NEWMARKET, ENGLAND // Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid outbid John Magnier, the Irish tycoon, yesterday for a prized yearling fathered by the great Oasis Dream.
The Deputy Ruler of Dubai won with a bid of at 480,000 guineas (Dh2.9 million), securing the son of the 2003 champion sprinter whose progeny are among the most coveted.
"He's pretty hard to fault," said Anthea Gibson-Fleming, a spotter working for a leading agent. "Very strong quarters on him, a well-developed shoulder. His pasterns are good.
"He has a good outlook, a good head on him and is very well-balanced. He stands as a horse should stand. He also has a very good action, his hind legs are pushing him. His temperament is good."
Magnier lost out on the Oasis Dream colt, but he was able to acquire 14 yearlings over three days at 4.47 million guineas.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, the Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai who owns the Godolphin racing empire, reduced his spending by 60 per cent compared to last year with an outlay of 3.21 million guineas.
The bloodstock industry has been "remarkably resilient" in light of the overall economic climate, said Jimmy George, the marketing director for Tattersalls, which hosted the first part of their October yearling sales.
"When you get an economic downturn like the one we have experienced since 2008 I think it affects everyone," he said.
"To a degree I think people have been slightly surprised how well the bloodstock market has held up throughout the world because we are dealing with almost the ultimate in luxury goods here.
"But that's not to pretend it's not without its challenges.This is a fair way off the peak of the market which was in 2007, so it would be wrong to pretend otherwise. But there is still a healthy demand for nice racehorses."