Precocity The Key At New-Look Ascot

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Miss Amulet | Tattersalls Ascot

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The yearling sale caravan rolls onto Newmarket on Monday for the relocated Tattersalls Ascot Yearling Sale, where 257 commercial youngsters will go under the hammer. The fledgling sale which celebrate its fourth renewal rides the momentum of a pair of group-winning 2-year-olds at major meetings over the summer, with Steel Bull (Ire) (Clodovil {Ire})'s victory in the G3 Molecomb S. at Glorious Goodwood preceding Miss Amulet (Ire) (Sir Prancealot {Ire})'s score in the G2 Lowther S. at York's Ebor meeting, which followed a victory in Naas's Listed Marwell S. Both have already turned a profit for connections: Steel Bull, a £15,000 yearling, was sold privately to Chantal Regalado-Gonzalez after his Molecomb win, while Miss Amulet, with the residual value of black-type aside, has earned in excess of £84,000 off a £7,500 purchase price. Miss Amulet is set to appear in the G1 Cheveley Park S. on Sept. 26, while Steel Bull also looks bound for Group 1 company in the autumn.

“Those kinds of flagship horses are crucial for any sale,” said Matt Prior, Tattersalls Ascot's head of sales. “Last year we sold approximately 150 horses and within that we've got a real flagship colt and a flagship filly. It's been an ideal showcase for the sale-Steel Bull was bought for £15,000, won the Molecomb hugely impressively and looked unlucky in his last start and like one to keep an eye on in the later Group 1s in the year.

“Miss Amulet has been a revelation for a filly that cost £7,500. She's a great bargain buy type of advert, which is what Ascot has the reputation for. Summer Sands was that the year before. Miss Amulet looks like she's going to take all the beating in the Cheveley Park having won the Lowther, so she's a dream filly to have come out of the sale. I think that will give people confidence to come back this year, and they should know that there is no doubt that some of next year's high-class juveniles are in the catalogue and they can go out there with confidence and find them.”

With siblings to 96 2-year-old winners and 69 yearlings out of 2-year-old-winning mares catalogued, buyers won't have to dig too deep to find precocious types, and two that should make most short lists are Ringfort Stud's half-sister to Miss Amulet (lot 143) from the first crop of Yeomanstown's Scat Daddy son El Kabeir; and Linacre House Stud's full-sister to prior stakes-winning Ascot yearling graduate Flaming Princess (Ire) (Gutaifan {Ire}) (lot 116) (more on her in yesterday's TDN). They are among 20 siblings to black-type performers catalogued.

“I think it says a lot about where the sale has come in four years that now we're starting to offer the siblings to black-type winners that we've sold, such as James Kelly's Linacre House Stud's smashing Gutaifan full-sister to Flaming Princess,” Prior said. “It's a really good filly family and she looks like she could be a Queen Mary filly next year; she's that kind of filly. As an individual people won't be disappointed when they see her; she's by a stallion that's really kicked on this year with Fev Rover coming out recently. I think she's going to be on people's short lists.

“And Derek Veitch of Ringfort Stud, who bred Miss Amulet, he's returning this year with a filly from the first crop of El Kabeir, so there's a bit of residual value as well. Reports are she's a really nice individual that I think is going to be popular and could go to any sale, so we're lucky to have them in our sale. It's a real feather in the cap for the sale this year to have those vendors that have been rewarded by selling nice horses with us to come back and have confidence to bring the siblings to the market.”

Whitsbury Manor Stud has been a regular supporter of the Ascot Yearling Sale, and the Harper family's nursery brings eight yearlings this year including a colt from the second crop of Goken (Fr) (lot 245), the leading first-crop sire in France this season and second only to Mehmas (Ire) currently among all European first-crop sires. Goken sired Sunday's G3 Prix la Rochette victor Go Athletico (Fr). Lot 245 is a three-quarter brother to Kendargent (Fr) stakes winners Kendam (Fr) and Kenfreeze (Fr) and is the only progeny of his sire thus far offered at a UK yearling sale. Ed Harper purchased the dam, Damdam Freeze (Fr) (Indian Rocket {GB}), for €50,000 carrying this colt at Arqana December in 2018 and, with the addition of some updates from Kendam's G3 Prix La Rochette victor Kenway (Fr) (Galiway {GB}), she was sold to Mags O'Toole at Tattersalls July this year for 70,000gns in foal to Showcasing (GB).

“I had an inkling that Goken might surprise a few people amongst the first season sires so I was keen to buy the best quality mare I could that was in foal from his second season,” Harper explained. “We've been fortunate the mare has provided us with an athletic colt, he's compact but has a lovely way of going and there's also been a nice update on the page with Kenway picking up more group race placings under the first dam. He should attract good attention from anyone that has seen how well Goken's runners have been performing.”

With Showcasing as its flagbearer, Adaay (Ire) and Due Diligence having gotten off to promising starts and the G1 Flying Five S. winner Havana Grey (GB) also coming up through the ranks, Whitsbury Manor has laid its foundations with speed, and thus the Tattersalls Ascot Sale is a natural fit.

“This sale has been specifically positioned to offer precocious 2-year-old types, which is exactly the section of the market that we aim to focus on with our stallions,” Harper confirmed. “In addition, the usual location of the sale at Ascot is only an hour from Whitsbury which is considerably closer to home than all the others. Therefore, if this sale is able to continue as a good outlet for our stock it provides us with a very efficient market as far as travel, staff, hotels, etcetera are concerned.”

Whitsbury Manor offers two of the three yearlings by Showcasing in the sale-a filly, lot 69, and a colt, lot 127-and Harper described them both as “great walkers.” Another he pointed to in the consignment was a Due Diligence filly who is the first foal out of the unraced Eshq (Ire) (Oasis Dream {GB}) (lot 7), a granddaughter of American champion mare Fleet Indian. Whitsbury Manor scooped her up for 1,500gns at Tattersalls December last year.

“She is the absolute image of what I think the sale is looking for: strong, compact, and a ready-made 2-year-old,” Harper said. “I just hope she goes to a trainer that won't be afraid to push on with her as she's ready to go.”

The likes of Showcasing and Gutaifan represent a strong sire profile at the burgeoning Tattersalls Ascot Yearling Sale. There are similarly three yearlings catalogued by young sensation Night Of Thunder (Ire), with representation as well from the likes of Acclamation (GB) and his red hot son Mehmas (Ire); Dandy Man, Holy Roman Emperor (Ire), Iffraaj (Ire) and Zoffany (Ire).

“We're over the moon; three Night of Thunders tells you how far the sale has come,” Prior said. “He's been a revelation as a sire and we feel very lucky that we have that calibre of stallion not only once but three times. That sire power makes such a difference. Mehmas is off to a flyer and we have nine of those so buyers will have plenty to go at there.”

As the third European yearling sale on a re-shuffled calendar in an unprecedented year, all eyes will be on Park Paddocks on Monday before the action shifts to Deauville on Wednesday. Last week's Goffs UK Premier Yearling Sale achieved a solid clearance rate of 84%, but with turnover nearly half of what it was last year and other markers significantly down, vendors will be hoping the desire for bloodstock grows as the season marches on.

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