The sales season has now drawn to a close but it comes to a close after 4 of the busiest months of the year for Bloodstock Agent Richard Knight with a successful Goffs & Tattersalls December Sales. With the yearling sales mostly over by the end of October attention turns to mating plans, nomination booking and catalogue work in preparation for the Autumn Sales.
As stallion fees come out Richard considers each of his clients mares through their pedigree, race record, conformation, stallion nicks, stallion location, stallion fee & mare produce records before recommending certain stallions which will suit the mare and the client in question. After discussions with clients Richard secures the nomination to the selected stallion at the best possible price – (this is an on-going process through till the start of the covering season in February 2016 so if you have not made your selection for your mare yet please get in touch by either phone 07769 349240 or email firstname.lastname@example.org)
During this time the catalogues for all the December sales arrive and Richard works through each and every lot to see what might interest his client who are looking to purchase. That might be foals to pinhook (i.e. resell as yearlings for profit), foals to race, mares to breed to race from and/or mares to breed to sell from.
Richard’s first sale of the Autumn was the Goffs Foal Sale held between 16-20 November. In Richard’s own personal opinion the stock on offer (for the orders Richard had to fill) was in general poor and so by end of the 3rd day of the sale Richard had only bid on one horse, a Zoffany filly that he ended up under-bidding. On the 4th day there was a colt that Richard loved but he failed the vet on his scope. Scoping foals is a strongly debated subject but Richard is always keen to avoid purchasing a foal with a paralysed larynx and the foal in question was not far off this level – needless to say he left him alone and waited till the final day. On the final day the stock improved somewhat and Richard bid on approximately 6 foals ending up purchasing 1 – a Dream Ahead filly (1st foal) out of an 87-rated 7 x winner for €25,000 – she was very athletic and racy by a sire who made a good start with his first 2yo runners in 2015 – she looks fantastic value. The others made more than Richard was willing to give for them probably caused by a lack of quality earlier in the sale. With the knowledge that there was 1000 foals to come in Newmarket the following week and that most vendors had kept their best foals for Tattersalls, Richard sat tight and was not willing to spend his clients money on lesser horses.
Back home for 1 night and on to Newmarket for their 4 1/2 days of foal sales where Richard was delighted to come away with having purchased 5 foals. The first purchase was made on the 2nd day of the sale and was one of only 3 foals shortlisted for that day – a Lethal Force colt out of a 5 x winning mare rated over 80 who has produced 2 winners from 3 runners, also both rated over 80. The colt cost 32,000gns. This was Lethal Force’s 1st foals and they looked to be a very good bunch of foals.
The 3rd & 4th day of the sale is always where the best stock are on offer and it was on the 3rd day that Richard purchased 3 more foals. The first purchase was a Mastercraftsman filly with a nice pedigree – she was probably the best walking filly that Richard saw in the sale – hugely athletic and with the size and scope to go with it. Mastercraftsman is a very underrated stallion and had no less than 14 black-type winners in 2015 – this filly cost 21,000gns.
The second purchase was a Cacique colt from a smart Juddmonte family. He is a 2nd foal and was a mature, scopey colt who Richard will likely look to sell in the Goffs Orby Sale in 2016. Cacique who is a full-brother to Dansili has done very well at stud but from limited chances due to suffering with in-fertility. This creates a situation where there are not many foals on the ground and certainly not many in the sales ring – there will likely be even less in Goffs which will create some rarity value. He cost 42,000gns.
The third purchase of the 3rd day of the sale is quite possibly even rarer than the Cacique as Richard purchased a very racy, quality filly by Champion 2-year-old Reckless Abandon. Once again, Reckless Abandon was a stallion who suffered with fertility problems so much so that he returned to racing after just 1 season of covering mares. This filly was a 2nd foal and sold very near the end of the Thursday sales, past 9pm at night when many purchasers had already gone home. The filly is out of the 87-rated Akhmatova and her first foal won his nursery just days after Richard had purchased the Reckless Abandon filly – a nice update to the pedigree. The filly cost 47,000gns and will likely be re-sold at Doncaster where her sire Reckless Abandon was sold.
The prices on the 4th day rocketed but Richard got in early and purchased a Lope De Vega filly out of the Invincible Spirit mare Ispanka. The filly was very racy and walked well and Richard had tried to buy her half-brother a yearling by Kendargent who made 120,000gns in the 2015 October yearling sales. Lope De Vega commands a fee of €45,000 in 2016 and this filly looked good value at 55,000gns.
As soon as the foal sale ended the mares were in and a busy Sunday was spent looking at mares. On the Monday Richard was delighted to purchase 6 mares and then another 1 on the Wednesday of the sale – 5 fillies just off the track which will be bred in 2016 and 2 in-foal mares. During this time and since the sales matings plans and nomination booking have again been the order of the day and Richard has booked nominations to sires including 1st season stallions Muhaarar, Night Of Thunder, Brazen Beau, Gutaifan, Ivawood, Due Diligence, & Cable Bay.