Turning a stud farm into a sales complex for a day takes some doing, but Dave Futter and his family and staff have become adept at the art.
For this, the fourth edition of Yorton’s sale of jumping stores, lines of artificial grass walk ways had been laid down, while the usual paraphernalia needed to stage a modern-day auction – including cameras and digital accoutrements to relay live pictures to Goffs UK’s website – were in position. There is also the small matter of a well-stocked bar and plenty of food for the pre-sale party and refreshments on the day, which only adds to the logistical challenges.
With that in mind it was good to see Yorton being well-rewarded with another highly satisfactory sale involving turnover that once again powered into seven figures. Within hours of the sale’s end, and while the final pieces of paperwork were being worked upon, news came through that HM The Queen had died, a sombre note on which to end a buoyant occasion.
Yorton made another small change to this year’s catalogue by restricting it to two-year-olds and omitting yearlings. The goal was the same, to trade young Yorton-bred horses or those bought as foals or yearlings, and then hope buyers will be rewarded either on the racecourse or by pinhooking their purchases as three-year-olds next year.
Results so far have been good and a large audience arrived, including a number of people who are based in France or who hoped to buy and then send their purchases across the Channel, the French racing programme offering plentiful opportunities to three year- old jumpers.
Britain’s new series of juvenile hurdle races is also likely to prove a boost to this sale, and it certainly was in the mind of Gloucestershire trainer Ben Pauling, who purchased no fewer than six of the 41 lots on offer. A total of 36 horses changed hands, a clearance rate of 88 per cent, generating turnover of £1,147,000, a one per cent rise.
The average price of £31,861 and the median of £30,000 were both rises of 15 per cent. Futter noted that turnover would have been even higher but for the eleventh hour withdrawal of a couple of desirable lots by Blue Bresil due to minor knocks, although he will no doubt find homes for them before long.
Teaming up with the Highflyer Bloodstock team Pauling gained the top lot, a £90,000 filly from the family of high-class racemare Bitofapuzzle and sired by Blue Bresil, the Glenview Stud stallion who, as predicted, was to have such an influence on the day’s takings.
One of jump racing’s leading sires – think Constitution Hill and you need think little further – he was represented by 13 lots who had been conceived when he stood at Yorton Stud before moving to the Cashman family’s Glenview Stud.
When buying the top lot Pauling was acting for The Megsons, aka Andrew and Jane of that surname, who, as the Yorton Sale was unfolding, were watching their progressive two-year-old filly Polly Pott land her fourth race in a row when taking the May Hill Stakes at Doncaster for trainer Harry Dunlop. It is ironic that Dunlop should find himself handling such a horse just as he is about to give up training, but in the case of Polly Pott it turns out the beneficiary will be Pauling, a man noted for his skills as a NH trainer, but now with a talented Flat performer to handle next year.
Other Pauling purchases at this sale included a £55,000 son of the German based Protectionist who will also carry The Megsons’ colours. Yorton had bought the gelding for €26,000 at Baden-Baden in October.
Visitors to the sale included Franny Woods, no stranger to Blue Bresil having married into the Cashman family which stands the stallion. Berry was happy to part with £68,000 to gain one of Blue Bresil’s sons who he said will be reoffered next year. Bloodstock agent Tom Malone gained another son of the sire, paying £55,000 on spec, while Joey Logan and Alan Harte, two men who have done well buying three-year old stores and then reselling them after a point-to-point run, gained a £52,000 half-brother to Listed-winning hurdler Midnight Tour by Blue Bresil.
Logan, who bought three horses for £128,000, said he and Harte would be sending their acquisitions to France to take advantage of the racing programme. It seems Britain’s new juvenile hurdle series cannot come quick enough.
Article: The Owner Breeder Magazine Photography: Sarah Farnsworth