The best was saved until nearly last at the Goffs Orby Sale on Wednesday as MV Magnier went to a sale-topping €1.85 million for a Frankel relation to Kingman from Camas Park Stud.
The filly in question was bred by Ben Sangster out of Multilingual, a daughter of Dansili acquired by the breeder through his son Ollie for $525,000 at Keeneland in November 2019. As a half-sister to the outstanding miler and sire Kingman from the family of Oasis Dream, she would have been a fine addition to any elite broodmare band and indeed she went on to make a swift start at stud as dam of the Group 1-placed Tilsit, the first of three foals she left behind for her breeder Juddmonte.
“We have a long history with the Sangster family and in recent years we’ve been very lucky buying off Ben, including with Luxembourg,” said Magnier after outbidding Kieran Lalor. “I’m delighted for Ben and all the guys who brought her to the sale.
“She’s a very nice filly, her sire Frankel is doing exceptionally well and she’s very well bred. She really has everything, so let’s hope she turns out to be a good one.”
All told, 433 lots (87%) sold during the two sessions for a total turnover of €53,645,500 (+7% from 2022), an average of €123,893 (+2%) and median of €85,000 (-2%).
“That Orby is a world class yearling sale has never been in doubt and the last two days has proved the point again,” commented Goffs Group CEO Henry Beeby. “What we strive to do though is to grow and evolve with each year as it is imperative that Goffs is the first choice for increasing numbers of the top yearlings in Ireland as that is our raison d’être. Every spring we travel the length and breadth of the country, and further, discussing, inspecting and selecting with leading breeders. We know there are alternatives so it means a huge amount to us when we are chosen to handle the sale of any stand out yearling.
“So our evolution takes many forms and this year, of course, it has featured the introduction of the Goffs Two Million Series which has undoubtedly caught the imagination of buyers for its depth and diversity. Combine that with a catalogue full of real athletes, and many blue-blooded pedigrees, and we have seen a two-day trade of real strength across the board. As is sometimes the case it seems that there was a greater concentration of the stand outs on the second day this year which has led to statistics that have almost completely flipped from last year. However, we judge the sale in totality and have been pleased to return figures that that have improved on last year’s superb sale which grew by 24% following a remarkable recovery in 2021. In summary Orby is once again consistently delivering for vendors and purchasers.
“Selling the best is important so it has been especially pleasing to see the top of the market particularly vibrant as evidenced by the increased numbers of six figure, two hundred and fifty thousand, half million and seven figure lots. The average has advanced again and the median is the second best on record whilst a clearance rate of 87% tells us that vendors and purchasers are aligned in their assessments.
“A world class catalogue deserves global attention, so we have been delighted to welcome a huge buying contingent from so many countries following another proactive campaign from the Goffs Purchaser Recruitment Team, our international agents and the team at ITM. Of course, I must single out our friends from across the Atlantic who have made the trip in even bigger numbers this year. What a joy they are to have on site and we wish them well with their many Orby purchases.
“Finally I repeat our thanks to every vendor who has supported the sale as we are truly nothing without their horses and can’t do anything without them. At the same time, we are indebted to all our buyers and look forward to cheering their purchases into the winners’ enclosure in 2024 and beyond.”
Saffron Beach sister commands €1.65 million
On a day when fillies with serious residual value took centre stage, asister to Saffron Beach added a dose of millionaire excitement midway through Wednesday’s session when commanding €1.65 million.
In what was a protracted bidding duel overseen by auctioneer Henry Beeby, Amanda Skiffington, standing with owner Fiona Carmichael on the balcony, overcame the Godolphin team and then finally Al Shira’aa Farms’ Kieran Lalor for the filly, who was sold by Ballylinch Stud on behalf of her breeder the China Horse Club.
Skiffington purchased the filly’s year-older brother for €450,000 at this sale last year and it was that familiarity with the family that aided the decision to try so hard for the latest sibling this time around.
“Her pedigree is fantastic, she’s beautiful and we have the brother, who looks like he could be quite good,” said Skiffington. “We hoped we wouldn’t have to go that far but we knew we had to be brave and Fiona is a brave lady. She’s a collector’s item and rather special to breed from later on. She’s another Signe, a potential foundation mare.”
Signe, a Sea The Stars half-sister to the Group 1 winners Together Forever and Forever Together, was bought for €1.1 million by Skiffington from Ballylinch Stud at this sale in 2014. She went on to win her first three starts and is now a valued member of Carmichael’s broodmare band.
It was a result that vindicated the decision of the China Horse Club to send the filly to Goffs rather than Newmarket. The operation paid €235,000 for her dam Falling Petals, a winning Raven’s Pass relation to Cotai Glory, at the 2016 Goffs November Sale and having supported New Bay in his first season at stud, proceeded to breed the Sun Chariot Stakes and Prix Rothschild heroine Saffron Beach out of her.
“It’s a fantastic sale, every time we come here Goffs deliver,” said China Horse Club’s Matt Houldsworth. “We weren’t sure she’d make quite that much although we were hoping for seven figures. She’s an outstanding individual by a sire who is really on the up.”
Meanwhile, Godolphin’s welcome return to the buying fray at Goffs continued in earnest with the purchase of Philipp Stauffenberg’s Kingman colt for €650,000.
The colt was widely anticipated to be one of the highlights of the day, if not the sale overall, primarily on account of his foal price tag of €550,000, given by Stauffenberg at Goffs last November on behalf of his partnership of high-rolling investors. As that valuation suggests, however, the colt also boasts exceptional connections as a half-brother to Moyglare Stud Stakes winner Skitter Scatter and Godolphin’s Listed scorer Victory Dance. His full-sister Skellet also looks highly promising judged on her recent win at Salisbury while another half-sister, the Grade 3-placed Data Dependant, is the dam of this season’s Belmont Oaks Invitational heroine Aspen Grove.
“He’s a lovely horse by Kingman and obviously we had Victory Dance out of the mare,” said Anthony Stroud after outbidding the Qatar Racing/China Horse Club partnership for the colt. “He was bred by Airlie Stud, which is a great farm. We looked at him as a foal and we debated about buying him then but left him. So it was reassuring that he came back with Philipp Stauffenberg because it meant we could have another chance to look at him. We thought he’d progressed well.”
He added: “Victory Dance is a very different type of horse. This horse has a lot of Kingman in him. I’ve been associated with a few good Kingmans, like Persian King. He’s had another great season this year and as we all know, he’s very capable of siring a brilliant horse.”
Another concerted effort by Goffs to entice American buyers over also appeared to pay off. At least 15 different buying entities made purchases and they included Kim Valerio, who signed with CMNWLTH – a co-owner of Kentucky Derby winner Mage – at €500,000 for a Wootton Bassett colt from Glenvale Stud.
Bred by another American operation in Diamond Creek Farm, the colt is the first foal out of First Flower, an unraced Galileo sister to the Group 1-winning fillies Hermosa and Hydrangea.