Festive Foals Take Centre Stage At Goffs

A foal is paraded at Kildare Paddocks this week | Goffs


KILDARE, Ireland–Those among us who leave their Christmas shopping until the last minute have the perfect opportunity to give the gift of a foal or a mare this festive period given the timing of this year's rescheduled Goffs November Foal and Breeding Stock Sale.

With current events requiring the sale to be pushed back almost four weeks from its original calendar slot, the action now commences on Friday and consists of three days of foals and a single day of mare trade. Unfortunately for those with very deep pockets, the much-anticipated potential sale topper–the Kingman (GB) colt out of Nightime (Ire) (Galileo {Ire})–has been withdrawn which is a major blow to Goffs given his siblings have topped two of the last five editions of the sale. However, there will be plenty of other foals that will attract the attention of pinhookers and end users alike and as an exasperating year comes to a close, Goffs Group Chief Executive Officer Henry Beeby said he is looking forward to hosting the first flat sale with customers on site at Goffs since February.

“It's good to be back trading here in Kildare Paddocks; we had the December National Hunt sale last week which was the first sale to take place in Ireland since Covid on its originally scheduled date,” Beeby said. “That obviously is not the case for this November Sale, but we did what we had to do in order to accommodate the most people. At the time when we had to make the decision we wanted to have a clear two weeks for both vendors and purchasers between this sale and the December Sale [at Tattersalls] in order for them to isolate as necessary. It's not ideal, but this is a case of needs must and it's a year when you do what you have to do to minimise the problems at hand and I hope it will still allow us to have a vibrant sale.

“We don't have a Part 2 of foals which reduces the catalogue slightly but I still think we have been very well supported by a lot of Irish breeders which we are very grateful for and we will just have to do our best.”

Beeby said he has been buoyed by the sustained strength of trade at the upper end of the market at foal and breeding stock sales so far in this unprecedented season.

“The resilience of pinhookers is simply awe inspiring,” he said. “Whether they have a good year or not they get stuck in regardless, basically because the majority are lifetime industry professionals and they just have to roll with the punches. That is what we all have had to do this year and we are all in it together and we just hope we can all get out the other side intact. People understand these date changes are necessary and those who attend the sale can all be reassured that Goffs will have done everything to make the complex as safe and as user-friendly as possible. We have a 36-page set of protocols, 30 stewards, one-way systems, hand sanitiser stations and plenty of outdoor areas. These include an outdoor bidding area with heaters, a marquee and the fact that we already have an outdoor covered parade ring is a great help. We will certainly make the best of it and do whatever we can to facilitate as successful a sale as is possible.”

As Beeby pointed out this year's foal catalogue is slightly reduced to three days which should help the clearance rate but a general trend in this sale is that trade heats up day by day as the standard of pedigree gets stronger, building towards a usually frenetic day of bidding on the final day which in this case falls on Sunday. Despite several high profile withdrawals which also includes some big-pedigreed foals from Moyglare Stud, there are dozens of foals that should ignite plenty of competition from bidders including lot 571 from Knockainey Stud. The New Bay (GB) filly is a half-sister to dual stakes winner Great Page (Ire) (Roderic O'Connor {Ire}) and her yearling half-sister by Kodiac (GB) made 220,000gns when bought as a foal last year by Shadwell. Another foal who has a big-money sibling to work for her is lot 583. This Acclamation (GB) colt's three parts brother by Mehmas (Ire) fetched £330,000 in the Orby Sale two months ago while the pedigree already lacks little with the dam Big Boned (Street Sense) having produced the Group 3 winner K Club (Ire) (Kodiac {GB}) and the stakes-placed Back To Brussels (Ire) (Starspangledbanner {Aus}) from only three runners so far.

Dandy Man (Ire) has been a good friend to a lot of pinhookers and there are a couple of colts by the Ballyhane stallion that could prove popular. Lot 590 from Milestream Stud is from the speedy family of Katla (Ire) (Majestic Missile {Ire}) and Wootton Bassett (GB). Later in the sale Jossestown Farm offers a Dandy Man half-brother to G1 Cheveley Park S. winner Alcohol Free (Ire) (No Nay Never) as lot 698. The mare Plying (Hard Spun) has also produced the stakes winner Alexander James (Ire) (Camelot {GB}) while her yearling filly by Starspangledbanner (Aus) made 130,000gns last month.

The progeny of Fashionable (GB) (Nashwan) have sold very well at Goffs over the years with the past two offerings out of the mare grossing €510,000 as foals and lot 621 will bid to continue that trend for breeder Ross Moorhead. The Fastnet Rock (Aus) filly is a half-sister to G1 Irish Oaks runner up Jack Naylor.

A filly with lots of residual value as well as obvious racing value is lot 659. Consigned by Ballintry Stud, the daughter of No Nay Never is a full-sister to two high achievers in American MGSW Nay Lady Nay (Ire) and G2 Coventry S. winner Arizona (Ire).

Of the four Frankel (GB) foals originally catalogued two are consigned by Des Leadon and Mariann Klay's Swordlestown Little Stud. The first of those is lot 673, a filly out of stakes winner Marvada (Ire) (Elusive City) who is the dam of the high-class Terebellum (Ire) (Sea The Stars {Ire}). The foal received a further pedigree boost when her 2-year-old half-sister Miss Finland (Ire) (Invincible Spirit {Ire}) broke her maiden at the second time of asking at Chelmsford last week. Swordlestown Little also offers a Frankel colt out of Nisriyna (Ire) Intikhab (lot 684), a mare whose progeny have sold very well as foals in Goffs. Her 2018 offering, now called Qaasid (Ire) (Awtaad {Ire}) sold for €170,000 and he also broke his maiden for Shadwell since the catalogue went to print.

The very next foal into the ring is also a Frankel colt, this time from Neilstown Stud and lot 685 should continue the fine work of the mare Noyelles (Ire) (Docksider) who has bred two stakes winners in Lily's Angel (Ire) (Dark Angel {Ire}) and Zurigha (Ire) (Cape Cross {Ire}) and has proven a fine money-spinner for Goffs Director Nick Nugent and his wife Alice.

Baroda Stud's final foal offering of the year, lot 707, could also be significant as the Foostepsinthesand (GB) colt is a half-brother to this year's G1 Keeneland Phoenix S. winner and Orby Sale graduate Lucky Vega (Ire) (Lope De Vega {Ire}).

As the sale draws to a conclusion a pair of Dark Angel (Ire) colts could make their presence felt. Lot 723 from Hill House is a half-brother to the smart pair Inverleigh (Ire) (Excelebration {Ire}) and Setarhe (Ire) (Footstepsinthesand {Ire}) while lot 745 from AK Thoroughbreds is out of the stakes winner Tarakala (Ire) (Dr Fong) and is closely related to this year's brilliant GI Breeders' Cup Turf winner Tarnawa (Ire) (Shamardal).

The sale begins at 10 a.m. each morning and as has become the norm on-line bidding will be available to prospective purchasers.

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