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Exceed And Excel Colt Tops The Sportsman’s Sale At €135,000


The highest price in 12 years capped a strong second and final day of the Goffs Sportsman’s Sale today when Joe Foley went to €135,000 for a son of Exceed And Excel from Derrinstown Stud out of a daughter of Group 2 winner Oriental Fashion (Lot 822).

Foley has an excellent record with Sportsman’s purchases, having bought Group 2 Lowther Stakes winner Living In The Past at the same sale last year, and he also acquired today’s next top priced yearling in Clonsast Stud’s Raven’s Pass filly (Lot 737), the first foal out of a daughter of Group 2 Blandford Stakes winner Katiyra that sold for €60,000.

Johnny Murtagh was one of many trainers in action at the Sportsman’s Sale and purchased four yearlings across the two days, headed today by the Ajaya colt (Lot 798) out of a sister to three Group winners from Mountain View Stud for €55,000.  Another to make €55,000 was Whitehall Stud’s Camelot filly (Lot 849) whose only sibling is a two-time winner at two since the catalogue was published.  She was purchased by Gerry Hogan Bloodstock.

At the conclusion of the Sportsman’s Sale, Goffs Group Chief Executive Henry Beeby said:

"A two day Sportsman’s Sale always provokes discussion and this year has been no different. The decision goes back to inspection time when we received a higher than ever number of applications from established vendors with the right types. That growth in demand flowed from a good renewal of the sale in 2018 and presented us with a real conundrum. Do we keep the sale to one day and upset large numbers of valued clients who have good yearlings or do we expand and risk supply outstripping demand? There is never going to be an answer that is 100% correct but first and foremost Goffs exists to serve Irish breeders by providing a viable market place for their produce so we decided to hold a two day sale, committing extra resource to buyer recruitment.

Doubtless opinion will be split as to whether we made the right decision but we feel the results ultimately vindicate the move with a vibrant trade on both days especially given prevailing market conditions and the background of a volatile world economy. We have welcomed a wide variety of buyers from home, the UK, across Europe and further afield following a concerted effort from our network of international agents and the team at Irish Thoroughbred Marketing. Their presence meant that there was keen competition for those that appealed with a high of €135,000 today although the trends witnessed at every other yearling sale in 2019 were evident. That said a 79% clearance rate is perfectly acceptable and points to a trade of some depth.

So as the week closes we can reflect on a market that soared at the top of Orby, headed by the second highest yearling filly price in Irish auction history amongst four millionaires, but tightened in the lower echelons notwithstanding a top Sportsman’s price that was the second highest on record. These results clearly demonstrate the enduring demand for the best and that Goffs is absolutely the measure of any sale in the world at the top whilst perhaps highlighting some issues that may give pause for thought.

As ever we are supremely grateful for the support of our vendors and wish every buyer success on the racecourse".

Comparative Figures




Turnover (€)

Average (€)

Median (€)



228 (85%)






283 (79%)

4,854,900 (+12%)

17,155 (-10%)

13,000 (-13%)