Acclamation Filly Leads Premier Closer

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Session-topping Acclamation filly | Goffs UK

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DONCASTER, UK–Trevor and Libby Harris produced the Goffs Premier Sale's top lot two years ago and there was a sense of deja vu as the couple's Lordship Stud offering delivered the highest point of the second afternoon's trade.

That particular £280,000 individual turned out to be Yafta (GB) (Dark Angel {Ire}), recent winner of the G3 Hackwood S. for Richard Hannon and Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum, and pattern race dreams will undoubtedly be held by the new connections of his close relative.

On that same day at Doncaster in 2016, John Dance had spent an unprecedented £220,000 on the filly who has made his name as an owner, this season's G1 Prix de Diane S. winner Laurens (Fr) (Siyouni {Fr}). It was Dance who swooped for Lordship's lot 267, consigned like Yafta by Highclere Stud, when Daniel Creighton signed for her for £240,000 on his behalf.

Their latest acquisition is a daughter of Acclamation (GB) representing the same Swiss Lake family that the Harrises Newmarket operation have nurtured so carefully. Although her dam Swiss Kiss (GB)(Dansili {GB}) did not hit the heights on the track to such an extent as siblings like Swiss Diva (GB) (Pivotal {GB}) and Yafta's dam Swiss Dream (GB) (Oasis Dream {GB}), her smart genes make her a valuable commodity.

“We like this place,” said Trevor Harris with a smile. “I'm pleased. She's going to a good home and will be well bred up. Swiss Kiss lost her pregnancy last year but she's in foal to Dark Angel.”

As with on Tuesday, when he had also been active, Dance was not on the scene and Creighton spoke on his behalf.

“She was just a lovely mover–very Acclamation,” he said. “She has the pedigree and John is in to breeding so it's a very alive page. John and [wife] Jess came here Sunday and Monday and loved her.”

“We'll decide on the trainer–it might be Karl Burke again if they want to go down the same route. We beat Angus Gold to buy Laurens and have done it again here.”

On Laurens herself, who was a slight disappointment in last week's G1 Yorkshire Oaks S., Creighton revealed: “She'll go back in trip; basically she didn't stay. They had to give it a go and see if they could go down the Arc route with her but there's the likes of the Matron and the Champion S. at Ascot left.”

Action during the rest of the session appeared to reflect the wider theme of the current market. As with last week's events at Arqana, there was good money for the right horse and a total of 18 individuals reached six figures on the day.

Such standards have been set over in recent times that it was understandable to note that trade was still a little patchy. A new Premier record had still been set through the £380,000 made early on Tuesday by lot 20, the Newsells Park Stud-consigned son of Gleneagles (Ire), and that figure never looked likely to be toppled.

The overall clearance race from the 473 yearlings offered was a healthy 89%, up 1% on 12 months ago. However, the aggregate was £19,084,500, which was 3% down, with the average falling 11% from £50,687 in 2017 to £45,331. The median also dropped 5% to £35,000 from £37,000.

Goffs UK's managing director Tony Williams said: “We came into this sale determined to break the £300,000 mark and to do so is a huge achievement as we smashed the previous record by £100,000, setting a new high of £380,000. That's a real statement for this sale and the type of yearling it now attracts and, along with the Classic winner Laurens, encapsulates the evolution this sale has undergone.”

“This sale has undergone six consecutive years of growth and to match last year's record-breaking figures was always going to be tough. However, we have achieved the second-highest figures in this sale's history for which we are delighted and to finish with a clearance rate of 89% demonstrates the strength of the market here at Doncaster.”

“We have received overwhelming praise from our vendors and buyers alike on what has been a very strong sale and it will be interesting to reflect on the figures as the sale season continues. I would like to thank our vendors and buyers who came from around the world and wish them all the very best.”

Angel Rises For Highclere…

Highclere later provided what was to prove the third-highest seller of the day by consigning lot 318 for £170,000. The son of Dark Angel {Ire} and G3 Ballyogan S. winner Age Of Chivalry (Ire) (Invincible Spirit {Ire}), a half-brother to three winners already, ought to be a sharp sort for Richard Hannon to get to grips with after Peter and Ross Doyle secured the final bid.

“I thought he was the best of the sale,” Ross Doyle said whilst Hannon set the wheels in motion for an as-then unnamed owner. “We've had a lot of success with the stallion and the mare looks decent, so it made a lot of sense.”

From very similar lines a little later was lot 337, a son of Kodiac (GB) out of Age Of Chivalry's dam Aravonian (GB) (Night Shift), who won a maiden in her racing career but has fared considerably better as a broodmare. He caught the attention of Shadwell's Angus Gold at £135,000.

“The mare has a bit of age on her now, but he's a good, athletic sort who was bought to go to Mark Johnston,”

Gold said. Gold had to dig deeper into the Shadwell reserves and up to £190,000 for lot 388, a professional-looking son of the increasingly popular Showcasing (GB). He is a third foal of listed winner City Image (Ire) (Elusive City), and from the immediate family of the outstanding French mare Elusive Wave (Ire) (Elusive City).

“He's a smashing horse – one of the most straightforward I've seen all week,” Gold said. “He looked a 2-year-old and I think a lot of people wanted him so I thought we might struggle. I valued him at around £200,000, so I'm thrilled we got him.”

Shadwell ultimately laid out £1,435 on 13 yearlings and were jostling for supremacy with SackvilleDonald as the sale's top purchaser. That honour narrowly fell to the latter, with 25 at a total of £1,453,000 including the Gleneagles top lot.

Cheveley Repeats Pattern…

David and Patricia Thompson's Cheveley Park Stud might generally be regarded as sellers but such a successful business will always need to replenish its stocks and managing director Chris Richardson saw off the likes of Joseph O'Brien for lot 301, a Dark Angel (Ire) filly out of Wiltshire Life (Ire) (Camacho {GB}) for £150,000.

“She was very athletic and Mrs Thompson was interested in her from a pedigree point of view because it's the same cross as with Juliet Capulet, who we won the Rockfel S. with,” Richardson explained.

It was two years ago that at Goffs Orby that Cheveley Park had acquired Juliet Capulet from Yeomanstown for €235,000.

Richardson has a little more on his plate at the moment with the Thompsons reviving their interest in the National Hunt sphere. Their most famous chaser to date was Party Politics (GB), who carried Patricia Thompson's purple and pink silks to success in the 1992 Grand National at Aintree. Those colours, however, have been retired and in future, the National Hunt horses will also run in the usual Cheveley Park livery of red, white and blue.

“Jumping is more Mr Thompson's interest and Mrs Thompson thought it was better that the colours were changed around,” Richardson added. “There are quite a few more horses now, with some trained in Ireland by Willie Mullins, Gordon Elliott and Henry de Bromhead.”

First Crop Update…

There will be scant opportunities to purchase the progeny of The Wow Signal (Ire) (Starspangledbanner {Aus}), who died from laminitis earlier in the year after producing only two tiny crops.

As John Quinn had prepared the late stallion to win the G1 Prix Morny S., it was no surprise to see the Yorkshire trainer showing interest in his only offering at the sale, lot 384. However, he was seen off in the end as the son of Chickasaw, consigned by Mark Dwyer's Oaks Farm Stables, went to Con Marnane for £32,000.

“My brother David trained [the dam's half-brother] Santo Padre, so I know the family well,” Marnane explained. “He'll probably come back here to breeze, and if he doesn't sell, we'll race him.”

There was also interest in several other new sires.

Yeomanstown's Gutaifan (Ire) hit £100,000 on two occasions through lot 308 and lot 420, whilst these sales have also seen the first yearlings from Tweenhills's Hot Streak (Ire), and his lot 501 closed the sale. A son of Irishstone (Ire) (Danehill Dancer {Ire}) and half-brother to winning Acclamation colt Stone Of Destiny (GB) ended up in David Redvers's hands for £105,000.

Thankfully, Starspangledbanner himself is still going strong and he was responsible for the day's final serious piece of theatre. Lot 477, a grey colt with a distinctly brown hue, provided as much relief as delight for Anna Sundstrom's risk-taking pinhooking venture. She had bought the son of Glowing Star (Ire) (Clodovil {Ire}) for €78,000 last November and the bidding here eventually rolled up to £140,000 until he was knocked down to Cormac McCormack on behalf of “a new and enthusiastic client.”

“I was so nervous,” Sundstrom admitted. “He was the most beautiful foal. I was worried about the colour but that's the Clodovil coming through. I bought about 10 [to pinhook] and it's a lot of money invested for me. We bred Home Of The Brave so I have always loved Starspangledbanner. I bought two last year and the other is selling at Goffs Orby.”

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