A Beginner’s Guide To Yearling Sales – Part 2 

Whenever a horse walks into the sales ring there’s always an element of the unknown. What will the opening bid be? Can this horse fetch the reserve price? Will we see a top bid?

They’re all factors that add to the excitement of the sale of thoroughbred racehorses and these events are always a spectacle. There’s always a buzz in the air. 

The the untrained eye it seems like a strange process but once you can read the sales catalogue and get a feel for things it’s a lot easier to follow. 

Here’s another educational lesson in how to read the catalogue and become more involved. 

Sales Guide2

1 – The term lot followed by a number refers to the order in which the horses are sold. So Lot 1 would be the first horse on the sale.

2 – This is where the name of the horse goes in this particular catalogue. In this case the horse is unnamed as yet. Horse names are usually a play on the names of both the sire and the mare. A chance to use some imagination and come up with something clever.

3 – This is where prospective buyers will find the horse stabled. Buyers will always go and inspect the horse in the flesh and take into consideration things like how the horse stands and how it walks. They’ll make notes in the catalogue which help inform their decisions. 

Remember in this case that a yearling sale is also about predicting how much more development a horse is likely to show as it grows and matures. 

4 – Chestnut Filly. This is a reference to the colour and sex of the horse in question. A filly is female and a colt is a male. Fillies will eventually become mares, once they hit the age of five.

5 – This is the date that the horse was foaled or born. Remember though that this isn’t the horses birthday as such, that happens at the start of every new racing season on 1 August in the Southern Hemisphere. 

6 – Sire. This is the father of the horse. In this example, Philanthropist is the stallion. 

7 – 1st Dam. This is the mother of the horse offered for sale. There is also an explanation as to her racing career. In this case, Happy Jean was a winner at 1000m. It also provides a full history of all horses she has foaled which tells potential buyers how the family tends to perform on the track.

8 – In this case, Jannus is out of the mare Happy Jean which makes him a half-brother to Lot 1 on this sale. His name is in bold here because he managed to place in a Grade 3 race. 

There’s no exact science when it comes to buying a horse. You can never really predict how well they will do once they make it to the racecourse but there are pointers in the catalogue, as explained above that certainly help.

The sales ring is another exciting facet of the Sport of Kings! 



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