New Era For Old Mill At Tattersalls

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Lot 432, Old Mill Stud's Justify filly, set to sell on Thursday | Tattersalls

NEWMARKET, UK-Following on from a year in which many visitors were barred from attending the Tattersalls October Yearling Sale, an international crowd at Park Paddocks on Monday was a welcome sight as inspections continued less than 24 hours removed from the start of the firm's flagship Book 1.

The shoppers, of course, aren't the only international element to the sale; as befits any bloodstock auction of such stature, global themes abound in the pages of the 502 yearlings catalogued for Book 1, which runs from Tuesday through Thursday. There are five yearlings catalogued by Justify, who had no fewer than 19 sell for north of $500,000 at Keeneland November. Should he follow in the footsteps of his sire Scat Daddy–and indeed his fellow Triple Crown winner American Pharoah at Ashford Stud–Justify could yet prove an effective crossover sire.

Rob Speers is certainly of the opinion that Old Mill Stud's Justify filly out of the Group 3-placed Butterscotch (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) (lot 432) is made for the grass. The chestnut filly with the white blaze set to sell on the final day of the sale is one of two that breeder Ibrahim Araci brings to Book 1, and his Old Mill Stud rides the momentum of a productive Book 1 last year when selling under its own name for the first time. The stud brought four homebred yearlings last year, with the top seller being a Galileo (Ire) half-sister to eventual G1 Diamond Jubilee S. winner Dream Of Dreams (Ire) bought by Mike Ryan for 1.4-million gns. Araci also sold a pair of Kingman colts for 500,000gns and 300,000gns.

This year, in addition to the Justify filly, Old Mill offers a Lope De Vega (Ire) filly on Tuesday as lot 53. Both were being carried by their dams when Araci purchased them at Tattersalls December in 2019: the Justify filly's dam, Butterscotch, was bought by Speers on Araci's behalf for 700,000gns. Campaigned by the Coolmore partners, Butterscotch broke her maiden going six furlongs at Naas at two before finishing runner-up to eventual Group 1 winner Clemmie (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) in the G3 Grangecon Stud S. Butterscotch is out of the six furlong G3 Ballyogan S. winner Lessons In Humility (Ire) (Mujadil), also the dam of black-type winners Tiger Moth (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) and Coach House (Ire) (Oasis Dream {GB}).

The Lope De Vega filly is out of the multiple French listed placed Guerriere (Ire) (Invincible Spirit {Ire}), a full-sister to G3 Prix d'Aumale winner Soustraction (Ire) (Lope De Vega {Ire}) from the Wertheimer family of G1 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe victress Solemia (Ire). Guerriere cost Araci 825,000gns at Tattersalls.

“I'm delighted to have two filly first foals out of two mares that we paid plenty of money for in the December Sales,” said Speers. “Butterscotch is a stakes-placed Galileo filly, and she got her stakes form as a 2-year-old over six and seven furlongs and she's out of a daughter of Mujadil called Lessons In Humility who was a six-furlong Group 1-class sprinter.

“The Justify filly has been a star since she was born. She was used for advertising pictures, and she's been forward and found everything very natural her whole life. She's come up here and looks the part. She's got a big white face and she's chestnut so she looks very much like her daddy. Butterscotch has a wonderful Kingman colt foal and is back in foal to Kingman. I'm very high on her and her future.”

“Scat Daddy and plenty of that line have had success on turf, and she's out of a Galileo mare,” Speers added. “She looks 100% a turf filly to me. She moves like a turf filly, she has a European hind leg and she floats.”

Of the Lope De Vega filly, Speers said, “She is from a wonderful Wertheimer family and she's a three-parts sister to a Group 1 horse [Soustraction]. She's been very natural and very straightforward all the way along. She's incredibly athletic. I've loved her attitude all along and particularly since she's come up to the sales; she's just pricked her ears, got on and done every show. She has global appeal and is a wonderful filly. I'd be very optimistic that she'll get the mare, Guerriere, off to a wonderful start. We adore the mare; she has a lovely Blue Point colt foal and is back in foal to Lope De Vega on the back of this filly. I'm very excited about her future.”

Turkish businessman Araci has been racing horses in the UK for around a decade, and has been involved with Thoroughbreds his native country, where he owns a large stud farm and stands four stallions, for much longer. His top colourbearers have included the G3 Solario S. and G3 Craven S. winner Native Khan (Fr) (Azamour {Ire}), who was third behind Frankel in the G1 2000 Guineas; Aktabantay (GB) (Oasis Dream {GB}), another winner of the Solario; Crimean Tatar (Tur) (Sea The Stars {Ire}), winner of the Listed Wild Flower S. and Group 3-winning sprinter Koropick (Ire) (Kodiac {GB}). Araci's daughter, Pinar, was responsible for his introduction to racing and is heavily involved in the operation. In 2018, Araci purchased the 100-acre Old Mill Stud formerly owned by David Shekells just outside Newmarket in Chippenham. Speers said Araci plans to continue to invest in high-end breeding stock while both racing and selling the progeny.

“Pinar and Mr. Araci are keen to trade horses, buy and sell, and grow the farm and in time become a bigger player in the industry,” he explained. “We have nine horses in training at the moment. Horses in training will always be a part of what we do; there is a big redevelopment still going on at the farm and we've put a lot of money into purchasing mares, so trading horses is definitely something we want to continue to do. I think in time Mr. Araci would like to go down the owner/breeder route, but nothing is fixed in stone and while we are coming to the sales, we're going to bring our best.”

Oneliner No One Hit Wonder

Oneliner Stables made its Book 1 debut in 2019 one to remember, selling a Sea The Stars (Ire) colt it had purchased for 330,000gns the prior December to Godolphin for 725,000gns. Oneliner, the moniker of Gerard Lowry and his family, has continued to invest in high-end foals to pinhook. After selling three last year for a cumulative 665,000gns, Oneliner brings four colts to the sale this year to pinhook.

First up on day one is lot 105, another son of Sea The Stars, this one out of La Mortola (GB) (Dubawi {Ire}), a half-sister to Group 1 winners Jakkalberry (Ire) (Storming Home {GB}), Crackerjack King (Ire) (Shamardal) and Awelmarduk (Ire) (Almutawakel {GB}). The mare's first foal, a Frankel (GB) colt named Fabrizio (GB), was bought by Godolphin for 300,000gns at this sale, while Oneliner paid 170,000gns for the Sea The Stars in December.

“We believe the cross has worked amazingly well and you can see both sides in the yearling,” Lowry said. “There are three Group 1 winners under the second dam and the mother's first foal, a Frankel colt, was placed twice last year and unfortunately met with a setback in training with Charlie Appleby and hasn't run since.”

“He's the type of animal we like to produce,” Lowry added of the Sea The Stars. “He's a good and fluid-moving horse with a lot of power and substance about him.”

Also going through the ring on Tuesday is lot 130, a full-brother to G1 Irish 2000 Guineas winner Phoenix Of Spain (Ire) (Lope De Vega {Ire}) secured for 300,000gns in December.

“He's an exciting animal to have,” Lowry said. “That cross has worked very well because obviously he's a full-brother to a Classic winner, but the mare has produced three black-type horses by lesser stallions and they've been very highly rated. He's a lovely horse, typical of Lope De Vega in a lot of ways and he's going down very well.”

Looking to get Wednesday off to a bright start for Oneliner will be lot 181, a Frankel (GB) half-brother to the Group 3-winning and Group 1-placed Lily's Angel (Ire) (Dark Angel {Ire}) that the Lowrys secured for 360,000gns. Lowry wasn't hiding his admiration for the colt, saying, “He's just special. He's gorgeous. He has it all: looks, substance, movement and pedigree, being a half-brother to a filly that was placed in the G1 Matron S. Their other sister was fourth in the French Guineas, so the mare has produced two Group 1 horses, one rated 109 and one 110.”

Looking to end things on a high note on Thursday will be lot 484, a Camelot (GB) colt purchased for 140,000gns. The family was handed a Group 1 update in April when Juliet Foxtrot won the GI Jenny Wiley S. at Keeneland.

“It is the Dancing Brave champions' pedigree; a great Juddmonte page,” Lowry said. “But we think the Camelot/Oasis Dream cross is incredible when you consider Sir Dragonet, the winner of the Cox Plate last year, was bred on the same cross.”

Gerard's father Jimmy Lowry, who was busy showing the Oneliner colts at Park Paddocks on Monday, has some 45 years experience with horses, most of his involvement coming on the National Hunt side before a health scare for the elder Lowry led to his family switching gears and focusing on a few top-end flat horses just a few years ago.

“Dad was 60 years of age and he had come into bad health; he got a condition called Lupus and had to pull back on his workload, so we went for lesser numbers and better quality,” Lowry explained. “We had confidence in our own ability; we've been involved in the National Hunt side of the game, buying and pinhooking, and we felt it was the time to make the step up. My father wasn't getting any younger and he likes to be very hands-on with his animals. He's the horseman with 45 years experience in the industry; I'm just in the lucky position that I'm passionate about pedigrees and sales. I didn't work in the industry, I came into it from outside and made my money elsewhere. We sold a Grade 1 winner over jumps and that gave us confidence. We've built up a lot of relationships with agents across Europe. A lot of them cross over [from National Hunt to flat], and it's the same type of athlete and same type of animal; it's all about movement and the athlete.

“The business model is to try to have a couple horses for Book 1 every year and for the other good sales, like Arqana and Goffs Orby, but as it fell this year we have them here in Book 1. We've been very lucky here.”

“The plan is to sell black-type horses and the dream would be to sell a Group 1 winner and hopefully a Classic winner, but they're so hard to come by,” Lowry added. “There's such a global market for stallions, we're hoping to produce a future stallion.”

Beach Of An Update

When the Book 1 catalogue was released in early August, it was able to boast the siblings to 47 Group 1 and Classic winners. A few more have since been added to those ranks, with the latest update being for lot 15, Ballylinch Stud's half-sister to Saffron Beach (Ire) (New Bay {GB}), who continued her progression with a victory in Saturday's G1 Sun Chariot S.

Like lot 15, who is by Australia (GB), Saffron Beach was bred by China Horse Club and raised at Ballylinch's sister farm Castlemartin Stud.

“Saffron Beach is obviously a very high-class filly,” said Ballylinch Managing Director John O'Connor. “She deserved to win a Group 1 and could win a few more. She's a very progressive, high-quality filly.

“Her sister by Australia is a very attractive filly, very athletic. In some ways she is a little bit similar to Saffron Beach. She's a great walker and she's been very popular. I'd expect her to go really well.”

Ballylinch won't have long to take in the result of Saffron Beach's sister before it sends the brother to another Group 1 winner, a Lope De Vega (Ire) half-brother to G1 Irish 1000 Guineas winner Just The Judge (Ire) (Lawman {Fr}), through the ring as lot 16. The dam Faraday Light (Ire) (Rainbow Quest)

has also produced the stakes-placed Obliterator (Ire) (Oratorio {Ire}), and her current 2-year-old Allayaali (Ire) (Dark Angel {Ire}) sold to Shadwell for €575,000 at Goffs November in 2019.

“He's a big, powerful colt,” O'Connor said of lot 16. “He's athletic with a big, big walk on him. He's a high-class colt.”

Ballylinch will look to end Tuesday's trade on another high with another beautifully bred son of its star resident Lope De Vega, lot 142, a full-brother to Aunt Pearl (Ire) who Ballylinch sold here for 280,000gns to agents Liz Crow and Brad Weisbord before she went on to win the GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies' Turf at Keeneland in 2020. The dam, Matauri Pearl (Ire) (Hurricane Run {Ire}), had a Sea The Stars (Ire) filly sell for €450,000 at Arqana's October Yearling Sale last year.

“He's an exciting colt,” O'Connor said. “He's a really attractive horse. Like Matauri Pearl, he's a medium-sized horse as opposed to a real big one, but he has a lot of power and strength to him. He's a very athletic horse, a great mover.”

O'Connor said the strong start to the sales season has been welcome after the volatility of the pandemic.

“It's great to see,” he said. “I think the American interest in European horses is pretty substantial at the moment. There were plenty of Americans both last week at Goffs and here this week, and I think it makes sense because they're having a lot of success on the turf over there, and it's been reflected in increased interest. As a farm we've been very lucky with the horses that have gone to America from the farm; we've had three Breeders' Cup winners so we're pretty happy that when they go there they have a chance of doing well.”

Ballylinch offers 12 across the three days of Book 1.

“Honestly, I think we have a really even, high-quality draft this year,” O'Connor said. “It's probably the best draft we've ever brought to Tattersalls.”

Book 1 of the Tattersalls October Yearling Sale begins at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, with many, many star-quality yearlings with internationally-appealing pedigrees by all of Europe's leading sires, and some from further appeal, set to be offered.

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