'It Means Everything To Us' – Ghaiyyath Colt On Top For Finegan Family At Goffs

Nick Nugent congratulates Jill Finegan of Milltown House Stud on the top lot | Goffs


Goffs has been a lucky place for the Finegan family of Milltown House Stud given they sold a foal at this complex for €250,000 in 2018 and the County Meath outfit reached similarly dizzying heights on Tuesday when a Ghaiyyath (Ire) colt fetched €200,000 to Tally-Ho Stud. 

The buyer in this story came in for special mention from Jack Finegan, the third generation of Finegans working on the family farm, who is under no illusions about the role the O'Callaghans of Tally-Ho Stud have played in their success in producing quality foals. 

The relationship, which was forged between Tony O'Callaghan and Finegan's grandfather Noel years back, continued on Tuesday when Tally-Ho Stud stuck their neck out for the quality Ghaiyyath colt. 

Jack, who is in his final year of Biomedical Science at University, led the €200,000 sale-topper around the ring and revealed how he wouldn't have missed the sale for anything.

He said, “The O'Callaghans have always been amazing to us, always helpful with advice, even when we were much smaller than we are now. The O'Callaghans have always been there for us and Kodiac has been pivotal to our success and our growth. We are great family friends. There are three generations working on our farm-my grandfather Noel, who is now the great age of 93, my mother Jill and myself. 

“It's great that the three of us can work together on the farm but the O'Callaghans have always been amazing to us. We're delighted the horse has gone to Tally-Ho. He couldn't have gone to a better place.”

Jack Finegan: “For a small stud farm, it means everything to us. We're very, very lucky.” | Goffs

Finegan added, “This is up there with our best days. We sold Isle Of May (Ire), who was by Kodiac (GB), for €250,000 at this sale in 2018. This is probably our second-best sale and, for a small stud farm, it means everything to us. We're very, very lucky. 

“I'm still in University. I'm in my final year of Biomedical Science. I couldn't miss the sales. Even if I had labs or exams, the sales are top priority. Wouldn't miss it for anything.”

The Ghaiyyath colt hails from the unraced High Chaparral (Ire) mare Experte (Fr), already a proven producer, given she is the dam of recent Legacy S. winner Pipsy (Ire) (Kodiac), who looks a smart filly in the making for trainer Ger Lyons.

Roger O'Callaghan commented, “We've been lucky with Ghaiyyath. A great pedigree and a great farm. We've been doing business with the Finnegans since before my time. Dad and Jill's father Noel, who is 93, go back a long way.”

Not only did Tally-Ho Stud sign for the top lot on Tuesday, but they have also been the busiest buyers at Goffs in terms of the aggregate, with nine foals bought for €611,000 so far this week. 

When it was put to O'Callaghan that trade was strong, he responded, “Proper order. We've bought nine so far and trade has been seriously good. I am delighted to see it–everyone getting a few quid. That's the name of the game.”

JC Bloodstock and Pier House Stud were also involved in the battle for the Ghaiyyath colt and were involved in the bidding from €170,000 upwards. 

Of the 250 foals offered on Tuesday, 2016 were sold, which represented a clearance rate of 82%. The aggregate was down 9% on the corresponding day's trade last year to €7,608,500 while the average fell 4% to €36,935. Similarly to the Monday figures, the median rose 3% on Tuesday to €31,000 on what was overall another solid day of trade. 

Day To Remember For The Donworths As Earthlight Continues To Shine

The husband-and-wife team of John and Mary Donworth, along with their daughter and Goffs employee Orla, enjoyed a day to remember when their Earthlight (Ire) homebred hit the heights when selling to Camas Park Stud for €115,000. 

Consigned by Galbertstown Stud, the colt out of Zebedee (GB) mare Stone Roses (Ire), who John bought shortly after retiring back in 2016, provided a special day for the family. 

“I didn't expect him to make the money he made,” John said after the sale. “You could say we are shocked by how much he made but we always knew he was a terrific foal. From the moment he was born, he was a very friendly foal who caused no issues and did well all summer. 

I need to thank my wife Mary, who is the heart behind the breeding operation and obviously my daughter Orla, who assists in making the big decisions.

“Our mare was bought in 2016–I had retired at 65 on the 16th of November and two days later I spent a chunk of money here on two mares. The rest is history as one of those mares was Stone Roses.”

Asked what attracted him first to Stone Roses, who Donworth bought for €22.000, he added, “We were looking for a young mare and she was a winner so she ticked two boxes. We liked Zebedee and the mare had a nice head, was a good mover and was an athletic mare. That's basically why we bought her. She'd four good feet and could walk well.”

The sale represented yet more joy for those rowing in behind Earthlight, with the Kildangan-based stallion building on a strong yearling sale season with his foals. A day on from an Earthlight colt topping the opening session at €80,000, a total of four Earthlight foals sold for a combined €301,000.

Donworth commented on the stallion, “Selecting sires can be like Russian roulette at our level because we're not in it very high. We need to choose our sires very carefully and Earthlight will have runners next year, but we always liked Shamardal and he has produced very good stock. “Obviously Earthlight has been lucky from the point of view that Blue Point (Ire) has done so well. I have to thank Orla for selecting Earthlight as she reckoned he was an up-and-coming sire.”

Orla Donworth wasn't the only Goffs employee to land a touch on the day. Conor Wixted, the Senior Bloodstock Executive with the sales company, sold his Earthlight filly for €42,000 through Clare Manning's Boherguy Stud. 

Wixted, 27, enjoyed a good payday at Part 2 of the Orby Sale when an Equiano (Fr) colt he sourced alongside Joan Tyner for €6,500 made €26,000. Well, he proved he's no one-trick pony here on Tuesday with the Earthlight given he sourced the mare for just €4,000.

Commenting on the success, he said, “I only have two mares and I suppose all of the credit has to go to Clare Manning as she did all of the work. This particular mare only cost €4,000 so it's a good result.”

Wixted added, “Earthlight has a very good profile. He was a smart racehorse and his yearlings sold well. It's good to see his foals are similarly popular here this week. The mare is back in foal to Sottsass (Fr).”

'I Love The Sire' – Havana Grey Keeps On Delivering

It seems as though pinhookers can't' get enough of Havana Grey (GB). And who could blame them given the supersonic time of things the stallion has enjoyed in the ring and on the racetrack?

A colt by the Whitsbury Stud-based sire created a buzz on Tuesday before eventually being knocked down to Frannie Woods of Abbeylands Farm for €130,000.

Lot 393 was bred by Whitsbury and consigned by Olive O'Connor Bloodstock. According to Woods, the colt will be offered for resale next year.

Top pinhookers Pier House Stud also struck for a colt by Havana Grey for €90,000 earlier in the session and there was an interesting little backstory to the sale. 

Jerry Horan snapped up the dam Style And Grace (Ire) (So You Think {NZ}) in foal to Havana Grey for just 12,000gns at the Tattersalls December Mares Sale last year. 

The County Wicklow-based operator, who also consigned the Havana Grey colt under Ballynure Park Stud, commented, “Sure what can you say about the sire? I bought three mares in foal to Havana Grey and I have four yearlings by him as well. I love the sire. He's a sire sensation. This is a good individual and thankfully he went down well.”

A total of seven Havana Grey foals have sold on Monday and Tuesday for a total of €484,000 and an average of €69,143.

Gestut Hony Hof Draft Adds Layer Of Intrigue

The Gestut Hony Hof provided an extra layer of intrigue deep into the Tuesday session. Owned by Manfred and Edith Hellwig, the operation is perhaps most famous for producing Prix du Cadran winner Princess Zoe (Ger) (Jukebox Jury {Ire}), and offered nine foals through The Castlebridge Consignment towards the end of the sale.

The draft was headed by a Sioux Nation colt out of Westfalica (Ger) (Areion (Ger), who was twice placed at listed level in Germany. The Sioux Nation colt was the penultimate horse into the ring but it didn't hold him back as many of the top buyers stuck around, with Goodwill Bloodstock winning out at €125,000. 

Meanwhile, a Galiway (GB) colt from the draft was similarly well-received, with JC Bloodstock snapping him up for €120,000. The Galiway colt boasts a nice pedigree being a son of listed performer All For Rome (Ger) (Holy Roman Emperor {Ire}).

Lucky Vega Capturing The Imagination

The strength behind Lucky Vega (Ire)continued on Tuesday with 12 foals selling for an average of €38,917. Under the banner of the imaginatively-named Lucky Vega, Yuesheng Zhang, whose colours were carried by the Group 1-winning juvenile, supported his stallion further by snapping up two more foals by the Irish National Stud resident. 

The Lucky Vega partnership, which has been headed this week by Sam Fairgray, chief operating officer for Yulong, have now bought three foals by their stallion this week to the tune of €172,000.

Buy of the day 

If it's good-walking foals you are into, well then feast your eyes on lot 391, an Australia (GB) colt bought by Apollo Bloodstock for €72,000. Out of a black-type performer Coeue d'Amour (Ire) (Zoffany {Ire}), the Australia colt is from the family of the ultra-consistent and classy Oscula (Ire) (Galileo {GB}). He was bought from Norelands to be resold and looks just the type to rock into six figures back at the Orby next year. 

Thought of the day

It never ceases to amaze the appetite among the younger generation to get involved in the bloodstock game, perhaps no more so in the pinhooking side of things. The amount of new and young faces on the sales ground on Tuesday was encouraging.

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