Record Median Brings Solid Start To December Sale

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The brother to Irish Oaks winner Sea Of Class | Tattersalls/Laura Green

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NEWMARKET, UK–William Haggas will be the recipient of the full-brother to his erstwhile stable star Sea Of Class (Ire) (Sea The Stars {Ire}) after Ling Tsui went to 240,000gns through John Clarke to add the June-born youngster to her racing string for 2022.

Bred by the Botti family's Razza del Velino from the stellar producer Holy Moon (Ire) (Hernando {Fr}), lot 30 was consigned through Oak Lodge & Springfield House Stud. In addition to Sea Of Class, his half-siblings include three winners of the Oaks d'Italia in Charity Line (Ire), Final Score (Ire) and Cherry Collect (Ire).

“Sea Of Class was a late May foal, so we hope we can do the same again. Time will tell,” said Clarke after outbidding Jane Chapple-Hyam for the colt. 

“He will eventually go to William Haggas but we will probably take him back to Ireland first to give him a bit of time to mature. He is an athletic horse but he is still quite a baby. Ling Tsui is absolutely thrilled, she had so much success with Sea Of Class.”

The Tattersalls December Yearling sale brought the curtain down on the lengthy European yearling season with a new record median price for the sale of 27,000gns (+35%) and the second-highest turnover recorded at this auction. The tally of 5,067,500gns was up by 27% on last year with 23 more horses sold this time. That was accrued from the sale of 145 horses of the 164 put through the ring for a slightly improved clearance rate of 88%. The average of 34,948gns was up by 7%.

With a dark day on Tuesday ahead of the start of the December Foal Sale, a strong start to a fortnight of trading at Tattersalls bodes well for the four days of weanlings followed by another four days of fillies and mares next week.

Invincible's army 

A full-sibling to another Group 1 winner, this time the Prix Morny and Middle Park S. winner Shalaa (Ire) (Invincible Spirit {Ire}), was the leading filly of the day at 150,000gns. Originally offered during Book 1 of the October Sale and bought back at 200,000gns by her breeders Mark and Aisling Gittins, the daughter of Ghurra (War Chant) took the fancy of agent Mark McStay and trainer Hugo Palmer when passing through the ring as lot 22.

“When you've purchased a full-sister to a champion you have to be pretty excited and she's a lovely filly,” McStay said. “The mare has obviously done it and the filly is very athletic with huge residual value. It takes quite a lot for us to spec a filly at that level but thankfully we've already had someone interested in taking a share.”

Palmer, who trains the filly's 2-year-old half-sister Nova Legend (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) for Bon Ho, added, “She's done so well since the October Sale. She's quite a late foal and I think the hard thing for people trying to sell horses is that it's a snapshot in a young horse's life. She has really improved since October and I think she will keep improving. As Mark said, she's a full-sister to a champion and Shalaa was a hell of a horse.”

Three of the top seven lots sold on the day were all yearlings by the Irish National Stud's Invincible Spirit, with Shadwell's smartly-bred filly out of the G3 City of York S. winner Talaayeb (GB) (Dansili {GB}) having been bought to go breezing by Mick Murphy of Longways Stables for 120,000gns. A fourth-generation descendant of Sheikh Hamdan's key foundation mare Height Of Fashion (Fr), lot 136 can boast black-type winners as her first four dams.

The sole colt by Invincible Spirit (lot 77) also owns an impressive pedigree as a half-brother to rising young stallion and G1 Prix Jean Prat winner Zelzal (Ire) (Sea The Stars {Ire}) as well as the G3 Prix Chloe victrix Ibiza (Fr) (Redoute's Choice {Aus}). Offered by The Castlebridge Consignment on behalf of breeders Viktor Tymoshenko and Andrey Milovanov, who will be retaining a share in the June-foaled colt, he was knocked down in the ring for 100,000gns to agent Tina Rau and trainer Nicolas Clement.

She said, “It's a family I know well. Nicolas Clement trained the half-sister Ibiza and Zelzal, and Zelzal is one of the most exciting young stallions in France. You couldn't really fault the mare's produce record. He's just a lovely little horse, he's quite babyish, but he was born in June. He's athletic and seems to have a good head on him for such a young horse. I'm chuffed to have got him.”

On the hunt for the next Audarya

The recently retired dual Group 1 winner Audarya (Fr) (Wootton Bassett {GB}) is a hard act to follow but her owner Alison Swinburn has already made several yearling purchases this season through her agent and advisor Anthony Stroud and added two to her string on Monday at Tattersalls. 

Close to the end of the sale, Stroud, signed for the Shadwell-consigned Teofilo (Ire) filly (lot 198) out of the listed-placed dual winner Dubai Fashion (Ire) (Dubawi {Ire}). Another to hail from the family of Height Of Fashion (Fr), she brought the hammer down at 135,000gns. 

Confirming that the grand-daughter of G2 Premio Ribot winner Oriental Fashion (Ire) (Marju {Ire}) would be trained, like Audarya, by James Fanshawe, Stroud said, “She's going to need a bit of time but she is a very easy-moving filly.”

Earlier in the day, the same team had signed for lot 78, a colt from the second crop of  Churchill (Ire), for 33,000gns.

A few minutes prior to the Teofilo filly's sale, one of the best pinhooks of the day  (lot 192) was secured by the Hanly family of Ballyhimikin Stud, who sold a New Bay (GB) colt for 125,000gns to Peter Doyle. The son of the French listed winner Crossover (GB) (Cape Cross {Ire}) had been bought for 26,000gns as a foal by Jack Hanly and will now go into training in Epsom with Jim Boyle for owners Paul Taylor and Richard Dwyer.

Pinhookers in play

The breeze-up pinhookers were still out in force on Monday, with Tom Whitehead adding a well-bred son of the late Shamardal to his Powerstown Stud team for next spring. 

Lot 138 was another from the Shadwell draft and is out of the G3 Prix Ris-Orangis winner Thawaany (Ire) (Tamayuz {GB}), herself a half-sister to the St Leger and Grand Prix de Paris winner Kew Gardens (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}). 

Whitehead, who had to go to 92,000gns to secure the colt, said, “Pedigrees like this don't come on the market very often. He looks a type to breeze–he's strong and he looks like Shamardal.”

A filly from the first crop of the Breeders' Cup Mile winner Expert Eye (GB) caught the eye of pinhookers Willie Browne and Jim McCartan in the walking ring and she is likely to return for the Craven Breeze-up in April after being bought for 85,000gns.

“She wasn't on the list,” Browne admitted. “I only pulled her out in the back ring, and I was blown away when I saw her. She's the first I've had by the sire but he was a good racehorse, and she is such a good walker. We genuinely loved her.”

Consigned by Barton Sales as lot 95, the filly, bred by Biddestone Stud, has Sir Michael Stoute-trained Breeders' Cup winners on both sides of her pedigree as her dam Queen's Charter (GB) is an Oasis Dream (GB) half-sister to Cheveley Park Stud's Filly & Mare Turf winner Queen's Trust (GB) (Dansili {GB}).

International participation continues

The veteran Tom Melbourne (Ire) (Dylan Thomas {Ire}) has been one of the most popular horses in training in Australia in recent seasons and his yearling half-brother by Teofilo (Ire) will eventually follow in his footsteps, running in the same colours, having been bought by OTI Racing for 88,000gns.

Consigned as lot 106, the colt out of Roshanak (Ire) (Spinning World) was bred by Rathregan Stud and was purchased on OTI's behalf by Conall Meegan of Beechwood Bloodstock, who confirmed that he would eventually head to Australia.

“He's quite a robust and compact model and he was a must-buy for my client, OTI Racing,” Meegan said. “He's obviously related to a highly-rated horse in Australia and he has a pedigree that should fit the profile down there, so hopefully he will do well. He will probably stay in the UK for now, nothing has been discussed, but he will target Cup races in a couple of years.”

Action returns to the ring at Tattersalls on Wednesday for the start of the foal sale at 10 a.m.

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