17 June 2024 | The eve of Royal Ascot

Understanding Pedigrees

One of the most fun and fascinating parts of preparing to buy a racehorse is analysing the pedigree. This tabulated table documents the horse’s family history and can provide crucial insight into potential ability and value.

The horse’s race record as well as the performances of up to four generations of the maternal line are contained in the pedigree, while the paternal ancestry appears along the top line of the pedigree and is supported by a detail sire reference in the back of the auction catalogue.

Pedigrees for all horses entered in the Goffs London Sale will be published in the catalogue section of this website approximately two weeks prior to the event. There will also be a printed catalogue available at the event.

Nick Nugent, Goffs Director and Auctioneer, talks you through catalogue pedigrees.

Lot Number

The catalogued number of the horse.

Horses are auctioned in Lot number order at the sale.


The person or stable that is selling the horse.


Pedigree refers to a horse’s family tree, with its paternal ancestors- sire/father – on the top, and its maternal ancestors – dam/mother – on the bottom.

A horse’s pedigree provides insight into its potential ability and value as well as what type of racing your horse will be most suited to. For instance, a horse that comes from a family of 2YO winners is more likely going to be an early type themselves and race over short, sprinting distances. Whereas a horse bred by a Melbourne Cup winning stallion is more likely to take a little longer to develop and will appreciate racing over further ground.

Race Record

The race record of the horse being auctioned is referred to as the horse’s form.

It shows wins, placings and race starts, as well as prize money earned. Horse names written in bold are winners or placed in “black type” races which are of a higher standard.

Recent Starts

If the horse has a long race record, their three most recent starts will be shown here for convenience.

Recent form is indicative of whether the horse is performing well and potentially how it is likely to continue.

1st Dam

This is the mother of the horse.

It shows her own race record as well as all of her progeny and their race records.

2nd Dam

This is the grandmother of the horse.

The pedigree will also show the great-grandparents.

New buyers

Goffs has a dedicated team devoted to welcoming and introducing new people to the world of racehorse ownership. We also offer a private concierge service for new clients.

They will be delighted to meet you and explain the London Sale process – from the catalogue to the racecourse and everything in between.

We can organise a private sale preview as well as making the right introductions to industry experts.

Our client team will be on-hand to help turn your racing dreams into reality.

Enquire now

Please complete the form and one of the Goffs team will contact you.