Fresh from breeding Sunday’s Weld Park Stakes heroine Basil Martini, Alice Fitzgerald and Mike Doyle were celebrating further on Wednesday as their Kodiac colt sold for €575,000 to top the second session of the Goffs Orby Sale.

His sale was the highlight of a day that brought the curtain down on a sale that featured a turnover of €50,374,500. The average rose by 11 per cent to €121,384 while the median increased by 16 per cent to a record €87,000. Highlighted by the €2.6 million No Nay Never sister to Blackbeard, 188 yearlings made €100,000 or more compared to 139 last year.

“The expectation coming into the Orby Sale was that we would enjoy a strong trade following good results elsewhere and so we were hopeful of some improved statistics,” said Goffs Group Chief Executive Henry Beeby. “However nothing could have prepared us for the strength of the market and the vibrancy of the sale especially on day one which saw the world’s highest priced yearling so far this autumn at €2.6 million.

“The stunning sister to Blackbeard headed a truly electric trade that resulted from wonderful support from Irish breeders who responded to our strong sale of recovery last year by significantly increasing their support, hence a catalogue that grew by 15 per cent. To return such improved numbers for average and median is particularly noteworthy given those increased numbers as is a clearance rate of 89 per cent which compares very favourably.

“Every buyer has made their mark but it has been wonderful to welcome such a big group of American buyers to Kildare Paddocks, several of whom are making their first trip to a European yearling sale. This followed a concerted drive by our Buyer Recruitment Team working in tandem with Irish Thoroughbred Marketing and we are most grateful to ITM for their enthusiasm and hard work as we work together to promote the Irish National Yearling Sale to a global audience.

“Of course the week started in the most exciting way with the staging of Europe’s Richest Two Year Old Race, the Goffs Million at The Curragh. What a positive, fun and uplifting occasion it proved to be and Goffs are proud to be part of growing and driving racehorse ownership in this way. The winning connections were only a joy as they really embraced the concept, making the most of their big win and immediately reinvesting for next year over the last two days. We are pleased to be continuing the concept as it definitely provides a real focus to drive interest and enthusiasm in Orby.

“Orby 22 has proved, yet again, that it is the measure of any yearling sale anywhere when we have the support of Irish breeders and we send our sincere thanks to each vendor for entrusting us with so many of their world class yearlings. We know we are nothing without the horses but the Class of 22 allowed us to go all out to drive the biggest and most diverse group of buyers to Kildare for many a year and we are so pleased that there are so many success stories from the sale.”

The sale-topping No Nay Never filly out of Muirin. Photo – Goffs

Lightning strikes twice

As a select operation, Alice Fitzgerald and Michael Doyle are not ones to head to the sales with vast numbers at their disposal. But they invariably punch above their weight, as illustrated last year when they sold the session-topper’s sister, Magical Sunset, for €340,000 to Peter and Ross Doyle. Indeed, Wednesday’s offering was the sole lot catalogued to the Orby under Fitzgerald’s name and having attracted positive chat in the lead-up to the sale, lived up to the billing by commanding six-figure bids from Alex Elliott, Amanda Skiffington and Jacob West before hammering at €575,000 to Ross Doyle, bidding from the balcony.

“It’s brilliant,” said Fitzgerald. “Kodiac has been a very lucky stallion for us, he works very well with that mare. I hope he’s good for his new owners.

“We’ve always loved him so we were coming up here excited, but you never really know. But he was going down very well from start to finish – he showed like a dream and it makes our life a lot easier when they’re like that.”

Fikrah was herself a €220,000 Goffs Million yearling by Shadwell back in 2006. She won a Navan maiden for Kevin Prendergast, subsequently sold for just €13,000 to James Burns at the 2008 Goffs November Sale and has since gone to breed three winners headed by the Group 3-placed Hey Jonesy. Magical Sunset also looks very talented judging on her debut win over Sakheer at Windsor last month.

“It’s the most important thing that they deliver,” said Fitzgerald. “We want to sell racehorses. We have plenty of the family at home and the mare has a Sottsass colt foal to come, so it’s very important that they do well on the track.”

She added: “There’s been a great buzz here. It’s really busy. I managed to escape for an hour on Sunday to watch Magical Sunset run in the Million and obviously that’s been a great success as well. Goffs have done a great job.”

Plans call for the Kodiac colt to join his sister Magical Sunset in Richard Hannon’s yard on behalf of prominent Scandinavian owners Stall Perlen.

“We thought he was the standout of the two days,” said Doyle. “Obviously the sister is very talented. He was beautiful horse by a sire we’ve done very well with. He never turned a hair, we went down to see him two or three times and every time we went, there was a queue to see him and he was showing the exact same way every time.

“Stall Perlen are very good long-term clients of ours. They had West Order, a good Gone West horse, with Richard Hannon a few years back and we’ve bought them a Camelot filly this year as well.”

He added: “It’s a very strong trade. There are some lovely horses. Goffs have done a wonderful job again. We’re very lucky – the clients have put good faith in us to buy horses and there seems to be a great appetite around.”

Alice Fitzgerald and Mike Doyle following the sale of their Kodiac colt for €575,000

American investors partner up

As anticipated, American investment was a key aspect to the sale, with at least 42 yearlings signed down to such buyers. The list included one of the most desirable lots of the day in a Sea The Stars daughter of the Listed-placed Zvarkhova for whom Hugo Merry went to €460,000 on behalf of a partnership between Andrew Rosen, LNJ Foxwoods and Gainesway Farm.

Bred and sold by Paddy Burns’ Loughtown Stud, the filly is out of a half-sister to the durable Group 3 winner GM Hopkins and to the dam of the Prix de Diane runner-up La Parisienne.

“She’s for Andrew Rosen, LNJ Foxwoods and Gainesway Farm,” said Merry. “There are a lot of people partnering at the moment and with the exchange rate, the Americans I think are finding it very easy to buy – I looked up at the board at around €440,000 and it was more or less $440,000.

“She’s a very athletic, quality filly who doesn’t look as if she’ll take much time. And there’s a nice update under the second dam [La Parisienne was recently a close third in the Prix Vermeille]. I don’t know who will train her but she’ll go to Jane Allison for pre-breaking.”

Having come off second best on the €2.6 million sister to Blackbeard on Tuesday, Goffs’ American representative Jacob West also had better luck in his pursuit of a smart first-crop representative of Ten Sovereigns.

The colt, whose dam Indigo Butterfly is a Le Havre relation to Godolphin’s current Group 1 filly With The Moonlight, had been one of his sire’s highlights last winter when sold in this ring for €130,000 to Ger and Brendan Morrin’s Pier House Stud. He evidently did extremely well physically over the winter and thus the Morrin brothers enjoyed a memorable windfall on Wednesday evening, with the colt falling to West at €500,000 following a protracted tussle with MV Magnier.

“He’s for Robert and Lawana Low to race in the US,” said West. “Ten Sovereigns was an extremely fast horse. He’s a son of No Nay Never, who is a son of Scat Daddy. He’ll be trained by Todd Pletcher and Todd trained Scat Daddy, so it’s nice that there’s a bit of continuity there. We had a lot of appreciation for Scat Daddy when he was standing in America.

“Mr and Mrs Low took a big swing at the sister to Blackbeard and unfortunately we didn’t get her. This horse was incredibly good looking – I told them that he was late in the day and was probably going to be expensive.”

He added: “I’m the US representative for Goffs and I tell everybody that this is an incredible place to buy a very nice horse for a solid number. You’re never going to overpay for a horse that will be substandard. They’re raised right here by the breeders and it seems that if they bring the right horses, then they get well rewarded. It’s a win for everybody.

“The exchange rate has helped us. Last year we were up against it a little bit but this year it’s in our favour. When you’re getting deeper on those horses and its dollar for dollar, then it makes life a little bit easier.”

Another American-based agent to make his presence felt was Justin Casse, who signed at €450,000 for Marlhill House Stud’s Galileo colt out of Belesta. The colt is a brother to Scandinavian champion Giuseppe Piazzi but also a three-parts brother to the Group 3-placed Old Glory, for whom Casse signed at €1.6 million on behalf of Zayat Stables at this sale in 2017.

“I don’t know where the horse is going yet,” said Casse. “I’m familiar with the family and he was a talented individual, and Kenny McPeek bought last year’s yearling out of the mare [for €900,000]. There’s money for horses at all levels – the sale seems very strong.”

Other American buyers to come away with purchases during the two days included Marc Holliday’s Blue Devil Racing LLC, Marquee Bloodstock, Stripes Stable, Top Line Sales, Bo Bromagen, Ben McElroy, Stonestreet Farm, Team D, Mike Akers, Jason Taylor, DJ Stable, Eclipse Stables, Niall Brennan and Clay Scherer.

Chapple-Hyam to train Saffron Beach sibling

Jane Chapple-Hyam, meanwhile, will take charge of the New Bay brother to her stable star Saffron Beach following his sale for €450,000 to Amanda Skiffington, acting on behalf of owner Fiona Carmichael.

Saffron Beach was already highly accomplished at the time of the catalogue’s publication as the winner of five races including the Sun Chariot and Duke Of Cambridge Stakes. However, the popular mare has enhanced her record significantly since then thanks to a victory in the Prix Rothschild and runner-up effort in the Matron Stakes. She is currently a 6/4 shot to successful defend her title in Saturday’s Sun Chariot Stakes at Newmarket.

The pair were bred by the China Horse Club out of Falling Petals, a Raven’s Pass half-sister to the dam of Cotai Glory. He was sold through Ballylinch Stud, which boards a number of the China Horse Club’s Irish-based mares.

“He’s very, very like Saffron Beach,” said Skiffington. “I see a lot of Jane Chapple Hyam so I’ve seen a lot of the filly. This colt will go to Jane too for Fiona Carmichael and her partner. He’s a very athletic horse, he’s just so like his sister, and he’s got the pedigree too so fingers crossed.”

This New Bay colt will join his sister Saffron Beach in Jane Chapple-Hyam’s stable. Photo – Goffs

To the point

A warm reception to Darley’s young sire Blue Point was headlined by the sale of a half-sister to Listed winner Archer’s Dream from Rory Mahon’s Mountain View Stud for €420,000 to MV Magnier.

Inbred 3×3 to Royal Applause, she is the fifth foal out of four-time winner Badr Al Badoor, an Acclamation half-sister to Profitable.

With an average of €156,000 for ten sold, Blue Point ended the two days as the sale’s leading first-crop sire. Inns Of Court, who returned an average of €128,333 off a €7,500 fee, wound up in second ahead of Ten Sovereigns on €118,800.

Among the established sires, No Nay Never deserves special mention thanks to an average of €261,227 as does Night Of Thunder, who fired in an average of €174,556 off a 2020 fee of €25,000. His draft was buoyed by the presence of three fillies who sold for €525,000, €350,000 and €340,000.

The BBA Ireland was leading buyer thanks to the purchases of 26 yearlings worth €4,464,000 while Glenvale Stud reigned as leading vendor thanks to the sale of 21 lots for €4,736,000.