Yearling sales season is here and our founder Tim Palin talks about our Bloodstock strategy

Mon 14 Aug 2023

Since Middleham Park Racing was formed in 1995, we have achieved 1,479 winners. Four Group 1, 8 Group 2, 9 Group 3 and 33 Listed wins on the flat. The work that goes into supplying those winners for our syndicates, starts early on at the yearling sales each year and we are ready to go again! Our bloodstock team will be on the scene carrying out detailed research and due diligence into all aspects of the yearlings on offer, to make sure we secure the very best horses and at the right price.

This hard work pays off, as 2022 was our best ever year, achieving a new British syndicate record of 125 winners, earned £2,459,932 of race prize money, as well as returns of £2,195,533 from our bloodstock sales. That's £4,655,465 million pounds of prize money and sales returns achieved in one year for our owners!

We always aim to purchase yearlings that will go on to give our owners the chance to compete at the highest level and experience the major festivals. This is an area in which we excel when compared to other syndicates, and our record (see a link below) shows that.

Here are some of our Group and Listed WINNERS that we have previously purchased as yearlings, with their purchase prices in brackets:

Arqana Deauville - Group 2 and Listed winner RAYMOND TUSK (€85,000) and Listed winner and Group 2 Queen Mary Stakes 2nd CLEM FANDANGO (€11,000) 

Goffs UK Premier Yearling Sale (formerly known as the DBS Sale) - Group 1 winner, Group 2 winner, Group 3 winner and Champion European 2yo TOORMORE (£36,000), Group 2 winner VENTURA TORMENTA (£95,000), dual Group 2 winner and Listed winner KOOL KOMPANY (£40,000), Dual Listed winner and Goffs UK Harry Beeby Premier Yearling Stakes winner SHOULDVEBEENARING (£40,000), Listed Naas Sprint Stakes winner SANDIVA (£18,000), Listed Spring Cup winner LEXINGTON TIMES (£60,000), Listed winner LILY’S ANGEL (£8,000), Listed winner DEAR MY FRIEND (£40,000)

Tattersalls Somerville Sale - Group 3 winner and Weatherbys Super Sprint winner EDDIE'S BOY (45,000 gns)

Osarus Yearling Sale - Listed winner BOITRON (€45,000)

Tattersalls Ireland September Yearling Sale - Group 3 & dual Listed winner MARIE'S DIAMOND (€35,000), Group 3 and Listed winner GREAT PAGE (€28,000) and Listed winner VIREN'S ARMY (€110,000)

Take a look at our full list of Listed and Pattern race winners here: OUR RECORD. There is no higher level to win at, than Group 1 races – and all 3 of our winners at this level, were bought at public auction: TOORMORE was purchased at the DBS sale as a yearling (now known as the Goffs UK, Premier Yearling Sale.) We bought VENTURA STORM as a 2-year-old breezer from Tattersalls and G FORCE was an HIT 25,000gns purchase, also from Tattersalls. Toormore went on to be European Champion 2-year-old Colt and G Force, European Champion 3-year-old Sprinter the following year.

Director Of Racing Tim says on 'Yearling Strategy': “We will be hunting for value at the yearling sales on sensible budgets. It has become apparent that at 1 or 2 of the traditional sales, that the prices have become ridiculous and so we will be re-aligning the structure and moving away from the sales where there is simply ‘no value.'  Our focus in particular, will be at the Goffs Premier Yearling Sale, where we feel the best value is to be had. So, in essence, where the quality and value is sufficient, we will target these sales.

Tim goes on to talk about 'Cashing In': "It's widely acknowledged within racing, that racehorse ownership should never be classed as an 'investment.' There are no guarantees when you place your hard-earned cash into the stock market and bloodstock purchasing is the same. Our sport offers those lucky enough to become an owner; fun, excitement, endless adrenalin bursts as your horse leaves the starting stalls and the cachet of being 'at the races as an owner.' Anything else on top of that - be it a winner or a lucrative sell on - is a bonus! Selling on is an art form in itself. We often say that the best time to accept an offer on a horse is when you don’t want to sell. There’s no guarantee that a horse can maintain a level, train on or continue racing without facing a setback. Being a 'Black type' winner or placing in a pattern race can add value, but only if it is capitalised upon at the right time and a horses value is something that can easily disappear. We have successfully delivered on this score time after time. Only last year the owners of our Group 1 Abbaye winner THE PLATINUM QUEEN struck gold, when she sold for 1.2 million guineas at Tattersalls. She was purchased for 57,000gns and earned £345,730 prize money for her syndicate too.

'What do you look for in an unraced horse?' "We try and buy the best possible page we can afford, but a nice, well put together individual which moves well - this is important too. A good pedigree page alone does not make a good racehorse. What makes a good racehorse is a good page but ultimately the right conformation and for us, our eyes do the hard work before the horse enters the sales ring. There is no rhyme or reason behind where and when we stop bidding on any given horse other than what we value the horse at. One thing is for sure we will never pay in excess of what we believe this true valuation to be.

Potential is the other consideration. The potential to be a very good, high class racehorse, not just 'a' racehorse - does a horse have the size and scope to train on? To try and quantify that, we are offered horses all the time and we see thousands of horses at the sales; however, unless we believe a horse can earn a decent  rating, we will pass. There are winners and then there are WINNERS! The rationale being, horses of with higher ratings can earn their keep, as well as compete in Saturday and Festival type races where you associate the larger prize money pots, whereas horses at a lower level rarely do. It's about trying to give owners a fair chance of a return on their monthly/annual fees and better days to go racing: The type of owner badges, you'd wish to add to a framed collection! Yes of course many of our horses will operate very successfully for us with ratings below 90 but there's a difference between knowingly purchasing one and maximising what you in due course have. We have a mantra which we find so often bears out; that if you buy cheap, you end up having to buy twice. You might have ten 2-year-olds in your locker that cost less than £20,000 and one might turn out to be good enough. Buy five for over £40k and your chances of getting better performers are increased. It doesn't matter how much you pay for a horse, they all cost the same each month to train and race in the end." 

Here's the list of the forthcoming Yearling Sales:

18th-22nd August: Arqana Deauville August Yearling Sales

29th-30th: Goffs UK Premier Yearling Sale

1st September: BBAG Premier Yearling Sale

5th: Tattersalls Somerville Yearling Sale

11th-12th: Osarus September Yearling Sale 

19th-21st: Tattersalls Ireland September Yearling Sale

26th-29th: Goffs Orby Yearling Sale

3rd-5th October: Tattersalls October Yearling Sale Book 1

9th-11th: Tattersalls October Yearling Sale Book 2

12th-14th: Tattersalls October Yearling Sale Book 3

14th: Tattersalls October Yearling Sale Book 4

If you would like to be informed about any of our yearling purchases, please add your email address to our mailing list here and we will email everyone on this list first when we purchase any new horse.

If you currently have 'legs' or partnerships or even own horses outright, we would be delighted to welcome you to Middleham Park Racing, If you are interested in a particular horse that you have seen catalogued at any of these sales, do get in touch to discuss a joint purchase, becoming a registered co named owner or possibly the purchase of a naming share (15%)

Please don't hesitate to contact Sarah if you have any questions or would like to know more about becoming an owner with MPR: Sarah will put you in touch with Tim to discuss options if that's of interest to you.

Here's to another successful sales season and we hope you will be joining us as an owner to race next year.


August House
2, Appleyard Drive
North Lincolnshire
DN18 5TD


Join our mailing list to receive our monthly newsletter, plus details of any new purchases and promotions.

Register now

Privacy policy

Live twitter feed


© Middleham Park Racing | Site by KISS