Guineas Weekend Begins In The Sales Ring

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Mickey Cleere | Laura Green/Tattersalls

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NEWMARKET, UK–The profile of breeze-up sales has changed over the years, and perhaps nowhere is this more obvious than at the Tattersalls Guineas Breeze-up, which can count top-class stayers Trip To Paris (Ire) (Champs Elysees {GB}) and Trueshan (Fr) (Planteur {Ire}) among its graduates. There will doubtless be a helping of whizz-bang juvenile types but, overall, the sale is better known as one at which you might find a horse with a more progressive outlook who still has the potential to take you to all the best places, just perhaps a year or so later. 

As has already been well documented in these pages we are in the middle of a stellar year for the breeze-up sector, with graduates Native Trail (GB) (Oasis Dream {GB}), Cachet (Ire) (Aclaim {Ire}) and Perfect Power (Ire) (Ardad {Ire}) having all recently won formal Classic trials and about to line up for the Guineas this weekend in Newmarket. Underlining the truly international aspect of the bloodstock industry more generally, next week's Kentucky Derby line-up is likely to feature Summer Is Tomorrow (Summer Front). Bred in the U.S. by Brereton C Jones, the colt was bought privately by Mickey Cleere when unsold at $14,000 at the Keeneland September Yearling Sale. Exported to Ireland, he was then presented in Cleere's draft for last year's Arqana Breeze-up Sale, which was held in Doncaster as Covid restrictions continued to make travel tricky. The multiple UAE champion jockey Tadhg O'Shea visited the sale on behalf of trainer Bhupat Seemar and signed for the colt for the Burke family at £120,000. Following yet another move for the horse, this time to Dubai, O'Shea subsequently rode Summer Is Tomorrow in his first five starts at Meydan but was aboard his better-fancied stable-mate when Summer Is Tomorrow took second in the G2 UAE Derby, thus earning crucial points for a trip 'back home' to Churchill Downs.

It was only just over a month ago that the breeze-up season kicked off in Dubai, with Cleere faring well from the off when selling two of that sale's six top lots. Two more sales have been consigned to the books since then, and his M.C. Thoroughbreds operation is represented again at Tattersalls on Thursday by three juveniles, including another colt picked up in America. Lot 167 is from the first crop of Spendthrift Farm's dual Grade I-winning juvenile Bolt d'Oro, a son of the widely popular Medaglia d'Oro, and he was bought inexpensively at the Fasig-Tipton October Yearling Sale for $5,500.

“He's a nice horse and I hope someone good gets him because he's very genuine,” said Cleere of the half-brother to Grade III winner Take Charge Paula (Take Charge Indy). “I try to base myself on getting horses together without bursting the clock. It's a fine line, but I like to get them to point their toe.”

Casting his mind back to his star graduate of last year, Summer Is Tomorrow, Cleere added, “He had a great mind in everything he did. He was such an intelligent horse and a good ride. He was one of those horses that you were hoping he had a bit of speed because he had the mind to match.”

He continued, “It's absolutely brilliant that he's going there. I've been in touch with everyone and the horse has now been in Kentucky for a few days. I'm told he travelled well.

“You could't write it really, and if he ran well it will just be fantastic. It's great for the breeze-up industry.”

As for the prospects of this week based on the season so far, Cleere said, “There's definitely an appetite still for good horses. As always the middle market is more difficult. The prize-money really needs to improve and until that happens it will be harder. There'll be plenty of nice horses at this sale but I feel it will be a buyers' market.

“I had a great sale in Dubai and it was great to get off to a good start. It relieves some of the pressure.”

Another half-brother to a stakes winner is set to pass through the ring just ahead of Cleere's colt. Lot 161 is offered by Roderick Kavanagh's Glending Stables and is by Time Test (GB) out of the Listed-placed Noah's Ark (Ire) (Charnwood Forest {Ire}), and thus a sibling to the Listed Prix Herod winner Temps Au Temps (Ire) (Invincible Spirit {Ire}). The colt's half-sister After (Ire) (Danehill Dancer {Ire}) also  earned black type when placing in three Group 3 races and now features as the dam of dual Group 2 winner Armory (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}).

Street Cry (Ire) has featured as the broodmare sire of at least two stakes winners worldwide in the last week, and he performs that role for Lot 168, a daughter of leading young sire Mehmas (Ire) offered by Tally-Ho Stud. The filly's unraced dam Peronism is a half-sister to one of the best older horses in training in Europe, the treble Group 1 winner Lord North (Ire) (Dubawi {Ire}).

In Platinum Jubilee year, the monarchists among the buyers at Tattersalls on Thursday may feel like treating themselves to a colt from one of the Queen's families, and they need look no further than Lot 182, from the A. C. Bloodstock draft. The first-crop son of Cracksman (GB) is a half-brother to Listed Fairway S. winner Peacock (GB) (Paco Boy {Ire}) and his dam Rainbow's Edge (GB) (Rainbow Quest) is a half-sister to Her Majesty's Royal Ascot winner Free Agent (GB) (Dr Fong).

Bushypark Stables claimed the top spot at last week's Goffs UK Breeze-up when turning a 14,000gns Tasleet (GB) yearling into a £230,000 breezer, and Matt Whyte's team has brought two juveniles to Tattersalls this week, including a filly with justifiably Classic pretensions. Lot 212 is from the first crop of the 2000 Guineas winner Saxon Warrior (Jpn) and is a grand-daughter of the champion racemare Pride (Fr) (Peintre Celebre), whose finest moment also came on the Rowley Mile when winning the G1 Champion S. 

As ever, the Guineas Breeze-up Sale is preceded by a morning session of horses in training, with around 80 set to go under the hammer from 9.30am. A further 190 breezers will follow during the afternoon and evening.

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