Havana Grey Lights Up Book 2 With 425k Colt Knocked Down To Anthony Stroud

The next Vandeek? Anthony Stroud bought the Tuesday topper by Havana Grey | Laura Green/Tattersalls


It seems as though Michael Fitzpatrick and Havana Grey (GB) have something in common with the lord himself as turning water into wine comes natural. 

Time and time again, the man behind Kilminfoyle House Stud produces pinhook after pinhook in a similar fashion to how Whitsbury Manor Stud's emerging force seems to transform whatever pedigree he touches. 

The latest transformation played out on Tuesday evening of Book 2 at Tattersalls when a colt by Havana Grey (lot 1020), who Fitzpatrick purchased as a foal under the banner of JC Bloodstock for 82,000gns here in December, sold to Anthony Stroud for 425,000gns. 

Stroud knows a thing or two about high-class sons of Havana Grey, having paid 625,000gns for the unbeaten two-year-old sensation Vandeek (GB) from Glending Stables at the Tattersalls Craven Sale back in April. 

Like Vandeek, Tuesday's sale-topper will be trained by Simon Crisford, but will carry the colours of HH Shaikh Nasser, according to Stroud. 

He said, “Havana Grey has done terrifically-well. This is a very well-balanced horse who moved particularly-well.”

Asked if parallels could be drawn between this colt and Vandeek, Stroud responded, “Well, with Vandeek, we were lucky enough to see him breeze. This horse has the credentials to be a very, very nice horse. He's got a pedigree and is by a stallion who is on the upgrade and doing really well.”

He added, “Havana Grey is a very exciting young stallion and, from what he has had, he's done very well. He's doing a great job. This colt is for HH Shaikh Nasser and is going to Simon Crisford.”

The Havana Grey colt is a full-brother to high-class two-year-old Elite Status (GB), who made 325,000gns at this sale last year. Elite Status may not have been a match for Vandeek when they met in the Morny and the Middle Park, but he has confirmed himself a classy juvenile in his own right when landing a Group 3 in France, and it was on the strength of him showing up on the track this season that Fitzpatrick snapped up his little brother at auction from Whitsbury. 

He explained, “I bought this colt as a foal solely on the full-brother. I sold him [Elite Status] last year and loved him. Whitsbury Manor is a great breeder and this horse is a pleasure to do anything with. My thanks go to Anthony Stroud and I wish the new owners the very best of luck.”

Fitzpatrick added, “I also can't thank my staff enough–Pamela, Hannah and Santos. It is only for them, the work they do, I actually think they are made of iron!”

“When you have a Havana Grey yearling, it gives you a chance,” – Joe Foley

That wasn't the only big-ticket Havana Grey bred by Whitsbury through the ring on the day as a filly (lot 981) consigned by Ballyphilip Stud was knocked down to Joe Foley standing alongside Steve Parkin earlier in the session for 280,000gns. 

That particular filly netted her connections a nice packet as she was sourced as a foal at Goffs last November for just €68,000.

Foley commented, “She's a very good example of what the stallion can throw. As we all know, he's made an outstanding start, he's on the way to superstar stallion status. We have a good two-year-old by him this year called Queen's Guard (GB). When you have a Havana Grey yearling, it gives you a chance.”

He added, “I like the fact she's out of a Showcasing (GB) mare. I like the idea of him as a broodmare sire and the pedigree goes back to Blue Duster. It's a good, fast family and one I like.”



Pinatubo Continues To Pack A Punch As McElroy Provides More Amo For Kia

Amo Racing's Kia Joorabchian has been showing some love to Ben McElroy this week with the American-based bloodstock agent signing for a 325,000gns Pinatubo (Ire) colt among others on behalf of the owner.

That transaction came just 24 hours after McElroy featured alongside the list of buyers for the Pinatubo filly that was also acquired on behalf of Amo on Monday for 110,000gns. Needless to say, McElroy described himself as a fan of Darley's young stallion. 

McElroy said of lot 939, “He is a very imposing colt, a great mover with great strength. He carried himself well the two or three days of showing and is just a lovely horse. I actually thought he might cost maybe a bit more than he did. Maybe the aggressive bidding helped out on that a little bit.

“He's been bought for Amo Racing and will go back to Robson [Aguiar] who will assess him for Kia. We will decide on a trainer next spring. We bought a beautiful filly by the stallion yesterday and he seems to be getting really nice stock. Pinatubo was a great racehorse and I think this colt has a great chance.”

The Pinatubo colt was sold by Ballyhimikin Stud. Aguiar and Hamish Macauley, who have bought plenty of horses on behalf of Amo before, also featured among the list of buyers. But the relationship between McElroy and Joorabchian is a newer one.

The agent explained, “We'd always meet up with Kia at the races down through the years and maybe we even bid against each other when we were in America last year. Robson bought a horse [Valiant Force (Malibu Moon)] who turned out to be Kia's first Royal Ascot winner at Keeneland last year. Between Saratoga and Keeneland, we bought a few horses for Kia this year and we've bought a few here for him as well.”

He added, “Robson really rated this horse very highly and I suppose it will be Robson who decides how he fits in with all the yearlings heading into next year.”

McElroy, Macauley and Amo went on to snap up another colt by up-and-coming Darley-based stallion Earthlight (Ire) for 325,000gns. But the real story here was how Jimmy Murphy of Redpender Stud transformed the colt (lot 1013) from a 78,000gns foal here in December to the major payday in the ring on Wednesday. 

“He was a good-looking horse and we took a chance-plenty of others don't work out so well,” a beaming Murphy reported afterwards. “Earthlight is a son of Shamardal and he is from a very good dam line. We were lucky that Selenaia (Ire) (Sea The Moon {Ger}) [Grade 3 winner] came up in the first dam and then Lake Forest (GB) (No Nay Never) in the second dam won the Gimcrack.”

Murphy added of the Earthlight colt, who was bred by Derek Iceton of Tara Stud, “He is very much a two-year-old and is a precocious type of horse. Hopefully we will see him at Royal Ascot.”

Fellowes To Train 350k Wootton Bassett Colt

Charlie Fellowes has a Wootton Bassett (GB) colt to look forward to training next year after owner Paul Hickman shelled out 350,000gns on the WH Bloodstock-drafted yearling who is bred on the same cross as Group 1 winner Al Riffa (Fr).

The Wootton Bassett colt (lot 915) was bred by Westerberg and is out of Galileo (Ire) mare Beluga (Ire), a half-sister to Derby winner Pour Moi (Ire) and a sister of the Group 3 winner and Irish Derby third Dawn Patrol (Ire).  

He was bought by Will Douglass, agent for Charlie Gordon-Watson, who was standing alongside Fellowes to the right of the rostrum. The winning bidders held off the challenge of Richard Ryan who was on the phone atop of the stairs. 

“It's not been as easy as the market would suggest,” Douglass commented. “This week has been a lot better. He's a very special horse and has been bought for an English owner called Mr Hickman. He's had horses with Charlie for a few years and is involved in Cloudbreaker (GB) (Sea The Stars {Ire}).”

Douglass added, “We bought a few for him last year and got a Frankel [colt for 250,000gns] here last week. We also underbid one at Deauville for a lot of money. It's not easy. When you follow those nice horses through, you're competing against countries, not just people. If you want to get in, it's really tough.”

Beluga has a Wootton Bassett colt foal and is in foal to Camelot (GB). She is also a sister to Listed winner Kissed (Ire).



Talking Points

  • What a day for Whitsbury Manor Stud. Not only did Havana Grey earn the plaudits of major buyers Anthony Stroud and Joe Foley but the stud also bred the respective lots that both men signed for. That's what you call a good day at the office. 
  • As good as Havana Grey performed on Tuesday, it must be said that Pinatubo continues to impress. Of the 10 yearlings through the ring by Darley's hot prospect, they averaged 128,600gns. What's more impressive is the fact that Pinatubo has posted a bigger average–150,250gns—than any other stallion on day one and two of Book 2. 
  • Edgar Byrne played a major role at the Tattersalls Ireland September Yearling Sale when signing for a €115,000 Kameko colt to join Scandinavian-based trainer Niels Petersen. The same connections were active at Book 2 on Tuesday when landing a Dark Angel (Ire) colt from Yeomanstown Stud for 145,000gns. The colt (lot 816) is a brother to Fantasy Lady (Ire), winner of the Listed Staffordstown S. and not beaten far in an Irish 1,000 Guineas for Paddy Twomey.
  • The clearance rate remained strong on Tuesday at 86%. However, compared to this corresponding day's trade 12 months ago, the average fell 18% to 88,171gns while the median dropped 6% to 66,000gns.
The Golden Touch 

By Georgia Cox 

Lot: 976
Filly by Havana Grey (GB) – Chloris (GB) (Dansili {GB})
Bred by Hascombe and Valiant Stud
Consigned by Hazelwood Bloodstock
Purchased by Ross O'Sullivan 

Chloris admittedly did little to write about on the track herself, but she has shown promise as a broodmare with her first foal Royal Elysian (GB) (Showcasing {GB}) placing in three of her four starts to date. Of course Dansili is well known for his success as a broodmare sire. 

Chloris is a third-generation representative of a family nurtured by esteemed owner-breeder Anthony Oppenheimer, and further back the family also includes the Wildenstein-bred Prix du Jockey Club and Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe winner Peintre Celebre. Her half-sister Bartzella (GB) (Golden Horn {GB}) was a convincing listed winner for William Haggas. 

The exploits of the progeny of young stallion Havana Grey speak for themselves, and that no doubt had a hand to play in this filly realising 140,000gns. The hammer fell at five times the price of 28,000gns, which was originally paid when she last walked through the ring just ten months ago at the December Foal Sale. Katie Walsh was the final bidder and signed for the filly in the name of her husband, trainer Ross O'Sullivan.

Buy of the Day

Richard Brown of Blandford Bloodstock doesn't miss very often and in lot 987, a Lope De Vega (Ire) colt bought from Cheveley Park Stud for 210,000gns, he looks to have sourced another nice prospect. 

For a start, the sire doesn't need any explaining and the mare, who was black-type herself, is a sister to Alice Springs (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}). 

Whether this colt runs in the Wathnan Racing silks, the major owner that Brown has been buying on behalf of recently, or any number of the major clients that the top agent represents, he could be one to keep an eye on for next year.

Thought for the Day 

Is it any wonder why we're all running around with little pot bellies on us in the height of sales season? Whether it's the toasted sandwiches and the carrot cake at Newsells or the breakfast down at Castlebridge, it's hard to resist some of the [free!] grub on offer at Park Paddocks. Just wait until the Tweenhills van arrives in December! We'll be rolling out of Newmarket for Christmas.

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