Bolger Filly Adds Glamour To Goffs

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Sale-topping Glamorous Approach | Goffs

By Daithi Harvey

Fillies and mares took centre stage on the final day of the Goffs February Sale on Thursday but over 50 withdrawals left a catalogue rather depleted in numbers. On the same day last year 216 mares were offered but with 66 fewer lots presented on Thursday it was always going to be a struggle to build on the gains made the previous two days. Last year there were two six- figure lots headed by Military Angel (Big Brown), who fetched €210,000, and despite the reduced numbers the sale still held its own by providing a higher sale topper to 2017 when multiple stakes winner Glamorous Approach (Ire) (New Approach {Ire}) (Lot 578) headed proceedings when selling to Ballylinch Stud for €280,000. After three days of trade, the February Sale finished up with an aggregate of €4,807,000, not surprisingly a bit below 2017. However, gains were posted in both the average and median, which rose 10% to €14,392 and 20% to €6,650, respectively. The clearance rate of 65% was in line with last year.

Jim Bolger regularly gives fellow breeders the opportunity to tap into families that he has so successfully developed, and that chance was not wasted on Ballylinch Stud manager John O’Connor, who clinched the Glebe House Stables-offered sale topper after determined bids from both Blandford Bloodstock and Tally-Ho Stud.

“She is a lovely, active, quality mare and we will keep our options open,” O’Connor said. “She could race on for a while longer or be covered by one of our stallions in Ballylinch. She is from a great family of Jim’s that throws up champions so we are delighted to get her.”

The Tally-Ho Stud team of Tony, Roger and Henry O’Callaghan were under-bidders on the top lot but just two lots later their persistence was rewarded when they landed Harrana (Ire) (New Approach {Ire}) from the Aga Khan draft. Lot 580 was a winner for Dermot Weld at Cork last June and the close relation of dual Derby winner Harzand (Ire) (Sea The Stars {Ire}) will not attempt to further her race record but will instead be covered by Tally-Ho’s star stallion Kodiac (GB).

Earlier in the day the O’Callaghans saw off a spirited effort by Matt Houldsworth to acquire lot 558, also from the Aga Khan Studs. Elmaliya (Ire) (Sepoy) didn’t show a huge amount in two starts for Dermot Weld last year but such are the depth of the Aga Khan pedigrees that the 4-year-old commanded a price €72,000. Tony O’Callaghan was non-committal over potential plans for the half-sister to G3 Give Thanks S. winner Edelmira (Ire) (Peintre Celebre) and said, “We’ll keep our options open, we could even put her back into training.”

Lot 539, Chica Loca (Fr) (American Post {GB}), was responsible for one of the pinhooks of the year in 2017 when her Dabirsim (Fr) yearling, subsequently named Good Birthday (Ire), sold for €500,000 at the Orby Sale last September and the mare herself was offered by Confey Stud on behalf of Ecurie Normandie Pur Sang in foal to Rathbarry stallion Acclamation (GB). It was Tom Biggs of Blandford Bloodstock who eventually won the battle for the stakes winning 9-year-old at €80,000, and he commented, “She is a lovely mare, she will stay in Europe and hopefully between the Acclamation cover and her 2-year-old to race she will prove well bought.”

The Wardstown Stud team of Mark and Elaine Clarke enjoyed Group 1 success as breeders last year through the exploits of the Andrew Balding trained Blond Me (Ire) (Tamayuz {GB}) and the Clarkes were keen to bring lot 566 from Moyglare Stud back to their Co. Meath based farm. In fact, Fille Du Septembre (Ire) (Choisir {Aus}) is a filly the pair know well, having bred the former Dermot Weld trained filly before selling her to Moyglare Stud for €130,000 at the Orby Sale two years ago. It took the Clarkes’ bid of €62,000 to repatriate the winning 3-year-old and the husband and wife duo said they were delighted to get back into a family that has served them so well.

“We’re delighted to have her back and we will take our time before deciding on a plan with her,” Mark Clarke said. “We could put her back into training as Fiona [Craig] says she is sound for racing and she is only three so she has plenty of time to breed. It’s a family we have had a lot of success with. We bred December Draw, who won a Group 1 in Australia, and it’s a great commercial family that seems to be popular with buyers.”

A relatively young stakes performing Sadler’s Wells mare in foal to the Classic sire Le Havre (Ire) has obvious appeal, and French agent Paul Nataf signed for lot 598, Kithonia (Fr), for €52,000. Further appeal is provided by a now 2-year-old Le Havre filly out of the mare who realized €110,000 when bought by Peter & Ross Doyle as a yearling at Arqana last year.

Another mare with a Gallic background is Damila (Fr) (Milanais {Fr}), who was a Group 3 winner in France for Henri-Alex Pantall in 2016 before being bought by Nataf for €20,000 at Arqana last July. She reappeared under the Baroda & Colbinstown banner on Thursday as lot 545 and although purchased by the France based MAB Agency for €45,000, it appears her home for the foreseeable future at least, will be Ireland. “I have bought her for an Irish client and she will stay here to be covered, probably by Gutaifan,” Marc Antoine Berghgracht said afterwards.

The father and son team of John and Jake Warren signed for three lots on Thursday including lot 594, Kenzahope (Fr) (Kendargent {Fr}). The 4-year-old achieved five placings in her racing career but her full-brother Kenhope (Fr)’s racing CV, which includes a Group 1 placing, helped push her value to €48,000.

Lawman (Fr) has emerged as an interesting dam sire through the exploits of crack sprinter Battaash (Ire) (Dark Angel {Ire}), and that significance was no doubt not lost on Matt Houldsworth, who struck for lot 626, Myakka Park (Ire) (Lawman {Fr}), for €55,000. The 4-year-old, offered by Platinum Bloodstock, also boasts an excellent dam line, being a half-sister to a pair of stakes winners in Ayrad (Ire) (Dalakhani {Ire}) and Dawn Of Hope (Ire) (Mastercraftsman {Ire}).

Summing up trade at Goffs this week, Chief Executive Henry Beeby said, “Over half the sale focuses on weanlings and that section enjoyed vibrant trade with strong competition from a huge group of pinhookers who turned out in force to continue the trends witnessed at our market-leading November Foal Sale. That was especially evident at the top of the market with four six-figure weanlings this year and a number of fierce bidding duels for several of the most desirable lots. The result is a set of statistics that far outstrip last year with average and median both growing by over a third, and the clearance rate also making better reading.”

Reflecting on the market for Thursday’s breeding stock session, he continued, “Today’s session has not matched last year in some respects but such is the nature of mixed sales as there are times when a particular dispersal benefits a sale and boosts figures. However when such one-offs are not catalogued it is does not necessarily mean trade is lacking but rather that it reflects the lots on offer. So we are perfectly content with today as we welcomed a large international group of buyers back to Goffs and our €280,000 top price comfortably exceeds that 12 months ago.”

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