 million gns and his dam is a full-sister to the multiple Group 1 winner Minding (Ire), as well as the fellow top-drawer winners Tuesday (Ire), and Empress Josephine (Ire). All three of those fillies each won at least one Classic, while their dam is the G1 Coronation S. and G1 Matron S. heroine Lillie Langtry (Ire) (Danehill Dancer {Ire}).

 

 

Sackville Barks Loud for Dubawi Colt

Jenny Norris is no stranger to selling seven-figure Book 1 yearlings, having topped the sale on two previous occasions, and her Norris Bloodstock draft hit the bullseye again when selling Lord Margadale's Dubawi colt out of Frangipanni (Ire) (Dansili {GB}) (lot 491) for a million gns to Ed Sackville.

“I'm so grateful to Alastair [Lord Margadale] for entrusting him to me because we've had him since the foal sales, and it's great having horses like him but it was a huge pressure having him back at the farm.

“He's such a star. We'll miss him at home because he has the most amazing attitude, he just eats and sleeps. But the girls at home, Hannah, Verity and Jazz, have done a great job, we're only a small team and I'm just so pleased for all of them.”

Through Anthony Stroud, Lord Margadale bought the Lady Rothschild-bred Frangipanni, a daughter of the G1 July Cup winner Frizzante (GB) (Efisio {GB}) as a 3-year-old at the July Sale for 78,000gns. Her first foal Tropbeau (GB) (Showcasing {GB}) was a multiple group winner in France for Andre Fabre and Lady Bamford.

Lord Margadale, enjoying the moment with his brother, trainer Hughie Morrison, added, “I'll probably burst into tears. From the word go he has been a really lovely, sweet horse. Nothing fazes him.

“We've got an extremely nice full-brother to Tropbeau and the mare is now in foal to Zoustar. We bought Frangipanni from Serena Rothschild and we brought her here last December and she didn't sell, so I am extremely happy. I think sometimes these things are meant to be.”

Sackville, who bought the colt on behalf of John and Jess Dance's Manor House Farm, said, “The whole team loved him– John and Jess Dance, Maria Ryan and James Horton. We have tried on plenty, but he was one we were prepared to go to the max for.”

After jumping 100,000gns in one bid to buy the colt at a million, he said, “If you want to hang with the dogs you've got to bark loud.”

 

 

St Lawrence the Judge

After Frankel and Dubawi, Sea The Stars (Ire) enjoyed a rock-solid week as the third-most popular sire among buyers with 28 lots selling for a total of 8,425,000gns. His half-sister (lot 476) to G1 Irish 1000 Guineas winner Just The Judge (Ire) (Lawman {Fr}), consigned by Corduff Stud for breeder Joan Keaney Dempsey, sold to Oliver St Lawrence on behalf of Fawzi Nass for 800,000 gns.

“She is a lovely filly out of a slightly older mare, but she is a half-sister to a Group 1 winner and there are lots of fillies in the pedigree so there are, hopefully, lots of updates to come,” said the agent. “We tried to have a go at the Battaash half-sister last night (lot 344) but we didn't even get a bid in.”

St Mark's Basilica's Brother to Juddmonte

Though primarily racing homebreds, the Juddmonte team makes the odd foray into the foal and yearling sales, and has a Group 1 runner to show for it on Saturday with the 550,000gns foal purchase Chaldean (GB) (Frankel {GB}), who has already won the G2 Champagne S and G3 Acomb S.

On Thursday, two yearlings were recruited when Simon Mockridge went to 725,000gns for lot 415, a Siyouni (Fr) filly out of a half-sister to G1 Coronation S. winner Lillie Langtry (Ire) (Danehill Dancer {Ire}) and 600,000gns for the Kingman (GB) half-brother (lot 390) to Classic winners St Mark's Basilica (Fr) and Magna Grecia (Ire).

Eddie O'Leary's Lynn Lodge Stud consigned the daughter of Siyouni on behalf of his brother Michael's Gigginstown House Stud, who bought her dam Contemptuous (Ire) (New Approach {GB}) through Mags O'Toole when she was carrying this filly at the December Sale of 2020.

At 360,000gns, her purchase was a significant outlay at the time, but carrying a foal by one of Europe's most-sought after sires, as well as updates in the immediate family from G1 Oaks winner Tuesday (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) and Sunday's G1 Prix de l'Opera winner Place Du Carrousel (Ire) (Lope De Vega {Ire}), are factors which have contributed to a terrific sales return for the first foal.

Flay Plays Both Sides of the Deal

A vendor on Wednesday and a buyer on Thursday, Bobby Flay selected a smartly-bred daughter of No Nay Never to be trained in America by Christophe Clement. The daughter of Cushion (GB) (lot 422), who was twice a Grade III winner in the US and is herself out of the champion racemare Attraction (GB) (Efisio {GB}), was another decent result for the Watership Down Stud draft, sold on behalf of her breeders Floors Stud and Coolmore Stud, for 600,000gns.

“The sire is very quick, and I like training grass horses in the US, my trainer Christopher Clement is a specialist,” Flay explained. “I love the No Nay Never cross over Galileo and my bloodstock agent picked her out, Tom McGreevy.”

Flay also paid tribute to James Delahooke, who had a long association with the owner-breeder and died suddenly last month. He said, “He is a huge loss. I keep thinking I am going to see him here. He was a great educator, a great friend, and, most importantly, besides his amazing ability to pick out beautiful horses and great broodmares, he was a pleasure to be around, I always learnt something about life and about horses with James.”

 McElroy Returns To Happy Hunting Ground

It was at this sale in 2019 that Ben McElroy bought dual Royal Ascot winner Campanelle (Ire) (Kodiac {GB}) and the leading American agent returned to one of his happiest hunting grounds to purchase seven yearlings.

McElroy kept the biggest deal until last, signing for a Night Of Thunder (Ire) filly (lot 388) out of the Watership Down Stud draft for 800,000 gns.

Like Campanelle, the Night Of Thunder half-sister to Group 3 scorer Snazzy Jazzy (Ire) (Red Jazz) will race in Barbara Banke's Stonestreet silks. However, Coolmore will also retain an interest, with MV Magnier also signing for the filly.

McElroy said, “We're always coming out here to look at fillies who we think can be precocious–be Royal Ascot types. They go to Wesley Ward, who trained Campanelle, and the minute this filly walked out of the stall and stood in front of me, I knew she was the one we had to have.

“The stallion has made a phenomenal start at stud–starting from a low stud fee. That really gave us a lot of confidence. The mare keeps producing horses that run good ratings. Between the physical and the pedigree, she had the complete package.”

He added, “I'm really relieved that we got her and am hoping that we got some nice horses in the bunch that suit our programme.

“Barbara loves the sale and she's really excited about coming back in the summer to watch them run over here. Hopefully we'll get a few more in the bunch for next year.

“The biggest emphasis is on the physical because we're going to try and start them off early. They go to Florida, get the sun on their back and then go into training with Wesley. You want to see a bit of precocity in the pedigree and, when those two things align, they're the ones we go for.”

Crystal Ocean Colt Makes Waves

He was the highest-rated Flat horse in the world at one point but Crystal Ocean (GB) retired to the Beeches Stud in Ireland as predominantly a National Hunt stallion with multiple Grade 1-winning hurdler Apple's Jade (Fr) among the high-class jumping mares to have visited the stallion in his debut season.

But that did not stop lot 512, an easy-moving pinhook by the stallion, selling from Michael and Laurence Gleeson's Aughamore Stud for 135,000gns to Andrew Balding.

The sale justified the huge confidence that the Gleeson brothers had in the colt, bought by Howson and Houldsworth Bloodstock for 46,000gns at Tattersalls last December.

It was the second big pinhook that the leading bloodstock agent and the Gleesons pulled off on Thursday as, earlier in the afternoon, a Night Of Thunder filly (lot 461) bought for 150,000 gns as a foal, sold to Alex Solis and Jason Litt for 450,000 gns.

“This guy was a dude,” said Gleeson. “We loved him from day one at the foal sales. We thought he'd be a bit different. There are not many Crystal Oceans at these Flat sales but people seemed to get it and this stallion needs to cover more Flat mares based on the two yearlings [lot 86 also sold for 115,000 gns] he had here. It was an amazing day and this horse reminds me of Stradivarius. A chestnut with a good-looking head and he's not overly big either.”

Gleeson added on the Night Of Thunder filly, “She was out of a very tough Kodiac mare [Group 3 winner Ellthea (Ire)] and it's the same cross as the Abbaye winner Highfield Princess (Fr). Night Of Thunder is on fire and we were just lucky to have one.”

Night Of Thunder enjoyed an exceptional sale, especially when considering his 2020 covering fee of €25,000. There were 28 lots by the sire sold for an average of 276,964gns, for a total of 7,555,000gns, which contributed to him ending the session as the fourth-most popular stallion on the figures.

The Gleesons were not the only people to enjoy a major twist out of the stallion as, just a few lots later, Ballyhimikin Stud's 175,000 gns colt foal (lot 463) purchase by Kildangan Stud resident rocked into 475,000 gns, with Peter and Ross Doyle buying.

Stauffenberg Sugarcoats Super Sale

Few consignors boasted a better return at Book 1 than Philipp Stauffenberg. The German native brought five horses to Tattersalls and they went down a bomb, selling for an average of 469,000gns and 2,345,000gns all told.

After quite the bounty on Wednesday, when Stauffenburg sold a Night Of Thunder (Ire) filly for 550,000gns, a Lope De Vega (Ire) colt for 525,000 gns and a Sea The Stars (Ire) colt for 650,000gns, his two pinhooks on Thursday rocked into money.

His Teofilo colt (lot 465), bought for 80,000gns at Tattersalls last December, was knocked down to Godolphin for 260,000gns. An excellent week was crowned when his 200,000gns Sea The Stars foal purchase (lot 484) netted 360,000gns to Rabbah Bloodstock.

“We brought five and sold five for very good prices,” Stauffenburg said shortly after the Sea The Stars filly went through the ring.

“When you see what is going on outside our little world, it's amazing that the market is so resilient. There is plenty of money for the good ones. We had a record turnover yesterday and that speaks its own language.

“It will be really interesting to see how Book 2 goes now because I am pretty sure that a lot of people will have left here today disappointed that they couldn't strike as well as they thought they would.”

Stauffenburg added, “The Teofilo colt was probably the best Teofilo I have seen at the foal sales for many years. He was an absolutely outstanding horse and he went the right way. We paid 80,000 and he made 260,000. That's not bad business.

“We have been quite lucky. Yesterday was quite an amazing day.”

Tattersalls chairman Edmond Mahony would doubtless expand on that sentiment to include all three amazing days. He concluded, “Impressive as all the statistics are, the real feature of Book 1 of the 2022 October Yearling Sale has been the sustained demand at all levels of the market which has contributed to a clearance rate well in excess of 85%. Buyers from throughout the world, most notably the Gulf region, America, China, Japan and throughout Europe have all made a significant impact on a record-breaking sale and particularly notable has been the presence of so many of the world's most successful racehorse owners here at Park Paddocks for the duration of the sale. Their confidence in Book 1 of the October Yearling Sale is hugely appreciated and reflects not only the outstanding quality of the yearlings which the vendors commit to the sale year after year, but also the sale's unrivalled reputation for producing Classic and Group 1 winners and Newmarket's status as the European hub of the Thoroughbred business.

“In addition to so many of the world's leading owners, the number of British and Irish trainers active throughout the week has been notable and their presence has without doubt been influenced by the £7,200,000 in October Book 1 Bonus prize-money which we have distributed since 2016. The £20,000 Tattersalls October Book 1 Bonuses are hugely popular and to see so many beneficiaries reinvesting this week is a strong endorsement of a scheme which continues to reward owners at all levels of the Book 1 market.”

He added, “To have rewritten the Book 1 record books and to have seen so many breeders and consignors so richly rewarded this week has been wonderful. Europe's premier yearling sale has lived up to its reputation in spectacular fashion and we look forward to sustaining the momentum into Books 2, 3 and 4 of the Tattersalls October Yearling Sale starting on Monday next week.”

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