Breeze-Up Purchases

Breeze-Up Purchases | For those that don’t know the breeze-up sales are when unraced 2-year-olds are ridden and galloped or ‘breezed’ along the racecourse.

The Breeze-up sale reputation could not be stronger than at this moment in time after an incredible 2016. Leading the way was dual Gr.2 winner and Gr.1 placed 2-year-old Mehmas (170,000gns Tatts Craven) with Royal Ascot 2-year-old winners Ardad (£170,000 Goffs UK) & Prince Of Lir (£170,000 Goffs UK) close behind. There was also Listed winning and Gr.2 placed 2-year-old Mokarris (220,000gns Tatts Craven), Listed winning 2-year-old Apex King (125,000gns Tatts Craven) and Listed winning 2-year-old Rodaini (340,000gns Tatts Craven) to name just a few. And all were on Richard’s final shortlist for clients . . .

For those that don’t know the breeze-up sales are when unraced 2-year-olds are ridden and galloped or ‘breezed’ along the racecourse. Most of the horses have been purchased as yearlings by their consignors who spend the next 6 months breaking them in and riding them away, and getting them ready to gallop at the sale. All will have practice ‘breezed’ at home and some will have been away to a racecourse to get a feel for what is ahead of them.

Purchasers get to see the horses gallop over 2-3 furlongs before inspecting them at the Sales complex. Richard times all the ‘breezes’ and uses those times as a piece of the puzzle when putting his short-list together. Other facts to consider are pedigree, conformation, athleticism and home reputation. Home reputation and the ‘school report’ is hugely important and its these relationships that Richard has built with the breeze-up consignors that are so important in the decision making process – arguably any horse can gallop for 2 furlongs and it’s important to work out what is just showing cheap speed and what is showing speed and class. Every year Richard spends time going around the breeze-up consignors and seeing the horses in their home environment whilst speaking at length with the consignors about which horses they like at this stage.

Once the inspections are completed and the final shortlist is confirmed Richard will vet the horses of interest looking to leave no stone unturned. Then it’s a matter of valuing the horses and trying to buy the next The Wow Signal or Mehmas.

The European breeze-up sales start with the Ascot breeze-up held in early April. This sale grows in stature with every year and a lot of that is to do with The Wow Signal. With the Ascot sale being the earliest in the calendar it takes a mature horse to be ready for it and we are seeing more and more Royal Ascot type 2-year-olds being sold here. Richard purchased 2016 Class 2 handicap winner El Astronaute from this sale for £38,000.

After Ascot the sales wagon would usually move onto Newmarket and the Craven sale but in 2017 and for the first time the Goffs UK sale will be next. Once again a sale for sharp and early sorts the Goffs UK breeze is a must for anyone looking for a potential Royal Ascot horse. With Goffs UK producing 2 Royal Ascot 2-year-old winners in 2016 this trend will clearly continue. Richard purchased Royal Mile Class 2 handicap winner Moonlightnavigator from this sale and 92 rated 2yo Geordie George.

The Tattersalls Craven sale follows and is probably Europe’s No.1 breeze-up sale. Like Book 1 yearlings the horses have good pedigrees and have often cost plenty as yearlings, this is where most consignors would bring what they think is their best horse – certainly their best horse with ‘Classic’ aspirations. Mehmas, Mokarris, Apex King & Rodaini were all graduates of the 2016 sale and this will only help to further the Craven sale reputation. Richard purchased 2016 debut 2-year-old winner Fayez from this sale for 55,000gns.

It’s back to Newmarket a couple of weeks later for the Guineas breeze-up sale held unsurprisingly over Guineas weekend. This sale is the Book 2 to the Craven sale but also often has the more backward types – having said that there can be some great value as Richard found when purchasing 2016 2-year-old maiden winner Grey Galleon for just 29,000gns.

The penultimate breeze-up sale is the Arqana sale held in mid-May. This is one of France’s strongest sales and like the Tattersalls Guineas often sells the more backward types. It is a very good sale and many consignors keep back 1 or 2 of their best horses for this sale. Like the French yearlings there is not the commercial pressure for speed in this sale and so you get a number of well-regarded horses which have not been pushed to achieve a time on the track before they are ready to do it. In 2016 Richard purchased two very nice horses from this sale (Areen Heart & Trading Point) who both won their maidens on their 2nd starts at 2 years old and were then put away with a view to making into high-class 3-year-olds.

The final breeze-up sale of the European season is the Goresbridge breeze-up held in Ireland. This sale is numerically the biggest and attracts buyers from all over the World. It’s a good value sale which produces a large number of winners.

If you are interested in purchasing a breeze-up horse please contact Richard today on +44 7769 349240 or email

Breeze-Up Purchases - Richard Knight Bloodstock Agent


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