The decline in Maktoum spending at Arqana’s August Yearling Sale need not be a huge setback for European bloodstock according to industry figures at Deauville. Last week, UK Racing Post polled vendors and buyers in the lead-up to what could become a feature of the 2010 sales season.
Paul McCartan, the manager at Croom House Stud, which sold two of the three lots it sent through the ring at Deauville and has six set for the upcoming Doncaster Premier Sale, said the downscaling could attract other buyers to the top level.
While last year’s leading buyer Sheikh Hamdan bought no yearlings and Sheikh Mohammed’s spending was much reduced, one of the key points of Deauville was the increased investment of Sir Robert Ogden.
“Deauville showed that there is still plenty of money around for a nice horse that ticks all the boxes,” McCartan said. “The reduced spending for the Maktoum family was a big talking point from Deauville, but the Maktoums have been terrific supporters of our industry for a long time and everybody has benefitted.
“A staged reduction would be best for everyone and would also mean that other owners might come into the market as they feel they can compete more.
“This is what we can look forward to as we head into Doncaster and the other sales. In the longer term I am hugely optimistic that if we can get through the next few years, our industry will be much healthier through smaller numbers of horses and a greater diversity of buyers.”
Successful pinhooker Willie Browne said: “I was pleasantly surprised with Deauville, I thought trade was good. There were still plenty of people looking to buy horses. It’s an amazing game, there’s always someone new to fill the breech. I’m sure most of the people who bought at Deauville will buy again at Doncaster. Sheikh Hamdan is usually pretty strong at Doncaster and hopefully will be involved again.”
Newsells Park Stud took ten yearlings to France and all sold, one privately, including a Galileo colt for €420,000 and a son of Monsun bought by Juddmonte Farms for €320,000.
Stud manager Julian Dollar said: “If you look at Deauville, on the whole it stood up pretty well. We sold as per expectations really, we finished about 10% above our estimates. I think it would have been unrealistic to expect Deauville not to show a drop in figures.”
As trade levels at last year’s Doncaster Premier Sale (previously the St Leger sale) were at the readjusted level dictated by the current economic climate, Dollar believes that figures at next week’s Premier sale might even improve compared to 2009.
“Doncaster has become a very well-regarded sale for the early two-year-olds. I think it might be up on last year. We have a really nice bunch of horses going there and they should all find homes.”
Access Doncaster Premier yearling sale (August 24 & 25) catalogue below: