145,000gns Territories Filly Tops Solid Trade

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by Chris McGrath

NEWMARKET, UK–This was more like it. Not quite so many flashy vehicles in the car park, and much the same held true of the horsepower in the catalogue as well. Just a proper test of horsemanship, a chance to sieve out some affordable quality with your own eye.

With all the obvious physiques and pedigrees corralled into the first two instalments of the Tattersalls October Yearling Sale, Book 3 becomes a fascinating if gruelling forage for a diamond in the rough. It's always fun to see people anxiously checking their catalogues when they hear the auctioneer thanking one of the real judges as the gavel comes down. What have they all just let slip through?

The strength of the market in Books 1 and 2, however, meant that nothing would be easy even for the real grafters. With the clearance rate, strong all week, again holding up very well at 86%, some sensed a genuine trickledown.

“It's the same as all week,” said one trainer who found himself to push the boat out. “Relatively speaking, you have to go the extra yard when you do find one. There's not many falling through the net.”

That said, it's worth recognising how the top players–quite apart from the obvious tapering in quality–generally recognise that trainers and pinhookers deserve a relatively clear run at the nicer horses they work so hard to find at this level. While both the biggest dockets of the day were signed by Anthony Stroud, he was not acting for his biggest patrons at Godolphin.

As ever, of course, it is a two-way street and some of the good prices paid represented due reward for no less skill and commitment on the part of smaller breeders and vendors–starting with the top lot of the day, a 145,000gns filly from the first crop of Territories (Ire), a price exceeded only once in

Book 3 history.

That's a real feather in the cap of the Dalham Hall rookie, but also a sign of the strength of the market in what is often presumed to be a porous sector. While turnover dipped marginally on last year, by 3% to 5,211,500gns, the smaller volume of yearlings offered meant that the average (21,805gns from 21,398gns) inched forwards, with the median holding steady at 16,000gns.

Breathtaking Dividend for Old Partners

“They've never had a touch like it,” said Richard Kent of Mickley Stud as his clients Thorsten Feddern and Fred Ellis celebrated the sale-topping transfer of Lot 1567 to Stroud Coleman Bloodstock. “And they deserve it, they prepped her beautifully. I only met here here! She's very racy, walks beautifully and is very athletic.”

Feddern was quick to repay the compliment, stressing: “For us, as small breeders, it's essential to have this co-operation with Mickley. We have done the prep at home but it is Richard and his team who do the talking, who have the people coming up to them here.”

Of course, everyone needs luck for their toil to pay off. And the Territories (Ire) filly's half-sister Breathtaking Look (GB) (Bated Breath {GB}) had pulled a 20-1 Group success out of her hat following publication of the catalogue, at the St Leger meeting.

“For once the update was well timed,” said Feddern wryly. “We're over the moon. She's been a star all the way, but we've had those before and never made a price like that. We've been breeding together for over 20 years, and this filly is third generation: we bought the grand-dam in Germany. We had a price we'd have kept her for–but not that price!”

They had sold Breathtaking Look herself in the same catalogue three years ago, again through Mickley, to Stuart Williams for 42,000gns. She is the first runner out of Love Your Looks (GB) (Iffraaj {GB}), who was twice Listed-placed herself, but at least as important to Stroud on this occasion was the sire.

“She's for an old client,” he explained. “And we particularly wanted one by Territories, whose offspring have looked very good all through the sales, and I thought this was a good example: a nice, racy model, obviously with a good update. I'd say she'll be trained either here or in France, but she looks fast so more probably here.”

Dream Goes on for Fanshawe Syndicate

Stroud duly raised the bar he had set when signing a 125,000gns docket for a Free Eagle (Ire) colt consigned by Mountain View Stud, jointly with Fred Archer Racing.

Operated by James Fanshawe in honour of the Victorian legend who built his Pegasus Stables, these syndicates are an absolute model of their type, their success spreading far beyond flagbearer The Tin Man (GB) (Equiano {Fr}). The old stalwart returns to Ascot Saturday with every chance of a fourth Group 1 success at the age of seven, but Lot 1426 is a half-brother to their latest success story, Archer's Dream (Ire) (Dream Ahead), whose four wins from six starts to date include a Listed sprint at Salisbury this summer.

Archer's Dream was purchased in this ring as a December yearling, from Nicola Kent, for 38,000gns, and promises to have good residual value as the first runner out of Badr Al Badoor (Ire) (Acclamation {GB}), winner of four races for Fanshawe herself and a half-sister to G1 King's Stand S. winner Profitable (Ire) (Invincible Spirit {Ire}) among several other black-type performers and/or producers.

And the hope is that the page will be enhanced by this colt soon enough. Though a May foal, Stroud reckons him built not to need too much time.

“He's a very nice, easy-going, athletic colt who should make up into a 2-year-old,” reasoned the agent. “The dam is by Acclamation, who's a very good broodmare sire. And anyone is welcome to join the syndicate!”

Those who do will be joining a winning team as Fanshawe, though mysteriously neglected by most of the superpower investors, has this year surpassed even his own high standards with his most prolific campaign since 2002.

“The syndicates are great fun and most of the horses have won,” Fanshawe said. “Each horse is in 10 shares but we find that people like to invest in more than one, so they can spread the risk, reduce costs, while still having a meaningful stake in yearlings that would be quite an undertaking in their own name. We also bought a Showcasing filly in Book 1 for 75,000gns.”

Rory Mahon of Mountain View reported Badr Al Badoor to be carrying a collector's item, having been one of the mares covered by the tragic Roaring Lion in his single season at stud.

“That's a great result,” he said. “He is a very nice colt, very well balanced, and looks like a racehorse.”

Two Witch of Fife Lines Meet Again

The Mahon family had already banked 62,000gns from Joe Foley for Lot 1411, on behalf of Clipper Logistics–for whom Foley found an 85,000gns Royal Ascot winner, Space Traveller (GB) (Bated Breath {GB}), in this catalogue two years ago.

This filly is in effect a Shadwell production as a daughter of Nayef acquired in utero with the stakes-placed Alqubbah (Ire) (Arcano {Ire}), culled for just £30,000 to Howson & Houldsworth at the mixed August Sale at Ascot in 2017. Her dam was placed in the G2 May Hill and this is the further family of 2,000 Guineas Magna Grecia (Ire) (Invincible Spirit {Ire}). Plenty of residual value there, then, though she looks built to enhance the page herself first.

“She's a beauty,” said Foley. “She's out of a very good, sharp mare. I like to think a little out of the box, but Nayef is a good sire of fillies and she's from the good, deep family of Witch Of Fife (Lear Fan).”

The same family yielded the second six-figure sale of the day when Ed Dunlop gave 100,000gns in the name of B.B.A. Ireland for a Lope De Vega (Ire) filly consigned as Lot 1528 by Jamie Railton.

“She's for an owner in my yard who loves the sire,” the trainer explained. “We tried for one earlier in the week but didn't manage so I'm delighted we managed to land such a lovely, good-walking filly.”

She is the first foal of an unraced Canford Cliffs (Ire) half-sister to two Listed winners out of a half-sister to G1 Prix Vermeille winner Pearly Shells (GB)–whose own mother is a half-sister to the dam of Witch Of Fife.

Rabbah First to Last

One of the big players of Book 2 that did keep chipping quietly away was Rabbah, the session's leading purchaser with a dozen yearlings for an aggregate 411,000gns-headed by a 72,000gns colt from the first crop of The Last Lion (Ire) (Choisir {Aus}).

That represented due reward for the patience of Hazelwood Bloodstock, who retained him at 20,000gns here last December. He had been acquired in utero as part of the package with his dam, Listed winner Anadolu (Ire) (Statue Of Liberty), when she sold for just €30,000 at Goffs February last year.

“We brought him to the foal sale last year but he was a bit immature, being a May foal,” said Adrian O'Brien of Hazlewood. “But I liked his style, so decided to keep him. He has turned into a beautiful yearling and done very well.”

The mare, out of a Grade II winner in California, looks well bought now–not least as her 2-year-old Istanbul (Ire) (Gutaifan {Ire}) is sufficiently well regarded by Richard Fahey to have been tried in the G2 Prix Robert Papin, running a creditable fifth, in his only start since winning his maiden.

Lynam Flying the Flag

Soffia (GB) (Kyllachy {GB}) has reminded everyone of the skills of Edward Lynam this summer, as a €52,000 yearling who won consecutively at Listed, Group 3 and Group 2 level. But it was another very fast filly who was in the back of the Co Meath trainer's mind as he signed a 70,000gns docket for Lot 1412.

“A nice filly and let's hope she's as lucky as another one I had by Starspangledbanner (Aus), Anthem Alexander (Ire),” he said.

Anthem Alexander's two visits to Royal Ascot yielded success in the G2 Queen Mary S. and then a podium behind Muhaarar (GB) (Oasis Dream {GB}) in the G1 Commonwealth Cup.

This filly is the first foal of a New Approach (Ire) half-sister to dual Group 3 winner Alanza (Ire) (Dubai Destination), that pair out of Classic-placed Alasha (Ire) (Barathea {Ire}) from the family of Alamshar (Ire) (Key Of Luck) among others. All good Aga Khan stuff, and now in no less respected hands at Lodge Park Stud.

“She's from a top-class farm,” assented Lynam. “There are a lot of good milers in the pedigree, it's a good cross, and of course the sire had the [G1] Cheveley Park winner the other day [Millisle (Ire)].”

Giving Credit Where It's Due

Clive Cox has contributed significantly to the brisk start of another rookie, Whitsbury's Due Diligence, saddling the £13,000 Doncaster breezer Streamline (GB) to win three of his four starts, including the G3 Sirenia S. at Kempton last month.

And the Lambourn trainer picked up another of the farm homebreds when giving 60,000gns for Lot 1385, a January filly out of Group 2-placed Tongue Twista (GB) (Stimulation {Ire})–crediting her as “a really racy, nice model to go to war with.”

Whitsbury's Ed Harper, having clipped its son of War Front to £4,000 this year, is delighted how his first crop have meanwhile made their £6,500 opening fee pay.

“The sire's been going so well,” he enthused. “He's had three stakes winners, two of them bred at Whitsbury, and hopefully this filly can become the first of his second crop. She was never in her box, as a real forward-going, ants-in-her-pants type of filly.”

Cox also gave 55,000gns for Lot 1480, a Fountain Of Youth (Ire) filly consigned by Bearstone Stud from a wonderful family. The second dam, a sister to Al Bahathri (Ire) (Blushing Groom {Fr}), produced blue hen Green Room (Theatrical {Ire}) among other elite performers and/or producers.

Siyouni Maintains a Following Breeze

This is a fertile catalogue for the breeze-up consignors and Siyouni (Fr) was again at the top of their shopping list, following a 220,000gns pinhook investment between Star Bloodstock and Longways Stables the previous day. The latter of that pair broke the Doncaster Breeze-Up record with a £450,000 daughter of Siyouni in the spring, and Jim McCartan would certainly settle for that kind of dividend after giving 80,000gns for another one.

Lot 1496, consigned by Voute Sales, is a daughter of Enraptured (Ire) (Oasis Dream {GB}) who was similarly culled by Lady Bamford here last December for just 34,000gns-actually to her breeders Airlie Stud, who had once sold her as a Book 1 yearling for 450,000gns. She showed ability during a light career, winning a Newmarket maiden, and is a half-sister to a Group 3 winner in Pincheck (Ire) (Invincible Spirirt {Ire}), so McCartan hopes to draw out some of that quality in her daughter now.

“She looks a nice, balanced, precocious type,” he said. “And the sire is very popular at the moment, particularly his fillies. I've only had one or two Siyounis myself, but they were very easy to manage.”

Getting the Last Laugh

Dredging Book 3 reliably brings out the best in Alastair Pim, who always gets a greater kick out of eking out an extra bid for the little man than from an extra 100,000gns on a Book 1 sale-topper. True, the auctioneer seemed tempted to administer one instead when imploring Mick Easterby, late in the session, to stop prevaricating at 7,500gns over a colt sent up from Minster Stud. In the end, he outwitted the old Yorkshire fox by recognising a late bid and an 8,000gns docket was signed, with the due grace of 'the biter bit', by Easterby's son David.

David's cousin Tim will be receiving one of the most coveted of the later lots, with Anthony Bromley going to 75,000gns for an Intello (Ger) colt consigned by the National Stud. He saw off plenty of competition for Lot 1606, but that was only one aspect of his perseverance.

“John Cotton, who's a long-term client, wanted a middle-distance type that will make a 3-year-old,” the Highflyer agent explained. “We came up short in Book 2 so I went through all the pedigrees last night and he was the last of around 40 I looked at. I was quite prepared to give up but it turned out that he absolutely stood out-and it didn't do any harm that he was the spitting image of Penzance (GB) (Pennekamp)!”

The 2005 Triumph Hurdle winner, trained by Bromley's regular collaborator Alan King, is a half-brother not only to the champion miler Soviet Song (Ire) (Soviet Star) but also to the grand-dam of this colt-a wonderful pinhook by J.D. Moore, who signed for him at just 5,000gns here last December.

Moore had been delighted to see the half-brother Dr Simpson (Fr) (Dandy Man {Ire}) get not one but two stakes updates since the publication of the catalogue. “Tim Lane helped me find the foal, and he has turned into a lovely, quality horse,” he said. “He went to Ireland after the sales and then Tim and his team at the National Stud had him to prep. They have done a fantastic job, and a special shout-out to Joe Cullen who's been in charge here.”

As we said at the outset, then: a day for the grafters.

 

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