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Pretty Special Tops Final London Session

Published: October 21, 2021 8:30 pm ET

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The closing session of the 2021 London Virtual Yearling Sale took place Thursday, and the high bid of the closing day was the $68,000 price tag attached to Hip 127 Pretty Special.

Camilla Christoforou purchased Pretty Special, a daughter of Resolve-Pretty Craft, from the consignment of Deal and Ashley Wilson who also raised the youngster. The filly has a trio of siblings that have banked in excess of $100,000 including half-brother Publicity Seeker (1:55.2 - $262,825).

Hip 149 Century Jazz, a Bettors Delight-Strike A Chord colt, was a $56,000 purchase by Gestion Jean Yves Blais Inc of Montreal, QC. Consigned and raised by Century Spring Farms, he’s he full brother to the stakes-winning Century Invictus (1:55.2 - $29,691).

Hip 142 Northern Charlotte, consigned by Erinwood Equine Inc. and raised by Northfields Farm Inc., was a $55,000 purchase by Camilla Christoforou. The Muscle Mass filly is the second foal out of Shestheonetowatch. She’s a sister to a set of $100,000 winners including Drama Free (1:55.1 - $202,811).

Hip 152 Century Jupiter brought a final bid of $50,000 from George Millar of Stouffville, Ont. The Bettors Delight-Sunshine Patriot colt is the half-brother to Ladylike (1:53.2 - $105,858).

In total, 146 yearlings were sold for total sales of $4,357,000 and an average price of $29,842. Last year saw 102 yearlings sell for $3,312,990 and an average price of $32,480.

"I think that the horses sold fairly, and that there were good prices for what was offered," said sale manager Ann Straatman. "I think that the consignors would be happy with the prices they got. Everybody wants a little more, but I think that the buyers were happy too with the prices they had to pay and the horses that were available."

Straatman was pleased to see the activity on the bidding side, a much different element from the traditional live auction setting.

"Very active bidding, a lot of participation. Every horse that was auctioned had multiple bids, right to the end, and even past their time...a lot of people trying out some strategies on what would get their opponent to stop bidding, I think. And I'm not exactly sure what works, but it's like a big reveal at the end, who you are bidding against if you were not the successful bidder. So I think there's that element of surprise, and I'm really happy with the participation. There were quite a few new buyers, so thrilled to have more people trying this type of venue."

Going forward, Straatman stated that there's a good chance the London sale will continue to embrace a virtual audience in some form.

"I want to be able to speak to the buyers and consignors, just to get a perspective from both sides. I've had a lot of positive feedback this year, which I'm really happy about. I do think that this is something that will always be incorporated into the London sale, and it's just a matter of how we structure it going forward but, like I said, we certainly want to get feedback from consignors and buyers.

"Most of the sales have adopted both, being able to bid online and in person. It's a speed auction then using an auctioneer, whereas this [online auction] is more methodical. You do have the time to decide if you're going to bid again, whereas at a live sale it's much quicker."

Straatman noted that the average of just under $30,000 average this year, compared with $32,480 one year ago, is still an "excellent" number.

"I'm so happy with the number of horses we had, the number of consignors and new consignors who tried it this year, and the participation from the buyers, of course, is paramount to being successful."

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