Demand Remains Strong For Form Horses


Cloud Drift | Laura Green/Tattersalls

NEWMARKET, UK—The concept of a horses-in-training sale in August had already been welcomed and the initial response to the new three-day Tattersalls fixture seemed solid enough on Monday as, once again, a decent clearance rate of 84% was the most promising statistic of the day.

With 200 horses put through the ring, 167 found new homes, bringing a first-day aggregate of 1,871,800gns. This is not the level of trade once normally associates with the higher-profile Autumn Horses-in-Training Sale, but it served a purpose and once again fed a consistently voracious international appetite for bloodstock from this part of the world. The day's average was 11,208gns and median 6,000gns.

Even with restrictions in place, an array of buyers was able to assemble at Park Paddocks, but technology is playing an increasingly important role in bloodstock sales this year and the winning bid for the top-priced lot of the day came via Tattersalls' live internet bidding platform from Bahrain.

Sheikh Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa of Al Adiyat Racing is now the proud new owner of The Queen's homebred Cloud Drift (GB) (Toronado {Ire}), who will depart Michael Bell's Fitzroy House Stables to be aimed at an appearance on Bahrain's big race day.

“I am excited to have purchased the horse with the target of running in a valuable 0-100 handicap over a mile on Bahrain International Cup day, a meeting which also features the £500,000 Bahrain International,” reported the sheikh after buying lot 188 for 75,000gns.

Bred by The Queen from the four-time winner Humdrum (GB) (Dr Fong), the 3-year-old Cloud Drift has won once in each of his two seasons of racing and was sold with a rating of 89.

Cloud Drift's former trainer Michael Bell is a fan of timing of the new sale. He said, “I hope it stays. The July Sale can come up quite quickly in the season. The timing in August allows us to run horses at the summer festivals—Royal Ascot, July meeting, Goodwood—and then sell ahead of the yearling sales, which helps owners know where their finances are if they wish to reinvest.”

Another of the day's top lots to be heading to the Middle East is Soldierpoy (GB) (lot 96). The 2-year-old son of Sepoy (Aus) who was bought for 67,000gns by Will Douglass for Qatar-based Injaaz Stud.

“This horse has rock-solid form,” said Douglass of the 79-rated gelding who has been in the first three in all three of his starts for in-form trainer Tom Clover, including winning a Thirsk novice race and finishing third to Happy Romance (Ire) (Dandy Man {Ire}) in the valuable Weatherbys Super Sprint. “The trainer has done a good job with him. He's strong and sound, and should do a job for us.”

He added, “We tried to buy him a month ago and Happy Romance has won again since then. This is a great time of year to have a sale of this type. It suits everyone buying for an overseas market. At present [in the Middle East] they are not racing because it is high summer, so we buy them, and then ship them over which gives them time to acclimatise before they restart racing in September. The July Sale which is a very good sale, but this suits us better and I hope they keep it.”

One of a small number of mares in the sale, Mzyoon (Ire), an unraced Galileo (Ire) half-sister to crack sprinter Society Rock (Ire) (Rock Of Gibraltar {Ire}), was sold with a colt foal at foot by Exceed And Excel (Aus) for 58,000gns.

Bidding on behalf of Sheikh Sabah Al Sabah of Kuwait, Peter Harper signed the ticket for the 7-year-old mare, who was offered by the Castlebridge Consignment.

He said, “As a mare by Galileo she was hugely appealing. She will go to Derek Iceton at Tara Stud where all of the Sheikh's mares board. We think she was value at that price. We will decide on plans for this foal, who will likely be sold as a yearling.”

The mare's new owner has been represented on the racecourse this season by juvenile filly The Flying Ginger (Ire) (Showcasing {GB}), who won on debut earlier this month for trainer Roger Fell.

Continuing the international theme of buyers for the day's more expensive offerings, Dr Johnny Hon stepped in to buy lot 162, Sir Oliver (Ire) (Dark Angel {Ire}), for 50,000gns. The brother to Group 1-winning sprinter Mecca's Angel (Ire) was bought for the owner from Richard Hughes's Weathercock Stables by Tim Hide.

“We will get him home and give him a bit of a break before getting him back in for an all-weather campaign,” said Hide. “He looks a fast horse, he has a very fast sister, and he should be better in time as a 4-year-old.”

Trade resumes at Park Paddocks at 10am on Tuesday.



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