15th Nov 2012
In 2010 we announced our fees in early October and were first out. We said we wouldn’t let that happen again, so this year we waited until November 3rd and we were still one of the first out in what is becoming quite a game of chicken! Rather than finding our prices undercut, we’ve actually noticed some inflation, and thus can justifiably declare that our stallions represent outstanding value.
Born To Sea becomes the seventh son of Invincible Spirit to retire to stud and we wish our Rathasker neighbours all the best with this handsome prospect. There are new horses on many farms, and hints that the bloodstock production cycle may have turned another corner. Some of the recent sales were reminiscent of olden days. New investors have a dramatic effect on the market as their bids can be multiplied in drawing other new investors to follow in and old investors to regain confidence. Whether all this is healthy or whether it all ends in tears is a debate for another day. Check back in a decade or so for the result.
In Kentucky we saw a mare sell at auction for $10,000,000 and many more in seven figures. The entrance fee for a Group or Grade 1 mare is over $4 million. These trophy assets have been resilient throughout the recent economic upheaval. It makes you wonder why filly foals and yearlings lag behind the colts in purchase price terms when sold as racing prospects even though the potential jackpot is greater than that for a moderate colt.
Indian Charlie, the satirical “fact” sheet published around the Keeneland sales, danced gleefully over the financial misfortunes of Rob Whiteley and Jim Squires, both of whom had dispersals at the Sale. This is a reminder that markets have no memory and the trading game is merciless. While we may be at a turning point, each situation will have its own twists.