THE eyes of the Irish racing world will be fixed firmly on Punchestown over the next few days for the gripping climax of the Irish National Hunt season but this week represents a suitable opportunity to examine what has been a sobering few weeks for the European breeze-up market.

At the start of the month the Tattersalls Ireland Ascot Sale fell some way off the returns of previous years, this was followed by a respectable edition of the Goffs UK Sale at Doncaster before last week’s all important Tattersalls Craven Breeze-Up Sale.