Jonbon, the four-year-old brother to eight-time Grade One winner Douvan was knocked down to JP McManus following a bids from a number of hopeful prospective buyers.
The impressive French-bred gelding (Walk In The Park x Star Face), consigned by Ellmarie Holden of Coolmeen Stables, looked a picture of athleticism in the Welsh sunshine.
Bidding opened at £200,000 and zipped up to to £450,000 with barely a pause for breath for auctioneer Henry Beeby. There was a brief lull at the £475,000 point, before a jump from £480,000 to hit the half-million mark.
It looked for a moment as if £500,000 would be enough to secure him, but the numbers kept climbing and in the end it was JP McManus who clinched him over the phone for £570,000, setting a new record for the highest-priced pointer ever sold at public auction. The record was previously held by Flemenshill, who was sold to Tom Malone and Joe Tizarrd at the Cheltenham January sale in 2017 for £480,000.
“I have never known a horse to be as highly touted following its success in a point-to-point and, if social media polls are to be believed, then Jonbon was always set to make a significant price,” said Goffs UK managing director Tim Kent. “But to achieve a record price for a point-to-pointer during these unprecedented times is simply incredible.”
There was much talk about the youngster in the build up to the sale. He was sold for €140,000 (£125,680) as a three-year-old store and went on to win his first and only Irish point-to-point start at Dromahane on Sunday (8 November) by 15 lengths. He was awarded a record rating of 97+ for his performance, which is the highest rating achieved by any four-year-old maiden winner since ratings began.
“We are extremely grateful to the Holden family for putting their faith in Goffs and sending him to Yorton where he certainly lived up to the hype following his brilliant performance on Sunday,” added Mr Kent.
The second top lot was Fiddaun Farm’s four-year-old Shantou gelding Jim Key, who won his point-to-point debut at Lisronagh on Saturday (7 November) and sold to agent Hamish Macauley for £215,000.
Others to fetch six-figure sums were Bernice Stables’ Bold Endeavour, who was sold to trainer Laura Morgan for £190,000 and Monbeg Stables’ Undersupervision, knocked down to Twiston-Davies Equine for £130,000. Milestone Stables’ Starevitch sold to Tom Malone and Jamie Snowden for £105,000, with Riverside House Stud’s Balco Coastal selling to Highflyer Bloodstock for £100,000.
The highest priced of the three British point-to-pointers brought forward yesterday was Ahoy Senor, who won by more than 30 lengths at Kimble (1 November) on his second start, in a time just three seconds slower than the winning time in the men’s open that day. The five-year-old (Dylan Thomas x Dara Supreme) was consigned by Philip Rowley and knocked down to Scottish-based Grand National-winning trainer Lucinda Russell for £50,000.
A total of the 46 of the 63 lots sold, giving a clearance rate of 73%, and an overall total of £3,046,500. The average price was £66,228 and the median £45,000.
“Jonbon was the highlight of the sale but we were delighted with the trade achieved throughout the day,” said Mr Kent.
“While we are not pretending that it wasn’t selective at times, today was an opportunity to provide an outlet for these recent winners and the feedback that we received has been extremely positive.”
He thanked James and Jean Potter, the Futter family and the Yorton team for hosting the sale.
“They have done a fantastic job to make room for us all and, once again, it has proven an outstanding facility which has worked fantastically well for vendors and buyers alike,” he said.
An eye-watering price tag is still no guarantee of success, as these horses prove….
‘We tried to sell him as a riding horse for £600. But we couldn’t sell him because he windsucks’
“We also want to recognise, and say a huge thank you to, our vendors who took a leap of faith when agreeing to bring their horses to Yorton following the Covid-19 restrictions in Doncaster. The Yorton Sale only started last year, meaning some had seen the facilities in a sales environment but it was still new to many and we are extremely grateful for their support in this difficult year.
“In all, it has been a difficult few weeks as we juggled sale locations and lockdowns but we were determined to offer a vibrant market place where pointers could be placed in front of buyers from throughout the UK and Ireland and we have achieved that.”
Horse & Hound magazine, out every Thursday, is packed with all the latest news and reports, as well as interviews, specials, nostalgia, vet and training advice. Find how you can enjoy the magazine delivered to your door every week, plus options to upgrade to access our H&H Plus online service which brings you breaking news as it happens as well as other benefits.