Full House in Newmarket as Mares Grab the Spotlight at Tattersalls

The team from Japan's Northern Farm has been hard at work at Park Paddocks since last week | Tattersalls

NEWMARKET, UK — There are no hotel rooms left in Newmarket. Visitors to Tattersalls are not only spread far and wide across Suffolk and Cambridgeshire but have come from far and wide too.

The largest ever contingent from Japan is expected at Park Paddocks this week, and with most of the stallion farms in the region displaying signs saying 'open house' it's the perfect time for international breeders also to consider using a local stallion to cover a new purchase before export. The locals are pretty good after all. Frankel (GB) handed the champion sire trophy to his Newmarket neighbour Dubawi (Ire) at the end of last year and the Juddmonte star is just about to reclaim his title.

There are six mares in foal to Frankel in this week's December Mares catalogue and while there are none carrying to Dubawi, there are 12 opportunities to buy a mare in foal to the young British sire currently tearing up the charts: Havana Grey (GB). They include Zuhoor Baynoona (Ire) (Elnadim), a half-sister to the dual Group 1 winner Hello Youmzain (Fr) (Kodiac {GB}), who has already produced three winners and is being sold by Cheveley Park Stud as Lot 1651.

Driving rain throughout Sunday didn't stop plenty of hardy breeders getting around to the stallion farms on the quiet day between the end of the foal sale and the start of the mares. 

At Lanwades, there was an extra treat in store, and I don't mean the excellent fish pie. Along with inspecting Bobby's Kitten, Sea The Moon (Ger) and Study Of Man (Ire), there was the chance to see Bobby's Kitten's newly retired daughter, the treble Group 2 winner Sandrine (GB), and Listed winner Alpenblume (GB) (Kendargent {Fr}), the half-sister to last year's Arc heroine Alpinista (GB). Both will be visiting Alpinista's sire Frankel (GB) in the new year.

Beech House Stud is now properly back in business as a stallion operation with the Shadwell trio of Baaeed (GB), Mohaather (GB) and Mostahdaf (Ire) all based there permanently. The new year heralds important times for all three. Mostahdaf is set to cover his first book of mares as Baaeed's first foals arrive on the ground. Come spring and summer we shall start to see how the good-walking Mohaather gets on with his first runners. 

A Baaeed bobble hat graced the top of the Shadwell Christmas tree, loyally decorated in blue and white, and a newly installed stallion roll of honour reminded us just what an important place Beech House Stud has been over the years. For a small taster, think Nearco, Crepello, St Paddy and Ardross. 

On to Dalham Hall Stud to see a trio of new recruits and the marquee proved very popular thanks to the mulled wine, giant doughnuts and a few moments to dry out in the warmth. Modern Games (Ire) already looked properly settled in the yard which has also been the long-term home of his sire Dubawi (Ire) and broodmare sire New Approach (Ire), while fellow newcomer Triple Time (Ire) looked equally at home posing outside the box of Cracksman (GB), who was the first son of Frankel (GB) to retire to stud in Britain and is this year joined by Triple Time, Mostahdaf and Chaldean (GB) in Newmarket alone, while Onesto (Ire) is now at stud in France, and Adayar (Ire) and Westover (GB) are settling in to a new life in Japan.

There was also the opportunity to see the imposing former champion two-year-old and Classic winner Native Trail (GB) before he starts his stud career at Kildangan Stud in Ireland. 

Fading light, encroaching cold and the need to scribble a few notes meant that visits to other farms will have to be made in the coming days, but a heartfelt thank you to all the studs for being so accommodating, and special thanks to the hardy stallion handlers showing in the cold and wet weather. Your efforts are hugely appreciated.

A New Avenue for McStay

With Tattersalls being back in the spotlight from 9.30 on Monday morning, we return to this week's important business of selling fillies and mares. Mark McStay, the man behind Avenue Bloodstock, has added a new string to his bow in launching a consigning element to his business under the name of Avenue Sales. McStay brings two mares who have each been represented by high-class winners during 2023.

Opening up the first of two Sceptre Sessions on Monday will be Sulaalaat (GB) (New Approach {Ire}) the 11-year-old dam of G2 Rockfel S. winner Carla's Way (Ire) (Starspangledbanner {Aus}) and from the family of the champion racemare The Fugue (GB) (Dansili {GB}).

“Historically I've sold my own horses or unofficially helped my parents when they've been selling yearlings over the years,” McStay explained. “I've been standing outside stable doors for 30 years, so this was always something that I thought I'd do at some stage. For the last few years I've helped Taylor Made when they've brought horses over. Obviously I have a number of clients with some nice stock that they wanted to sell, particularly the two that we have here this week.”

He continues, “We had a couple of late withdrawals which means that the consignment is a little smaller than I had envisaged but it's a good starting point. 

“We have the dam of Carla's Way, who is by New Approach, a really good broodmare sire. She's a good-looking mare and Carla's Way was awesome at the breeze-up sales and she's turned out to be one of the superstars on the track this year who is now a live Guineas prospect.”

Anisette (GB) (Awtaad {Ire}), who started her winning in England this time last year, has flourished since moving to the United States, where she has won the GI Del Mar Oaks and GII San Clemente H for Leonard Powell. Her dam, Tutti Frutti (GB) (Teofilo {Ire}), a close relation to the G1 Nassau S. winner Sultanina (GB) (New Approach {Ire}), is also 11 and is consigned by Avenue Sales on behalf of the Morera Partnership in Tuesday's Sceptre Session as Lot 1774.

“Anisette was bred by some friends of mine and then I sold her to Aron Wellman of Eclipse Thoroughbreds,” McStay says. “I've followed her career with huge interest and she's the highest-rated three-year-old turf filly in America at the moment. She goes for the American Oaks on 26 December. She's already a Grade I and a Grade II winner out there and she's a really exciting prospect.

“The mare is in foal to Magna Grecia and she's a magnificent-looking mare, so hopefully she will sell very well.”

Of his decision to branch out into consigning, he adds, “Being a bloodstock agent, you're a natural salesperson, whether you're buying or standing outside a stable door selling a horse. When you're buying you have to sell the idea to the client and pitch the horse to the end-user. These two mares should really sell themselves but I'll have my shoulder to the wheel to make sure we can get the last bid for my clients. It's important that people feel like you're working for them if they've put their faith in you, and over the last few years in my agency business I've been fortunate that I've had people who have put their faith in me. 

“This is now a progression in my life, and my wife Eva is going to be involved. And we've got great staff: Mick O'Dwyer and Tony Murphy are going to be helping us, and fingers crossed that it will build and keep going. 

“I'm really excited, and Tattersalls have put together a great catalogue, so let's hope that it all falls into place.”

It's not all about the Sceptre Sessions, however. At all levels of the market there are entries with plenty going for them. Lot 1386 Rekindle (GB), was bought from the Juddmonte draft at this sale five years ago for 170,000gns. Though unraced, it is easy why she commanded such a price as the daughter of Frankel is out of Hot Snap (GB) (Pivotal {GB}), herself a Group 3-winning half-sister to the brilliant Midday (GB) (Oasis Dream {GB}). Returning at the age of eight, Rekindle is now offered for sale by Houghton Bloodstock in foal to Too Darn Hot (GB), whose eight foals sold last week averaged 126,500gns on the back of a solid season for his first runners. 

The Juddmonte draft this time is split between the Monday and Tuesday and on each day is scheduled to sell just ahead of the Sceptre Sessions. On Tuesday there is the rare chance to buy a daughter of blue hen Hasili (GB) when Very Good News (Empire Maker) is offered as Lot 1754 with a March 31 cover to New Bay (GB). Among her four winners, the 15-year-old mare has two stakes-placed multiple winners by Frankel and also has a two-year-old filly and yearling colt by the same stallion still to run for her. 

As already mentioned, the next few months will see the appearance of the first foals of last year's top-rated turf horse in the world, Baaeed (GB). If you can't wait to send Baaeed a mare in 2024, there are 11 mares to be sold in foal to him this week, including Patronising (GB). The daughter of Galileo (Ire) is Lot 1824 from Minster Enterprises and is a half-sister to the Group 1 winner Lillie Langtry (Ire) (Danehill Dancer {Ire}) whose own Galileo-sired dynasty includes the Classic winners Minding (Ire), Tuesday (Ire) and Empress Josephine (Ire).



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