A'Ali Sister A Premier Sale Standout

Daniel Creighton | Goffs UK

Fledgling bloodstock agent Daniel Creighton took a swing at the top of the market at the Goffs UK Premier Yearling Sale in 2016, spending £220,000 on behalf of owner John Dance on the sale's highest-priced filly. The transaction could hardly have worked out better, with that yearling going on to become the six-time Group 1 winner Laurens (Fr) (Siyouni {Fr}). Creighton, along with his partner Josh Schwartz, are hoping to feature on the leaderboard at the same sale on Sept. 1 and 2 as sellers, with six yearlings set to go under the hammer as part of their Salcey Forest Stud draft. Those include a filly by promising first-season sire Cotai Glory (GB) (lot 322) who is a half-sister to multiple group-winning sprinter A'Ali (Ire) (Society Rock {Ire}), a £35,000 graduate of the Premier sale in 2018.

The March-born filly is poised to provide her breeder Andrew Davis with a cozy return; through Creighton, Davis bought her dam, the Motivator (GB) mare Motion Lass (GB), for just 9,000gns while carrying her at the Tattersalls February Sale. Four months later A'Ali won the G2 Norfolk S. at Royal Ascot followed by the G2 Prix Robert Papin and the G2 Flying Childers S. A sales ring score, however, would come with a touch of sadness, as Motion Lass died at the height of A'Ali's powers.

“From day one she's always been a nice filly; when she was born she had quality and class,” Creighton recalled of the Cotai Glory filly. “She's always been very easy to deal with. The mare, unfortunately, colicked and died which was terrible for all of us. And that was after A'Ali won the Norfolk. So it was very disappointing.”

The Cotai Glory filly is just the third foal out of the mare and her only filly.

“It's the only chance to have the bloodline if somebody wants to buy into it, which is quite important,” Creighton said. “It's hard not to offer a filly like her because she's quite valuable. She has a lot of quality, a very nice head. She's a good mover, very easy mover in the lunging ring. She floats across the ground, she's very strong and she strikes me as a 2-year-old type. She's probably going to be very similar to her brother in regards to trip and precocity.”

While Davis will feel the loss of Motion Lass for some time, another mare, Solfilia (GB) (Teofilo {Ire}), has likely helped ease the pain. She was picked up by Creighton and Schwartz for 4,500gns at Tattersalls July in 2018, and her 2-year-old at the time, Bodhicitta (GB) (Showcasing {GB}), was Grade I-placed in America in May. Davis opted to retain Solfilia after bidding stalled at £340,000 during the Tattersalls Online August Sale.

Also among Davis's offerings at the Goffs UK Premier Sale is a colt from the first crop of Time Test (GB) (lot 312) who was bought back for 19,000gns as a foal. He is the first foal out of Midnight (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}), whose dam is a full-sister to Rock Of Gibraltar (Ire).

“You'd be hard-pressed to find a horse that can walk better than this horse,” Creighton said. “He's got fantastic action.”

Creighton also pointed to a filly by Kodiac (GB) (lot 52) as a potential head-turner. She is the third foal out of Yukon Girl (Ire) (Manduro {Ger}), a half-sister to the dam of Group 1 winner and sire Mount Nelson (GB).

“Kodiac is riding the crest of a wave right now,” Creighton said. “He's had a fantastic year with Campanelle, Nando Parrado and Hello Youmzain. This filly is a bit weak at the moment but she has a very good back page. For me she's a very good physical and just a very nice filly.”

“We have a very nice Bungle Inthejungle colt (lot 265) as well,” Creighton added. “He's really strong, very typical of the stallion and probably very much in the Doncaster mould, but with scope as well.”

Creighton spent his formative years between Ireland, England and Spain, honing his eye for a horse alongside his father Eddie Creighton, who was a trainer. He dabbled in various facets of the business-including administration at HRI and as a multi-lingual race commentator-before his keen interest in pedigrees and the sales scene led to he and Schwartz founding Creighton Schwartz Bloodstock in 2011. The pair took on Salcey Forest Stud around the same time for a handful of their own mares, and it has since snowballed into a full-fledged commercial operation.

While Creighton will likely be long associated with Laurens, he said he is keen to prove that he isn't a “one-trick pony.” Other sales purchases include the G3 Cornwallis S. winner Abel Handy (Ire) (Arcano {Ire}), the Cornwallis-third Jouska (GB) (Cable Bay {Ire}) and John Dance's recent G1 Prix Morny third Rhythm Master (Ire) (Dark Angel {Ire}), who was making his second start after breaking his maiden first out. Creighton described Dance as “great to work for.”

“He loves being involved in the training of the horses,” Creighton said. “And when it comes to buying horses we work together very well. He's into statistics and numbers and he likes to put things to an algorithm; I am more about looking at the physical of the horse. He has been very supportive of mine and Josh's business and he's taken it to a different level. I have to also give a mention to all the other clients that I have as well. They've all been very good and most of them are very good friends and we've had success with them, too.”

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