A remarkable clearance rate of 96 per cent was one of the highlights of a pleasantly surprisingly solid renewal of the Tattersalls July Sale in Newmarket.

The 2020 catalogue will not be remembered as a vintage edition, with its position on the calendar impacted by Covid-19 and the resulting belated start to the season. Nor was there the usual level of international footfall at Park Paddocks; although the sale did attract foreign participation, much business appeared to be done either via an online capacity or through domestic buyers. 

Yet despite all that, trade for what was on offer ran strong. Of the 344 horses offered, 330 were sold for an average of 18,003gns, meaning that only 14 lots failed to change hands. Year-to-year comparisons don’t carry much worth in this instance but it is worth acknowledging that a final median of 10,000gns represented the same level as 2018. 

In all, the sale turned over 5,940,000gns in total sales. A pair of mares offered during the opening session, New Jazz and Kalagia, shared top billing, selling for 130,000gns apiece.

“For a bloodstock sale conducted under normal circumstances to register a clearance rate in excess of 95 per cent is quite an achievement,” said Tattersalls chairman Edmond Mahony. “To do so in the current climate and with the prevailing government travel regulations preventing so many regular buyers from attending this week’s sales is little short of phenomenal.

The Tattersalls July Sale featured a 96% clearance rate. Photo: Tattersalls

“There have been four COVID affected sales which have taken place at Tattersalls in the past three weeks and the clearance rate at every one of them has exceeded 80 per cent. Not for a moment are we pretending that it has been plain sailing at all these sales, but they have all exceeded expectations and have all demonstrated an extraordinary resilience in the face of unprecedented challenges and an enduring appetite for British and Irish bloodstock at all levels of the market.

“Over the two days of the Tattersalls July Sale we have sold horses to buyers from nearly 20 different countries, most of whom have had to explore unconventional ways in which to participate at the sale. Our recently introduced live internet bidding platform has added a new dimension and has been consistently used by international buyers, with many others using the telephone bidding service provided by our team on the ground. 

“While the catalogue may understandably have lacked a little of the usual quality and quantity, demand for horses in training and in particular well-bred fillies and mares has given some cause for encouragement in uncertain times. We must thank vendors and purchasers alike, all of whom have shown a determination to keep the wheels of the industry turning in the face of considerable adversity.”

Jazz Diamond

Blue Diamond Stud has thrown its weight behind its multiple Group 1 winner Decorated Knight since his retirement to the Irish National Stud and the farm added another potential mate to its list in the well-related Scat Daddy mare New Jazz.

With a bid of 130,000gns, Imad Al Sagar’s advisor Tony Nerses was able to secure the winning daughter of Scat Daddy in foal to Harry Angel. Although offered by Godolphin, the mare was actually well known to Nerses, having been on his radar when offered as a Keeneland September yearling back in 2017.

“We always wanted a Scat Daddy!” commented Nerses. “She is a lovely individual, we saw her as a yearling but she was beyond our pocket then [when bought by Godolphin for $550,000]. Glad to get her back now. She is a winner and has a decent page, we are very happy! 

“We hope to cover her with our own stallion Decorated Knight, she should suit him.”

The only mare by Scat Daddy catalogued, Yarmouth winner New Jazz is out of the stakes-placed Seanchai, an English Channel half-sister to the Group 1-placed Traffic Guard.

Decorated Knight carried the colours of Saleh Al Homaizi and Imad Al Sagar to victory in three Group 1 races, including the 2017 Tattersalls Gold Cup and Irish Champion Stakes. His first crop are yearlings of 2020.

New Jazz: set to visit Decorated Knight. Photo: Tattersalls

New Jazz led the way among the ever-popular Godolphin draft, which dominated the consignor standings as the vendor of 42 lots that sold for a total of 1,270,000gns. 

The draft also included Gentlewoman, another in foal to Harry Angel for whom Roger Varian signed at 125,000gns under the name Ebonos.

By emerging broodmare sire Shamardal, the winning Gentlewoman is a half-sister to the Group 2-placed Interlocuter and out of a winning sister to top two-year-old Lujain.

“She is for someone who could not travel due to the current restrictions, and I have just helped out,” said Varian. “It is likely she will be going abroad. She is from a good family.”

Lir sister popular

The 130,000gns mark had previously been reached by Kalagia, a winning sister to Norfolk Stakes winner Prince Of Lir offered by Highclere Stud in foal to their first-year stallion Land Force.

Tim Lane, stud director of The National Stud, signed the ticket on the mare on behalf of a British-based breeder; owner-breeder Michelle Morris later tweeted that the daughter of Kodiac had been bought to join her burgeoning broodmare band.

“I was rung up by a top-class British breeder and asked to bid on their behalf,” said Lane. “I am not sure of plans, but she has an exciting pedigree and obviously Prince Of Lir is flying.”

Kalagia won three races for Mark Johnston prior to changing hands at last year’s Tattersalls December Sale for 55,000gns to Tanner Bloodstock. Since then, her brother Prince Of Lir has made a flying start to his stud career as the sire of Norfolk Stakes winner The Lir Jet. Kalagia is also a half-sister to Listed winner Nitro Boost.

Tim Lane: signed at 130,000gns for the well-related Kalagia. Photo: Tattersalls

Recent winner heads second day

The second and final session consisted of more moderate fare but in keeping with the rest of the sale, the day’s trade produced an exceptional clearance rate.

Recent Lingfield Park scorer Pawpaw led the way, selling out of Clive Cox’s yard for 65,000gns to trainer Paul Webber. Jimmy George, marketing director of Tattersalls, carried out bidding duties and said: “Paul has been up here all week doing the hard yards. He should be a fun dual-purpose type.”