Record Foal Draft For G1 Vendors Mickley Stud


A busy week in store for Mickley Stud's Richard Kent | Tattersalls/Laura Green


From bringing its largest draft of 26 foals to the Tattersalls December Sale in 2020, Mickley Stud's consignment for this week has almost doubled in size again to 50 weanlings. 

It may be time-consuming for prospective buyers to work their way through this batch of youngsters down in the Solario Yard but it could also prove worthwhile. In 2015, Mickley's Richard Kent and his co-breeder, the late Lady Caroline Lonsdale, brought a Havana Gold (Ire) foal to sell who went on to become the Group 1-winning sprinter and young Whitsbury Manor Stud stallion Havana Grey (GB). Another weanling that was overlooked two years ago and ended up being sold privately, an El Kabeir colt named Don Chicco (GB), is now Italy's champion 2-year-old, having won the G2 Gran Criterium at Capannelle in October as well as the listed Premio Giuseppe de Montel.

“You dream about breeding a horse like Havana Grey who will then go on to be a stallion. It's just great,” said Richard Kent at Park Paddocks on Monday as he and son Finn were overseeing the sale of their final yearlings of 2021.

“I'm also proud of the fact that the people who have bought our foals have made a lot of money. Michael Fitzpatrick bought our Mehmas (Ire) filly out of Country Madam (Ire) for 75,000gns last year and he got 250,000gns for the yearling to go to Chad Brown. We also sold a Showcasing (GB) foal for 110,000gns to Pier House Stud and they got 200,000gns, and he is also going to Chad Brown. It's great that out of two mares who cost £13,000 for the two, that their yearlings make 450,000gns to go to America. We're going to have to start following the American racing results more closely. It's what keeps us dreaming.”

The half-brother to that Showcasing foal forms part of the Mickley Stud draft this year as lot 720. The colt is by Advertise (Ire) and is out of the dual winner Cherubic (GB), who shares her sire Dark Angel (Ire) with the dam of Havana Grey.

Also among the largest consignment of the foal sale are three weanlings by Ardad (Ire), the leading first-season sire in Britain who counts the G1 Middle Park S. and G1 Prix Morny winner Perfect Power (Ire) among his offspring. 

Ardad has proved immensely popular this year and has covered 156 mares, largely on the back of his first crop's exploits on the track, but it had been a different story during the 2020 covering season when mares were in short supply for him.

“We have a lovely colt by Ardad out of Dora's Sister (lot 518) with a fantastic temperament,” Kent said. “We've three Ardad foals this year and he only has a crop of 19 so hopefully they will be very popular. He's done everything right for everyone so far and we are delighted to have a share in the stallion. [Overbury Stud's] Simon Sweeting has been very good to deal with and we have ended up with 10 mares in foal to him this year so we're happy with that. Simon has priced him very sensibly and he has been very fair to the shareholders who used him from the start so I hope he goes right to the top for them.”

While Kent will doubtless feel some reflected pride next year once the Havana Grey 2-year-olds start running, he will also be closely monitoring the success of his own stallion, the 2000 Guineas runner-up and G2 Hungerford S winner Massaat (Ire), who is one of several Shadwell-owned stallions to have stood at Mickley Stud. “Massaat is going great,” he reported. “He has lovely scopey yearlings. Very sadly Sheikh Hamdan has died and he owns 51% of him. We are sad that he won't be racing any of his stock but they have been bought by some good trainers such as Mark Johnston, John Quinn and Tim Easterby. They sold much better than we thought–we brought one here and he had a 10,000gns reserve and he made 42,000gns–so that was grand. They seem to have good minds and to be athletic horses so hopefully next year they will be good racehorses who can carry on that genuine Teofilo line. Massaat is out of an Acclamation mare and his stock look like they will have plenty of speed. Mick Channon and Richard Hannon also bought his yearlings and they are proper speed trainers.”

No fewer than 11 Massaat foals feature in the draft from the Shropshire stud, but Kent has also not overlooked his old friends Havana Gold, the sire of two fillies in the Mickley Consignment, and Havana Grey.

“We've used Havana Grey a couple of times,” he said. “We sent down the biggest mares on the farm to him and he has produced beautiful, tidy horses. We sold a beautiful yearling filly by him out of Radio Gaga (GB) earlier this year for £50,000. Everybody in England seems to have something good to say about him at the moment. He's been lucky for the breeders so far so let's hope he goes on to be lucky for the trainers.”

Balancing out what is a fairly speed-orientated draft is a filly by Camelot (GB), who is clearly close to her breeder's heart. Slated as lot 787, she is out of a half-sister to the G3 Winter Derby winner Robin Hoods Bay (GB) (Motivator {GB}) and has the former champion 2-year-old Bianca Nera (GB) as her third dam.

“She's gorgeous and she absolutely loves herself,” said Kent. “When we'd go down to feed her in the summer she used to smash the mirror off the jeep as she was always trying to look at herself. She has a lot of presence and character.”

Like many breeders and vendors this year, Kent has been heartened by the demand for bloodstock in all tiers of the market. 

He said, “Tattersalls are going to have to build a bigger car park because every sale we've gone to this year there's hardly been a car parking space. Years ago you'd come to the first day of the December Sales and there might be very few cars parked. It seems to be high fashion to want to be at sales now and the trade has been great at every level.”

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