Who's Hot Ahead Of The Tattersalls December Foal Sale?

A scene from the foal sales last year | Tattersalls


The insatiable demand for foals was evident in the figures recorded at Goffs last week with turnover rising 16% to €29,561,000 and the average climbing 16% to €40,110.

At the top end of the market, Kingman (GB) dominated with three foals by the Juddmonte-based stallion selling for a combined €1,540,000 and one of Europe's leading pinhookers Philipp Stauffenberg signing for the €550,000 top lot by the sire. 

Tally-Ho Stud may be best known for being sellers but they pipped Stauffenberg for the biggest spenders title by signing for 19 foals for €1,429,000. Juddmonte, Yeomanstown, BBA Ireland and Camas Park Stud were also on the front foot at Goffs. 

Away from the top end, there were interesting trends to emerge last week that could well impact how this week's December Foal Sale plays out at Tattersalls.

What first-season sires do the buyers want? Who are the emerging forces in the stallion ranks and where might the value lie at Tattersalls? We've examined all of that and more.

Stock In Mehmas And New Bay Is Booming

It's been a breakout year for Mehmas (Ire) and New Bay (GB), who have had their fees for 2023 hiked off the back of memorable campaigns for their respective progeny and, judging by how well their foals went down at Goffs, they can again be expected to play a leading role at Tattersalls.

Let's start with Mehmas, a horse who began his stud career at Tally-Ho in 2017 at a fee of €12,500 and has justified his bump to €60,000 after another memorable campaign, highlighted by Group 1-winning sprinter Minzaal (Ire).

New Bay has done something similar at Ballylinch in that he has climbed the ranks the hard way. He also entered the stallion ranks in 2017, standing for €20,000, but has had his fee for 2023 increased to €75,000 from €37,500 with Bay Bridge (GB), Bayside Boy (Ire) and Saffron Beach (Ire) doing their bit to advertise their stallion's prowess at the highest level this season.

Nine New Bays sold at Goffs for an average of €80,750, headed by colts who sold for €145,000 and €140,000, while Mehmas enjoyed a similarly productive sale with 26 foals selling for an average of €62,455. Four foals by Mehmas broke the €100,000 mark with BBA Ireland going to €160,000 to secure a colt by the stallion.

What's clear about last week's results is that Mehmas and New Bay are the emerging forces in the European stallion ranks. There are 30 foals by Mehmas and 16 New Bays at Tattersalls this week and it will be interesting to see how they perform.

Sergei To Make A Splash?

The Whitsbury Manor Stud team got to dip their toe into the market with some of the first foals by Sergei Prokofiev (Can) going under the hammer at Goffs. How that will prepare an operation who excelled itself with leading first-season sire Havana Grey is hard to know given the amount of foals due to be sold by Sergei Profkofiev at Tattersalls this week. 

The Goffs offering went down well; one colt made €52,000 while the WH Bloodstock team paid €45,000 for another. Of the six foals that sold at Goffs, they averaged at €34,167. Not bad going for a stallion who stood at £6,500 in his first season at stud. 

Indeed, Sergei Prokofiev hails from that Scat Daddy line that is proving so popular. He was clearly quite the looker, too, given he fetched $1,100,000 as a yearling before carving out a decent career without managing to win a Group 1 for Aidan O'Brien. 

There are 60 foals by Sergei Prokofiev at Tattersalls this week. They should provide a better sample size into the standing in which he is held in with the buyers.

Najd Stud Snap Up Foals

We have become accustomed to Najd Stud playing a major role at the horses-in-training sales but it was interesting to see the Saudi Arabian-based outfit sign for four foals at Goffs. Is that a sign of things to come at Tattersalls this week?

Najd Stud didn't shoot the lights out, either, at Goffs. A Ghaiyyath (Ire) colt topped the total spend of €134,500 across five foals. Interestingly, a filly by Shadwell's Commonwealth Cup winner Eqtidaar (Ire), who has his first runners next year, was among the purchases at €36,000 as was a €3,500 Belardo (Ire) colt on the final day of the sale. 

Kildangan-Based Sires Come Up Trumps

Speaking of Ghaiyyath, the Kildangan-based freshman sire enjoyed a rock-solid start at Goffs with 11 of his first foals selling for €824,000 which averages out at €74,909.

Leading pinhookers Pier House Stud bought the top two colts by the stallion for €185,000 and €145,000 respectively and few would be surprised if the offerings by the four-time Group 1 winner go down well at Tattersalls as well. 

Of the 11 foals cataloged by Ghaiyyath at Tattersalls, a filly out of a sister to New York Girl (Ire) (New Approach {Ire}) and a half-brother to Global Giant (GB) (Shamardal) stand out on paper at least.

Fellow Kildangan-based stallions Blue Point (Ire) and Earthlight (Ire) also performed well. Earthlight had 17 foals sell for €942,500 at an average of €55,441 with Tally-Ho, Lynn Lodge Stud, Peter and Ross Doyle among the significant buyers of his progeny.

Even more impressive were figures posted by Blue Point, who had 20 lots sell for €1,011,500 at an average of €56,194. Top of the pops were colts knocked down for €200,000 apiece to Camas Park Stud and Katsumi Yoshida.

Blue Point's yearlings were similarly well-received. Famous for winning the King's Stand and Diamond Jubilee S. in the same week at Royal Ascot in 2019, Blue Point will have his first two-year-olds hit the track in 2023, with yearlings by the sire averaging over €100,000 this year. 

His stats performed favourably against proven sires Dark Angel (Ire), Showcasing (GB), Kodiac (GB), Starspangledbanner (Aus) and Acclamation (GB) in terms of average for a similar number of lots through the ring at Goffs last week. It will be interesting to see if he can carry over that sort of momentum at Tattersalls. 

First-Season Sires

Next year's race to be crowned champion first-season sire is being billed as one of the most exciting renewals for a long time with Too Darn Hot (GB), Blue Point, Waldgeist (GB), Magna Grecia (Ire), Ten Sovereigns (Ire), Calyx (GB), Advertise (GB), Invincible Army (Ire), Land Force (Ire) and Soldier's Call (GB) having their first runners in 2023.

As mentioned above, Blue Point performed well at Goffs while a number of leading pinhookers got behind the progeny of a number of the first-season sires. 

Advertise was one who came out nicely on the figures from a relatively small sample size at Goffs and one would imagine that Tattersalls will provide a more accurate barometer given he has 19 foals there.

But the Goffs results read well. Six foals sold for an average of €32,167 which was more than Invincible Army [14 for €29,773], Ten Sovereigns [15 for €26,833] and Soldier's Call [14 for €26,417]. Those figures could well average out this week. Time will tell.

First Crops Of Note

Along with Ghaiyyath, Earthlight and Sergei Prokofiev, who we have already mentioned, a number of stallions had their first crop go under the hammer at Goffs. 

Some of the more interesting results were posted by Arizona (Ire), perhaps unsurprisingly given he is a son of the sire of the moment, No Nay Never, while King Of Change (GB), Mohaather (GB), Sottsass (Fr) and Without Parole (GB) caught the imagination. 

Peter Nolan paid €60,000 for an Arizona half-brother to Eldrickjones (Ire) (Cotai Glory {GB}) while the Coolmore-based freshman sire, who stands for just €5,000, averaged a respectable €20,192 for 13 foals.

Sottsass was a classier racehorse than most of his first-crop rivals and it told in the figures at Goffs with the former Arc winner posting averages comparable with Mehmas, Invincible Spirit (Ire) and Dark Angel. There were 11 foals by Sottsass at Goffs and they sold for an average of €61,100 and a top price of €180,000. 

G1 Sussex S. winner Mohaather created a good impression with five foals selling for an average of €49,250 including a top lot of €95,000 while Without Parole had four foals sell for an average of €27,000 and a high of €70,000.

King Of Change was subject to a recent transfer after being snapped up by Starfield Stud from Derrinstown and it looks like it could prove to be a decent move given how his first foals performed. 

Peter and Ross Doyle paid €50,000 for a colt by the sire who averaged a solid €24,714 for seven foals sold. That's a good return for a Group 1-winning stallion who is set to stand for just €5,000 next year.

Coolmore Can Count On Wootton Bassett And No Nay Never

Wootton Bassett (GB) and No Nay Never flew the flag for Coolmore at Goffs while demand for the progeny of Saxon Warrior (Jpn) was evidently up off the back of an excellent autumn for the first-season sire. 

Wootton Bassett was bettered only by Kingman and Galileo, who between them accounted for just four foals at Goffs, for the highest averages posted. 

The sire of brilliant G1 National S. winner Al Riffa, Wootton Bassett clearly captured the imagination last week, with seven foals selling for €1,345,000 at an average of €224,167 which earned him a top-three finish in that particular table. 

No Nay Never enjoyed an eighth-place finish in averages posted on €134,800 and, while Saxon Warrior was down on that list at €52,263, he posted a chunky aggregate with 21 foals selling for €993,000. That was the seventh-highest aggregate recorded by any stallion. 


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