Foal from Galileo’s latest crop fetched $1.31 million

Pinhooking triumphs don’t come much more stunning than what happened at Tattersalls’ Craven Breeze-Up Sale on April 17, when Glending Stables’ Galileo colt completed his transformation from a 125,000-gram yearling to a 1 million-gram yearling (US $1,310,000, 1gn = US$1.31) 2 years old.

Once the bidding started it didn’t take long for the price to top the half-million mark, with Chris Wall, race manager, Vandeek ‘s owner KHK Racing, Amo Racing director Kia Joorabchian and the Godolphin purchasing team all appear to still be going strong. Wall was the first to check out, but Joorabchian seemed in no mood to back down.

When Godolphin representative Anthony Stroud indicated a bid of 900,000gns, it appeared Joorabchian had reached his limit.

Tattersalls chairman and auctioneer Edmond Mahony tried to entice a final raise from the group, saying: “You may never get the chance again.” The prompt clearly had the desired effect as they indicated an increase of 50,000gns.

However, Stroud soon returned a bid of his own of 50,000gns to move things into seven-figure territory, at which point a frustrated-looking Joorabchian shook his head and left the ring.

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Roderic Kavanagh is no stranger to success at the Craven Sale, having sold Vandeek for 625,000 grams 12 months ago. However, the magnitude of this transaction was clearly not lost on the man from Glending Stables.

“You start dreaming and the last month has been exciting because you know you have something special,” he said. “We were disciplined all year and didn’t lose our way, but when this horse came up (as a yearling) you felt there was an opportunity to get something unique.”

The colt, bred by Coolmore, is one of only a dozen foals from the last crop of the twelve-time champion sire and is excluded from the list Manderley . This pedigree makes the colt closely related to the named winner Hidden dimples while the mother, who also finished fourth in the One Thousand Guineas (G1) in 2014, is a full sister of Gregorian .

The colt’s improved value was supported, at least in part, by a remarkably fast time on the wind, especially for a son of well-known classical influence. When Stroud was asked if he expected the colt to prove as precocious as his breeze suggested, he said: “Charlie Appleby and the boss will make those calls.”

The colt became the third most expensive breezer sold in Europe and the second most expensive to change hands at the Craven Sale.

Selectivity in the foreground, because numbers deliver mixed messages

Day 2 proved significantly stronger than the opening session, although it was clearly a selective market as evidenced by the 72% overall sell rate.

During the two sessions, 147 lots were offered and 106 sold, raising a total of 14,584,500 gns (US$19,105,695). That figure is a decline of 5% year-on-year, compared to 20 (16%) fewer lots sold. The average price rose 13% to 137,590 grams ($180,243), while the median remained at 80,000 grams ($104,800), the same as 12 months ago.

“There is no shortage of competition, both nationally and internationally, at the top end of the market and a record number of lots have been sold at 500,000 grams or more, but the lower levels of the market have not been able to match the robust demand at the higher side.’ said Mahony.