The Goffs Land Rover Sale will proceed next week as planned despite confirming on Friday that overseas buyers will not be able to attend the auction unless they have travelled from a ‘green list’ country or quarantined in Ireland for 14 days before the sale.
Both Goffs and Tattersalls Ireland had been working with Horse Racing Ireland and Irish Thoroughbred Marketing on a joint submission to the Irish government to allow a limited number of key overseas buyers to attend both Irish store sales in a way which was compliant with the country’s government directives.
This submission to the Minister of Agriculture Food and the Marine was made on July 13 and sought to respect the quarantine requirements. After consultation with the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) and in consideration of the deterioration of the Covid-19 situation, current quarantine guidance regarding international travellers will apply for next week’s sale.
That means that buyers from the United Kingdom hoping to be able to travel over for the sale will now be unable to do so.
Goffs Group Chief Executive Henry Beeby said: “Naturally we are disappointed that our submission cannot be implemented at this time as we had worked with HRI on a proposal that was workable but respected current government policy.
“However, we recognise the increasing challenge facing the country and appreciate the difficult decisions facing the government as the country battles this pandemic.
“On behalf of Goffs, I apologise to all our clients who are affected, first and foremost those UK buyers who had accepted the invitation, and our vendors who have supported us with such an outstanding group of horses.
“As we have stated the sale will proceed with detailed social distancing protocols in place. The Goffs team are continuing to proactively promote the sale and will provide as much assistance as possible to any buyer unable to attend by linking them with Irish agents, highlighting those entries that can be viewed online and encouraging the use of Goffs Online to bid.
“We will publish a list of agents who confirm their attendance and are available to act as an inspector whilst we are also available to take phone bids from any potential purchaser.
“As to future sales, we will continue to monitor the situation and look at any and all options as matters eveolve but we would reiterate that the modern day Goffs was set up to provide a world class sales facility in Ireland and to serve the Irish breeder.
“At the same time, we have a superb sales complex in the UK so we have options to serve the industry on both sides of the Irish sea.
“However we feel it would be imprudent to rush in to any finite decisions beyond next week at this stage and we would ask for calm heads and the continued support of our loyal clients as by working together we can deliver the best results for the world class Irish horses so sought after around the world.
“For now, we look forward to next week as we have superb group of horses to offer and we should remember that recent editions of the Land Rover Sale have welcomed over 350 Irish buyers whilst modern technology can allow others to participate. It’s not ideal but nothing is at the moment and the health of the nation must be the priority.”
Brian Kavanagh, HRI Chief Executive added: “Like many other sectors, Covid-19 is having a serious impact on all aspects of our business and the international travel consequences are becoming ever more complicated.
“I wish Goffs well with what will be the first public sale to be held in Ireland since February. While some visitors may not be able to attend in person, the current situation requires us to be as creative as possible and through Irish Thoroughbred Marketing, Horse Racing Ireland will assist Goffs and their international buyers in any way we can.”
The Group 3 Sweet Solera Stakes (7f) is the feature on Newmarket’s eight-race card today and the Richard Hannon-trained Fly Miss Helen will be looking to follow up her debut success at Newbury last month.
By Le Havre, she showed determination to take the lead in that contest in the final 110 yards before staying on comfortably which indicates the step up to the 7f trip will more than be ideal for her.
Her opponents are Coul Queen, Danilova, Dubai Fountain, Mere Green, Seattle Rock, Setarhe, Spirit Of Bermuda and Star Of Emaraaty.
At Haydock today there is the Listed Dick Hern Stakes (1m) and the Group 3 Rose Of Lancaster Stakes (1m2f), which will see Hollie Doyle take the ride on Extra Elusive for owner Imad Al Sagar, who has retained the jockey for his horses.
There are also Flat meetings from Ascot and Cork today while there are jumps fixtures at Uttoxeter and Kilbeggan.