Juddmonte Draft Sustains Solid Trade

|

Cressida, lot 2005 | Tattersalls

By

NEWMARKET, UK—After the giddy commerce of the previous day, with its six-figure average, the third session of mares at the Tattersalls December Sale as usual catered to prospectors at a rather lesser level. What gives them a chance, of course, is that their perspicacity can redeem their relative lack of resources.

Certainly they must be relieved that many of the bigger players had left town. Those who had deigned to stick around did so largely for the second tranche of the Juddmonte draft, as dusk fell, but few were in the auditorium when three of the first nine into the ring could vaunt second dams as illustrious as Hellenic (GB) (Darshaan {GB}), Arrive (GB) (Kahyasi {Ire}) and Peckitts Well (GB) (Lochnager {GB}).

Within half an hour, moreover, they had missed one of the most luminous sleepers of the whole sale, a Distorted Humor half-sister to none other than Tom's d'Etat (Smart Strike)—whose blossoming into one of the outstanding American performers of 2020 had evidently failed to register with many. Happily, a client of BBA Ireland was sufficiently alert to repatriate her to her native land at just 25,000gns.

Not that trade is ever easy, even in relatively becalmed waters, for those feeding along the bottom of the sea. Regardless, the change in tempo for the Juddmonte string made for an interval of theatre that could not fail to gratify any aficionado, with the transfusion of some of the most coveted blood in the modern breed introduced, on the rostrum, with commensurate flair by Alastair Pim.

In all, the 20 females culled here from Prince Khaled's empire generated 1,526,000gns at an average 76,300gns. Combined with the first draft, in Monday's opening session, the overall consignment of 37 lots weighed in at 3,378,500gns at 91,311gns a head.

Teddy Grimthorpe, the Prince's racing manager, admitted that there are always tough decisions in what is an imperative exercise for any breeder on this scale. But his priority was to reiterate gratitude, on behalf of the whole professional community, to those who managed to secure dispensation for this vital auction in the middle of a national lockdown.

“Without this sale, a multi-million pound industry would have been literally on its knees,” he stressed. “So it's spectacular that they have managed to put it on.”

In the circumstances, the day's trade proved highly resilient. Turnover dropped a mild 11 percent to 5,312,500gns, from 5,991,300gns at the equivalent session last year, yielding a 26,562gns average (down 13% from 30,568gns) and an unchanged median of 14,000gns. As so often this year, the clearance rate was extremely purposeful at 88%.

Cressida Joins Bluebloods in Court of Sottsass

The most coveted in the Juddmonte beauty parade was Cressida (GB) (Dansili {GB}), who topped the day's trade at 360,000gns as lot 2005. But she had better not let that status go to her head, as she will find herself pretty well restored to the ranks once given her next task.

For she is only one in a series of top-class partners being assembled by Peter Brant of White Birch Farm to support Sottsass (Fr) (Siyouni {Fr}) in his new career at Coolmore.

It is understood that Brant will account for between 10 and 15 mares in his G1 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe winner's debut book. These are headed by another daughter of Dansili in Unaided (GB), the dam of GI Breeders' Cup Mile winner Uni (GB) (More Than Ready); she is out of a half-sister to Rafha (GB) (Kris {GB}), breed-shaping dam of Invincible Spirit (Ire) and Kodiac (GB).

Cressida earned her place in the harem by winning her sole juvenile start for John Gosden last year, and while she could not really advance her reputation in just two starts this time round, sweating up on both occasions, she had at least evinced the ability to go with her elegant build and aristocratic page. She is out of dual group winner Modern Look (GB) (Zamindar), herself a half-sister to the dam of sires Showcasing (GB) and Camacho (GB) out of G1 Cheveley Park S. winner Prophecy (Ire) (Warning {GB}). Modern Look has already produced GI Beverly D. runner-up Grand Jete (GB) by Dansili, who counts Time Test (GB) (Dubawi), Expert Eye (GB) (Acclamation {GB}) and Dream Of Dreams (Ire) (Dream Ahead) among his previous credits as a broodmare sire.

Demi O'Byrne, signing the docket on behalf of White Birch Farm, confined himself to describing her as “a very nice physical and great walker” but what is loud and clear is that Sottsass is being given every chance to land running. He is, of course, himself out of an exceptional broodmare as a half-brother to Sistercharlie (Ire) (Myboycharlie {Ire}), and always had the physique to support a €340,000 tag as an Arqana August yearling. And, even ahead of the Arc, many breeders will principally prize his track record in the G1 Prix du Jockey-Club, nowadays such a reliable signpost to stallions.

Other mares lined up for Sottsass by Brant include Rosa Bonheur (GB), dam of dual Grade I winner Raging Bull (Fr) (Dark Angel {Ire}); Azafata (Spa), dam of Classic-placed Fleeting (Ire) (Zoffany {Ire}); Royal Ascot winner Different League (Fr) (Dabirsim {Fr}); Bonanza Creek (Ire) (Anabaa), a half-sister to Bright Sky (Ire) (Wolfhound); Daldiyna (Fr), another Dansili and a half-sister to a Group 1 winner from one of the Aga Khan's elite families; Toinette (Scat Daddy), a Grade II winner purchased for $800,000 at Keeneland November; nine-time stakes winner Fifty Five (Get Stormy); and multiple Grade I-placed Thais (Fr) (Rio De La Plata).

Home Run for Stormy Girl Team

The big touch of the day was Stormy Girl (Ire) (Night Of Thunder {Ire}), who was found at Fairyhouse for just €22,000 as a yearling but sold here to Paddy Twomey for 310,000gns as lot 2045.

Hats off, then, to purchasers Compas Equine/Loughnane /Hughes; to owner Stonegrave Thoroughbreds; and to trainer Rebecca Menzies, who took charge of her this season and advanced her rating a stone to 101 with a listed success at Pontefract in August.

Menzies was naturally saddened to lose her first ever black-type winner, but delighted for patrons Mike and Eileen Newbould.

“She has been our flagship horse,” she said. “We only have a small yard and she will leave a massive hole, but I am really looking forward to watching her. I can't stress enough what a lovely horse she has been to train, so straightforward, tough and hardy filly. She has improved as the year went on and even in the last four weeks, since we backed off her, she has strengthened up a lot. There will be loads more to come for her, I'm sure, and further down the line she'll make a brilliant broodmare.

“It is a wonderful result for the owners, they are family-orientated and their granddaughter Beth has come down to watch her sell today. Mike and Eileen have a lot of horses in training, mainly jumpers but they bought yearlings a few years ago. Once she got that black-type, we thought she would be attractive with that pedigree and the way she looks. Hopefully we can now go back to the sales and try and find another one.”

If anyone can build this filly's value even from this elevated base, it is Twomey. Only 24 hours earlier he had said farewell to Sonaiyla (Ire) (Dark Angel {Ire}), having multiplied her value to 900,000gns since picking her up for €110,000 from Aga Khan Studs at the equivalent stage of her career last year.

Twomey could only identify her purchaser as an existing client: presumably one who had paid close attention to proceedings the previous day.

“She looks to have progressive form, and she's been unlucky the odd time,” he said. “Hopefully we'll have a campaign with her next year. She's a nice, big, strong filly and the winter might help her improve. Her dam's [half-]sister has had a Group 1-winning 2-year-old this year [Tiger Tanaka (Ire) (Clodovil {Ire})]. It's a deep pedigree, she's by Night Of Thunder, so she'll also have good residual value as a broodmare.”

International Breeders Share Juddmonte Dream

Besides the session-topper, the Juddmonte draft clustered a rapid series of six-figure sales—with breeders from all points of the compass unanimous in their eagerness to tap into these dynastic brands.

Arabian Dream (GB) (Oasis Dream {GB}), for instance, is a full-sister to the flourishing Whitsbury Manor sire Showcasing (GB). So while the 3-year-old had toiled to a mark of just 47 in her three juvenile starts, and had disappeared since, Tom Goff of Blandford Bloodstock was forced to 170,000gns to secure her as lot 2000.

“I thought we had her at 65,000gns,” Goff lamented. “But Oasis Dream is a fantastic broodmare sire, she's going to go and be a mummy straightaway, the page speaks for itself. She will be going to Ireland.”

One Juddmonte brood that has been pretty liberally culled of late is that of Clepsydra (GB) (Sadler's Wells), even though she has produced Group 1 winners Timepiece (GB) (Zamindar) and Passage Of Time (GB) (Dansili {GB}), herself dam of the young stallion Time Test (GB) (Dubawi {Ire}). Three of her daughters had already changed hands at this sale, one for the second year running, but those who missed out could contest the 3-year-old Brinjal (GB) (Kingman {GB}), who could not win in 10 starts but retained a residual value at 190,000gns as lot 2002.

She was knocked down to MAB Agency, whose Marc Antoine Berghgracht explained, “It's just a lovely family, and she has been bought for Haras d'Haspel in Normandy. They're mainly commercial breeders, and this pedigree is really moving: you expect the page to look different next year. We will think what we will do about stallions. Maybe we should ask Juddmonte what would be their suggestion.”

Not a bad thought, as that firm is also quite prepared to go elsewhere for the right cover–as was the case with Siliqua (GB), an unraced 3-year-old by Darley's potentate Dubawi (Ire) out of G1 Matron S. winner Emulous (GB) (Dansili {GB}). She, too, is heading to France after Stephen Hillen gave 105,000gns on behalf of Ecurie Des Monceaux for lot 2015.

Snow Shower (GB), similarly, is by Ballylinch's Lope De Vega (Ire) out of a Galileo (Ire) half-sister to elite winners Meteor Storm (GB) (Bigstone {Ire}) and Polish Summer (GB) (Polish Precedent). She looked a smart prospect winning her sole juvenile start for Sir Michael Stoute and was relaunched in an Oaks trial in the spring, only to disappear from view. Given her clear ability, 100,000gns from Durcan Bloodstock looked a fair price for lot 2017.

Another ex-jockey, Paul Harley, was relieved finally to break into the Juddmonte draft after being repeatedly thwarted in earlier attempts, giving 105,000gns for Tanita (GB) (Frankel {GB}) (lot 2020), a stablemate of Snow Shower and placed three times in five starts. Her dam is a full-sister to the wonderful Midday (GB) (Oasis Dream {GB}).

“She'll stay in Europe for sure,” Harley said. “She may end up in France, but I would imagine she will go to Ireland to be covered. But nothing's decided. She has a lot of quality, a great walk, plenty of depth and she's just a beautiful broodmare prospect. I am just delighted to get her, because we were on quite a few of these Juddmonte mares this week and found the market just too strong.”

Annual on a Mission to Kodiac

Noble Mission (GB)'s emigration to Lane's End may have seen him recede somewhat in the memory of the domestic market. But the deeds of Code Of Honor, a dual Grade I winner and GI Kentucky Derby runner-up from his first crop, should ensure that Frankel's brother retains due esteem. And while his 3-year-old daughter Annual had never made the track, her parentage combined two of the important broodmares of our time, never mind in the story of Juddmonte.

For her dam Honest Lady (Seattle Slew) is one four elite scorers out of Toussaud (El Gran Senor); and of course her sire is out of Kind (Ire) (Danehill), the ultimate template for the blending of Galileo (Ire) with sprint mares.

It was no surprise, then, to see lot 1999 knocked down at 100,000gns to an outfit as astute as Tally-Ho Stud. Tony O'Callaghan confirmed that Annual will go to the farm's flagship, Kodiac (GB), and it will be fascinating to see whether her regal pedigree might give his trademark speed some Classic stretch. Mind you, the farm won't mind if it works out the other way round.

“The pedigree deserves him and he deserves the pedigree,” declared Tony O'Callaghan, prompting son Roger to add, “We will see if we can speed it up.”

Mused Taking a Transatlantic Stroll

The morning session was shaken abruptly out of its relative torpor by the advent of the 2-year-old Mused (GB) (Charm Spirit {Ire}), who had still been unraced when catalogued as lot 1820. In the meantime, she had squeezed in three starts for Hugo Palmer in the space of a month, crowned in timely fashion at Kempton on Monday when making all to score by 4 1/2 lengths in a fast time.

That earned her the first six-figure docket of the day, signed at 100,000gns by Lincoln Collins of the Kern/Lillingston Association. She will be shipped to the barn of Eddie Kenneally.

“She won nicely the other day, two seconds quicker than the other division, and ought to fit as a nice horse in Kentucky over the winter and hopefully beyond,” the agent said. “Hopefully she's progressive and I was happy enough to get her at that money.”

Bred by the Stroll Partnership and raced in the silks of Qatar Racing, Mused represents a family that has already established an affinity for the American sport. Her dam Stroll Patrol (GB) (Mount Nelson {GB}) is out of a half-sister to GI Woodford Reserve Turf Classic winner Stroll (Pulpit); further back, moreover, this is the family of the Claiborne stallion Lea (First Samurai).

Stroll Patrol herself was placed in the G3 Dick Poole S. at two, a race won by her half-sister Yourtimeisnow (GB), like Mused a daughter of Charm Spirit.

Partner Luke Lillingston also struck for one of the nicer types of the morning session in lot 1872, Myth Creation (More Than Ready), who joins his own Mount Coote broodmare band at 70,000gns. The 5-year-old, consigned by Hazelwood Bloodstock, is carrying a National Defense (GB) foal and her third dam is the matriarch Rosia Bay (GB) (High Top {GB}): dam of Group 1 winners Ibn Bey (GB) (Mill Reef) and Roseate Tern (GB) (Blakeney {GB}) and granddam of that accomplished runner and producer Red Camellia (GB) (Polar Falcon).

“I'm thrilled to own a mare by More Than Ready,” Lillingston enthused. “When you open the broodmare sire stats page, there's nothing other than a Group or Grade 1 winners under his name. I remember him from when I was living in the U.S. This is a beautiful mare, she could run a bit and has an international pedigree—and I love Sahm [damsire].”

New Subjects for Two Queens

The Godolphin draft had an attractive mosaic quality for prospectors, given the sheer range and diversity of its sourcing, and two 3-year-old “Queens” within three lots each made six figures.

Queen Kahlua (GB) (Kingman {GB}) (lot 1952) raced in the silks of Sheikh Obaid after being picked out as a yearling here by Stephen Hillen and trainer Henri-Francois Devin at 57,000gns. That was rather a basement rate for Book 1 and, having won for a second time since publication of the catalogue, she was knocked down to Stuart Thom of Galloway Stud for 160,000gns.

She will now join Stuart Williams, to see if he can work the same kind of magic to her breeding eligibility as he did with Breathtaking Look (GB) (Bated Breath {GB}), sold at such a handsome yield the previous day.

“She's a lovely physical, we thought she moved really well,” Thom explained. “And the fact that she was only beaten [five] lengths by Earthlight [at Deauville this summer] gives a lot of encouragement. Hopefully as a Kingman in time she will come back and make a nice broodmare for my client.”

Queen Of The Sea (Ire) (Sea The Stars {Ire}) was another graduate of Book 1, where she cost 400,000gns. Lot 1954 showed only limited ability in three placings for Saeed bin Suroor, but she's a half-sister to Group 3 winner Sacred Life (Fr) (Siyouni {Fr}) out of a Montjeu (Ire) daughter of a sister to St Leger winner Rule Of Law (Kingmambo). That residual value secured a 100,000gns docket signed by Laurent Benoit of Broadhurst Agency.

“I think she'll go to a nice, proven stallion,” Benoit said. “We know the family well in France and her dam is still young, she is at Monceaux. She could suit Siyouni (Fr) and Sea The Stars (Ire)  will be a lovely broodmare sire. Actually I tried to buy her dam when she went through the ring, but Mr. Bozo was too strong. But at least I got her daughter.”

Not a subscriber? Click here to sign up for the daily PDF or alerts.