Flaming June Ushers In Hot Goresbridge Trade 

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Jerry Horan and Katharina Irmer pulled off the pinhook of the season | Emma Berry

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NEWMARKET, UK-The omens had been good ahead of the final breeze-up sale of the European season, and that sense of quiet confidence was largely justified with a strong clearance rate and new record price for the Tattersalls Ireland Goresbridge auction.

From 193 horses put through the ring, 175, or 91%, were listed at sold for turnover of £5,664,301, an increase of 69% on last year's trade when 50 fewer horses changed hands. The average price improved by 22% to £32,367 and the median was up 5% to £20,000.

Commenting on the record breaking session, Tattersalls Ireland CEO Simon Kerins said: “It has simply been a remarkable day of trade. We witnessed incredible demand for top-class 2-year-olds and we are delighted by the record figures that has been achieved. We had a catalogue of quality horses catering for all sectors of the market and the clearance rate of 91% demonstrates the enduring appeal of the sale.
“A huge thank you must be extended to all our vendors for supporting the sale with better quality stock. We strongly believe that this sale will continue to go from strength to strength and we look forward to the sale returning to Fairyhouse Racecourse and Tattersalls Ireland respectively in 2021.”

Bargain Yearling, Record-Setting Juvenile…

Held at Park Paddocks for the second year in a row, the sale propelled a young outfit to the head of proceedings when consignors Justin Timmons and Danny O'Donovan of Dolmen Bloodstock helped to pull off what was described as “one of the best sales ring touches ever”.

It's rare to see a yearling sold from the Ecurie des Monceaux draft for €6,000, but that was the price paid by Jerry Horan for a Dark Angel (Ire) colt out of the listed-placed Arch mare Venturous Spirit (Fr) at last year's Arqana October Sale. And in the pinhooking coup of the season, the colt (lot 165) from the good Wildenstein family of Verveine (Lear Fan) and Vallee Enchantee (Ire) (Peintre Celebre), was returned to the ring  to change hands again for a sale-topping £410,000 after delivering one of the most impressive breezes of Wednesday's session.

It was a staggering result for first-time pinhooker Katharina Irmer, who agreed to take half of the colt the evening he was bought by Horan. The pair received a round of applause from those watching outside the ring as the hammer came down.

“We were in France and Katharina was there working for Grove [Stud] and she said to me that if I got something to let her in on it,” Horan said. “She took a share at dinner that night. We can't take the credit because Clare Manning broke him in and he came home for a break and then he went to the lads, so they need all the credit as they put in all the work.”

Irmer added, “He has never missed a day's work. He is just an amazing horse, and it is great for the guys as they have done such an amazing job. It was a perfect time of the year to sell, we were never tempted to sell earlier as we wanted to give him the time.”

Justin Timmons, one half of the Dolmen Bloodstock duo, said, “It's magic. He was a big raw horse in October, but everything has gone well and he has matured great through the winter. He never put a foot wrong. He did a very professional breeze, he has a lovely floating action and skipped along the ground, it was effortless.

He continued, “We never expected a figure like that, you do your best to get them to the sale and there is a lot of pressure to get to a sale. Then you have to breeze and then all the other aspects, you need a lot of things to go right.”

Richard Brown and Alex Elliott went head to head for the colt, with Brown having the final say. The Blandford Bloodstock agent divulged that the colt will now remain in Newmarket to be trained by William Haggas.

He said, “Well it was significantly more than I had expected or hoped to pay. I thought he did an outstanding breeze and obviously the sire is one of the top sires in Europe. He is a gorgeous, big horse, and when I spoke to my client last night we highlighted him as the one.

“I was on the phone to my client through the sale and I would say that was our last bid. I am delighted to get him, he was never going to be a cheap horse but when you get to those echelons, the pressure is on.”

Elliott Holds Breath In High Regard…

Alex Elliott had earlier been successful in securing the most expensive filly of the sale, Grove Stud's Bated Breath (GB) half-sister to G3 Somerville Tattersall S. winner Arctic Sound (GB) (Poet's Voice {GB}) (lot 99) at £240,000.

Elliott, who bought the filly for a partnership, said, “We come to these sales and we try and buy the best horses, and we thought she was the best horse here. Her price suggests that plenty of others thought so too.”

He added, “She did a very good breeze, has a pedigree, and is by a sire that I admire. I don't know who will train her yet, but she will stay in England. She was one I thought we had to have.”

The filly, bred by Hugo Lascelles of Lofts Hall Stud in partnership with Ben Sangster, is out of listed Empress S. winner Polar Circle (Royal Academy), who has so far produced four winners, including the German Classic-placed Arctic Sound (GB) (Poet's Voice {GB}).

Brendan Holland's Grove Stud topped last year's Goresbridge breeze-up with a filly by Kitten's Joy, and this result proved to be another decent pinhook, with the Bated Breath filly having been bought for 30,000gns from Book 2 of the Tattersalls October Yearling Sale.

Holland said, “I thought she was a nice yearling, there was no mystery, she was just nice and I thought at that money with that pedigree she was a good bet. She was from Jenny Norris, I like buying off her, she produces them well. Hopefully the filly is lucky for the next guy, she has been good to us.”

O'Callaghan Cracks On…

Trainer Michael O'Callaghan has been a busy buyer throughout the breeze-up season and he made several notable purchases on Thursday, including lot 104, from Johnny Collins of Brown Island Stables.

The smartly-bred Belardo (Ire) colt was bought for €47,000 from breeder of the season Jim Bolger, and is out of a twice-raced full-sister to his 2000 Guineas winner Dawn Approach (Ire), the stallion who in turn produced this year's winner of the Newmarket Classic, Poetic Flare (Ire).

“Physically he is one of the nicest horses here, and he did a very good breeze for a horse who is going to take a little bit of time,” O'Callaghan said after bidding £185,000. “He has a bit of size and scope and a great pedigree. I really, really like him and think he is something a little bit special. The pedigree is current, and he is by a stallion that is not too bad either. I haven't had any by Belardo yet.”

Collins, who withdrew the colt from the Craven Breeze-up in April to give him a little extra time, said, “It is a great result and he is a beautiful type. He will be a lovely horse for the autumn and will make a beautiful 3-year-old.”

O'Callaghan won last season's G3 Molecomb S with breeze-up graduate Steel Bull (Ire) (Clodovil {Ire}), and he ended up signing for another five 2-year-olds at Park Paddocks,  including lot 141, a £100,000 son of promising first-season sire Cotai Glory (GB) from the family of dual 1000 Guineas winner Hermosa (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}). The son of Star Of Kings (GB) (Sea The Stars {Ire}) was bought as a foal from the Goffs November Sale by Tally-Ho Stud for €25,000 from breeders Tom and Hazel Russell.

Blandford's Busy Day…

Blandford Bloodstock ended the sale as leading buyer with seven juveniles bought for £787,000, and the agency's representative Richard Brown was also involved with helping Eddie Linehan of Lackendara Stables to his biggest pinhooking result when bidding £115,000 for lot 25, a filly by Acclamation (GB) who had been bought at October Book 3 for 6,500gns.

The filly is a daughter of the unraced Heavenly Note (GB) (Dutch Art {GB}), herself out of a listed-placed half-sister to the Cheveley Park Stud-bred dual Grade I winner Megahertz (GB) (Pivotal {GB}).

Linehan recalls seeing the filly in Rathbarry Stud's October draft. He said, “When I am looking at yearlings I give them stars–four stars is top marks and she got three. She came in the ring and she was being sold for 1,000gns and I was thinking, 'What's wrong?'

“I rang my father at home and as we were talking she went to 6,000gns, I threw in one bid and that was the filly bought.” He added, “She was bit backward and needed a bit of time and this sale was always going to be the main aim. I am delighted it has worked out, it is huge. We didn't have great years through the last couple of seasons so this couldn't have come at a better time.”

Brown, who confirmed that the filly would be trained by Ed Dunlop, commented, “This filly did a seriously good breeze, and she is from a gorgeous fillies' family, too.”

The agent was still on the determined hunt for good breezers late in the session when outbidding Ted Durcan and Sheila Lavery on lot 219, a Point Of Entry colt named Cynical Point. Consigned by Church Farm & Horse Park Stud, the son of two-time winner Cynical Storm was bought by Chad Schumer for $35,000 at Keeneland's September Sale and nine months later his price had increased to £160,000 to bring a successful conclusion to a strong season for Roger Marley and John Cullinan's operation. His dam is a half-sister to Nemoralia (More Than Ready), who was previously trained in Newmarket by Jeremy Noseda to win the G3 York S.

First and Last…

A private sale was agreed for the first lot through the ring (lot 1), a colt by No Nay Never out of the Dalakhani (Ire) mare Eleanor Roosevelt (Ire). He will be heading stateside to the stable of Patrick Biancone after being bought on the trainer's behalf by Charles Shanahan at £100,000.

The curtain was brought down by a procession of wildcards culminating in the sale of the Dark Angel (Ire) colt out of Irish 1000 Guineas winner Jet Setting (Ire) (Fast Company {Ire}). Offered as lot 243 after being bought back at last Friday's Arqana Breeze-up Sale in Doncaster, the colt was bought by Adam Driver of Global Equine Consultant Services for £185,000. He had previously been bought as a yearling at the Goffs Orby Sale for £180,000.

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