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Lope de Vega Colt Heads Solid Trade


Sale-topping Lope de Vega colt | Tattersalls Ireland

By Daithi Harvey

The first staging of the Goresbridge Breeze Up at Tattersalls Ireland got off to a satisfactory start on Friday and despite the top-priced lot of €175,000 falling well below the equivalent last year, the depth of trade throughout the day produced a very respectable set of figures. At the close of play 178 of the 196 offered juveniles changed hands for a healthy 90% clearance rate. The aggregate finished up at €4,990,500, just a fraction shy of last year’s, with the average coming in at €28,037 (-5.7%) while the median rose 12.5% to €18,000.

“The relocation of the Tattersalls Ireland Breeze Up Sale to the Fairyhouse sales complex has resulted in an extremely successful sale,” said Tattersalls Ireland Chief Executive Officer Matt Mitchell. “A clearance rate of 91% with an average of €28,037 and a median of €18,000 is indicative of the sale’s strength with the middle market particularly strong. We wish to thank firstly our loyal vendors who supported the sale with a quality selection of 2-year-olds, purchasers who came from 12 countries, Fairyhouse Racecourse Management who provided the track for the breeze-up and ITM who ensure a large number of foreign purchasers attended the sale. The assistance that Martin Donohoe provided has contributed very much to the success of the sale.”

There was plenty of chat beforehand about lot 61, a Lope De Vega (Ire) colt from Oak Tree Farm, and that chat translated into a jackpot of a sale for connections after the John O’Connor bred colt was knocked down to Richard Brown for €175,000. The 2-year-old was pinhooked by Norman Williamson for €28,000 as a yearling in the same ring and is now set to continue his career in Newmarket. “I’m a big fan of the sire and I think the best of his crops are yet to come,” Brown said. “I thought he was the best colt here today and he will go to John Gosden. I thought he showed a lot of speed for a horse bred to get a mile plus.”

For Norman Williamson the Lope De Vega colt was the middle leg of a nice sales treble that saw him enjoy a 100% record selling each of his three offerings. After Colm Sharkey acquired his Slade Power (Ire) colt, lot 91, from the family of Tiger Roll (Ire) (Authorized {Ire}) for €52,000, Williamson reflected, “It’s been a really great week. We had the horse in America [War of Will] win the Preakness, we had the joint sale topper at the store sale in Goffs UK and these three horses have all sold well so we are delighted. This is a tough business and it rarely works out like this but we are having a great time at the moment so long may it last.”

After a solid enough start to the sale the first juvenile to make six figures was lot 41 from the Slattery’s Meadowview Stables. The Camacho (GB) filly was knocked down to the busy Richard Brown for €100,000 following a protracted battle with Marco Bozzi. The third produce of the unraced mare Thanks (Ire) (Kheleyf) was bought back by vendor Morning Star Stud for €5,000 as a yearling at Goffs last year and that decision was certainly justified in spades after she posted a very fast breeze on Thursday. “She is a sweet filly and I really fell for her during her show this morning,” Brown said. “We’ve had a bit of luck with Camacho fillies at breeze ups having bought Teppal (Fr) two years ago and this filly finished so far clear of the others on time that she was quite an obvious one to try and buy. She is for Sheikh Rashid Dalmook Al Maktoum who we also bought [stakes winner] Pretty Baby (Ire) (Orpen) for but we haven’t made a decision yet about who will train her,” he added.

A similar refrain about deciding on a trainer came from Brown, on what was a prolific day for Blandford Bloodstock, after he had signed for lot 108 for €125,000. The Kodiac (GB) colt came highly recommended by vendors Tally-Ho Stud and Brown commented, “We’ve bought some top horses from Tally-Ho like Dream Ahead and Ardad (Ire) and when they recommend one you have to take notice. This horse then matched up with what we look for so we were keen to buy him. He is for Sheikh Hamed Dalmook Al Maktoum who was looking for a proper colt so hopefully he will fit the bill.”

Brown had barely finished dealing with the media when he was back in bidding action and he again came out on top when landing lot 111, a colt by Muhaarar (GB) from Glending Stables for €115,000. The son of stakes winner Tropical Paradise (Ire) (Verglas {Ire}) proved a shrewd pinhook having been bought by Glending Bloodstock for 32,000 gns last December.

Lot 101, a Kingman (GB) filly from Kilminfoyle House Stud was widely expected to play a starring role in proceedings and while the early bidding for the filly was far from frenetic it stepped up a beat when Stephen Hillen cranked the price up to €100,000. From here on Mick Donohoe of BBA Ireland countered each of Hillen’s nods, eventually winning the battle at €165,000. After signing the docket Donohoe admitted to being pleasantly surprised. “I thought I’d have to give a lot more for her so I’m delighted. She is a lovely filly, she vetted well and galloped out very strongly after her breeze. Kingman is obviously going great guns and has the potential to be an elite stallion.”

The bay filly is the second produce out of the stakes winner Pure Excellence (GB) (Exceed And Excel {Aus}) and future plans for her are fluid. “I’ve bought her for a new client and I’m not sure where she will go. She will probably have a short break and then we will see, she could even be for resale at some stage,” Donohoe added.

Curragh trainer Michael O’Callaghan was a good supporter of this sale when it was held in Goresbridge and he continued that support by snapping up two high-value consecutive lots. O’Callaghan first struck for lot 147, a colt by Night of Thunder (Ire) offered by Katie Walsh’s Greenhills Farm that cost €130,000 and he then gave €125,000 for the following lot 148, a filly by Dark Angel (Ire) from Knockatrina House. “The colt by Night of Thunder looks a very fast horse and did a good breeze. The stallion has been doing well and this colt has a good pedigree,” said O’Callaghan before adding, “She [lot 148] has residual value being by Dark Angel and a three-quarters sister to Lethal Force. She is a lovely physical and is for Robert Moran. The sale when it was at Goresbridge was lucky for me, and the September Yearling Sale has also been good, so let’s hope it continues.”

Former top amateur jockey Colin Magnier and his wife Jessica brought two horses from their local Skryne Stables to the sale and were rewarded with two sales of €90,000 each. The first of those, lot 130, a colt by Morpheus (GB) bought by Kevin and Anna Ross, was particularly sweet as Magnier had bought him for just €5,000 as a yearling. Magnier, who runs Skryne public gallops, has the ideal facility for preparing breezers and said, “I loved his frame as a yearling, I just thought he was a lovely horse. We got him home and found he had ulcers, we treated them and he has flourished since and turned into a gorgeous horse. He just floats along when he gallops. He hasn’t done a piece of work upsides yet, and when he does I think he will really turn into a racehorse,” Later in the session the Magniers had further reason to celebrate when their Canford Cliffs (Ire) filly, lot 198, was bought by Blandford Bloodstock for €90,000. Blandford finished up the sale as leading purchaser having bought 11 lots for a total of €835,000.

The legendary former eventing rider Sir Mark Todd was a first- time visitor to this breeze up sale and the fledgling trainer, who is now based in England, made his trip worthwhile coming away with three juveniles in total. Todd was assisted by bloodstock agent Hubie de Burgh and among his purchases was lot 29, a son of Siyouni (Fr) which was Norman Williamson’s first offering of the day. After signing the docket at €65,000 Todd said, “This is my first trip to an Irish breeze-up sale. I’ve been to other sales in Ireland before but this is the first time I’ve come with a reasonable intention to purchase something. We’ve got some nice horses and we’re very happy.”

Todd has set up a training operation near Lambourn and is in the process of putting together a team to train. The New Zealander saddled the former Martyn Meade trained Eminent (GB) (Frankel {GB}) to be second in the G1 Ranvet S. at Rosehill in Australia in March and is looking forward to getting his latest Northern Hemisphere venture off the ground. “We got an Iffraaj (GB) colt in Arqana and a Gale Force Ten (GB) filly at Tattersalls so we’re building up a team. This Siyouni colt breezed well and is by a proven stallion and he should progress with time also.”

Soon after Todd and De Burgh added lot 37, a Kyllachy (GB) filly that cost €30,000, to their team and completed their shopping when buying lot 162, a Footstepsinthesand (GB) filly for €17,000.

Jump jockey Andrew Lynch, born and raised just a few miles from Fairyhouse, is proving very adept at his sideline venture of preparing breeze-up horses and he landed a nice touch with a Due Diligence colt, offered as lot 51A. Lynch had acquired the colt through his Kilbrew Stables for just £3,500 as a yearling at the Tattersalls Ascot Yearling Sale last September and was rewarded with a £60,000 sale to Kevin Ross. Another horse to provide a bumper return was lot 40, an Intello (Ger) filly that was bought for €2,200 as a yearling but whose value, under the tutelage of Willie Browne’s Mocklershill, soared to €50,000 when knocked down to Richard Frisby.

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