The Flat season ended on a high at the QIPCO British Champions Day on 20th October. John Gosden’s trio of winners showed the class of his operation. With two winners already set to stand in Great Britain in 2019 in Cracksman and Roaring Lion, the omens for British breeding and racing look as strong as ever. Stradivarius’ win in the Long Distance final underlined the horses’ stamina in more ways than one having secured the first £1 million Weatherbys Hamilton Stayers Bonus and notching up five wins in the season.
With Prince Khalid Abdullah’s sensational filly Enable’s second Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe win, albeit by a smaller margin, the master of Clarehaven Stables richly deserved his Champion Trainer title.
The 2018 Investec Derby was fittingly won by Godolphin’s homebred son of New Approach, Masar, who sadly missed the rest of the season but is set to return to the track as a four year old.
The 2017/2018 National Hunt season saw the big Irish battalions go head to head and register numerically significant winners both in Britain and Ireland. At the 2018 Cheltenham Festival the Irish trained winners far outnumbered the home side, a trend which looks set to continue. Fortunately Colin Tizzard and Nicky Henderson kept the flag flying in the shape of Native River and Altior winners of the Timico Gold Cup and Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase respectively.
Tattersalls Ireland and Goffs UK boutique NH sales after racing continued to register strong trade, as the appetite for proven young NH horses and the FBA federation of
bloodstock agents quicker return on investment that they promise continues apace.
For NH Breeders and producers, the Industry has stepped up its investment in support for NH mares and the significant prize money bonuses on offer should boost their appeal to both owners and trainers as the British MOPS Scheme extends its reach to older horses next season.
Tattersalls Yearling Sales posted another record year on top of the successes of 2017. The highlight of Book One was the 3.5 million guinea sale of the Dubawi Colt out of Dar Re Mi, consigned by Watership Down Stud, and full-brother to the subsequent Dubai Dewhurst winner Too Darn Hot. He was far from alone in passing the million guinea figure with 14 yearlings topping a million guineas and a staggering 59 yearlings breaking the 500,000 guineas barrier.
The aggregate for the cumulative October Sales recorded 162,731,400 Million guineas up 3% on 2017, and a record sum for a seventh consecutive year. 2018 had also seen Tattersalls make considerable investment in the facilities at Park Paddocks and this was welcomed by vendors and purchasers alike.
There was a similar record breaking story at Goffs UK in 2018. Their Premier Yearling Sales saw a new top price of £380,000 for Newsells Park Stud’s Gleneages colt, whilst the sales hosted an international clientele and posted an impressive clearance rate of 89% with thirty-seven yearlings sold for in excess of six figure sums.
Tattersalls Breeding stock sales, the traditional end of season sale, saw strong trade continue. Without the stand out dispersal sales of 2017, the appetite to invest at the highest level continued unabated. The aggregate for the four day mares sale totalled 60,712,100 guineas, with 728 lots sold at an average of 83,396 guineas and a median of 20,500.
Tattersalls reported that the results had been boosted by the huge number of overseas buyers with the top 20 lots selling to buyers from Britain, Ireland, China, Dubai, France, Japan, Kuwait and the USA. The strong Australian and New Zealand contingent also made its presence felt.