Tattersalls Ireland February NH Sale produced solid trade throughout the one-day session, producing the best set of returns on record for a one day sale despite having less horses catalogued than in 2017.
The aggregate increased by 13% to €1,882,794, while the median of €7,500 and average of €11,480 grew by 4% and 17% respectively.
For the second time in three years, Kenilworth House Stud sold the top-priced yearling - this year a Flemensfirth colt out of Erins Stage (King's Theatre), a full-sister to the dual Grade 3 winner Theatre Guide, who sold for €62,000 (Lot 187).
After the sale, Gerry Ross of Kenilworth with Diana Vasicek, said: "We did not enter him for the November NH Sale as he was a May foal, but he has done so well over the winter.
"We bought the grand-dam Erintante out of Francois Doumen's yard and bred this colt's dam Erins Stage and Theatre Guide.
"Erins Benefit, the four-year-old half-sister to this colt, is in pre-training and we will look to run her in a bumper this spring," continued Ross, adding: "The mare is in-foal to Shantou, and will likely be rested for next year."
Purchaser Flash Conroy of Glenvale Stud (pictured below) said: "The colt is a lovely sort. He is by a very good stallion, and out of mare by the good broodmare sire King's Theatre."
The Martaline three-quarters brother to the recent Cleeve Hurdle (G2) winner Agrapart sold for €47,500, bought by Richard Frisby in a private sale (Lot 126).
The April-born colt is out of Agathe Du Berlais, a Poliglote half-sister to Agrapart, and was bred and sold by Patrick Fennessy of Ballinaroone Stud.
"I bought the dam in training in France," said Fennessy. "This foal has been a lovely individual from day one, very straightforward, very athletic."
Agrapart has collected his two Grade 2 victories since the turn of the year, the latter just three days ago.
The mare is due to visit the Annshoon Stud-based stallion Pillar Coral this spring - he is a Zamindar half-brother to Martaline.
The nine-year-old King's Theatre mare Solita fetched €58,000 (Lot 278A). The seven-time winner, Grade 3-placed over hurdles and a winner of the Greenogue Novice Chase (Gr.2) for trainer Paul Nolan, was bought by Rathbarry Stud's Donal White.
White (pictured below) said: "She is a sweet mare and ticked all the right boxes - she has size and scope and was a top-class racemare. I bought her for Rathbarry Stud to go to our new stallion Karpino, he won over seven furlongs and a mile so will inject a bit of speed into the pedigree. She is a good cross for Karpino who is by Cape Cross out of a half-sister to Milan."
At the conclusion of the sale, Managing Director of Tattersalls Ireland Roger Casey commented;
"Following on from the overwhelming trade at the recent November NH Sale, there was an expectation that we would witness a strong edition of the February NH Sale and today's sale met those expectations producing an improved set of statistics from a more condensed catalogue. The turnover is the best on record for a one-day February NH Sale, up 13% on 2017 and the sale also surpassed last year's top price on three occasions and the number of horses fetching €20,000 increased from 17 to 29. We welcomed our usual strong cast of UK clients along with our regular domestic purchasers who contributed to an increased clearance rate of 64% up 12% on last year. With an encouraging start to the sales year at Tattersalls Ireland for 2018, we now look forward to the much anticipated Store Sales Portfolio beginning with the new one-day select May Sale which will take place on Tuesday 15 May. The sale will be catalogued alphabetically by dam and will start with a unique starting letter "S". It will be followed by the market leading Derby Sale, confined to two days - 27 and 28 June with inspections already well underway."