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’ are hugely important and it’s 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. Most years 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 both The Wow Signal and Sands Of Mali (a horse Richard underbid at this sale). 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 selected 2020 Listed winner El Astronaute from this sale for £38,000.
After Ascot the sales wagon moves onto Newmarket and the Tattersalls Craven sale which is probably Europe’s No.1 breeze-up sale. Like Book 1 Yearling sale 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.
After Newmarket comes the Goffs UK breeze-up sale which is known for selling sharp, early 2yo types. If you are looking for a Royal Ascot juvenile then it is a sale which needs close consideration.
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.
The penultimate breeze-up sale is the Arqana sale held in mid-May. This is one of France’s strongest sales 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 so.
The final breeze-up sale of the European season is the Tattersalls Ireland Goresbridge breeze-up held at Fairyhouse racecourse. This sale is often 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 on +44 7769 349240 or email [email protected]