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Goresbridge: New Venue, Same Ethos


Lot 101, the lone Kingman in the sale, breezes | Tattersalls Ireland

By Daithi Harvey

The Goresbridge Breeze Up Sale will have a slightly more cosmopolitan feel to it this year as the event transfers from the small Kilkenny village it takes its name from, 80 miles north to Tattersalls Ireland in Meath. While the Goresbridge sale complex benefitted from access to nearby Gowran Park to facilitate the breeze, vendors at Tattersalls Ireland have an even shorter commute with their offerings, walking them directly across the road to Fairyhouse Racecourse, and this was where approximately 200 lots were put through their paces on quick but watered ground in front of a decent-sized crowd of onlookers on Thursday afternoon. Every prospective buyer present on Friday will need to play their part if this transplanted sale is to keep pace with previous editions, each one having outperformed the previous year’s metrics, save for last year.

Despite a small dip last year, 2018 was still a very respectable edition which saw 170 of the 204 offered lots change hands for an aggregate of €5,054,900. This gave an average of €29,735, a median of €16,000 and a clearance rate of 83%. Friday’s slightly reduced catalogue will make it a challenge to surpass last year’s aggregate, but it should help the clearance rate, something that has been put to the test this current breeze-up season.

The original Goresbridge Sale was developed by Martin Donohoe who was on hand on Thursday helping to coordinate the breeze and he still holds a strong attachment to the event since handing over the reins to Matt Mitchell and his team. “I’m still involved in an advisory capacity but obviously the Tattersalls Ireland team are running the show now,” Donohoe said. “They are a top-class team and have been great to work with and I am delighted to be associated with them. Peter Roe and his ground staff have produced beautiful ground here at Fairyhouse and also deserve a lot of credit. Although I am not calling the shots anymore I am still anxious that the sale goes well and that it continues to develop, something that Matt and his team are committed to achieving.”

Irish Thoroughbred Marketing have worked closely with both Donohoe and the Tattersalls Ireland team in maximizing overseas participation in the sale and ITM Chief Executive Officer Charles O’Neill reckoned there would be 15 or 16 different nationalities here to do business. Tattersalls Ireland Chief Executive Officer Matt Mitchell was also buoyed by the international spread of those present for the breeze and said, “This year is about establishing the sale’s new identity and location in people’s minds and providing the best service possible in our new surroundings. We will then be seeking to build on this year’s foundation and have ambitious targets with regard to the growth of the sale. I think the new Tattersalls Ireland-Goresbridge partnership is a brilliant opportunity to enhance the quality of the horse coming through the sale based on the facilities on offer and provide both vendors and buyers with plenty of opportunities.”

As always the standard of horse will ultimately have a major bearing on how the sale fares and the Goresbridge Breeze-Up has certainly punched above its weight in supplying its share of high-class performers. The 2018 sale topper East (GB) (Frankel {GB}) is a case in point and while on the day her €315,000 price tag may have been out of many people’s reach, the Kevin Ryan-trained filly has certainly augmented her value with a Group 3 win last year and two significant placings on her last two outings in the GI Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf and the G1 The Emirates Poules d’Essai des Pouliches.

‘Kingmania’ is a new word that has cropped up recently and the exciting Juddmonte stallion, who has already topped one breeze-up sale this year with a filly, has a sole female offering in this sale. The Kingman (GB) filly, offered as lot 101 by Mick Fitzpatrick’s Kilminfoyle House Stud is the second produce out of the stakes winner Pure Excellence (GB) (Exceed And Excel {Aus}), and with Craven Sale topper Divine Spirit (GB) making such an impression and earning a ‘TDN Rising Star’ on her recent Windsor debut, this filly should generate plenty of interest after putting in a professional breeze.

An earlier lot that catches the eye is lot 29 from Norman Williamson’s Oak Tree Farm. This Siyouni (Fr) colt was bought as a foal last year by Mags O’Toole for 60,000gns and is out of the French stakes winner Adventure Seeker (Fr) (Bering {GB}). The dam has already produced a stakes performer and this colt’s year older brother American Graffiti (Fr) (Pivotal {GB})–a €320,000 yearling purchase by Godolphin–was an emphatic winner of his maiden a few months back for Charlie Appleby. Williamson’s colt also left a good impression after making his way up the Fairyhouse straight.

Friars Lough Stables parted with £55,000 at Goffs UK last year for a Kodiac (GB) half-brother to G3 March S. winner Maid Up (GB) (Mastercraftsman {Ire}) and the colt returns to the ring as lot 116 today, while the very last horse into the ring, lot 211, received a good boost when his half-brother Loving A Boom (Ire) (Acclamation {GB}) won at Happy Valley in Hong Kong on Wednesday for trainer Richard Gibson. The Knockatrina House-offered colt’s sire Gutaifan (Ire) was also represented by a winner the same day when Seraphinite (Ire) won a maiden at Kempton.

Another first-season stallion who is the subject of very positive vibes is Night Of Thunder (Ire) and Katie Walsh’s Greenhills Farm, vendor of last year’s sale topper, offers lot 147, a colt by the Darley stallion from the family of Banimpire (Ire) (Holy Roman Emperor {Ire}) and Twilight Payment (Ire) (Teofilo {Ire}).

Rathasker Stud stallion Anjaal (GB) has also made a decent start with his 2-year-olds this year and that should aid the cause of lot 118. For good measure, the Mocklershill offering is also a half-sister to GI Natalma S. winner Capla Temptress (Ire) (Lope De Vega {Ire}).

Another filly with a classy page is lot 43, who bids to continue the fine breeze-up season of Mick Murphy and Sarah O’Connell’s Longways Stables. This Holy Roman Emperor (Ire) filly is out of the very smart Mango Mischief (Ire) (Desert King {Ire}) and is an own-sister to G2 Kilboy Estate S. winner Mango Diva (GB).

Lot 126 from Aguiar Bloodstock is a Muhaarar (GB) colt who is the first produce out of the MGSW New Providence (GB) (Bahamian Bounty {GB}) while Muhaarar is also the sire of one of the supplementary entries, lot 116A. This filly from Jim McCartan’s Gaybrook Lodge missed her intended date at Arqana two weeks ago and the 130,000gns yearling purchase is a half-sister to G1 Prix de l’Abbaye winner Wizz Kid (Ire) (Whipper).

The sale begins at 10a.m. and all breezes are available to watch on the Tattersalls Ireland website.

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