TRC’s weekly industry digest - a round-up of international racing news from the past week.
Bold Phoenix ‘a revelation in the sale ring’
Europe: Trade across the two days of the Goffs Orby Sale posted considerable increases in turnover, average and median over last year and a total clearance rate of 89 per cent.
Henry Beeby, group chief executive of Goffs, had remarked beforehand that the Irish auction house had made a conscious decision to “tighten the catalogue numbers to really focus on quality” this year. The resulting figures proved the high-end strategy to be appropriate: a €43.4 million turnover was almost €3 million up on the 2017 figures, while the average lot of €132,948 and median sale of €80,000 were 22 and 23 per cent up when compared to last year.
A superb first day’s turnover was 14 per cent up on last year despite almost 30 less horses being offered. The star attraction was Glenvale Stud’s Galileo filly, a sister to Coolmore’s treble G1 winner Alice Springs, who sold for €2 million to Phoenix Thoroughbreds.
That not-insignificant sum was, however, eclipsed just 24 hours later when the same operation purchased the Galileo own-sister to 2018 Epsom Oaks winner Forever Together for a price of €3.2 million. The show-stopping top lot, consigned by Ballylinch Stud on behalf of breeders Vimal and Gillian Khosla, made history in becoming the highest priced filly ever sold at Goffs, and the highest priced yearling anywhere this year.
Beeby enjoyed the “amazing couple of days” that he believed had set “unprecedented heights with a trade that was simply extraordinary”. He paid tribute to leading buyers Phoenix Thoroughbreds who he thought were a “revelation in the sales ring” with their “bold bidding”.
Introducing the G1 Vertem Futurity
Europe: Vertem Asset Management is the new title sponsor of Doncaster’s juvenile G1 over a mile, formerly known as the Racing Post Trophy. The race will be known as the Vertem Futurity Trophy.
The Stockbroking firm is run by Yorkshire-based financier John Dance, who owns several horses, including 2018 Prix Saint-Alary and the Prix de Diane winner Laurens.
The change in headline sponsor follows a 30-year deal with the Post. The Vertem Futurity Trophy is the last G1 of the British flat season and takes place this year on October 27.
Another U.S. deal for William Hill
North America: UK bookmaker William Hill has entered into a long-term agreement with gaming company Golden Entertainment to manage its racing and sports betting operations in Nevada, Montana and Maryland.
The two parties already have an existing partnership in Nevada, and the expanded deal will see the London-based company begin operating Golden Entertainment’s additional Nevada race and sports books by December, subject to regulatory approval.
Hills is the only operator taking bets in all states where full sports betting is legal, which chief executive Philip Bowcock believes shows “shows the benefits of our flexible business model” and is “another important milestone for our U.S. business”.
West Coast to Lane’s End
North America: Lane’s End Farm has announced that West Coast will be added to its stallion roster in Kentucky for 2019. A fee for the 2017 champion 3-year-old male in the U.S. has not yet been announced.
The son of Flatter won six of nine starts during his 3-year old season, including G1s the Travers and the Pennsylvania Derby. He was purchased for $425,000 by agent Ben Glass from Hermitage Farm’s consignment to the 2015 Keeneland September Yearling Sale.
“West Coast is a champion out of a champion,” said Will Farish, of Lane’s End. “Not only has he proven that he’s an exceptional racehorse, but he descends from the A.P. Indy sire line, out of a champion mare, picked out by a highly respected judge.”
Kitten’s Joy’s Taareef to stand in Normandy
Europe: French miler Taareef has been retired from racing and will join the roster at Haras du Mezeray in Normandy next year.
A $675,000 Keeneland September yearling purchase on behalf of Shadwell in 2014, Taareef was a talented 2-year-old, unbeaten in two starts. Campaigned by Jean-Claude Rouget, the colt never won a G1, although he landed several black-type races, such as the G3 Prix Daphnis and G2 Prix Daniel Wildenstein, beating several G1 winners and establishing himself as a high-class performer.
The son of Kitten’s Joy becomes the second offspring of the in-form Kentucky stallion – as highlighted by Charles Hayward here last week - to stand in Europe after Bobby’s Kitten joined Lanwades Stud in Newmarket. A fee for Taareef will be announced at a later date.
New Secretariat tribute
North America: It has been confirmed that a life-plus-half size bronze sculpture of Secretariat will be erected in the centre of the roundabout at the intersection of Old Frankfort Pike and Alexandria Drive in Lexington.
The monument is scheduled to be completed and installed in the autumn of 2019. Commissioned by the Triangle Foundation, the sculpture will depict the 1973 Triple Crown champion running in the Kentucky Derby with jockey Ron Turcotte aboard.
Kate Chenery Tweedy, daughter of Secretariat’s owner, Penny Chenery, will join artist Jocelyn Russell for a public unveiling of a maquette on October 12, the opening night of the tenth annual Secretariat Festival. Tweedy said the statue was one of the last projects approved by her mother before she died last year.