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Bloodstock auction price fall is no reason to panic


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Sovereign wealth dominates the market and is not going to struggle, but the concern is what it means for racing in Britain

For the first time since the socially distanced sales in the autumn of 2020, the key numbers at Tattersalls’ Book 1, Europe’s premier bloodstock auction, last week were all down. Turnover dropped by 24% from last year’s record of 126.7m gns (£132m), to 95.3m gns (£100m), at least in part because the total number of lots sold was down from 424 to 391, but the average and median sale prices were also down, by 18% and 10% respectively, to 243,977 gns (£256k) and 180,000 gns (£189k).

These are still, of course, very big numbers and, in the midst of an ongoing cost-of-living crisis, the average passenger on the Clapham omnibus will not be too concerned that members of the super-rich global elite have not shelled out quite as much on young, untried thoroughbreds as they did 12 months ago. Young horses, in fact, such as Military Leader, a colt by Dubawi and a top-10 lot at last year’s Book 1 costing 1.5m gns (£1.57m), who made his racecourse debut at Newmarket on Saturday in a £5,400 maiden – and beat just one of his eight opponents home.

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