Solid Mare Trade at Goffs

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Zain Art topped Monday's November Breeding Stock Sale | Goffs

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KILDARE, Ireland–The final instalment of the rescheduled Goffs November Sale was devoted to breeding stock and again some high end withdrawals robbed the sale of some potential headline makers. Despite this, trade for mares that were deemed commercially desirable was strong with no shortage of suitors for the right types and it was the proven producer Zain Art (Ire) (Excellent Art {GB}) who held sway when selling for €390,000 to Timmy Hyde's Camas Park Stud.

One feature from Monday's sale was the healthy 87% clearance rate and this coupled with 11 six figure lots saw the aggregate reach €5,479,600. The sale posted an average of €31,674 and a median price of €14,000.

Taking stock of both this week's sale and indeed a turbulent sales year, Goffs CEO Henry Beeby said, “2020 has truly been a year like no other and for all the wrong reasons. Indeed, more than anything our overwhelming feeling is one of relief that we have managed to get to the year-end having held our sales, albeit with several on revised dates and, of course, some in different locations. Whilst we recognise that we are better off than so many it has seemed that Irish sales have had to deal with some issues and barriers to trade that others have not had to face. However, with the help of many people and entities we made it.

“Our Foal Sale ended up with a smaller than usual catalogue as understandably some vendors made other plans as, at the time of entry, there was so much uncertainty. Then we were hit with more withdrawals than would normally be the case when the sale had to be delayed. Make no mistake we absolutely respect the decisions people have had to make this year but it meant a contraction in the results we have been able to return especially as several of the absentees had huge sales potential.

“That said trade was remarkably strong for those [foals] that caught the eye culminating in an especially vibrant final day that saw a trio of Frankels sharing top billing at €440,000 when selling to buyers from UK, Japan and Ireland. Not surprisingly last year's record breaking results were out of reach but it is worth remembering that the 2019 sale outperformed the market and grew by 25% so we have really gone back to 2018 which is not a bad result given the times we are in. In fact the average price is 9% ahead of two years ago and the median static.”

He continued, “Our Breeding Stock catalogue was also much reduced and, again, the reasons are clear. In fact you could ask why anyone would want to be selling a broodmare this year in Christmas week so we have been heartened by the level of interest from what has proved a global audience with the help of Goffs Online. Again last year was particularly good growing by 28% so perspective is needed when analysing the figures which makes the average and median being within 5% especially pleasing.

“So we bid farewell to 2020, a year that no one will look back on too fondly. However there have been some notable moments at Goffs sales on both sides of the Irish Sea, most especially at our NH sales. Within five weeks we recorded two record breaking Point-To-Point prices at hastily arranged sales at Yorton Farm in Wales and sold the legendary Apple's Jade for an amazing €530,000 in between. Our Land Rover Sale was the first sale in Ireland since the outbreak of Covid, returning better than expected results and set the standard for store sales for the second year in succession. We also launched Goffs Online which has proved a huge asset at traditional sales as well as allowing us to continue to trade during lockdown with two successful purely online live auctions as well as a timed sale of a notable horse in training.

“These are the successes but I confess that our yearling sales proved a massive disappointment, most particularly our flagship Orby Sale which we had to move to the UK this year. I would be deluded if I tried to suggest that it was anything other than very challenging and recognise that we did not perform.

“We were faced with some difficult choices in the midst of the pandemic and got some of them right but undoubtedly made some mistakes. However we cannot change the past but can only state to all our vendors that we will redouble our efforts in 2021 when we all hope and pray that Covid-19, and its massive disruptions, prove to be in the past.

“In closing I want to thank everyone for their understanding and forbearance throughout this terrible time,” added Beeby. “Every vendor has taken a leap of faith with each entry whilst all our purchasers are more valued than ever. I especially want to thank HRI and ITM as they have been so supportive and helpful with endless advice and assistance as we navigated our way through what was allowed and, as importantly, responsible. We have also worked closely with Edmond Mahony and his teams at Tattersalls in UK and Ireland as well as Eric Hoyeau and all at Arqana to ensure we lessened the impact of the inevitable disruptions to the sale calendar.

On this occasion, I also want to pay particular tribute to the entire Goffs team as every one of them, in every department, has offered nothing but support, encouragement and help throughout the year without a hint of complaint as circumstances beyond anyone's control conspired to make life far from straightforward.

“Indeed this is an amazing industry and I close by saluting every participant for showing an enduring resilience in the face of something that only seemed to get worse. Let's hope next year sees an end to Covid related problems and a return to what we know. For now we send our best wishes for a safe Christmas that is as merry as possible for everyone.”

Monday's session topper, lot 892, came to prominence earlier this summer when her 2-year-old daughter Aloha Star (Ire) (Starspangledbanner {Aus}) won the G2 Balanchine S. at The Curragh and she proved that was no fluke when running third next time in the G1 Phoenix S. The Fozzy Stack-trained filly was bought soon after that by LNJ Foxwoods and it would be no surprise to see her emerge as a leading G1 Commonwealth Cup contender next year. Zain Art was consigned by Ciara Eglington's Collegelands Stud on behalf of Cornagher House and is in foal to Highclere stallion Land Force (Ire).

The Aga Khan-bred Sindiyma (Ire) (Kalanisi {Ire}) was a €20,000 purchase in this ring seven years ago by Tony Ashley but having bred the likes of Sikandarabad (Ire) (Dr Fong) and Marie's Diamond (Ire) (Footstepsinthesand {GB}) in the interim, the now 13-year-old mare was a very different commodity when returned to Goffs on Monday as lot 922.

Carrying an own sibling to G3 Anglesey S. winner Marie's Diamond and offered by Airlie Stud, the mare will now swap Kildare for Kilkenny after Ballylinch Stud's John O'Connor successfully bid €315,000 for her.

“She is a lovely proven mare with a high class pedigree,” O'Connor said afterwards. “She will come back to Ballylinch, we'll foal her down and the plan is to cover her with Lope De Vega. I love the fact she was able to breed two stakes winners and one from a Giant's Causeway-line stallion. Hopefully if we breed a few fillies out of her we can start to establish our own successful branch of the family.”

There were some real gems among the Godolphin draft and the second batch that went through the ring on Monday afternoon produced some excellent sales. Chief among these was lot 911, Varamini (Fr) (Siyouni {Fr}), offered with an Invincible Spirit (Ire) cover. The 4-year-old, who is a full-sister to G2 Prix Sandringham winner Volta (Fr), was bought by Margaret O'Toole for €280,000.

“She is a very good looking mare and she is in foal to a good stallion,” said O'Toole. “It is a current family with plenty going on and she will be staying in Ireland.”

Shortly before this, Airlie Stud went to €160,000 to secure lot 907, Bitter Lake (Halling). The winning half-sister to G1 Fillies' Mile winner Lyric Of Light (GB) (Street Cry) is in foal to Blue Point (Ire) and has young fillies by Shamardal and Exceed And Excel (Aus) on the ground.

Another significant transaction saw the 16-year-old mare Criticism (GB) (Machiavellian) go the way of the Cantillon's Tinnakill Bloodstock for €120,000. Lot 900, who was a five time graded stakes winner in America, has already produced the stakes winner Magical Touch (GB) (Dubawi {Ire}) and was sold in foal to Night Of Thunder (Ire).

The first Godolphin draft wasn't short of quality either and the first to break six figures was lot 814, Haughtily (Ire) (Invincible Spirit {Ire}). The half-sister to G1 Coronation S. winner Lillie Langtry (Ire) (Danehill Dancer {Ire}) was unraced, and has yet to breed a winner from two horses of racing age. However such is the depth of her pedigree that it took a bid of €105,000 from Hubie De Burgh to secure the close relative to the brilliant multiple champion Minding (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}). The 9-year-old is carrying a Ribchester (Ire) foal and is due in the middle of March.

Shortly after this lot 819, the 6-year-old winning mare Light Spirit (GB) (New Approach {Ire}) was purchased by Old Carhue Stud for €70,000. Carrying to Exceed And Excel (Aus), the daughter of G1 Fillies' Mile winner Lyric Of Light (GB) (Street Cry) has a yearling filly by Exceed And Excel and a Shamardal filly foal working for her.

Hubie De Burgh teamed up with Norelands Stud not long after to purchase lot 844, L'Age D'Or (GB), (Iffraaj {GB}) for €90,000. The half-sister to two stakes winners is in foal to Lanwades Stud stallion Sea The Moon (Ger) who will stand at his highest fee so far in 2021.

Similarly the Aga Khan draft is a fertile source of success, last year's €110,000 purchase Sonaiyla (Ire) (Dark Angel {Ire}) increased eightfold in value when sold earlier this month and lot 934, a filly by the same sire, was the top priced lot this year from the draft when selling to Ballygallon Stud for €150,000. The 3-year-old Eshtiya (Ire) won a Dundalk maiden in August for Dermot Weld and is a half-sister to the promising Weld trained 2-year-old Erzindjan (Ire) (Lope De Vega {Ire}).

Meanwhile, lot 862, Opal Heart (Ire) (Invincible Spirit {Ire}), held the distinction of being the only mare offered for sale in the world this year in foal to Sea The Stars (Ire). The Jockey Hall Stud-consigned 3-year-old daughter of G2 Prix du Royallieu winner Sea Of Heartbreak (Ire) (Rock Of Gibraltar {Ire}) cost the BBA's Michael Donohoe €110,000, which isn't bad value given the stallion enters 2021 with an advertised fee of €150,000.

The Grassicks of Newtown Stud enjoyed a rewarding sale with lot 846, Always Gold (GB) (New Approach {Ire}), when the 5-year-old was knocked down to Rabbah Bloodstock for €105,000. The mare was picked out by Cathy Grassick at Arqana two years ago for €22,000 but a plan to put her back into training had to be aborted when she picked up an injury. Sent to Juddmonte to be covered by Bated Breath (GB), the Grassicks were then fortunate that the mare's half-brother Chachnak (Fr) (Kingman {GB}) made his mark in two Group 3 contests in the meantime.

“We're delighted but a bit sad to see her go,” Newtown's Sally-Anne Grassick said. “There are four of us involved in her and we've always loved her but it was a good price and credit to Cathy for buying her originally.”

Deflecting most of the praise back onto the mare herself Cathy Grassick chipped in, “She is a gorgeous mare and I'm delighted Rabbah have bought her as she will be well mated. I've always been a big fan of Bated Breath and I thought it was a cross that would suit the mare. As Sally said, we're sad to see her go as she is such a queen but I look forward to following the progress of her progeny.”

Rabbah later added lot 949 to their broodmare band when paying €160,000 for Second Glance (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}), a 3-year-old in foal to Calyx (GB) from The Castlebridge Consignment.

The first mare to make a decent ripple was lot 796 from Grenane House Stud. The 4-year-old Tracing (Ire), a daughter of Galileo (Ire) and the stakes winner and Classic placed Ishvana (Ire) (Holy Roman Emperor {Ire}), landed a Dundalk maiden for Aidan O'Brien on her final run and was knocked down to Kevin Blake for €85,000. The mare was sold in foal to Ten Sovereigns (Ire) and is also a full-sister to the promising Never Forgotten (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) who was the impressive winner of a Gowran maiden for Joseph O'Brien in July but did not run subsequently.

Blake is building up a strong band of mares and said, “It's hard enough to get your hands on a young Galileo mare like this, so I'm delighted. She is carrying a colt as well which is a plus and the full-sister Never Forgotten is back in training after a small setback, so hopefully she can give the pedigree a boost next season as she looks quite smart.”

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