Sea The Stars Filly Shines At Book 1 Closer

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Sea The Stars | The Aga Khan Studs

By Emma Berry and Kelsey Riley

NEWMARKET, UK–Robert Barnett's famous Time Charter (Ire) family returned to the limelight on Thursday with a Sea The Stars (Ire) filly out of the G2 Queen Mary and G2 Lowther S. winner Best Terms (GB) (Exceed And Excel {Aus}) topping Book 1 at 1.5 million gns when sold to Godolphin.

The chestnut filly (lot 411) was consigned for sale by Newsells Park Stud, where her dam has resided since the sale of the Barnetts' Fair Winter Farm in 2017. Best Terms, a former champion 2-year-old filly in England, has already produced a black-type winner to Sea The Stars, with her 5-year-old daughter Star Terms (GB) having won the Listed Prix de Thiberville as well as finishing runner-up in the G2 May Hill S. Another daughter, Fresh Terms (GB) (New Approach {Ire}), is also a listed winner in France. The 12-year-old mare is great grand-daughter of the outstanding Time Charter, whose top-flight wins include the 1982 Oaks and Champion S. and the following year's King George VI and Queen Elizabeth S.

Robert Barnett, whose family has been breeding horses for a century, was at Tattersalls with his wife Ann to watch the yearling sell. He said after congratulating Sheikh Mohammed on his purchase, “We've always loved her. The family has been so good, it goes right the way back to the Athasi (Ire) family and then Time Charter. Best Terms was great fun on the racecourse and we've always admired Sea The Stars. I love the look of him and we try to find a stallion of the right size and right conformation.”

Confirming that Best Terms is now in foal to Wootton Bassett (GB) with a Kingman (GB) colt foal on the ground, he added with a smile, “We were tempted to keep the filly but temptation ran out a bit earlier. She's the most athletic yearling we've had for quite some time, and she has a lovely outlook, she's very laidback. There seems to be good trade this week with a lots of breeders buying these well-bred fillies.”

 

Figures Positive

On a day when Godolphin and Coolmore continued their strong support of Book 1, they were joined on the leader board by Sheikha Fatima Bint Hazza Bin Zayed Al Nahyan's Al Shira'aa Farm, which has signalled serious intent in its establishment of an illustrious broodmare band as its Irish base of Meadow Court Stud on The Curragh. The American participation has been stronger than ever, led by Mike Ryan, who signed for 15 yearlings for a total of 3,750,000gns, while British agent Alex Elliott was also busy, with 14 bought for 3,900,000gns.

“Book 1 of last year's Tattersalls October Yearling Sale was widely regarded as a sale which showed remarkable resilience in the face of the well-documented challenges which we all endured, which makes the gains achieved this week even more creditable,” said Tattersalls Chairman Edmond Mahony as the first major section of the October Sale concluded.

“Year after year Book 1 of the October Yearling Sale showcases the finest British-, Irish-, French- and German-bred yearlings, and year after year these yearlings go on to achieve extraordinary racecourse success on the global stage. Even by the lofty standards of Book 1, 2021 has been a truly phenomenal year with the world's highest-rated 3-year-old, St Mark's Basilica, the world's highest-rated miler Palace Pier, dual Classic winner Hurricane Lane, Europe's highest-rated 2-year-old Native Trail and the highest-rated turf horse in America, Domestic Spending, all purchased at October Book 1, and it is this consistent success which brings so many of the world's leading buyers to the sale.”

With the clearance rate improving for the sale as a whole to 83% from 79%, 375 yearlings sold across the three days for 86,369,000gns, which was up 5% from last year. In 2019, when 22 more yearlings were sold at Book 1, the aggregate was 102,429,000gns. This year's sale beat the 2019 median of 150,000gns, coming in at 160,000gns, while the average of 230,317 was up 3% on 2020 and behind the 2019 figure of 258,008gns.

The final day, which brought the strongest trade, reached a tally of 31,052,000gns from 125 yearlings sold at a median of 180,000gns (+20%) and average of 248,416gns (-6%).

Mahony continued, “While the figures may not have returned to the dizzy heights of 2019, and the very top of the market has made an adjustment, the average, median and clearance rate have all improved significantly and the turnover has also climbed despite a smaller catalogue. Particularly encouraging has been the depth and diversity amongst the buyers in all sectors of the market. Nine different buyers have bought yearlings for 750,000gns or more and in addition to the strong British and Irish participation, buyers from Abu Dhabi, Australia, Bahrain, China, Dubai, France, Hong Kong, Japan, Saudi Arabia and the USA have all made significant contributions.

“Particularly notable has been the powerful American contingent. They have been a real feature of October Book 1 in recent years and the extraordinary level of racecourse success has driven even greater demand with around 50 Book 1 yearlings acquired over the past three days heading across the Atlantic. Turf racing in America continues to grow and thrive and American buyers have clearly identified Book 1 of the Tattersalls October Yearling Sale as the premier source of superior turf horses.

“In addition to the major impact of the international buyers, it has also been rewarding to see that the lucrative £20,000 Tattersalls October Book 1 Bonus Scheme continues to entice buyers at all levels of the Book 1 market. Owners in Britain and Ireland have been rewarded with almost £7,000,000 in bonus prize-money since the scheme's inception in 2016 and to see so many owners, syndicates and trainers busy this week is a tribute to the enduring appeal of the Book 1 Bonus.

“Above all, after the rigours of last year, it has been a pleasure to have welcomed so many people back to Park Paddocks. We now turn our attention to Books 2, 3 and 4 of the 2021 Tattersalls October Yearling Sale and look forward to sustaining the momentum established this week at Europe's premier yearling sale.”

Waldgeist's Sister Makes An Entrance

When a Dubawi (Ire) half-sibling to an Arc winner is scheduled to be first through the ring then it's a pretty safe bet that the day will start with a bang. So it proved for the final session of Book 1 when a sister to Waldgeist (GB) (Galileo {Ire}) stepped into the spotlight at Tattersalls and was added to an increasingly impressive list of blue-blooded young females being assembled for an eventual broodmare band by Al Shira'aa Farms.

Last week at the Goffs Orby Sale, Sheikha Fatima Bint Hazza Bin Zayed Al Nahyan of Abu Dhabi bought three smart fillies for €1.1 million and that outlay was extended in Newmarket by 2.91 million gns spent on four yearlings.

Head of that group at 1.25 million gns was lot 336, the chestnut half-sister not only to four-time Group 1 winner Waldgeist but also to the group winners Waldlied (GB) (New Approach {Ire}) and Waldkonig (GB) (Kingman {GB}). All four siblings were bred by Newsells Park Stud in partnership with Gestut Ammerland from the Monsun (Ger) mare Waldlerche (GB), herself a winner of the G3 Prix Penelope.

David Cox conducted the bidding on behalf Al Shira'aa, outlasting Simon Mockridge of Juddmonte, and he later had MV Magnier as underbidder when the team also bought lot 369, Glenvale Stud's No Nay Never half-sister to GI Belmont Derby winner Bolshoi Ballet (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}), for 925,000gns.

Kieran Lalor, Al Shira'aa's Irish-based manager, said, “We think we were able to buy her and the others at reasonable value. We are a breeding operation first and foremost, but we do race and we have had a very good year on the track this year with a couple of fillies, with one in France [Rumi] and another in the U.S. with Christophe Clement. These fillies will definitely be retained for long-term breeding.”

He continued, “The boss has the final say on everything and she was really keen on this [No Nay Never] filly especially. We'll sit down after this and figure out where we are going to send them. They will mostly be staying in Europe, but a couple might go to the U.S. These are exciting times; it's very nice to have these families, they rarely become available and for us it is a no-brainer.”

Plus Ca Change For Newsells Park

Newsells Park Stud, leading vendor at Book 1 for the fourth consecutive year and sixth time since 2013, was responsible for the first three lots into the ring on Thursday, all from the same family. Following the Dubawi filly was lot 337, a Kingman (GB) colt and the first foal of the G2 Prix de Malleret winner Waldlied, being hammered down to Chad Brown for Klaravich Stables for 425,000gns.

Next came lot 338, a Sea The Stars (Ire) colt out of Waldnah (GB) (New Approach {Ire}), a listed-winning half-sister to Waldgeist's dam Waldlerche and to the St Leger winner Masked Marvel (GB) (Montjeu {Ire}).

It has been a year of change for the stud, with Graham Smith-Bernal buying the Hertfordshire farm in June from the Jacobs family. In the sale ring, however, it has pretty much been business as usual.

Reflecting on another successful Book 1 for Newsells Park, which sold 22 lots for 10,785,000gns, manager Julian Dollar said, “It has been a great day's trade for us. On the first day we had a very nice filly for a client who sold well but it was sticky enough, then the second day I thought the prices were fair with no great result, but today has been very strong.

“The nice horses made a lot more than I thought they were going to make and some of our clients have really benefitted from that. Robert Barnett was absolutely thrilled and he is a great owner/breeder who has developed that family really well. He entrusted us with his mares a few years ago when he sold Fair Winter and he's a real gentleman so I am thrilled for him with that result.”

He continued, “We've been lucky for the last few years but we didn't have a Shastye to pull out of the hat this time. But I thought we had some lovely horses and there weren't really too many weak ones among the draft.

“Obviously we had a very well-bred filly and I am thrilled she made over a million, in fact if she hadn't we would have bought our partner out, but we didn't even get a bid in. She deserved that, a beautiful Dubawi half-sister to an Arc winner with that page. And I'm delighted that she is going to Al Shira'aa Farms as Kieran Lalor was a colleague of mine in America and was broodmare manager when I was running Castleton Lyons in America. He's come back to Ireland and is now running Meadow Court Stud and I think he's bought some very smart fillies with lovely pedigrees. He's thinking racing and he's thinking of the future and it's great to see.”


Anthem On Song

A day after the announcement of the retirement of his G1 Matron S. winner No Speak Alexander (Ire) (Shalaa {Ire}), Noel O'Callaghan's Mountarmstrong Stud enjoyed a good return in the sale ring through the sale of a Galileo (Ire) colt for 1.1 million gns to MV Magnier.

The colt's dam Anthem Alexander (Ire) (Starspangledbanner {Aus}) had been offered in Book 1 eight years ago but has been bought back by her breeder at 48,000gns. This proved to be a fortuitous decision as the half-sister to Dandy Man (Ire) (Mozart {Ire}) won the following season's G2 Queen Mary S. in O'Callaghan's colours when trained by Eddie Lynam.

“He's a proper horse,” said O'Callaghan of lot 383 as he left the ring. “Let's hope he is very lucky for his new people. He's going to a proper trainer so he has every chance.”

Galileo fillies will be in vogue the next few years perhaps more than ever, given the late stallion's rapidly ascending profile as a broodmare sire, and Gary Hadden went to 750,000gns to secure Newsells Park Stud's homebred Galileo daughter of Aljazzi (GB) (Shamardal) (lot 365) on Thursday morning. The bay is the first foal out of Aljazzi, who won the G2 Duke of Cambridge S. and G3 Atalanta S. for Saleh Al Homaizi and Imad Al Sagar and trainer Marco Botti, and Newsells was able to secure her for 1-million gns at the 2018 Tattersalls Autumn Horses in Training Sale while the owners' partnership was being dissolved. Hadden is connected to Craig Bennett's Merry Fox Stud, which sold a Sea The Stars (Ire) filly out of Time Control (GB) (Sadler's Wells) to Lordship Stud for 680,000gns on Wednesday, but Hadden said the ownership group of Aljazzi's filly had not been determined.

“She is a lovely filly out of a fantastic racemare,” Hadden said. “I think in this market fillies are standing out; people see them as solid investments and they're not making Galileos anymore. He's a fantastic broodmare sire and if she has some racing ability she'll be a lovely broodmare.”

 

Battaash's Sister To Coolmore

The McCartan family's Ballyphilip Stud has been associated with a number of top-class sprinters in recent years, including the immensely popular Battaash (GB) (Dark Angel {Ire}), whose full-brother appeared as lot 379 and sold for 750,000gns to MV Magnier.

The colt has plenty to live up to as his 7-year-old brother was twice the winner of the Nunthorpe S. among his four Group 1 wins, but the youngster is already out in front in the looks department, according to Paul McCartan, who said, “This guy was the better-looking one. I have always said that Battaash was the best-looking horse we had bred, but I think this guy is better. He is straightforward. Battaash was a lovely horse and not an unkind horse, but he had his quirks. This colt is more straightforward.”

McCartan, who also bred Godolphin's top sprinter Harry Angel (Ire), by the same sire, said, “He's a beautiful horse and he's gone to a very good home. Anna Law has been very lucky for us, she has made us plenty of money.”

Now 11, the colt's dam Anna Law (Ire) (Lawman {Fr}) was an undistinguished racehorse and was bought from trainer Charlie Hills for 14,000gns at the end of her 2-year-old season. She has proved to be an inspired purchase. Her first foal Battaash was bought as a yearling for 200,000gns by Shadwell, and that same outfit returned to the well in 2019 when buying his full-sister Altaayshah (Ire) for 800,000gns in Book 1. She is unraced to date.

Now in foal to Blue Point (Ire), Anna Law has a filly foal by Lope De Vega (Ire). McCartan added, “Of course it would have been nice to have seen Angus [Gold, Shadwell's racing manager] sign the docket, but it is not too bad when Coolmore are signing and Aidan O'Brien is going to be training.”

Special Alliance

Sheikh Mohammed was at Park Paddocks throughout Book 1 and his presence was certainly felt as the leading buyer of the week with a 9,375,000gns outlay on 15 yearlings. They included lot 398, the Frankel (GB) colt sold by Kirtlington Stud on behalf of American celebrity chef and breeder Bobby Flay for 625,000gns.

Flay had bought his dam Auld Alliance (Ire) (Montjeu {Ire}), a half-sister to 2000 Guineas and King George winner Golan (Ire) and Derby runner-up Tartan Bearer (Ire), from Ballymacoll Stud back in 2013 and she raced in his colours the following season when trained by Graham Motion. The colt's 3-year-old full-brother Modus Operandi (Ire) won for the Coolmore partners in May at Navan, while the 2-year-old, also by Frankel and named Old School (GB), is trained for Flay by Todd Pletcher.

“Right from the word go he's been very nice,” said Kirtlington Stud's Chris Budgett. “I've been fortunate enough to look after quite a lot of good horses over my life but there are some that are just that little bit extra special and I would put him in that category. Frankel has had a great year and the right team have bought him from that point of view. If everything goes well I would hope that he becomes a top-class racehorse.”

He added, “The mare is owned by Bobby Flay, who had her in Ireland and then James Delahooke asked if I could look after her. I have just had my first ever conversation with Bobby about half an hour ago and he's a charming man. The mare foaled with us and the colt has never put a foot wrong all the way through. He's just a cracking individual.”

Frankel's 16 yearlings sold in Book 1 returned an average of 373,438gns, and there were some decent results from the first crop of his son Cracksman (GB), notably via lot 457. The filly, bred and sold as a foal by Ringfort Stud for 95,000gns, had received a decent update between sales as she is a half-sister to Fearby (Ire) (Havana Gold {Ire}), whose busy juvenile season has included a listed win, second in the G3 Molecomb S., and a third-place finish in the G2 Mill Reef S. Returned to the ring by pinhooker Brendan Holland of Grove Stud, the daughter of Cracksman and the One Cool Cat mare Coolminx (Ire) was sold for 410,000gns to Arthur Hoyeau of Windfield Bloodstock.

Derek Veitch of Ringfort Stud had his own decent yearling touch a little later on when selling lot 472, a daughter of Profitable (Ire), for 425,000gns to Oliver St Lawrence. The filly's dam Cynthiana (Fr) (Siyouni {Fr}), from the family of Arc winner Rail Link (GB), was bought as a 5-year-old at Arqana for just €4,000. Her first foal Rebel Town (Ire) (Dawn Approach {Ire}) was a winner in Japan last year for Godolphin.

Bridlewood, Madaket Join American Fray

American trainer Jonathan Thomas and John Panagot, racing manager to prominent owner Sol Kumin, visited Park Paddocks for the first time this week and came away with three fillies to repatriate to the U.S. on behalf of Kumin's Madaket Stables and John Malone's Bridlewood Farm. Malone is also the owner of Ballylinch Stud.

The Bridlewood/Madaket purchases were a Sea The Stars (Ire) filly who is the first foal out of the unraced Newton's Angel (Ire) (Dark Angel {Ire}) from the family of group winners like Dress Rehearsal (Ire), Muthmir (Ire) and My Titania (Ire) (lot 176); a Bungleinthejungle (Ire) half-sister to the listed-winning and G1 Nunthorpe S. second Que Amoro (Ire) (Es Que Love {Ire}) (lot 185); and a Lope De Vega (Ire) granddaughter of the dual Group 3 winner Shemima (GB) (Dalakhani {Ire}), whose third dam is the G1 Prix de Diane scorer Shemaka (Ire) (lot 270).

“We had a couple orders for fillies and we thought we'd come over and investigate the landscape,” Thomas explained. “We're not pioneering anything, we're following in the footsteps of some people that have been very successful. We're finding an abundance of quality and I think there's very good value for the calibre of horse that there is here. We've probably shortlisted and liked things that are a little bit above what we have to spend, but we got three nice horses that vetted well and are very correct and nice movers and have enough pedigree to take us somewhere. We're getting our feet wet, and it's been a very enjoyable experience.”

Thomas, who is best known thus far for training the 2018 GI Travers S. and GI Belmont Derby Invitational winner Catholic Boy (More Than Ready), said he found it relatively straightforward to buy the horses he liked this week.

“We'll walk away feeling like we got some value, especially on the heels of Keeneland; it seemed like there was some crazy money for some lesser animals, to me,” he said. “There was a voracious appetite for a horse at Keeneland. As you're in the earlier books you're contending with super groups, and as you get down into the latter books there are still good horses, but then you're in this pinhooking frenzy. There is an interesting void here; we're used to contending with pinhookers at the $150,000, $200,000 level, and that isn't the case here. There are trainers and people looking for racehorses, so that's been interesting. What we've bought, we've found them easy to buy. It's been an interesting market. I'm a sucker anyway for these really good, free-moving grass horses, so I'm like a kid in a candy store.”

Thomas said he came to Park Paddocks with an open mind as to what he might take home.

“We didn't pigeonhole ourselves as far as pedigree,” he noted. “The obvious ones we would leave out would be if they'd need two miles, because there are no real options for them in the U.S. We're trying to find horses that look like what they were made to be on paper and, most importantly, fall within our budget. We vetted a lot, I'd say we vetted on average 20 to 25 a day, and just kind of let the chips fall. Most of them went above what we expected and very few went for less, and then the handful we got fell within our price range.”

John Malone, an American businessman concentrated in the media sector, purchased Bridlewood Farm in Ocala, Florida in 2013 and Ballylinch in Co. Kilkenny the following year, and Thomas said the purchases will be broken in at Ballylinch before being exported to the U.S.

“We have a sister farm in Ireland, Ballylinch, and we thought it would be interesting to send them to Ballylinch to get started and maybe come home sometime after the new year,” he said.

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