News Newmarket auction gallops to new record

Newmarket auction gallops to new record


The Flat's annual event has lured more buyers keen to pick winners and cash in on stud fees, writes John Murray Brown in FT Weekend.

Flat racing's richest investors spent almost £90m this week snapping up the UK and Ireland's best young horses, praying they might be picking up a future champion, even though none of the animals had yet been saddled, let alone ridden in a race.

Turnover at the Newmarket sales, the big annual European event for yearlings, hit a record for a European bloodstock auction. Nine horses topped the million-guinea mark (at £1.05 to the guinea) and two went for 2.6m guineas, although the average price was slightly down on last year.

Seven of the last 16 Derby winners have been horses sold at Tattersalls' October sale. The sale is a key bench mark for the health of the wider UK horseracing industry, which supports 85,000 jobs and is worth an estimated £3.45bn to the economy.

Buyers go on two clues: bloodlines and look. Weatherbys, the leading pedigree expert, produces a sort of Debrett's of UK and Irish pedigrees for owners and would-be owners.

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