Sales Reports

Solid trade at the DBS Spring Sales


Total sales report:

Day one - Thomas Barr dispersal tops a day of lively trade at DBS

The first day of the DBS Spring Sales saw a lively day of trade which returned a set of figures that showed increases across the board when compared to the same day in 2010. The aggregate of £2,102,500 was up 35% on last year, whilst the average increased by 5% to £13,741 and the clearance rate was 76%, up from 63% in 2010.

Consigned by Edward O’Grady’s Killeens Stables, Alaivan was sold as the winner of 6 races and was placed third in the Grade 1 Triumph Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival in 2010 before finishing sixth in the Grade 3 Country Hurdle at the same venue earlier this year. He attracted interest from Bobby O’Ryan and Charlie Swan before David Pipe made a play for the five year old but neither had the budget of Enda Bolger who had the final say at £150,000. His future has been undecided but he surely has an exciting career over fences for his new connections.

Dessie Hughes made his presence felt at the sale when buying two high profile horses headed by the Grade 2 winning Hurdler Roberto Goldback. He has also been Grade  1 placed over fences and was in front when unseating his rider in the Grade 1 Guinness Gold Cup at the Punchestown Festival earlier this month. Shirley Casper was the next horse in to the ring and Hughes was successful once again when buying the Grade 2 winning daughter of Presenting for £60,000.

The Million In Mind draft is often a highlight of this sale and once again the offerings did not fail to disappoint, with Nadiya De La Vega coming out on top when selling to Enda Bolger for £70,000. The Grade 2 placed daughter of Lost World had been trained by Nicky Henderson before coming under the hammer but it was Bolger who lasted out and the mare is thought to be an exciting Novice Chase prospect for next season.

Day two - George Ward dispersal leads the way on day two of DBS Spring Sales

The second day of the DBS Spring Sales helped to produce a strong trade for the horses on offer with many vendors delighted with what they had achieved and many purchasers frustrated that they struggled to buy the nicer horses. This helped to produce a set of two day Horses in Training figures that showed an increased Median when compared with the 2010 statistics whilst the average and aggregate were very similar to last year.

It had been widely published before the sale that owner George Ward was looking to disperse his National Hunt interests and this helped to create a wave of excitement around the DBS Sales Pavilion when some of his more exciting young talent was offered for sale. The first to come under the hammer was Pere Blanc who had four times in his career including his last three starts over hurdles. The six year old son of King’s Theatre had been trained by David Arbuthnot and had the seize and scope to make an exciting chaser and this potential was not lost on purchasers with Evan Williams making much of the running before Steve Gollings made a large play for the horse when accompanied by owner Phil Martin. However, Gollings has to settle for the role of underbidder when Anthony Stroud made the final play for the horse at £100,000 and the successful bidder said afterwards:

‘My career started out buying jumpers and he's for an old client from my Curragh Bloodstock Agency days who wants to remain low-key at the moment. He stopped having jumpers pretty much when I left the CBA but decided he is getting a bit long in the tooth now and wanted a few jumpers again. I bought Hazy Sunset [a sister to Pere Blanc's great grandam] for Fred Winter so know the family and this looked a nice, progressive horse who was ready to go chasing. I've known David Arbuthnot a long time and he highly recommended the horse.’

The next lot through the ring was the five-year-old Make A Track, who was offered as part of the same dispersal. He was the winner of both his bumper starts for Arbuthnot and Ward by a combined total of over nine lengths and the son of Henrando was out of a half sister to the Grade 1 winning Make A Stand. He was signed for by Ballinaskeagh Bloodstock at £85,000, with Howard Johnson filling the role of underbidder.

The supplementary catalogue provided the third highest price of the day when Alfa Beat was sold to Berkshire Bloodstock for £75,000. Graham Bradley was signing for the seven year old on behalf of Maryland based trainer Tom Foley, who was acting for America’s leading jump owner Irv Naylor and the son of Environment Friend has been bought as a Grand National prospect after he was saddled by Charles Byrnes to win the Kerry National in September before he went on to finish fourth in the National Hunt Chase at Cheltenham. Anthony Bromley was forced to play the role of underbidder and Foley said after the sale:

‘I’m Mr Naylor’s main trainer and he was looking for a horse that could have a crack at the English National. He’ll probably stay in this country to be trained and we will look for a trainer with a good record in the National. I came over really just to get this horse, he was our main target and he is still only seven and looked an ideal horse for the race.’

Another to make £75,000 was the lightly raced Quitico De Poyans who was bought by Highflyer Bloodstock and Alan King. The seven year old had won eight of his ten starts in Hunter Chases and Point to Points and the son of Subotica is set to enjoy an exciting career under rules for his new connections.

Day three - Half brother to Arcalis tops solid trade during the NH Store section of the DBS Spring Sales

The final day of the DBS Spring Sales contained a handpicked selection of over 200 NH Stores which helped to round off a successful week of selling with strong but selective trade throughout the day. Owing to the current financial climate it was no surprise when the top price did not match up to the dizzy heights achieved in the past but the aggregate of £1,764,000 was extremely respectable and was matched by a healthy clearance rate of 70% and an average that increased by 15% to £15,092.

Goldford Stud and Lady Jane Grosvenor topped the DBS Spring Store Sales in 2010 and the same combination returned again in 2011 to produce the same results at the NH Store section of DBS Spring Sales. Their latest offering was a son of the Group 1 Coronation Cup winner Shirocco and the half brother to the Grade 1 Supreme Novices Hurdle winner Arcalis attracted bids from around the ring before Harold Kirk bought the three year old on behalf of leading Irish trainer Willie Mullins for £80,000.

A son of King’s Theatre offered by Brown Island Stables was another who was expected to be of interest when he came under the hammer and the three year old did not disappoint, with Tessa Greatrex from Highflyer Bloodstock making a major play for the horse but she was left fulfil the role of underbidder with Mags O’Toole having the final say at £75,000 on behalf of Fennor Bloodstock.

Highflyer Bloodstock were once again active at the sale and their spending was topped by three horses who each cost the agency £65,000. The first to reach this price was a Presenting filly who was offered by Goldford Stud and came from the immediate family of the multiple Grade 1 winning Geos whilst they also bought a King’s Theatre gelding out of Temptation from Goldford Stud for the same amount. The third horse to reach the same figure was a Westerner half brother to the Grade 1 winning Minella Class who was bought by Highflyer on behalf of an existing client.

Stephen Kemble has had much luck with his purchases at this sale in the past and his spending included a three year old son of Kapgarde who was offered by Church Farm Stables. He was bought for £52,000, which was the same amount that Jim Culloty paid for a Flemensfirth gelding who was offered by Tinryland Stables.

Following the conclusion of the three day sale, DBS Managing Director Henry Beeby said:

The Spring Sales launched DBS 49 years ago and the sale has endured many ups and downs in the market over the years but its appeal remains undiminished. Indeed, it is unique as the only sale of note that catalogues top class stores alongside excellent horses in training which means it provides a one stop shop for all NH enthusiasts and buyers at every level of the market.

The horses in training on days 1 and 2 may have lacked some of the superstars of previous years but it is always the case with this category that one can never predict what will be on the market. The evolution of the short, sharp boutique sale in recent years, which we have enthusiastically embraced with considerable success, also means that the turnover of form horses is a lot quicker than it was so some do not feel the need to wait for this week to sell as may have been the tradition in the past. That said the general consensus is that we returned a very sold trade at all levels, something perhaps not enjoyed in such depth at earlier sales.

As I have done for many years now I want to acknowledge the incredible success and support of Million In Mind who offered their annual draft at DBS again this week. As Michael White said from the rostrum when he introduced the first horse, it is a privilege to be chosen by Anthony Bromley and David Minton to handle their end of season sale each year and we are indebted to them for their ongoing support. As ever their horses proved to be one of the highlights of the sale and we wish their new owners the best of luck, safe in the knowledge they are following in some illustrious footsteps.

There is no doubt in our mind that the decision to revert to one catalogue in one week with this sale was 100% the right one and so many clients have made it known that they agree. Indeed, the stores today have sold in a vibrant and lively market, again with depth at all levels which has resulted in a 15% rise in average and a 26% leap in the median with a very respectable 70% clearance rate.

At DBS we have always prided ourselves on working to the highest standards so our vendors and purchasers know exactly what we will do for them. That is provide a strong, consistent and transparent market place for all levels of NH horses in facilities that are second to none. All that remains is for me to thank every vendor for placing their faith in the DBS service and wish every buyer the best of luck with their acquisitions.

Horses In Training Comparative Figures (Days one and two)




Turnover (£)

Average (£)

Median (£)



238 (68%)






291 (78%)





NH Stores Comparative Figures (Day three)




Turnover (£)

Average (£)

Median (£)



194 (71%)






125 (70%)





Whole Sale Comparative Figures (Three days)




Turnover (£)

Average (£)

Median (£)



434 (69%)






416 (76%)





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  • Autumn Sales Catalogue Now Online

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