The cumulative average price of $102,220 on 2,744 yearlings rose 17 percent from $87,330 in 2012, and was the third-highest September Sale average ever. Gross sales of $280,491,300 were up 27.6 percent over 2012, the highest since 2008, and 18 individual horses brought $1 million or more, the most since 2008, from 15 different buyers.
“Buyers are responding to a fair, realistic market,” said Geoffrey, Russell, Keeneland’s director of sales. “Given the smaller size of recent foal crops, supply is more in line with demand, spurring competition for horses.”
M.V. Magnier of Irish-based Coolmore Stud purchased the sale-topper, a War Front colt for $2.5 million. Whisper Hill Farm spent $2.2 million for an Indian Charlie filly, who is half-sister to two G1 winners.
“The depth of buyers is the encouraging factor of the sale,” said Peter O’Callaghan of Woods Edge Farm, consignor of the sale-topping $2.5 million colt. “Just the amount of people bidding on your horses is really great to see. We’ve been waiting for it for a while.”
The high volume of trade also pushed the buy-back rate to a low of 19.9 percent, with active buyers from the U.S. and Europe, as well as Russia, Qatar, Japan, Korea, and Central and South America.
Sheikh Hamdan’s Shadwell Estate Company Ltd. ranked as the leading buyer for the second consecutive year, buying 27 yearlings for $11.6 million. Shadwell’s purchases were led by a $1 million Tapit filly consigned by Woods Edge Farm. Tapit, who stands at Gainesway Farm near Lexington, was the sales leading sire by gross with 38 yearlings for a total of $15,670,000, including four which brought $1 million or more.