There was a glimpse into what the future holds for the North American market in the Canadian Premier Yearling Sale, Canada’s flagship yearling event that is staged annually at Woodbine racetrack.
With a smaller catalogue, there was always going to be the threat of a drop in turnover and that played out, as total sales diminished by 12% from last year to C$2,795,300 for 142 yearlings sold. The average also took a hit, falling by nine per cent to C$19,685, although that figure reflects well against 2018, when 152 horses averaged C$18,532.
Also missing were the usual handful of six-figure lots, with a transaction of C$90,000 enough to secure top billing compared to C$240,000 12 months ago.
What was encouraging, however, was the level of actual trade. The clearance rate of 72% was a major improvement on 2019, when 64% of horses found new homes in the ring. In addition, there was a 11.5% rise in the median price to C$14,500.
The sale’s highlight came early on into the session when John di Sciola paid C$90,000 for a son of leading Canadian sire Old Forester from Bernard McCormack’s Cara Bloodstock. A half-brother to three winners, the colt is out of the stakes-placed Smarty Jone mares Holidaysatthefarm.
John Sikura’s Hill ’n’ Dale Sales Agency, which maintains a major presence in both Kentucky and Canada, supplied each of the other three lots to break the C$80,000 barrier. They were led by a daughter of Kentucky sire Mr. Speaker, who realised C$82,000 to owner Jim Menzies of Piano Bar Racing, and a colt by veteran Canadian champion Langfuhr, who made the same amount to owner Derek Chin.