The Tattersalls Autumn Horses in Training Sale got off to a spectacular start with nine lots selling for 100,000 guineas or more, headed by the four-year-old FIREBEAM who topped proceeding's for the day at 280,000 guineas.
Turnover for the day of 5,873,600 guineas was a new record for the opening session at the sale and the 249 lots sold resulted in an record average of 23,589 guineas and a record median of 12,500 guineas, figures that represented rises of 37% and 35% when compared to the opening session in 2011. The turnover was up 52% on last year and the clearance rate a remarkable 89%.
The top price on the opening day was 280,000 guineas for the four-year-old CADEAUX GENEREUX four-year-old FIREBEAM. Consigned from William Haggas' Somerville Lodge on behalf of Highclere Racing, the Group placed colt is rated 115 by 'Timeform' and was knocked down to agent Anthony Stroud.
"He's been bought for the Dubai Carnival," said Stroud. "He has the right profile to go there and is rated high enough. You need a seriously good horse now, with a rating of around 100, just to even get in the races. Those horses are difficult to source - why is someone going to sell when they can go and race themselves?"
Stroud saw off some persistent bidding from underbidder Craig Rounsefell of Boomer Bloodstock, whilst agents Armando Duarte and Stephen Hillen were amongst the vanquished.
Agent Johnny McKeever silenced the sale ring when he opened the bidding for the Ballydoyle Stables consigned colt OFFER at 200,000 guineas. The tactic certainly worked with no one willing to up the ante on the three-year-old son of MONTJEU who was purchased on behalf of Gai Waterhouse Racing.
"It's a tactic Gai uses quite a bit in Australia," said McKeever, "and shocking the sales ring often stops anyone else from bidding!
"He looks the part this horse, he is scopey, by Montjeu and has good form. He'll have a break now, probably two months here in the UK and then he'll ship. He'll be castrated and I think that'll be the making of him."
"This was the one horse that we did not want to leave behind," added Bruce Slade, Waterhouse's assistant who was standing with McKeever. "He'll go from here to New Zealand first.
"Trainer Chris Waller, who has bought a lot at Tattersalls, advised us last year when we purchased here for the first time to do this. There is good grass in New Zealand then and it is less of a shock temperature-wise than going straight to Australia."
It certainly proved to be a worthwhile initial foray last year for Waterhouse whose five purchases including the Group 1 Metropolitan winner Glencadam Gold at 135,000 guineas and the Listed winner JULIENAS at 75,000 guineas.
The Autumn Horses in Training Sale attracts plenty of interest from National Hunt trainers and one horse who looks a likely type is MASHAARI who was knocked down to Brian Ellison for 160,000 guineas. The three-year-old gelding was consigned from the draft of Shadwell Stud and was knocked down to Ellison after he saw off the efforts of Candida Baker whilst Tom Malone and Anthony Bromley and Alan King all made bold bids.
"He's going jumping," said Ellison of the son of Monsun, "but he'll be a dual purpose type. He could be a Plate horse for next year.
"He is lovely, he stays well, likes it soft and looks strong for a three-year-old. Let's hope I can train him properly now!"
The Tattersalls Autumn Horses in Training Sale continues on Tuesday, October 30 at 9.30am.