The Tattersalls February Sale drew to a close within its virtual confines on Friday amid a sense of relief and satisfaction.

The restrictions of Covid prompted the company to switch the two-day sale to an online event, a development that offered its owns challenges as buyers and vendors sought to grapple with the idea of selling through the click of an online button or via a telephone exchange.

As it turned out, however, the lack of a lively sale ring did little to dampen enthusiasm for trade, with 75% of horses listed as changing hands for a total of 2,564,400gns. The average showed only a marginal decrease of 5% to 11,710gns. The median also suffered a soft reduction, falling by 8% to 6,000gns.

At the conclusion of the sale, Tattersalls Chairman Edmond Mahony paid credit to the adaptability of those involved while stressing that it remains the company’s hope that normal service will be resumed for the next sale, the March Sale on March 31 and April 1.

“Not for the first time in recent months the most important message to convey is one of sincere thanks and gratitude to vendors and purchasers alike for responding so positively to changes and disruptions to the traditional Tattersalls sales format,” he said. “The collective support we have received throughout the pandemic continues to be an inspiration and cannot be underestimated.

“This is the first time we have had to utilise the ‘live virtual’ format for a sale at Park Paddocks and, apart from fervently hoping it will be the last time, overall the process has worked very well. Feedback from vendors and purchasers has been overwhelmingly positive with the vast majority of buyers using the live internet bidding platform which served us so well last year.

“Crucially, the quality of the videos and photographs supplied by the vendors has been of a high standard and additional information also available on the Tattersalls website has facilitated the buying process and given the necessary confidence for people to participate from throughout the world. The February Sale has again demonstrated how readily the Tattersalls worldwide client base has embraced our online services and we will be continuing to develop and invest in the Tattersalls online platforms which have served the industry so well in recent times.

“In recognition of the difficulties which we all continue to face under the current lockdown conditions, we will be staging an additional mixed March fixture taking place March 31st and April 1st here at Park Paddocks for which entries are now being taken. At this stage the intention is for the Tattersalls March Sale to take place conventionally, in compliance as ever with any prevailing COVID – related protocols, and timely announcements will be made if it becomes necessary to make any changes to these plans.”

A total of eight horses realised 50,000gns or more led by Beautiful Illusion, a member of the ever popular Godolphin draft who sold to Avenue Bloodstock for 120,000gns on Thursday.

Friday’s trade was headed by the sale of progressive three-year-old Fayathaan for 85,000gns to agent Marco Bozzi.

A winner of three of his ten starts, including his most recent start off a rating of 83 at Wolverhampton for Mark Loughnane, Fayathaan is set for a switch to Italy.

“He going to Italy and to be trained in Milan by Mr Biondi and is for owner Mrs Roveda,” said Bozzi. “This is a nice horse, we vetted him and he ticked all the boxes. He is a good performer, a sharp horse and should suit 7f or a mile in Italy.”

It proved to be profitable exercise for vendor DML Racing who paid 40,000gns for the Mehmas colt at last year’s Tattersalls Autumn Horses in Training Sale.

Meanwhile, a bid of 71,000gns from Richard Hannon was enough for the trainer to keep the 76-rated Clay in the yard. Sold as part of the ongoing Waddesdon Stud dispersal, the son of Sixties Icon has yet to win but has run good seconds on both his starts in novice company at Lingfield since the turn of the year. He will now carry the colours of John Davies, who was a member of the partnership that campaigned Hannon’s 2017 Cumberland Lodge Stakes winner Danehill Kodiac.

“Richard has been very good to us, and Clay will be staying with Richard,” said Davies. “If Clay continues to progress, and becomes the horse that Richard thinks he will, he should make up into a Saturday horse.”

A switch to the US beckons for minor winner At Ease, who was snapped up by Michael Donohoe of the BBA Ireland for 70,000gns out of the Juddmonte Farms draft.

Bred by Lansdowne Thoroughbreds, the daughter of Oasis Dream is out of the top American racemare Jostle and a half-sister to a pair of American Listed winners.

The four-year-old made only four starts for Charlie Hills and won the second of them, a novice at Chelmsford.

“She is for a current client and she is going to race in the US,” he said. “There are no plans regarding trainer as yet. She is lightly raced, she has a US pedigree and her siblings went on from three to four. She looks a good physical, too.”

Donohoe has not personally seen the filly, but said: “Her videos and photos were very good, and Juddmonte, as always, has been very forthcoming with information. You’d always rather see the horse yourself, but we all have to do what we can in current times.”