Tattersalls Ireland concluded sales for the 2017/18 season at Cheltenham with an exceptional edition of the May Sale producing a record five lots breaking £200,000 and a further 11 lots making £100,000 or more. The aggregate rose 56% to £3,568,000, the median jumped 8% to £45,000 and the average made huge strides with a 41% increase to finish on £69,961. The clearance rate was 76%.
Leading the way was El Barra (Lot 55 - above), a four-year-old gelding by the French based sire Racinger consigned by Robert Tyner's Leighmoney Stables. Placed 2nd his only start at Dromahane, he was knocked down to Harold Kirk and Willie Mullins for £280,000, a record price for this sale.
Kirk and Mullins were also responsible for the purchase for the next highest price lot; Monkfish, a winner at Stowlin in April for his handler Cormac Doyle. The Stowaway gelding is a half-brother to a dual track winner as well as being out of a daughter to the nine-time winner Martomick and was knocked down for £235,000 (Lot 37).
Run Wild Fred (Lot 44) made his track debut a winning one and this resulted in another six-figure sum at the Cheltenham May Sale. James Doyle consigned the four-year-old under his Baltimore House Stables banner and the gelding was knocked down to Lodge BS for £225,000.
Two further lots broke the £200,000 barrier; Lock's Corner (Lot 25), a 12 length debut winner of the four-year-old Maiden at Dawstown for Colin Bowe was sold to Kieran McManus for £215,000. The Very Man (Lot 22) was offered by Stuart Crawford's Newlands Farm after winning his four-year-old Maiden at Loughanmore. The Jeremy gelding was sold to Gordon Elliott Racing for £210,000.
At the conclusion of the Cheltenham May Sale and the sales season at Cheltenham, Tattersalls Ireland Director of Horses in Training Sales Richard Pugh commented;
"What an exceptional season it has been for Cheltenham Sales. Today's sale has been phenomenal with the record sale of five horses for £200,000 or more and a record price for a horse at this sale of £280,000. But this is the icing on the cake for what has been a momentous year for Cheltenham Sales both in the ring and on the track.
"In the sales ring, Trevelyn's Corn fetched a record price for an Autumn Sale Point to Pointer of £400,000, Lust For Glory wrote herself into the record books for being the most expensive four-year-old mare selling for £240,000 and Dlauro became the highest price five-year-old for a February Sale when selling for £410,000. And to cap it off, an all-time record average was set at the Cheltenham Festival Sale of £158,000.
"On the track, the winners keep coming; Cheltenham Sales recorded six winners at the Cheltenham November meeting, 23 winners over the Festive period and a further eight Festival winners with the highlights coming from Tiger Roll's win in the Aintree Grand National and General Principle's victory in the Irish Grand National.
"We would like to take this opportunity to thank our loyal vendors who have sent us the best horses available and have been rewarded in doing so and to our purchasers who continue to buy the best here at Cheltenham which has been backed up by results on the track. We would also like to extend a sincere thank you to the team at Cheltenham Racecourse who in tandem with Tattersalls Ireland continue to provide the market leading sales venue for form horses."