Dubawi Millionaire Brings Joy For The Swinburns


Genesis Green Stud's Dubawi colt | Tattersalls


NEWMARKET, UK–A proper old-fashioned bidding war between two superpowers of the breeding world underpinned the most expensive foal transaction seen in Europe for almost 20 years, when Genesis Green Stud's Dubawi (Ire) half-brother to Group 2 winner I Can Fly (GB) (Fastnet Rock {Aus}) sold for 1.8 million gns to Godolphin. 

“I just wish Walter was here to see this,” said an emotional Michael Swinburn of his late brother, the outstanding former jockey and trainer, who died in 2016. “He owned the mare and had her in training. I Can Fly was the last one he knew and he was absolutely over the moon.”

Michael's parents Wally and Doreen, co-owners of Genesis Green, were both with him at Park Paddocks to enjoy the memorable moment, with Wally adding, “I always hoped I would breed a horse who would sell for a million before I die. I had a great career as a jockey but I'm getting on now, I'm 85, and this has made my life.”

Bidding outside, Anthony Stroud outlasted a serious attempt by MV Magnier in the ring to snare lot 965, from a family well known to the Coolmore partners who raced the Poule d'Essai des Poulains and Shadwell Turf Mile winner Landseer (GB) (Danehill), a half-brother to the colt's dam Madonna Dell'orto (GB) (Montjeu {Ire}).

“He's from a great farm and obviously Dubawi is a very special stallion and he had a great Breeders' Cup. We are lucky to have the horse,” said Stroud. “The boss said 'go for it', and we have great respect for the underbidders Coolmore. As long as he's a good racehorse that's all that matters.”

Godolphin has plenty of homebreds as well as yearling purchases to go to war with, but the operation has also done well buying from foal sales, with another son of Dubawi, the 2020 Horse of the Year Ghaiyyath (Ire) being a notable recent example and new recruit to the stallion ranks this year.

Michael Swinburn, who bought the colt's grandam Sabria (Miswaki) at Tattersalls 27 years ago, added, “When I Can Fly came up I approached Liam O'Rourke and asked what  was the chance of a foal share and he said they'd be delighted to have [the mare]. She's just a pure vessel of a mare–every foal she has produced has just been a good version of the stallion. No one foal is like another, she just throws to the stallion.”

He continued, “That was just so, so nice because it is so hard to get one who gets through scopes and x-rays, and I hope he is so lucky for Sheikh Mohammed. I've loved Dubawi since his early days. This is lovely for everyone at the farm. David Hegarty is a great man and the staff have all been so loyal. It's a small team.”

Remembering Sabria's purchase for 25,000gns in 1994, he said, “I bought the mare years ago here with Olly St Lawrence and I went home and mum and dad must have got wind of it, and they asked why the hell I'd done that. But Walter bailed me out with the 25,000 and we've had the family ever since. It's probably built Genesis Green. [Madonna Dell'orto] is now back in foal to Fastnet Rock with a filly.”

In keeping with the trend throughout the week and the sales year generally, figures were up on the biggest day of foals at Tattersalls. An aggregate of 17,051,100gns was accrured, representing a 4% increase from six fewer foals sold than on the same day last year. At 60,000gns, the median rose by 5%, and the average of 93,175gns was up by 8%. Only the clearance rate dropped, from 88% to 83%, with 183 weanlings sold during the session from 221 offered. 



Coolmore lands Furnace Mill colt

The day brought incredible rewards for two relatively small British breeding operations selling weanlings by the two best stallions in Europe. A colt by champion sire-elect Frankel (GB) from David and Trish Brown's Furnace Mill Stud had held the top spot through much of the afternoon after another prolonged bidding duel, this time between Coolmore and Juddmonte. MV Magnier eventually had his way at 675,000gns after the early bidders for lot 915 had fallen away, including Gay O'Callaghan, Michael Donohoe, and eventually Simon Mockridge, general manager of Juddmonte's UK operation. 

Mockridge is the last person who needs to be reminded of the might of Frankel, particularly in 2021, when his leading lights have included Derby and King George winner Adayar (Ire) and Irish Derby and St Leger winner Hurricane Lane (Ire). The latter was bred at Coolmore by Philippa Cooper and this colt, a full-brother to the listed Wolferton S. winner and Group 2 runner-up Juan Elcano (GB), will now spend some time there before eventually going into training.

“David and Trish are very good breeders and we've known them a long time so I'm delighted to be able to buy this colt from them. He's a lovely horse,” said Magnier.

David Brown was absent from the sale and was watching proceedings online from the couple's home in Worcestershire, but Trish was on hand at Park Paddocks and was supported by their grand-daughter Emily, who led the colt through the ring.

“It's been worth all the sleepless nights,” said Trish Brown. “We bred Juan Elcano, by Frankel, and it was obvious to go back to him again. We felt the mare deserved a chance with him. We have her 2-year-filly by Oasis Dream with us and [the mare] is now in foal to Sea The Moon.”

The colt's dam Whatami (GB) (Daylami {Ire}) has already proved her prowess in the paddocks with the Group 3 winner Nkosikazi (GB) (Cape Cross {Ire}) among her four winning offspring. From a family with deep credentials, Whatami is herself a half-sister to stakes winners Whazzis (GB) and Whazzat (GB), with the latter being the dam of young stallion James Garfield ((Ire). More established sires appear under the colt's third dam, Eljazzi (GB), whose Classic-winning daughter Rafha (GB) is the dam of Invincible Spirit (Ire) and Kodiac (GB).

Brown added, “We bought the mare here as a 3-year-old for 25,000gns. She's 15 now and has been a star.”


Indigo Lady does it again

The listed-winning Sir Percy (GB) mare Indigo Lady (GB) has been a star broodmare for the Veitch and Hancock families, both in the sale ring and on the racecourse, with her most expensive foal to date, the 600,000gns Indie Angel (Ire) (Dark Angel {Ire}) having won this season's G2 Duke of Cambridge S. for Cheveley Park Stud. 

The fourth of the 11-year-old mare's to sell for a six-figure sum at Tattersalls was this year's filly foal from the first crop of Blue Point (Ire) (lot 934), who secured a bid of 300,000gns from Tom Goff of Blandford Bloodstock and will be kept to race by an unnamed owner.

“Everything has been wonderful with this mare,” said co-breeder Derek Veitch, who consigned the filly under his Ringfort Stud banner. “In a way her fillies are becoming more valuable than her colts. She's young and healthy and, touch wood, she will carry on. She's in foal to Dark Angel at the moment, so she is carrying a full-brother or sister to Indie Angel, who is owned by Cheveley Park Stud and is going to Frankel. We haven't decided where Indigo Lady is going next year yet but obviously a sale like this helps with that.”

Ringfort Stud sold 10 of 14 foals from its draft at Tattersalls, including a Footstepsinthesand (GB) half-sister to G2 Gimcrack S winner Minzaal (Ire) (Mehmas {Ire}) for 80,000gns. 

Veitch added, “The sale felt a bit soft this morning but there is good money there if you have the horse they want. There's not as much action on some of these foals as I thought there would be. Of course I'm only speaking from my own perspective but I don't think this sale is as good as Goffs was last week. That sale felt commercially stronger.”

More Stars at Tattersalls

Sea The Stars (Ire) topped Monday's December Yearling Sale at Tattersalls and he featured prominently on the leader board for the major day of foals, with Anthony Oppenheimer going to 625,000gns to buy out the stallion's owner Ling Tsui for the foal share arrangement with his mare Frankellina (GB) (Frankel {GB}). The first foal of the G3 Musidora S. runner-up also caught the eye of Patrick Cooper, a determined underbidder for lot 988, who is from Hascombe & Valiant Stud's long-established family which includes the Derby and Arc winner Golden Horn (GB).

Immediately following the day's top lot, Harriet Loder's Marwell Park offered a homebred Sea The Stars filly (lot 966) who is closely related to the German Derby winner and popular stallion Sea The Moon (Ger). The filly's dam Sahel (Ger) (Monsun {Ger}) is a full-sister not only to Sea The Moon's dam Sanwa (Ger) but also to the Classic-winning trio of Samum (Ger), Schiaparelli (Ger) and Salve Regina (Ger). With such deep roots in the German breeding programme, it was perhaps no surprise to see Gestut Fahrhof sign for the filly at 350,000gns. 

The family has been in the sales headlines of late, with Sanwa's filly foal by Frankel (GB) having topped the Goffs November Foal Sale at €550,000 for breeders Heiki Bischoff and Niko Lafrentz of Gestut Gorlsdorf.

The third of the Sea The Stars weanlings to make the day's top five was lot 998, the Brightwalton Stud homebred first foal of Incharge (GB) (Kingman {GB}), who brought a bid of 350,000gns from Patrick Cooper of BBA Ireland.

Having missed out on the Hascombe & Valiant filly, Cooper was delighted to sign for this one on behalf of David and Vimy Aykroyd, who will eventually send the filly into training with Ralph Beckett.

“She's been bought as a long-term breeding prospect,” explained Cooper.

Though Incharge ran only once and was retired through injury, she owns a strong pedigree as a half-sister to dual Group 1 winner Poet's Word (Ire) (Poet's Voice {GB}) and Group 3 winner Malabar (GB) (Raven's Pass) as well as the dam of G2 Railway S. winner Beckford (GB) (Bated Breath {GB}).

He added, “The top-end fillies are the Frankels and the Sea The Stars, and that's why we ended up bidding on two. She will go to Copgrove Hall Stud. If you buy a yearling, the horse goes straight to the trainer or the breaking yard, so the owner never really gets to know the horse, but the Aykroyds live next door to Copgrove so they can spend a year getting to know the horse before she goes into training.”

Feeling Hot Hot Hot

Too Darn Hot could well be used as an apt description of the current bloodstock market and Darley's young sire of the same name spent a long time at the top of Friday's leaderboard when lot 850, bred and consigned by Appletree Stud, was the first significant purchase by Anthony Stroud at the December Foal Sale at 270,000gns.

In years gone by this time of year would have seen Robert 'Choc' Thornton in the saddle for Newbaury's Hennessy Meeting but the former jump jockey is now happily ensconced as manager of Appletree Stud in Gloucestershire and more attuned to the commercial realities of the Flat market. With two foals withdrawn from the sale, only two were put through the ring, with the other, an Oasis Dream (GB) colt, selling for 50,000gns to Joe Foley.

“It is great for the mare as she is back in foal to Too Darn Hot. We went back to him on the strength of this filly,” said Thornton of the daughter of the listed-winning Galileo (Ire) mare Astonishing (Ire).

“It is the Dubawi-Galileo cross, you can't go wrong with that. We couldn't get in to Dubawi so went to his best son with a proven mare.”

Astonishing's two winners have both earned black type, with Gold Maze (Gb) (Golden Horn {GB}) having been placed at Group 2 and Group 3 level, and Surprise Exhibit (GB) (Showcasing {GB}) in a listed race.

Thornton continued, “We were considering keeping her as a yearling, but her Dark Angel half-sister missed in Book 1, so then we were definitely coming with this one as we now have a filly out of the mare.”

The Dark Angel yearling is now in training with Archie Watson, who trained Appetree's Sherbet Lemon (Lemon Drop Kid) to win the Lingfield Oaks Trial. The 3-year-old is entered in next week's mares' sale as lot 1730.

Too Darn Hot's first foals have hit the mark at Tattersalls this week with 10 sold for an average of 114,200gns, making the young son of Dubawi the leading freshman at the sale.

Bold pinhook for WH Bloodstock

Just three lots before the Too Darn Hot filly, a weanling daughter of Wootton Bassett (GB) (lot 847) had temporarily held the lead when sold for 250,000gns to the pinhooking duo of Mimi Wadham and Violet Hesketh of WH Bloodstock.

Offered by Ballylinch Stud, who bred her in partnership with Ecurie des Charmes, the filly is the first foal of the Sea The Stars mare Chrsocolla (Fr), a winning half-sister to G2 Prix Greffulhe winner Ocovango (GB) (Monsun {Ger}) and a grand-daughter of Watership Down Stud's G1 Fillies' Mile winner Crystal Music (Nureyev). 

“The plan is to reoffer her next year in Book 1,” said Wadham. “We loved her, she was our pick of the sale. She is an incredible first foal and by a stallion who is just going up and up. She is the one we had to have, so we are thrilled.”

The partners have bought three foals this week for a total of 528,000gns. 

Wadham added, “It has been very competitive, we have had to really push for the ones we want but we have got to have the numbers next year and you have to be brave.

“The strength of the yearling sale gave us some confidence. The middle market has really thickened out, which is really encouraging, but the top maybe not so much.”

Deerpark double

The Fagan family's Deerpark Stud offered just two foals at Tattersalls with both selling for six-figure sums on Friday. 

Leading the way was lot 918, a Camelot (GB) colt out of the young mare Clique (GB) (Bated Breath {GB}), who was the selection of Frannie Woods of Rathbarry Stud at 250,000gns. 

A winner at three, the Juddmonte-bred Clique is a grand-daughter of G1 Prix du Moulin winner All At Sea (Riverman) and a half-sister to the Group 3 winners Stronghold (GB) (Danehill) and Convey (GB) (Dansili {GB}). The mare as bought from the Juddmonte draft for 110,000gns in 2018.

Her colt followed into the ring another from the first crop of Blue Point (Ire) out of the dual winner Sar Oiche (Ire) (Teofilo {Ire}) from the family of Intense Focus (Giant's Causeway) and Skitter Scatter (Scat Daddy). He was sold to pinhooker Eddie O'Leary from Lynn Lodge Stud for 100,000gns and was one of four six-figure foals for Darley's young son of Shamardal this week. 

Brown named agent of the year

Prior to the start of Friday's sale, Richard Brown of Blandford Bloodstock was presented with an award for FBA Bloodstock Agent of the Year for 2021 by Geoffrey Howson, Honorary President of the Federation of Bloodstock Agents.

Brown clinched the award for his breeze-up purchase of the Royal Ascot and dual Group 1 winner Perfect Power (Ire) and he had also been responsible for the purchase and stallion promotion of the juvenile's sire, Ardad (Ire).

“I first met Richard when he was being tutored by my friend and the godfather to our elder son, the late and great bloodstock agent, Joss Collins,” Howson said. “I have always thought that Richard shows the same work ethic and professionalism as Joss, who must have been a wonderful mentor. Richard has a very similar modus operandi at the sales, including the same favoured bidding position at Tattersalls. I know that in his turn Richard now helps many young people aspiring to enter the bloodstock industry.”

Brown added, “I'm sure Joss will be smiling down somewhere that Geoffrey is presenting this to me, I really do think that is particularly poignant.”

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