TATTERSALLS ended its 250th anniversary year on a high at the December Breeding Stock Sale in Newmarket last week when recording a total annual turnover of 265 million guineas, a record for Europe’s leading auction house.

It was Hazariya (headline photo), the dam of this season’s Epsom and Irish Derby winner Harzand, that proved to be the highlight of the four-day Mare Sale when the 14-year-old daughter of Xaar was knocked down for 2,000,000 guineas to a partnership of M.V. Magnier and Mayfair Speculators. Sheikh Fahad bin Hamad Al Thani was the underbidder.

Offered from Andreas Jacobs’s Newsells Park Stud, Hazariya has already produced four stakes performers including Harzand, and was a Group 3 winner herself when in training with John Oxx for the Aga Khan. In foal to Invincible Spirit, she is now set to be covered by Galileo next season.

With prospective purchasers flying in from all four corners of the world vying to securesome of the best mares for sale at public auction with top quality draughts from Juddmonte and Godolphin as well, competition proved to be high all around. This time it was for Eblouissante, a half-sister to the history making mare Zenyatta.

Bought by Jane Lyon of Summer Wind Farm for 1,1 million guineas, the seven-year-old mare was consigned by The National Stud in foal to Dansili. Also a half-sister to three-time Grade 1 winner Balance, Eblouissante has a colt foal by Oasis Dream. She will now join a broodmare band that also includes Littleprincessemma, the dam of 2015 Triple Crown winner American Pharoah.

M.V. Magnier and Mayfair had also been in the news a few days earlier when securing the top price at the Foal Sale when signing for a filly by Dansili out of Group 3 winner and Epsom Oaks and Coronation Cup third High Heeled for 600,000 guineas. They ended the session with two purchases for a total of 940,000 guineas.

The yearling section of the auction was also subject to high demand, with a colt by Frankel topping the session for 250,000 guineas when sold to Charlie Gordon-Watson from Highclere Stud.

With 159 fewer lots offered in comparison to the 2015 December Sale, this unsurprisingly led to a lower turnover of 79,655,050 for the whole session. The average of 50,865 guineas was also slightly down from last year, as was the median at 22,000 guineas.

Tattersalls Chairman Edmond Mahony said afterwards,“Although we can reflect on a successful and historic year, we are also mindful that there are sectors of the market which are facing major challenges. This time last year we reflected on the significant rise in the number of horses catalogued and offered at Tattersalls and the inevitable impact at the lower end of the market.

This year we have endeavoured to manage the numbers in both the October Yearling Sale and the December Foal Sale more carefully, and clearance rates held up remarkably well, but this only masks the reality that demand in the lower tiers of the market is well below the level of supply. This is an issue we must all face together.”

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