The Tattersalls Ireland Ascot March Sale got 2017 off to a strong start at the Ascot sales venue with an impressive set of returns produced for the first sale of the year. The decision to strategically place the sale the week after the Cheltenham Festival and to consolidate the sales previously held in February and April proved be a fruitful one with the aggregate resulting in £972,300, the median finishing on £4,500 and an impressive average of £8,171.
A golden opportunity arose for the bloodstock industry to gain a much sought after individual when the Godolphin consigned LOST DIAMOND (Lot 77) entered the sales ring. A daughter of Dubawi and a half-sister to Group 2 Great Voltigeurwinner CENTENNIAL and Listed winner SIREN'S SONG, the three-year-old filly proved popular among agents around the ring but it was Johnny McKeever of McKeever Bloodstock who signed the £70,000 docket and indicated that the filly will now travel to Australia.
Agent Tom Malone, who was active at the Cheltenham Festival Sale last week, also made his presence felt at Ascot today when purchasing five lots for a total of £154,000. The most expensive of his purchases was Lot 121, SCORPION SID. The son of Scorpion displayed an eye-catching performance on his debut to finish second behind Western Honour (sold for £120,000 at last week's Cheltenham Festival Sale) in a five-year-old maiden. Offered by Newlands Farm, the gelding was secured by Malone for trainer Jamie Snowden for £50,000.
The next three top lots were also purchased by Malone; Lot 80, DELFACE, a winner over hurdles just last week for Liz Doyle, was knocked down for £30,000. The Godolphin consigned MARIAN HALCOMBE, an unraced daughter of Bernardini was purchased for £30,000 and Lot 138, COCKLE BAY, the five-year-old was a winner at the Pigeons and offered by Colin Bowe's Milestone Stables was knocked down to Malone and Lucinda Russell for £28,000.
Godolphin, consistently the leading Ascot Sale consignors ,again produced the leading draft at this venue when selling 26 lots for a total of £329,100 at an average of £12,658.
At the conclusion of the sale, Director of Horses in Training Sales at Tattersalls Ireland, Richard Pugh commented;
"The decision to consolidate the Ascot February and April Sales and strategically position the Ascot March Sale to the week after the Cheltenham Festival has proven to be the right one and the new date has been very well supported by vendors. The success of today's sale, which saw robust demand for Point to Pointers and the expected and anticipated trade for the exclusive draft from Godolphin, has demonstrated again that Ascot is a viable alternative for all categories of bloodstock. Today's sale has produced positive statistics with 13 horses selling for £20,000 or more and we now look forward to the Tattersalls Ireland Ascot Breeze-Up Sale on 4 and 5 April which saw the aggregate increase by 120% in 2016."