Queens of Elite Sale

In just few days the most important European yearling sale, Tattersalls October Yearling Sale, will kick in. Its elite part, Book 1, is not only a showcase of “blue chips” of European Thoroughbred Breeding but, at the same time, a source of a volume of data from the top level of commercial thoroughbred breeding in Europe. This article is going to present one such perspective.

Galileo filly from Alluring Park sold for 5,000.000 gns last year, foto Tattersalls

Every year, statistics after the sale offer various data: from the share of yearlings sold to average price, the most expensive horse to the most successful sire by the average price of yearlings sold. Dams of these yearlings are often neglected, which is understandable, as each of these can offer a single product at the sale and, therefore, does not fit into the statistics. However, if we look beyond the last sale and look back in the past, we can mine interesting data from the dams of successfully sold yearlings.

We looked at the last ten years of the sale to find out which dams, or yearlings of which dams, appeared most frequently and which dams, or yearlings of which dams, were most demanded. The data was summed up in a table, presenting the most successful dams of the last ten years (only those dams who had at least three yearlings sold) by average price.

Last year’s bid for the unnamed daughter of Galileo and Alluring Park at five million guineas by bloodstock agents Mandore International for Al Shabaq Racing owned by Sheikh Joaan Al Thani of Qatar set not just the European record but the filly also became the most expensive filly ever sold at a sale worldwide. This makes her dam, Alluring Park, the most successful mare of the sale’s last ten years. The path to this title, however, was far from simple. A half-sister to the Derby winner New Approach, sired by none other than Green Desert, she won maide at Leopardstown and placed third twice in listed races – at two in the Rochestown Stakes at Leopardstown and at three in the Blenheim Stakes at the Curragh. The very start of her career at stud was excellent. Her first product, Alreshaad by Alhaarth, was no sold by Tattersalls but by Goffs and was bought by Shadwell Estate for EUR 550,000. Her second son, Champagne Squall, was sold in Newmarket at Book 1 and bought by Nobutaka Tada for 260,000 guineas. Alreshaad never raced and died at four, Champagne Squall won but stayed well behind expectations. It was no wonder that her son Initiation by Rock of Gibraltar was sold for just 100,000 guineas in 2007. He did not step out of average: he won just once, a handicap race with 5,500 pounds for the winner.

Top 20 most successful dams at Book 1 in the last ten years by the average price of sold yearlings

broodmare catal. offered sold total (gns) highest (gns) lowest (gns) average (gns)
ALLURING PARK (Green Desert) 6 6 6 8 210 000 5 000 000 100 000 1 368 333
BRIGID (Irish River) 4 4 4 5 065 000 2 500 000 265 000 1 266 250
FUNSIE (Saumarez) 5 4 3 3 335 000 2 500 000 400 000 1 111 667
SHADOW SONG (Pennekamp) 3 3 3 1 980 000 1 300 000 280 000 660 000
LAST SECOND (Alzao) 3 3 3 1 975 000 1 250 000 300 000 658 333
WITCH OF FIFE (Lear Fan) 3 3 3 1 810 000 900 000 60 000 603 333
BRIOLETTE (Sadler's Wells) 3 3 3 1 800 000 650 000 500 000 600 000
TARIYSHA (Daylami) 4 4 4 2 340 000 1 100 000 90 000 585 000
SECRET GARDEN (Danehill) 4 4 4 2 105 000 925 000 340 000 526 250
ALLELUIA (Caerleon) 6 5 5 2 265 000 900 000 100 000 453 000
TIME AWAY (Darshaan) 7 6 5 2 240 000 1 200 000 140 000 448 000
CAUMSHINAUN (Indian Ridge) 4 4 4 1 750 000 700 000 200 000 437 500
BLUE SYMPHONY (Darshaan) 5 5 5 2 185 000 525 000 400 000 437 000
MAGANDA (Sadler's Wells) 4 3 3 1 200 000 700 000 50 000 400 000
BEX (Explodent) 4 4 4 1 590 000 700 000 200 000 397 500
MUSICAL TREAT (Royal Academy) 6 6 6 2 330 000 500 000 150 000 388 333
MADEIRA MIST (Grand Lodge) 5 5 4 1 530 000 600 000 260 000 382 500
LADY MILETRIAN (Barathea) 3 3 3 1 110 000 500 000 210 000 370 000
SUMOTO (Mtoto) 3 3 3 1 110 000 580 000 240 000 370 000
MODEL QUEEN (Kingmambo) 9 9 8 2 920 000 600 000 170 000 365 000

Two years later, Book 1 included Janood by Medicean, bought by John Ferguson for 150,000 guineas. His career took a more promising start, he won his debut in the Sheikh’s Mohammed’s silks, followed by the listed Washington Singer Stakes. However, after that his form declined and he was not able to build upon his promising start. He won the listed race on August 14 and this no doubt played its role when his half-sister by Galileo stepped into the sales ring at Newmarket there was a huge demand for her. The highest bid was 1.2 million guineas which made the filly the most expensive yearling sold in Europe this year. The bidder, Demi O’Byrne, representing an association of owners around Coolmore, was lucky. The filly, later named Was, won the Investec Oaks two years later in her third race, then finished second in the Pretty Polly Stakes (Gr.1) and third in the Nassau Stakes (Gr.1) and Yorkshire Oaks (Gr.1).

Was’s excellent results could not have remained unreflected in the demand for horses out of Alluring Park, namely when Was had already achieved her Epsom triumph when her full sister was offered at Book 1. The filly was bought for 1.5 million guineas by Mandore International Agency for the Sheikh Joaan Bin Hamad Al Thani who sent her to France. So far, the filly has not appeared on the racecourse. Last year, the third daughter of Galileo and Alluring Park was presented at Book 1. She was the most expensive. Whether the price of five million guineas, for which she was bought, same as her older sister, by Al Shaqab Racing of the Sheikh Al Thani, ever exceeded depends very much on the record-breaking filly. As of today Al Naamah, as she was named, has raced twice. She won easily the first race at Chantilly but in the Prix d’Aumale (Gr.3) she was beaten.

Alluring Park, owned by Lodge Park Stud, had no foal last year but this year, on January 27, she gave birth to a colt, again by Galileo. He is very likely to appear at Book 1 next year and we can only guess whether he is demanded as his older sisters and whether the bidding soars to a seven digit number.

The second most successful dam of the last ten years of Book 1 was not exceptional on the racecourse. Irish River’s daughter Brigid won once in France as a three-year-old but this did not prevent the full-sister of the listed winner and a very successful dam Or Vision to become a dam not just successful at sales, but also to produce horses successful on the racecourse and to become a successful dam of broodmares. It is a paradox that her most expensive yearlings from Book 1 – Liffey Dancer by Sadler’s Wells, bought for 2.5 million guineas by Charlie Gordon-Watson in 2007, and Nazym (Galileo), bought by the same bloodstock agent four years later for 1.7 million guineas, never raced. On the contrary, the cheapest of her four offspring sold at Book 1, the filly Listen, bought in 2004 by Pegasus Farm for 265,000 guineas, won the Meon Valley Stud Fillies’ Mile Stakes (Gr.1) and became the champion two-year-old filly in Ireland. Brigid, however, will come down to the thoroughbred history rather by producing the winner of the Moyglare Stud Stakes (Gr.1) Sequoyah, dam of the excellent Henrythenavigator, and her unraced daughter Lady Windermere, the granddam of the Irish 2,000 Guineas winner Magician.

Saumarez’s daughter Funsie never raced too but her first product by Montjeu was sold at Book 1 in 2005 for 400,000 guineas. Peter Chapple-Hyam, who chose him, had a lucky hand. The colt named Authorized won three Gr.3 races, including the Epsom Derby, and was the best three-year-old in Europe. Today he is a successful sire. It was thanks to him that other Funsie’s offspring sold well although none of the others achieved the black-type status, the best example being her most expensive product, Hydrogen, sold for 2.5 million guineas two years ago.

Neither Shadow Song had an exceptional racing career – she won just a single race in France. But the dam of Gr.1 winners Together and Jan Vermeer saw no lack of demand for her yearlings. Her daughter Terrific was sold for 1.3 million guineas two years ago.

What is interesting is that although the yearlings of twenty most successful dams in the last ten years of Book 1 cost a total of 48.85 million guineas, none of this elite dams won a Gr.1 race and only one, the winner of the Nassau Stakes Last Second, won a Gr.2 race. Less than a half of dams won a black-type race. Although each of these dams would deserve a detailed attention we will focus on a single one – the broodmare who is at the end of the top ten. Kingmambo’s daughter, whose best achievement was the victory in a maiden race at Beverley, holds a record as far as the number of auctioned and sold yearlings is concerned. In a single year, 2013, Model Queen did not have her product at the sale. And only the first one, Regal Parade by Pivotal, left the ring unsold. It is difficult not to notice that it is her who is the most successful product of Model Queen, thanks to her two Gr.1 victories, in the Sprint Cup at Haydock and Prix Maurice de Gheest at Deauville. She may be exceeded by a chestnut by Dubawi, to be offered at Book 1 this year, or her son by the excellent Frankel who was born in March and could be one of the highlights of the sale next year. But we will have to wait a few years to see.

Miloslav Vlček

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