Landmark Result For St Mark's Basilica With 575k Sale-Topper At Tattersalls 

The 575k Sale-Topper By St Mark's Basilica | Tattersalls


Friday marked a breakout result for five-time Group 1-winner St Mark's Basilica (Fr) as a filly by Coolmore's freshman sire out of the Oaks winner Talent (GB) (New Approach {Ire}) topped the December Foal Sale at Tattersalls on 575,000gns. The aggregate fell 11% compared to this day 12 months ago to 17,943,000gns while the clearance rate climbed 7% to 87%. The average fell 13% to 95,952gns and the median dipped 9% to 62,000gns.

It was bloodstock agent Jill Lamb, bidding on behalf of Newsells Park Stud, who came out on top for the most expensive foal sold at public auction in Europe or North America this year.

“She is beautiful, absolutely gorgeous-I fell in love with her as soon as I saw her,” Lamb said of lot 869. “She is very athletic and has a wonderful page. She has been bought to race and to come back to Newsells Park Stud [as a broodmare]. She has two half-sisters by Dubawi and she ticked all the boxes for us. We are delighted to get her.”

Talent landed the Oaks at Epsom a decade ago for trainer Ralph Beckett. She has already proved herself as a broodmare with her daughter, Ambition (GB) (Dubawi {Ire}), a Group 2 winner in France.

Lamb added, “I watched everyone going in for her and thought, 'oh my gosh!' St Mark's Basilica is the unknown quantity, but she is the nicest I have seen by him.”

The filly was bred, like her Classic-winning dam, by Mark Dixon and James Rowsell of Ashbrittle Stud in Somerset, which is also home to Talent's aforementioned daughter Ambition.

Stud manager Ginny Whales said after exiting the ring, “We have Ambition back and she had a Frankel (GB) foal this year and is in foal to Palace Pier (GB), and Talent herself is in foal to New Bay (GB), so if she has a filly we can keep her and race her.

“The idea is to keep the fillies and sell the colts but Talent's colts haven't been the prettiest. This filly was lovely though and she has been grand. She had 10 vets and she was getting very tired but she was still walking out and trying her best.”

She added, “I broke Talent in so it's been exciting to see the whole family. They tend to keep themselves out of trouble, so Talent and Prowess, when you got out to the field to feed them, they will walk away from everybody else and tell you where they want to be fed. They're complete divas. Then this foal and Ambition's Frankel foal do the same.”



Coolmore Go Strong For Vandeek's Brother At 450k

It can be a daunting task stepping out from the shadows of your older siblings but the Starspangledbanner (Aus) half-brother to dual Group 1-winning and unbeaten two-year-old sensation Vandeek (GB) (Havana Grey {GB}) did not disappoint when knocked down to Coolmore's MV Magnier at 450,000gns. 

Offered by Kelly Thomas of Maywood Stud, lot 961 capped a memorable year for the breeder following Vandeek's exceptional triumphs in the Prix Morny and Middle Park S. 

“He's taken everything in his stride. He's a very relaxed character, he likes his feed, likes his sleep and he likes to exercise,” a beaming Thomas said shortly after the sale. 

“Charlene [groom] has been frogmarched around the exercise ring every morning and he's come out every day as fresh as a daisy despite what he's had to do.”

Thomas added, “It's been one hell of a year for sure. Everything is quite surreal. We have five mares, we bred his dam. We actually sold her as a yearling and then bought her back for very little money. I've just had absolute faith in the family and felt that something had to come up at some stage. They're just too determined with that will to win, and their heads in front all the time. He even has his head in front at feed time; the other foals come second to him all the time, he just has that competitive nature.”

Thomas confirmed that the colt's dam Mosa Mine (GB) (Exceed And Excel {Aus}) is not in foal this year but asked whether she would be sending her back to Vandeek's sire Havana Grey, she replied with a smile, “Quite possibly.”

She continued, “It's all a bit overwhelming. There's almost a little bit more to worry about, as much as you're happy about it and want to go on to the next stage, but we had him at home and you wake up every morning and hope that he's still in one piece.”

MV Magnier confirmed the Starspangledbanner to be everything one would expect him to be; fast and precocious. 

He said, “A lovely horse and, in fairness to Kelly Thomas and everyone associated with him, they've done a great job. Starspangledbanner is doing so well and he's a brother to a very good horse. We're just glad we can support the Thomases. It's a good result for them. He's a lovely quality horse and he looks like he will be early and fast. Hopefully he will be. 

Amo Makes Statement Of Intent

Amo Racing might be best associated for sourcing horses from the yearling and breeze-up sales but Kia Joorabchian made something of a statement when splashing out 360,000gns on a Kingman (GB) colt through agent Alex Elliott. 

The Kingman boasts a strong pedigree, being a half-brother to smart sprinter Dragon Symbol (GB)–who has recently retired to stand at Whitsbury Manor Stud–and Elliott says the purchase made a lot of sense. 

He explained, “This is a three-parts brother to Dragon Symbol, who has been retired to stud. He's by an elite stallion in Kingman and was a beautiful horse physically. The mare has produced to lesser stallions–way lesser stallions–and he has been bought for Amo Racing.”

The Kingman colt was bred by Whitsbury, who ended the day as leading consignors so far this week with 21 lots sold for 1,940,500gns. The sale represented an important one for Elliott, having been beaten by Juddmonte earlier in the afternoon on a Wootton Bassett (GB) colt, and the agent was all too aware that he'd levelled the score. 

Elliott said, “He will go back to Ireland. We tried hard to buy the Wootton Bassett that Juddmonte bought and I think they underbid us on this horse. It's one-one! We obviously like Wootton Bassett because of King Of Steel and Bucanero Fuerte.

“But this horse [lot 909] made a lot of sense. For an end-user, the half-brother by Havana Grey made 250,000gns here last year and he came back and made 600,000gns to Godolphin. Kia has a long-term plan for this horse and hopefully he's another good one for the Amo operation.”

Elliott went on to sign for the Showcasing (GB) half-brother to 2,000 Guineas winner Chaldean (GB) (Frankel {GB}) on behalf of an unnamed client from Whitsbury for 260,000gns.

Godolphin Snaps Up Brother To Bay Bridge

A brother to Bay Bridge (GB) lived up to his billing as one of the star attractions to the Friday session when knocked down to Anthony Stroud on behalf of Godolphin for 375,000gns. 

Bred by James Wigan, whose colours were carried with great distinction by Bay Bridge, winner of the G1 Champion S. at Ascot in 2022, the colt (lot 942) was offered by the breeder's West Blagdon Stud. 

Stroud said, “He's for Godolphin. He's a really attractive horse and is a full-brother to a very good horse. It's a great stud to buy off because they produce such good horses. We're delighted to buy him.”

Talking Points
  • Juddmonte bought their 2,000 Guineas winner and new stallion Chaldean (GB) (Frankel {GB}) at this sale three years ago and returned to buy his Kingman (GB) half-brother for a sale-topping 1 million gns last year. This time around Juddmonte's Simon Mockridge signed for three colts — two by Kingman (GB) and one by Wootton Bassett (GB) — for 1,015,000gns.
  • It shouldn't go unnoticed the strong week that Sioux Nation has enjoyed. Three foals by the Coolmore-based sire, who has earned a bump to €27,500 for 2024, cleared six figures. One of which was a 210,000gns half-brother to Bright Diamond (Ire) (El Kabeir) (lot 898), bought by Castlehyde Stud from Riversfield Stud. All told, 10 horses by Sioux Nation have sold for an average of 71,200gns this week.
  • One of the fascinating subplots to the foal sales is viewing the stock of a young stallion and one would wager that those in the Lope Y Fernandez (Ire) camp are quite happy with their lot. Considering Lope Y Fernandez stands at the National Stud for £8,500, his results of 78,000gns, 45,000gns and 41,000gns have to be viewed as a major positive. 
  • Ghaiyyath (Ire) has not lacked for support from within at the yearling sales this season and that continued on Friday with Godolphin signing for a filly and a colt by the stallion for 350,000gns (lot 928) and 190,000gns (lot 916), respectively.
  • Pinatubo is more than capable of paddling his own canoe, it would seem, with a whopping seven foals by the Darley-based sire selling for six figures. That included a 250,000gns filly (lot 878) sold by Barton Stud to Blandford Bloodstock and another filly (lot 983) from Plantation Stud to JP Bloodstock for 240,000gns.
Buy of the Day

Fashion can work both ways and often the market can overreact, be that positively or negatively. It might just be the latter at the moment with Time Test, whose colt (lot 827) out of listed winner Dynamic (GB) (Teofilo {Ire}) looks a bargain at just 20,000gns. 

Consigned by Highclere Stud, the Time Test colt was a particularly racey offering by the sire, and Cigar Bloodstock–whoever that may be–could well be toasting this horse in the future. 

Thought of the Day

There was a super turnout at Tattersalls on Friday and the stock on offer clearly cut the mustard with 59 horses making six figures on the day.

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