The European record for a thoroughbred at auction was broken on the second day of the Tattersalls December Mare Sale when the dual-Group 1 winner MARSHA sold for 6,000,000 guineas to the bid of MV Magnier. It was a remarkable day at the Tattersalls December Mare Sale with ten lots breaking the million guineas barrier and the European turnover record for a day at auction also broken. The record-breaking session also included the final fillies and mares from the historic Ballymacoll Dispersal.
The turnover during the remarkable session reached 45,665,000 guineas for the 175 sold, which broke the turnover record for any day at a European thoroughbred auction, set on the Tuesday of this sale back in 2007. The average for the day was 260,943 guineas whilst the median was 85,000 guineas. Turnover for the sale passed 60,000,000 guineas.
On the racecourse MARSHA was one of the leading sprinters in recent years, winning at Group 1 level in both the Nunthorpe Stakes and Prix de l’Abbaye de Longchamp for her owners Elite Racing and trainer Sir Mark Prescott. The four-year-old filly by ACCLAMATION out of the Listed winning MARJU mare MARLINKA was bred by her owners Elite Racing and hails from the family of their great Champion older mare SOVIET SONG. With looks to match her outstanding race record it was no surprise to see buyers from as far afield as Japan, Qatar, South Africa and the US all make bold bids to secure her, but it was MV Magnier and John Gosden, bidding on behalf of Godolphin, who settled down to fight it out. In the end it was Magnier, who twice jumped the price, firstly to 5 million guineas and then to 6 million guineas who eventually secured the star.
"She really is something special," said Magnier. "Sir Mark has done a great job with her, she was very fast and the lads were very keen to have her. She is the best sprinter of the year and she will go to Galileo."
For Dan Downie of Elite Racing Club it was the end of long day. "I feel exhausted actually," he smiled. "but, no, it is exciting, and it is a wonderful for Elite.
"We did have a price at which we would have taken her home, but we did think it was going to be unlikely. She has been wonderful and always takes everything in her stride. The funds will help with ongoing and the long-term running of the Club, but we will, of course, take a look at our nomination plans, in particular for Marsha's dam, Marlinka."
The sale is the highest that any thoroughbred has ever achieved in an auction ring in Europe and at prevailing exchange rates represented $8.5m.