Seven-Figure Colts Head Strong Tattersalls Trade

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Lot 277, the session-topping Sea The Stars colt | Tattersalls

By Emma Berry and Kelsey Riley

NEWMARKET, UK–Watership Down Stud's signature family of Darara (Ire) brought yet more success for breeders Lord and Lady Lloyd Webber when their Sea The Stars (Ire) colt out of So Mi Dar (GB) (Dubawi {Ire}) sold to Bill Farish for 1.2 million gns at Tattersalls.

As the bidding progressed, Andrew Lloyd Webber appeared in the ring seconds before Anthony Stroud and the Godolphin team gave way to Charlie Gordon-Watson, who was bidding on behalf of the American owner of Lane's End Farm.

“We don't ever expect to break the million-pound barrier, and in fact Andrew walked in just in time to see it happening so he must be our good luck charm,” said Madeleine Lloyd Webber as she greeted the colt and gave him a final pat on leaving the ring. “He ran out of the taxi into the ring and saw a million-pound sale.”

She continued, “The Darara family is carrying on and that is what it's all about with a foundation mare. We are in the third generation now and it is wonderful to see this family keep going. He is a beautiful horse, hopefully he'll go on to win the Guineas and keep winning Group 1s like the rest of the family.”

With the G3 Musidora S. winner and full-sister to young stallion Too Darn Hot (GB) as his mother and the celebrated Dar Re Mi (GB) (Singspiel {Ire}) as his grandam, there was plenty to recommend the colt, and the man who did the bidding on behalf of Farish's Woodford Racing knows this particular family better than most. Gordon-Watson bought the Watership Down foundation mare and Group 1 winner Darara (Ire) (Top Ville {Ire}), a half-sister to Darshaan (GB), for the stud back in 1994.

He said, “Bill Farish of Lane's End rang me and said 'what about this horse, what do you think?' And I said that I thought he was the best horse I'd seen in the sale and I know the family backwards, as he does, and he's a great friend of Simon [Marsh, stud manager] but he didn't want Simon to know anything about it.”

Confirming that the colt would remain in the UK for now, Gordon-Watson added, “It all happened in the last hour and a half. I think I got the valuation right as I said he would make between 800,000gns and 1.2 million.

“He's very typical of the family–maybe a bit bigger because Darara is quite small and Sea The Stars adds a bit of substance–but he's so athletic. I've been going on about lot 277 for a long time, ever since I knew his lot number.”

Woodford Racing was among the leading buyers at last month's Keeneland September Yearling Sale, with most of the 16 yearlings it signed for alone or in partnership being, like lot 277, colts with stallion potential.

Speaking from the U.S., Farish said, “I'm very close to Simon Marsh and to the Lloyd Webbers, and I've been watching this family for three generations. It's just the most prolific and one of the best families in Europe. I've been hearing about this horse since he was a foal, not only from Simon, but from Charlie Gordon-Watson and others, though they never thought that I would be the buyer. But it is one of those things where everything out of Dar Re Mi (GB) has been a runner at the highest level. Even the ones who didn't win Grade Is had Grade I potential. All of that, combined with the fact that he is such a nice individual just had me very excited about the opportunity to buy him, though I hoped I'd get him for less, of course.”

Questioned about a trainer of choice, Farish added, “I'm not going to say just yet, I'm going to breathe a little bit before I decide.”

On a day that started and ended with six-figure lots and pretty much stayed that way throughout, along with two millionaire highlights, the comparative figures were far in advance of the equivalent session last year. The turnover of 30,116,000gns was up by 41%, while the 231,662gns average was up by 29% and the median of 160,000gns rose by 28%. This was largely brought about by the clearance rate shooting up from 77% to 87%, meaning that only 19 of the 149 yearlings offered through the second session of Book 1 failed to find a buyer.

Rock Solid

The second millionaire of Book 1 materialized late in Wednesday's session when Corduff Stud's Kingman (GB) colt out of multiple group-race winner Turret Rocks (Ire) (Fastnet Rock {Aus}) sparked a titanic bidding battle between Coolmore and Godolphin out front of the ring. In the end it was MV Magnier who had the final say at 1.1-million for lot 321, with Peter Brant's White Birch Farm also joining the ticket.

The colt is the first foal out of Turret Rocks, who was bred by Jim Bolger and raced by the master trainer in partnership with the late Paddy Power co-founder John Corcoran, who died in 2019. Turret Rocks won the G2 May Hill S. at two and was second in the G1 Prix Marcel Boussac. She added the G3 Blue Wind S. at four and was third in the G1 Pretty Polly S. A typical hard knocker from the Bolger programme, Turret Rocks continued to train on at five, adding the G3 Meld S. and the Listed Victor McCalmont Memorial S.

David Egan of Corduff Stud noted that Corcoran had eventually bought Bolger out on Turret Rocks, and that the Kingman colt was owned in a partnership between Corduff and Corcoran's children, Andrew Corcoran and Roseanne O'Grady Walshe, under the Farmleigh banner.

“He was a magnificent horse,” Egan said. “I'm delighted they got him. I didn't think they were on him and they stood up and bought him, so it was really great. John had a vision of what he wanted to do with the horse, and he facilitated it in a way that it could happen. We owned this horse with John's children, and it's great. John unfortunately is dead but he was very involved in the planning of the mating, and he chose Kingman.”

Of Turret Rocks, Egan added, “She's a beautiful mare; she's big, strong and robust. She was so honest on the track. The mare has a very nice Too Darn Hot colt at home and we bred her back to Kingman.”

Another Kingman colt to find favour on Wednesday was the Keswick Family's colt out of the G1 1000 Guineas and four-time Group 1 winner Sky Lantern (Ire) (Red Clubs {Ire}) (lot 274), who fetched 625,000gns from agent Oliver St Lawrence.

“What can I say? He was a lovely horse out of a champion filly who has bred a good filly,” said St Lawrence. “He's for my Bahraini clients, and I'm not sure who will train him.”

The colt is the fifth foal out of Sky Lantern, whose leading light thus far has been Snow Lantern (Ire) (Frankel {GB}), the winner of this year's G1 Falmouth S. Sky Lantern has an as-yet unraced 2-year-old colt by Galileo (Ire) named First Emperor (GB) who is as yet unraced but listed in training with Donnacha O'Brien for the Keswicks' Rockliffe Stud in partnership with Susan Magnier and Michael Tabor. She produced a Kingman colt this year before being covered by Frankel.

A Frankel For Coolmore

Andrew Stone provided one of the leading lots of the opening session when Whatton Manor Stud sold his Lope De Vega (Ire) colt out of God Given (GB) (Nathaniel {Ire}) for 725,000gns, and the breeder who operates as St Albans Bloodstock enjoyed an even better result on Wednesday. Stone keeps 15 mares at Newsells Parks Stud, which was the consignor of his colt by Frankel (GB) out of the listed winner Qushchi (GB) (Encosta De Lago {Aus}), who went through the ring as lot 227.

An extended exchange of bids outside the ring between Anthony Stroud and MV Magnier saw the latter prevail at 925,000gns for the half-brother to Mrs Sippy (Blame), who won the GII Glens Fall S. in Stone's colours.

“I feel rather emotional,” said Stone after Magnier signed the ticket for the colt, whose grandam La Persiana (GB) (Daylami {Ire}) is a listed-winning half-sister to Grand Lodge. “I breed these horses to race really but every now and then you have to sell some to keep it all going. Newsells Park Stud do a fantastic job.”

Magnier was also quick to pay tribute to Newsells Park Stud, which changed hands in June from the Jacobs family to Graham Smith-Bernal.

“We've been lucky buying from Newsells in the past and we wish Graham and his family the very best of luck with the new venture. Long may the rich history of Newsells continue,” he said. “This colt looked a nice type, he's a very good mover and Frankel is doing so well.”

Galileo Filly Makes Noise

David and Diane Nagle's 13-year-old mare Quiet Oasis (Ire) (Oasis Dream {GB}) has provided her owners with some memorable results both on the racetrack and in the sales ring. The dam of G3 Gladness S. winner Lancaster House (Ire) (Galileo {Ire})'s most notable sales ring touch came at the 2019 edition of the Tattersalls October Yearling Sale when her Galileo (Ire) filly sold to MV Magnier and Westerberg for 2.1-million gns. Quiet Oasis was back in the spotlight again at Tattersalls on Wednesday when a full-sister to the aforementioned 2-year-old, now named Drummer Girl (Ire), and Lancaster House bred and sold by the Nagles' Barronstown Stud (lot 226) fetched 800,000gns from agent Alex Elliott on behalf of an undisclosed “new owner.”

Like Elliott, Quiet Oasis spent a stint in California. She ran for owner Paul Reddam with trainer Ben Cecil and won the GIII Wilshire H. and the GII Royal Heroine Mile both over 1600 metres. Quiet Oasis had been mated exclusively with Galileo prior to this year, when she visited Wootton Bassett (GB), and lot 226 is her fifth foal.

“She's a collectors item, really,” Elliott said of the filly. “She's very hard to fault. I remember Quiet Oasis from when I was in California and she was a very good racemare for Paul Reddam and she's obviously produced Lancaster House. She'll go to Ralph Beckett. It's very exciting to buy a filly with that kind of potential.

Elliott admitted he was close to reaching his budget for the descendant of the excellent producer Park Express.

“We were getting there, but it's a privilege to be able to buy a filly like that,” he said. “We've been able to buy a lot of horses we want to buy this year, which is great from our point of view. We think the market has been extremely fair. We've bought a lot of yearlings, so we're looking forward to next year.”

The fourteen Galileos catalogued this week mark some of the last yearlings by the late great sire that will come on the public market, and therefore it was no surprise to see Coolmore's MV Magnier spring into action a short time later for lot 241, Camas Park Stud's filly out of the unraced Rock Orchid (Ire) (Fastnet Rock {Aus}), a half-sister to Oaks winner Dancing Rain (Ire) (Danehill Dancer {Ire}). Dancing Rain is herself a multiple stakes producer, and her sister Sumora (Ire) is the dam of Maybe (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}), a champion and the dam of G1 2000 Guineas winner Saxon Warrior (Jpn) (Deep Impact {Jpn}). The pricetag on lot 241 was 540,000gns.

Lordship Stud Recruit More Stars

Fresh from celebrating the G1 Qatar Prix de Royallieu victory of homebred Loving Dream (GB) (Gleneagles {Ire}) on Saturday, the Harris family of Newmarket's Lordship Stud added a future broodmare prospect to their Thoroughbred portfolio in lot 318. The daughter of Sea The Stars (Ire), bought for 680,000gns, is a half-sister to G1 Moyglare Stud S. winner Cursory Glance (Distorted Humour) and was bred by Craig Bennett of Merry Fox Stud. Another half-sister, the unraced Willow View (Lemon Drop Kid), is responsible for a further top-level winner close up in the family in GI Turf Classic S. victor Digital Age (Ire) (Invincible Spirit {Ire}), who was also a graduate of this sale.

Gary Hadden, bloodstock advisor to Bennett, said of the filly, a daughter of the winning Sadler's Wells mare Time Control, “I've heard her described many times this week as the stereotypical queen. She's been by far the most beautiful individual out of the mare.”

He continued, “The Sea The Stars/Sadler's Wells cross has been so strong. She has presence; she's never blinked an eyelid up here, she's been so professional every show. She was out 140 times and she's had the most vets we've ever had on a yearling. Regardless of what she does on the racecourse she'll let down into a lovely mare. It was a very tough decision to let her go, but we decided to try out the market and other people agreed with us. It's hard to lose one like her but we have lots of the family with Cursory Glance, Willow View, Acer Alley. You can't keep them all, but it's just a great result. Hopefully one day for the Harrises she's going to be a very nice mare.”

Hadden added that the 16-year-old Time Control now in foal to Make Believe (GB), while her daughter Willow View is in foal to Kingman (GB) with a Dubawi foal at foot.

The good day for the progeny of Sea The Stars continued right through to the final lot through the ring, Lodge Park Stud's son of the Lingfield Oaks Trial winner Vow (GB) (Motivator {GB}). Lot 334 brought the hammer down for the final time on Wednesday at 450,000gns in favour of Oliver St Lawrence, standing alongside Sir Mark Prescott, who will train the colt for Fawzi Nass and team.

Kingman Queens

Craig Bernick believed enough in his Kingman (GB) filly out of Galileo Gal (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) to retain her at 500,000gns on the opening day of Book 1, and Bernick reaffirmed his belief in that cross when going to 650,000gns on Wednesday for lot 238, a filly by Juddmonte's ascendant sire out of the well-related Ring The Bell (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}). Consigned by Hazelwood Bloodstock for breeder John Camilleri of Winx (Aus) and Vancouver (Aus) fame, the filly is a granddaughter of G2 Prix du Gros-Chene scorer Beauty Is Truth (Ire) (Pivotal {GB}), the dam of Group 1 winners Hydrangea (Ire), Hermosa (Ire) and The United States (Ire), all by Galileo (Ire), and the Group 3-winning and multiple Group 1-placed Fire Lily (Ire) (Dansili {GB}).

“We bought a Kingman filly yesterday that we thought was the second-best filly here, and we thought this filly was the best,” Bernick said. “It's a great family; there are a lot of Group 1 winners down the page. We have a filly out of Fire Lily with Jessie Harrington [2-year-old Willamette Valley] and we were a little disappointed when she ran the first time, but we like her and it's just a great filly family. Kingman has probably had more colts than fillies that have been good so far, but I can't imagine he won't be a good sire of fillies, too. She comes from a great breeder, and from Hazelwood Bloodstock; Adrian O'Brien keeps a lot of our mares too and John Camilleri has bred good horses all over the world so we're excited about the horse.”

Bernick said it is undecided yet whether Glen Hill Farm will race the filly alone or in partnership, but that it is likely she will start her racing career in Europe.

“A horse like this could go anywhere, but I think she'll at least start out here,” he said. “I think she'd be a miler. [The American] pattern is a little different and the good filly races at a mile really start for older horses in America, and there are more mile-and-a-quarter and mile-and-a-half races. So it really wouldn't make much sense to send her over until she's four anyway, but hopefully she can do something here.”

Bernick-who has 10 mares in Europe and a small handful in training in addition to others in partnership-admitted that prizemoney in Britain is a concern, but said his involvement on these shores is about building families.

“The prizemoney is a huge problem here, don't get me wrong, but I think if you can race black-type horses you can establish a value for those horses,” he said. “The prizemoney in Europe, they're going to need to address it, but the quality of the racing is so established and recognized all over the world that I think when horses do well here, there is a benchmark there you can take away from it. I think our racing in the States is great, but there's an impression that, 'they won in the States, how good are they really?' I think that's wrong, but you can't argue with the market. Everyone really holds the racing here at the top.”

“We like the business over here; we can get up early in the morning and watch them run and don't have to wait until late for Santa Anita,” he added.

Seth Klarman of Klaravich Stables has had plenty of success with Kingmans purchased from this sale-namely Domestic Spending (GB) and Public Sector (GB)–and thus it has been no surprise to see his representatives making a bold play for more progeny of the Juddmonte sire this week. Klaravich's Wednesday haul included lot 210, Clearwater Stud's daughter of the multiple listed-winning Polly's Mark (Ire) (Mark Of Esteem {Ire}), for 240,000gns. Klaravich has purchased five for 1.12-million through the first two days of Book 1, two of those being by Kingman. Mike Ryan likewise signed for Newsells Park Stud's Kingman (GB) filly out of Secret Sense (Shamardal) (lot 261), a daughter of the stud's excellent producer Shastye (Danehill), for 340,000gns. Ryan has signed for five through the first two days of the sale for 1.45-million. The Kingman (GB) half-brother to Ghaiyyath (Ire) (Dubawi {Ire}) was unsold at 575,000gns.

Dubawi Double For Godolphin…

Dubawi's 10 yearlings sold so far through Book 1 have brought a nice round average price of 450,000gns. While Tuesday's top price by the sire had been an 800,000gns filly bought by Juddmonte, on Wednesday it was Round Hill Stud's half-brother to dual Group 1 winner Rizeena (Ire) (Iffraaj {GB}) who led the way for the Darley stallion.

Offered as lot 265, the colt out of Serena's Storm (Ire) (Statue Of Liberty) was bought for 625,000gns by Godolphin, who already race another half-sibling, the former €800,000 breezer Summer Romance (Ire) (Kingman {GB}). The Charlie Appleby trainee is now the winner of group races in Britain and Dubai as well as being Grade I-placed in America.

“He's a lovely horse with a lovely temperament,” said Round Hill Stud's Bobby Donworth. “I've never seen him put a foot wrong.”

Serena's Storm is herself a half-sister to the G1 Prix d'Ispahan winner Zabeel Prince (Ire) (Lope De Vega {Ire}) as well as the Group 2-winning Shamardal siblings Puissance De Lune (Ire) and Queen Power (Ire).

Donworth added, “We bought [grandam] Princess Serena in 2003 and she has done all this for us. It's an amazing family and we hope this colt is very lucky for his owners.”

The G2 Park Hill S. runner-up Phiz (Ger) (Galileo {Ire}) had already provided a sale-ring highlight via her Le Havre (Ire) yearling of 2019 who sold for 825,000gns to MV Magnier, and on Wednesday it was her Dubawi colt who made his mark at 425,000gns.

The chestnut (lot 202), bred by Willie Carson's Minster Stud, is another to be joining the Godolphin ranks after Anthony Stroud outbid Oliver St Lawrence.

“I was brave when I bought Phiz,” recalled Carson, who bought the 11-year-old at Arqana four years ago for €600,000. Phiz is now in foal to Wootton Bassett (GB). “The Dubawi nomination was paid for by Martinique, and Aidan O'Brien tells me she is going well and leads Snowfall at home. He feels he will get black type with her.”

The former champion jockey added of the yearling colt, “This guy had no faults. He wasn't a star to look at but he has great balance and is really good-natured. I am very hopeful that he will help the mare in the sales ring in the future.”

…And For Mike Ryan

Watership Down Stud's good day was extended by the sale of a Dubawi filly (lot 217) to Chad Brown and Mike Ryan at 400,000gns. Bred by Alan Spence, the filly is out of the group-winning sprinter Priceless (GB) (Exceed And Excel {Aus}), whose first foal, the once-raced juvenile Sacred Jewel (GB), is also by Dubawi and is in training with Charlie Appleby.

Ryan, by now a well-known face at Tattersalls who has made some notable Book 1 purchases who have gone on to be successful in the United States, said, “She's the complete package. Her dam could really run, she was a Group 2 winner, and this filly looks as though she has after-burners. She looks very quick, as though you just need to press the button.

“These Dubawis are so driven, they are so consistent, they have fire in their belly. A couple of years ago we bought six here, and we've had a couple of stakes winners, including Sifting Sands who is a good horse. There are remarkable stallions over here–Dubawi, Frankel and Kingman—we can't [get] enough of them.”

Sifting Sands, a Dubawi half-sister to Classic winner Legatissimo (Ire) (Danehill Dancer {Ire}), has won three of his five starts for Brown and Peter Brant, including the Better Talk Now S. at Saratoga in August.

As if to underline his point, Ryan had also signed for a Dubawi filly out of Knocknagree (Ire) (lot 100) at 340,000gns during the opening session on Tuesday.

Also in the market for a Dubawi filly was John Dance of Manor Farm Stud. Through retained trainer James Horton, Dance went to 400,000gns to recruit lot 193, the first foal of German Group 3 winner Peace In Motion (Hat Trick {Jpn}) from Newsells Park Stud.

The filly is from the same family as the Minster Stud mare Phiz, whose Dubawi colt was another star of the day, and other relations include G3 Prix La Force winner Pao Alto (Fr) (Intello {Ger}).

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