A Message from the Newmarket July Sales – Turf Talk: 24 July 2017
BONUS COLUMN BY DAVID ALLAN
REFERRING to the Tattersalls Press Release published in yesterday‟s Turf Talk Newsletter… the sales company is dead right – about the top end of the market. Entirely reasonably it trumpets the top end activity on the one (11 hour) session of the July Sale that is largely devoted to breeding stock.
With plenty of Australian agents in Newmarket, all feeling perky about the state of the union at home, and another bunch of Aussies represented by their UK consultant agents, the bees clustered around the Godolphin honeypot as that organisation continues to thin out its 8,000 mares and fillies or whatever the actual number is. The choices lots in this mid range catalogue attract more bees, and the prices go further up. How many times did we hear yesterday “I had to pay a bit more than we expected, but she is worth it” etc?
Perhaps the choicest of the Godolphin choice was an unraced 3 year old own sister to VIOLENCE with the great SKY BEAUTY as 3rd dam. 290,000 guineas is over 5 million rand – for SKY BEAUTY 4th dam of prog-eny. That‟s brave, VIOLENCE or not, as was a purchase of a pretty filly with a nice page who had won on increasingly turning in toes with not a lot of bone above them for about 2.5 mill. Or for the same money a barren 9 year old dam of 3 winners after two colic surgeries which probably helped to make her a box walker. She‟s a Redoute‟s Choice full sister to huge Australian champion so she would have made quadruple if a filly off the track. If the veterinary judgements are cor-rect, they‟ve got a brilliant buy and “box walker”? Godolphin‟s transparency policy makes them declare a vice even if there is the merest hint of one. They don‟t want them back.
Meanwhile in the world that is closer to real, being a vendor at this sale was not all cham-pagne-corks-apoppin‟. Of course the market was intensely active. Several dozen nationali-ties as ever converged on Newmarket creating dense crowds inside and outside the ring, as well as overflowing car parks. But if we assume that the UK and Irish breeders and their advisers form the bedrock of this sort of market, working incredibly hard to get mid-year value before the bigger events later in the year, then we must simultaneously realise that they have “careful, careful” voices in their heads.
Over-production rushed back into the foal and yearling markets last year making – at the very least – getting into the “right” sales more difficult. We are seeing it ourselves, jug-gling yearlings between Fairyhouse Part 1, Goffs somewhere and Tatts Book 2 with the overflow to Book 3 (a good work-manlike sale) being something to accept with equanimity or dodged by other means. A Book 1 yearling needs to be bang on excellent. Anything less and you are better in Book 2, the descendant of the engine-room Tattersalls October Yearling Sale.
South Africans are not present. Of course they don‟t need to be when they have advisers, but by “present” I mean “active”. My “list” of the right sorts for SA – a lovely big Bernardini filly, not coarse like some, out of an Arch mare (a favourite of mine); a lovely Arch filly (bringing Roberto of course) with dollops of USA Grade 1 through the pedigree; an Invincible Spirit winner out of an Argentin-ian Grade 1 winner and so on – made the equivalents of R 200,000 – R550,000. It is entirely understandable that SA breeders don‟t want to fork out at the moment, but if it were left to me I would flood the SA gene pool with Invincible Spirit daughters, Ma-chiavellian/Medicean daughters, Royal Ap-plause/Acclamation/Dark Angel/Equiano fillies and a bunch by Sharpen Up line sires for good measure. Plus more Roberto when you can find it.
There will be other sales and other opportunities. In the meantime, if we are able to see sales rationalisation, government change in due course and the light at the end of the export tunnel looming blindingly, we can prepare for re-freshment of the gene pool.
Would that there were an internationally experienced, independent industry govern-ing body to guide the SA bloodstock industry and sport to its next levels of balanced production and public appeal! – tt.