Having profited from a record-breaking year within the sales ring for their point-to-point exports, with over €26 million having been spent on Irish pointers last season, owners and handlers have been digging deep into their wallets throughout a day of very strong trade at the opening session of the Goffs Land Rover Sale as they look to restock their stables for 2020.
Only Highflyer Bloodstock surpassed the sums paid by the Monbeg Stables team of brothers Donnchadh, Sean and Cormac Doyle. That Wexford outfit parted with €938,000 to purchase a total of 22 horses for an average price of €42,636.
Chief amongst their purchases was lot 74 a Flemensfirth gelding that was consigned by Peter Nolan Bloodstock. The bay gelding is the first produce out of the Presenting mare Autumn Hill a horse that picked up black type when second in the Grade 3 Buck House Novices’ Chase.
Coastal Path is a stallion that Donnchadh Doyle in particular has enjoyed good success with, saddling three of his off-spring to win four-year-old maidens, including Faivoir at Fairyhouse in April. It is no surprise that he acquired one of the three Coastal Path three-year-old’s that were offered in the day one catalogue, going to €80,000 for the French bred Guily Billy (lot 31).
In all, the Monbeg team bought eight horses for prices of €50,000 or more, with Flemensfirth and Shantou proving to be their most popular stallions, buying three youngsters by both sires.
That spending marks a significant increase in activity within the sales ring for the Wexford trio, having almost doubled their spending on the corresponding day 12 months ago, when they had bought 12 horses for €514,000.
Colin Bowe surpassed the Monbeg top purchases when he went to €155,000 to buy a Flemensfirth gelding (lot 162) that was consigned by Ballincurrig House Stud. The bay gelding is out of a French-bred Poliglote mare that is an own-sister to Listed winner Lucky To Be and closely related to the former Champion Chaser Master Minded.
Lot 162, the son of @coolmorestud Flemensfirth, from the family of multiple Gr1 winner Master Minded, sells to @colinboweracing Milestone Bloodstock. Consigned by Ballincurrig House Stud pic.twitter.com/Q9P7wPbWww— Goffs (@Goffs1866) June 11, 2019
That six-figure sum marks one of the biggest prices that he has paid for a store, and he added to his purchases with a further 12 buys for a cumulative spend of €751,000.
This included four horses that he signed for alongside fellow Wexford handler Denis Murphy, as well as a Shantou gelding (lot 88) that he bought for €55,000 with Jim O’Neill, the brother of reigning champion rider Barry.
Wexford handlers were out in force restocking for the new four-year-old season, as Matthew Flynn O’Connor, who sent out the impressive Getaway John to win on debut at Borris House in March, signed for three lots under his Ballycrystal Stables, including lot 251 a Gentlewave gelding that he gave €38,000 for.
James and Ellen Doyle’s Baltimore Stables parted with €28,000 for a Beat Hollow gelding (lot 163) and €40,000 for a Fame and Glory gelding (lot 69), whilst Richard Black gave €62,000 for a Flemensfirth gelding (lot 274) from Walshtown Stables.
The buying bench of point-to-point owners and handlers was certainly expansive, as Paul Holden and Michael Shefflin bought six horses for a combined spend of just under a quarter of a million euro, Aidan Fitzgerald acquired two horses headed by a €36,000 Westerner, Virginia Considine bought three horses including a €60,000 Martaline gelding Prince Des Malvaux (lot 131), whilst Robert Tyner bought a Califet gelding for €42,000 from Galbertstown Stud.
Stuart Crawford, Patrick Turley, Mark O’Hare, Paul Pierce, Peter Flood, Terence O’Brien, Ian Ferguson, Gerry Mangan, Derek O'Connor and Pat Collins were among the other point-to-point figures buying on the afternoon.
Following the record opening day of the Land Rover Sale, Goffs Group Chief Executive Henry Beeby said:
“Extraordinary. That was the way we summed up this day 12 months ago when the Land Rover record was broken on three occasions headed by an amazing high of €325,000. Against that background, never mind the ongoing political uncertainties and several other factors, it was always going to be a stretch to get close to the 2018 record breaking stats especially when this year’s top price would only have come in at number six at Land Rover 18.
“So for the average to have held steady at €48,386 and to have returned a median price that has risen by 18% to a staggering €45,000 is an incredible achievement and points to a sale of extraordinary depth, quality and consistency, the like of which is simply unprecedented at any sale. This amazing figure flows from a massive clearance rate of 91% whilst the number of six figure transactions grew again and those realising €50,000 or over advanced by 30 to a stunning 103.
“These results are only possible with the help of several groups. The vendors trusted us with a catalogue of unparalleled quality that appealed to the biggest group of buyers ever to have descended on Kildare Paddocks for a NH sale so we thank both sides of the auction equation most sincerely and then salute the superb graduates of previous Land Rover Sales that included 10 individual Grade 1 winners in the past season so cementing the sales reputation for market leading success”.