Another Craven Cracker For Kavanagh As Galileo Colt Makes A Million

Roderic Kavanagh: “He's just a natural athlete.” | Tattersalls

By

The cliche of the difficult second album is very real. You have just recorded your greatest hit so, in many ways, you could feel destined to fail in attempting to follow up on something so special.

Roderic Kavanagh set the bar pretty high in consigning Vandeek (GB) (Havana Grey {GB}) at the Tattersalls Craven Breeze-Up Sale last year. The colt, bought by Anthony Stroud on behalf of KHK Racing, has turned out to be a dual Group 1-winning superstar who has yet to taste defeat. That's what you call a hit single. 

It was going to take more magic from Kavanagh to conjure up something as good and only a fool could think it possible for him to better such a result. However, the gifted young breeze-up handler showed he is far from a one-hit wonder when his Galileo (Ire) colt became the third-highest breeze-up horse sold at public auction in Europe at 1 million gns. 

Once again, it was Stroud who did the buying, this time on behalf of Godolphin with Kia Joorabchian of Amo Racing filling the role of underbidder. 

“I used to love you Stroudy….not anymore,” Joorabchian joked with the sale's leading buyer shortly after the hammer fell. But Amo's role in the tussle shouldn't be underestimated and nobody was more keenly aware of that than an emotional Kavanagh. 

“It just aligned, didn't it? For Amo to go that far, I wasn't expecting that,” he said. “We were concerned that Godolphin and KHK Racing wouldn't bid against each other but, the fact that they relaid, it shows what they thought it would take to buy him. It's beyond our dreams. But you do dream occasionally that something like that could happen when you have one of the last Galileos in your yard. He's just a natural athlete. The last month has been tense because we knew we had something special. It's incredible.”

Asked if he felt much pressure to follow up on last year's achievements with Vandeek, Kavanagh responded, “We were quite disciplined all year and didn't lose the run of ourselves at all. Then that horse came up and you could feel there was a possibility to get something that was unique. But I didn't think that would happen. I have other horses who I really liked coming here and it didn't happen for them. Maybe that's just the attributes of this horse–he just doesn't disappoint, and hopefully he won't disappoint.”

It is probably fair to describe lot 112 as not your typical breeze-up horse. Bought by Kavanagh's Glending Stables for 125,000gns from The Castlebridge Consignment at the Tattersalls December Yearling Sale, the colt from the last crop of his legendary stallion's two-year-olds repaid the young consignor's vision. 

Kavanagh continued, “I thought there was a chance that he would make half of what he did. But there are no blemishes with that horse and hopefully he's as good as the last fella!”

He added, “We were really lucky to get him. You start looking around and wondering, 'what's missing here?' I'd say that's why we were able to buy him–people thought there might have been something missing in the puzzle but there wasn't. 

“When the vet came back and gave us the green light we said, 'wow, this is a unique opportunity.' It's a lot of money for us to give but you're thinking and dreaming of the bigger picture. If it hadn't been for Vandeek, maybe we wouldn't have gone out and spent that money on the Galileo. Vandeek has been a life-changing horse for us.”

The Galileo was the highlight of what proved a strong evening's buying for Stroud on behalf of Godolphin and others. 

On the Galileo, he commented, “We all thought he is a very nice horse and is the last horse by Galileo to go through public auction. He came from the same hotel as Vandeek. The colt deserved to do well and he did well. When two people really want a horse then it can make any price. It is great for the breeze up sale.”

 

 

“Selectivity To The Trade”

Tattersalls Chairman Edmond Mahony acknowledged the extreme weather conditions that wreaked havoc during breeze day at this year's sale and pointed to the “selectivity to the trade” in his post-sale statement.

Of the 147 lots offered, 106 were sold at a clearance rate of 72% [down 4% on last year]. The aggregate was down 5% to 14,584,500gns while the median stayed the same at 80,000gns and the average climbed 13% to 137,590gns.

Mahony said, “Above all we would like to congratulate every single consignor and all associated with the way in which they coped with the extreme weather conditions which we encountered on the morning of the breeze. The professionalism, both human and equine, shone through the persistent wind and rain and it has been wonderful to see some memorable pinhooking triumphs despite the adversity.

“The Craven Breeze-Up Sale has produced the best British two-year-olds of their generation in two of the last three years as well as two Guineas winners and the global participation this week reflects the sale's reputation as a prolific source of Group 1 performers. Domestic British and Irish buyers have been joined by a strong contingent from throughout the Gulf region, with Saudi connections particularly prominent, and American participation, which has been such a feature of Book 1 of the October Yearling Sale in recent years, has also been notable.”

He added, “Obviously the outstanding Galileo colt selling for one million guineas, the second-highest price ever for a Craven Breeze-Up two-year-old and the third-highest in Europe, was the highlight of the sale and the second consecutive year that Roderic Kavanagh's Glending Stables has topped the sale which is a remarkable achievement. 

“As a 125,000 gns yearling purchase only five months ago the colt was a truly spectacular pinhooking achievement and there were numerous other notable successes which reflect the outstanding professionalism of the consignors. It should be noted, however, that while the key metrics of average and median compare well with last year's record-breaking sale, the clearance rate has fallen short and there has been a selectivity to the trade which should not be overlooked. 

“There has been no shortage of competition, both domestic and international, at the top of the market and a record number of lots selling for 500,000 gns or more, but the lower levels of the market have not matched the robust demand at the higher end. 

“Nevertheless, we are confident that this year's Craven Breeze Up Sale will prove to be an abundant source of high-class racehorses to follow in the illustrious footsteps of Cachet (Ire), Native Trail (GB) and Vandeek.”

Poste Delivers A Dream Debut Performance 

Ex-jumps jockey Charlie Poste spoke to TDN Europe at the beginning of the year about the reasoning behind branching out from solely consigning point-to-point horses to dipping his toe into the waters of the breeze-up business. 

The international clientele on the Flat was put forward as one of the main lures for the man whose roots are entrenched in National Hunt racing.

That bold move to diversify paid off in spades as Poste marked his dream debut with a Blue Point (Ire) colt (lot 147) and filly (lot 132) selling for close to 1 million gns.

It was the Blue Point colt who stole the show at 800,000gns to Godolphin. Bought by Blandford Bloodstock's Tom Biggs and Poste's Station Yard at the Tattersalls Ireland September Yearling Sale, he brought in a multitude of that initial €78,000 outlay.

Poste said, “It is far more of a kick than I ever got riding a winner! We have to thank the syndicate who backed us, especially as we have not got the pedigree for doing this. Tom Biggs helped buy him and mates such as Mark Grant helped us through the whole process.

“I was nervous before they breezed as I did not want to be embarrassed. Francesca [Poste's wife] and I pride ourselves on doing these horses well, and the fact that he pitched up and he galloped as straight as a gun barrel and was seriously quick–he backed up what we had seen at home.

“But the truth of the matter is that we are used to training point-to-pointers and, me thinking he is fast, might not mean a whole heap. It has been a long time since I was riding at Richard Fahey's as an apprentice! But he came and showed us that we were spot on.”

Poste added, “We had been interested in breezing for a while but lacked the capital. We have loved the process and a change is as good as a rest. It has been seriously exciting for us. I didn't think in my wildest dreams it would end up like this at our first go.”

 

 

Talking points

  • If at first you don't succeed, try, try and try again. Eddie O'Leary might have been left cursing his luck when he failed to sell his Kingman (GB) colt out of proven broodmare Pure Excellence (GB) (Exceed And Excel {Aus}) (lot 150) at Book 1. Bought as a foal from Hazelwood Bloodstock for 230,000gns, he was led out unsold at 140,000gns last year, with O'Leary left with few options other than to breeze the colt. Well, it turned out to be for luck, with the brother to Group 3 and Listed winner Parent's Prayer (Ire) (Kingman {GB}) rocking into 800,000gns to Godolphin. “He was very, very popular-he's a very nice horse with a temperament that you could not fault,” O'Leary said afterwards. Asked how the transaction compared to having a Grade 1 win at Aintree last week with exciting novice hurdler Brighterdaysahead (Fr), he replied, “I hope he can run faster than her.”

 

  • Katie Walsh won't be forgetting this week in a hurry. Less than 24 hours after selling her New Bay (GB) colt to Godolphin for 525,000gns, Walsh's Greenhills Farm secured the same sum from the same buyer for a Havana Grey (GB) filly [98]. Shortly after getting off the phone to her father Ted, she said, “I am emotional tonight-it is unbelievable. It has been a great couple of days and it has been really special. “I understand how hard it is. For the last couple of weeks I have been saying, 'Jesus, I can't have two of them!' It is so hard to get one, let alone two. I didn't really say it out loud, but quietly thought it at home, as we all did.” Walsh added, “I ride a lot of them at home but all the lads in the yard have prepared them so well and the pair of these seemed to have something special. Her sire is on fire and the whole thing worked.” The Havana Grey represented another fine pinhooking profit having been bought by Mags O'Toole and Norman Williamson for 80,000gns at the Somerville Yearling Sale.

  • You've got to hand it to Anthony Stroud. He was the dominent buyer this week and accounted for the six top lots through either Godolphin or Stroud Coleman Bloodstock. 
  • It won't come as a surprise to many to see Blue Point and Havana Grey ending the Craven Sale high on the sires' podium. Obviously propped up by Station Yard's 800,000gns colt, but Blue Point had another big sale with nine lots selling for a combined 2,070,000gns. The Havana Grey train does not look like it will be slowing down any time soon, either, with eight lots making just shy of 1.5 million gns.
  • Tally-Ho Stud ended the sale as the leading consignors with seven lots sold for 1,602,000gns, headed by a 600,000gns Persian King (Ire) colt (lot 154) bought by Anthony Stroud to go into training with Richard Fahey for KHK Racing. Roger O'Callaghan said afterwards, “We really like Persian King as a sire. We tried to buy him ourselves but they would not sell. This is a cracking horse.” The half-brother to Group 3-placed Ritournelle (Fr) (Camelot {GB}) was sourced by Tally-Ho at Arqana in December for €80,000.

 

 

  • Michael O'Callaghan's commitment to the breeze-up sales continued with the Kildare-based trainer coming home from Newmarket with four new additions to the tune of 755,000gns.
  • One of the more interesting names to pop up on the buyers sheet was Mike Repole. It was Jacob West, signing under his West Bloodstock, who bought Tally-Ho's Blue Point colt (lot 133) for 280,000gns on behalf of the leading American owner.
  • Mick Donohoe explained on Tuesday how a lot of his business this week would be done on behalf of Saudi Arabian interests. The BBA Ireland agent went on to snap up an American Pharoah colt (lot 175) consigned by Longways Stables to fulfill that criteria at 285,000gns.

The Golden Touch: Lot 112
Colt by Galileo out of Manderley (Ire)
Consigned by Glending Stables
Purchased by Godolphin
It may be blindingly obvious but how can you give this award to any other horse other than the top lot? Okay, okay, 125,000gns is hardly a small sum of money to part with when snapping up breeze-up prospects at the yearling sales, but the Galileo colt made that initial outlay seem tiny when breaking the seven-figure marker. Hats off to everyone associated with the colt. A job well done. 

Thought for the Day
Much like last year, day two of the Tattersalls Craven Breeze-Up Sale proved to be much stronger than the opening session. Eight of the top 10 lots were sold on Wednesday.

Not a subscriber? Click here to sign up for the daily PDF or alerts.

Copy Article Link

Liked this article? Read more like this.

  1. No Longer The 'Mugs In The Middle' – Star Bloodstock To Wind Down Breeze-Up Operation
  2. Night Of Thunder's Fairy Godmother Exhibits Gears in the Fillies Sprint at Naas
  3. Job Done For Kyprios In The Saval Beg
  4. Over 45 Entries For The Tattersalls Online Breeze-Up Session In June
  5. Freshman Sire Without Parole Off The Mark At Newbury
X

Never miss another story from the TDN

Click Here to sign up for a free subscription.