Siyouni filly on top at Goffs UK

4 min read

Courtesy of TDN Europe/Chris McGrath

A Siyouni (Fr) filly took top spot at the Breeze-Up Sale staged by Goffs UK at Doncaster on Thursday. Presented by Mick Murphy and Sarah O’Connell of Longways Stables, lot 112 became the most expensive flat horse ever sold by the hosts at £450,000.

The filly's new owner, Sheikh Nasser bin Hamad al Khalifa, was represented by Anthony Stroud, who eventually saw off ardent opposition from inside the Blandford Bloodstock office above the ring. Stroud was standing with Simon Crisford, who will train the filly.

“I’m shell-shocked,” Murphy admitted. “We knew the vibes were good. We knew all the good judges were on her, the last couple of days. And we knew she’d done the fastest gallop-out. But we didn’t see that coming!”

Watch: Lot 112 Breeze

This touch was especially welcome to a couple who have a wedding to pay for in July, besides having celebrated the birth of their second child 16 weeks ago. “Plus we’ve sold my place and built a brand new yard, so we’ve spent a lot the last year,” Murphy said. “But we’ve a great set-up now down at Ardmore in Co Waterford, just half a mile from the sea. This filly was down at the beach last week, it’s a great place to take young horses.”

"We’ve a great set-up now down at Ardmore in Co Waterford, just half a mile from the sea." - Longways Stables' Mick Murphy

Cable Bay In High Demand

Ross Doyle gave £200,000 for lot 77, a Cable Bay (GB) colt found here last August for just £38,000 by Willie Browne's Mocklershill. He’ll be trained by Richard Hannon.

“We thought he was the stand-out colt of the sale,” Doyle said. “He did a very nice breeze, showing a good action and a good attitude, and obviously comes from an extremely good home. Willie has been in this business for a very long time, and has sold us the likes of Ventura Storm (Ire) (Zoffany {Ire}) and Emerald Commander (Ire) (Pivotal {GB}). So the stars aligned, really, and the client was happy to push the boat out a bit to buy a nice horse.”

“We thought he was the stand-out colt of the sale." - Ross Doyle

Cable Bay, who shuttles to Woodside Park, has made a quick start at stud and Doyle added: “Richard’s very happy with the couple that he’s got, including one that finished second in what looked a good maiden at Newbury the other day. He thinks she’s well above average.”

Pleasing Results For Tony 'Tubba' Williams

At the end of proceedings, the decision to streamline the catalogue and postpone the date of the sale by a couple of weeks appeared to have paid off. First and foremost, 111 of the 130 offered (from a catalogue trimmed to 160 from 207) found a new home, representing a healthy 85.4%.

Aggregate turnover of £5,078,250 was understandably down from the £5,528,000 achieved by 138 sales in 2018 (of 182 lots into the ring) but the average advanced to a new high of £45,750 from £40,058 last year; and the median inched up to £26,000 from £25,500.

Anthony Stroud signing for Lot 112, the top lot of the sale

“We came into today’s sale confident we had a good catalogue, following our decision to reduce the numbers and focus on quality,” reflected Goffs UK managing director Tony Williams.

“So to achieve a new record average and top price is very pleasing. We have been well supported by our consignors, who sent us a superb line-up of horses, and demand from buyers from around the world meant we have been able to achieve some outstanding prices.

All images courtesy of Goffs UK