Tattersalls Revise Breeze-up Schedule

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Restrictions allowing, horses will breeze on Newmarket's Watered Gallop | Emma Berry

In light of ongoing COVID-19 restrictions, the Tattersalls Group has announced a further delay to its combined Craven and Ascot Breeze-up Sale, which will now be staged in Newmarket on Tuesday, June 23. The Guineas Breeze-up Sale will remain in its already revised date of July 6 and 7, and the Tattersalls Ireland Goresbridge Breeze-up has now been postponed until Friday, July 24.

A statement released by Tattersalls on Wednesday indicated that contingency plans, which could mean that British- and Irish-consigned horses breeze in their respective countries, are also in place if the Craven and Ascot sale is unable to be staged in traditional circumstances. It read, “In the event that Government guidelines preclude breezing conventionally prior to the sale in Newmarket, arrangements have been made for the breezes to take place well in advance of the June 23 sale date in the week beginning Monday, June 8. Under these circumstances, the vast majority of 2-year-olds catalogued for the Craven and Ascot Breeze-up which are based in Ireland will breeze under full sale conditions at an Irish racecourse to be confirmed following approval from HRI, while their UK-based counterparts will breeze on the customary Newmarket 'Watered Gallop' adjacent to the Rowley Mile Racecourse.”

As already utilised at the Inglis Easter Yearling Sale, and this week announced for the Osarus Breeze-up Sale, Tattersalls will introduce online and telephone bidding platforms for buyers unable to attend the sales in person.

Tattersalls chairman Edmond Mahony said, “The continued lockdown and prolonged uncertainty surrounding the resumption of racing behind closed doors in either Britain or Ireland has necessitated not only a further revision of the date for the Tattersalls Craven and Ascot Breeze-up Sale, but also carefully thought-out contingency plans which crucially will provide as much flexibility as possible for vendors and purchasers alike. The changes have been made on the assumption that in the intervening period there will have been at least a partial resumption of racing behind closed doors and that Government social restrictions will also have been relaxed to some extent.

“While we would all prefer to stage the sale in its usual format, we must accept that events outside our control may dictate otherwise. The contingency arrangements for the Tattersalls Craven and Ascot Breeze-up Sale will allow us, as well as our consignors and buyers, time to react to whatever challenges the prevailing Government guidelines may present, while still giving the certainty of the sale taking place on the stated date of Tuesday, June 23.”

He continued, “The breeze in Ireland will cater for approximately 85% of the Craven and Ascot 2-year-olds, while their UK-based counterparts will benefit from breezing on the same widely-praised Newmarket 'Watered Gallop' as they would normally use. Subject to Government guidelines, potential buyers may be allowed to attend the breezes, but in the event of continued restrictions, buyers will be able to view the breezes live online and will have access to as much pre-sale information and data as we can reasonably provide, as well as having an extended period in which to view the horses prior to the date of the sale.”

As well as adjustments to the breeze-up schedule, changes have also been made to the National Hunt store sales due to be held at Tattersalls Ireland this spring and summer. The Derby Sale, which also now incorporates the delayed May Sale, has been moved to the week beginning Monday, July 13, just ahead of the Flat breeze-up sale.

Tattersalls Ireland CEO Matt Mitchell said, “We are pleased to be able to confirm the new dates for the flagship Tattersalls Ireland Derby and May Sale and we are confident that week will work well for both vendors and purchasers alike. Staging the Tattersalls Ireland Goresbridge Breeze-up Sale on Friday, July 24 with the breeze taking place earlier that week also looks to be a good option for all participants and we very much hope to bring a disrupted breeze-up season to a successful conclusion.”

Last week, Goffs UK and Arqana announced that they will hold their breeze-up sales in tandem in Ireland on June 29 and 30 with the horses to breeze at Naas racecourse in the week or fortnight beforehand.

Referring to the significant upheaval for all sales companies and consignors owing to the pandemic, Edmond Mahony added, “These are exceptional times and we are taking exceptional measures. A pan-European approach is vital under the current circumstances and we have been in close consultation with our Irish and French counterparts to ensure that a workable breeze-up calendar can be implemented on behalf of all concerned. There will be further important details which we will need to communicate to our consignors and buyers between now and the contingency Craven and Ascot breezes in the week beginning June 8, but in the meantime we will continue to work tirelessly and collaboratively on behalf of all involved to provide as vibrant a market as we possibly can, while at all times observing the necessary health protocols. In a perfect world restrictions will have been lifted to an extent that permits us to conduct all of our breeze-up Sales under almost normal conditions, but whatever the circumstances we believe our contingency plans give everyone the flexibility to respond judiciously to any prevailing challenges we face.”

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