'Smashing': Ballybin's Star Performance at Tattersalls 

Callisto Star led the first day of the December Mares | Tattersalls

By Brian Sheerin and Emma Berry

NEWMARKET, UK — As expected, an international cast of buyers swept into action at Park Paddocks for the opening day of the Tattersalls December Mares Sale, with some of the leading lights heading to Japan, Australia and America after more than 15 million gns was spent on breeding prospects.

It was the aptly-named Callisto Star who lit up the first of two Sceptre Sessions when selling from Ballybin Stud in Ireland to Badgers Bloodstock for 675,000gns.

The dam of American Oaks winner Rhea Moon (Ire) and Cheshire Oaks runner-up There's The Door (Ire), Callisto Star was sold in foal to Starspangledbanner (Aus), the sire of those high-class performers.

Callisto Star was owned by Kevin Molloy, a long-time supporter of Paddy Kelly of Ballybin Stud, with the latter summing up the sale-topping performance in one word.

“Smashing,” Kelly beamed outside the ring. “She had the looks, the temperament and the pedigree. She'll be a prolific breeder–just like her grandmother [Mohican Princess (GB) (Shirley Heights {GB})], who produced six black-type horses. I think this one is going to follow suit. I hope so anyway.”

Molloy spoke to TDN Europe earlier this year after Rhea Moon stormed to that American Oaks triumph with the breeder describing the result as his best moment in racing.

Rhea Moon, the first produce out of Molloy's homebred mare Callisto Star, was sold through Ballybin Stud for £24,000 to BBA Ireland at the Tattersalls Ireland September Yearling Sale in 2020.

She subsequently changed hands privately from trainer Ken Condon, where she showed plenty of promise, to join Phil D'Amato in America. The rest, as they say, is history.

Monday's sale is by no means the closing of the Callisto Star chapter for Molloy and Ballybin Stud, with Kelly revealing that there is still plenty left of the family on the farm.

Kelly added, “I'm a bit in shock. This is a big one for us. It's nice to be involved at the top end and to have a go at it. I'm delighted with the price. Kevin Molloy owns her. He has been a long-time client and still has a good bit of the family at home.

“We actually have another client who bought Callisto Star's full-sister a couple of years ago so we have her at home as well. Kevin is here-he's in the bar in fact. I'm going to join him now in a minute!”

Tom Pritchard-Gordon of Badgers Bloodstock could not divulge the name of the mare's new owner. He said, “She's to stay here in Europe.

“Fastnet Rock is as good a broodmare sire as there is and her dam is by Galileo so it's all the bloodlines you want. She's the whole package. I haven't decided who she'll be covered by next year but Starspangledbanner is an obvious target. Fastnet mares work with so many different bloodlines that she could go anywhere.”

All of the key figures were down on last year's corresponding day's trade. The trimmed down catalogue — 29 fewer mares offered — saw the aggregate fall by 30% to 15,477,300gns. The median and the average fell by 22% to 43,000gns and 78,168gns respectively, while the clearance rate stayed the same at 82%.

Wowie! She's Off to Japan

Eleonora Kennedy's distinctively marked Mauwiewowie (Ire) (Night Of Thunder {Ire}) was a listed winner at the Curragh in her juvenile season and was listed-placed again this year for Ger Lyons before selling on Monday for 625,000gns from the draft of Norris Bloodstock.

Offered as Lot 1535, the flashy chestnut owns an enticing pedigree that piqued the interest of buyer Yoshihisa Iwasaki, manager of Lake Villa Farm, which bred the dual G1 Hong Kong Vase winner Glory Vase (Jpn) (Deep Impact {Jpn}).

“She is going to Japan and will go straight to stud,” he said. “She is a strong mare, we love her conformation and we love her attitude.”

Mauiewowie, who was bred by Trebles Holford Farm Thoroughbreds, is out of La Chapelle (Ire) (Holy Roman Emperor {Ire}), a half-sister to Group 1 winners Ghaiyyath (Ire) (Dubawi {Ire}) and Zhukova (Ire) (Fastnet Rock {Aus}), their dam being the Irish 1,000 Guineas winner Nightime (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}). A full-brother to Ghaiyyath topped last month's Goffs November Foal Sale at €700,000.

Authoritative Performance 

Ballymore Thoroughbreds' regally bred Authoritaire (Ire) (Tamayuz {GB}), who was offered in foal for the first time to Night Of Thunder (Ire), brought the hammer down at 525,000gns and will be off to Ireland, according to buyer Charlie Gordon-Watson.

“It is one of the great families, she is in foal to Night Of Thunder and she is a mare who will suit him, and it all makes good sense,” he said.

That great family has been a cornerstone of the Wildenstein family's breeding operation for generations. Auhoritaire's dam is the champion racemare Aquarelliste (Fr) (Danehill), whose Group 1 wins include the Prix de Diane, while her offspring include the stakes winners Ame Bleue (GB) (Dubawi {Ire}) and Any Time Soon (Ire) (Camelot {GB}).

Timed to Perfection

The Golden Horn 4-year-old Wonderful Times (Ire) returned to the ring a year after being bought by Billy Jackson-Stops and Barton Stud for 85,000gns to sell for more than five times that amount at 460,000gns to Australian-based Kia Ora Stud. Having won her maiden easily at Newcastle in October 2022 for John and Thady Gosden, the filly was transferred to France and the yard of Mario Baratti, for whom she won the Listed Prix Urban Sea in May.

With stakes winners for her first three dams, Wonderful Times is a daughter of the G3 Silver Flash victrix Wonderfully (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}), herself a granddaughter of the influential Rafha (GB) (Kris {GB}), whose offspring include the stallions Invincible Spirit (Ire) and Kodiac (GB).

Shane Wright, manager of Kia Ora Stud, said, “She was a beautiful filly from a really lovely family. When you come to sales like this it's really the families that draw you in. She was also a black-type filly as well – a little bit stouter than we would usually buy at home but it's good to come over here and find different lines and different things we can take advantage of. She's our first purchase of the sale and we're very happy.”

Bozo's “Safe Bet”

After losing his top-class Galileo (Ire) mare Starlet's Sister (Ire) a fortnight ago, Henri Bozo described himself as happy to have been able to buy into an unraced Galileo filly out of So Mi Dar (GB) on behalf of Ecurie des Monceaux for 300,000gns.

Astrologia (Ire) was consigned by Watership Down Stud and sold in foal to Wootton Bassett (GB), with Bozo lauding the stallion as one of the best around.

He said, “I am happy to get into this family. She is the type of mare that we have tried to buy in the past. To be honest, if they haven't raced, it doesn't really bother me because we have tried from the beginning to get into these types of families. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't, so let's hope it does.”

Bozo added, “She's in foal to a very good sire. I mean, I am so impressed by Wootton Bassett. Each foal we have on the farm by him is nice, correct, has good quality and is a good colour. I think he is a very safe bet and he should suit her well.”

Ridgmont Team Strikes Early

The 35-strong broodmare band at the Cunningham family's Ridgmont Farm in Australia will eventually be enhanced by the Showcasing (GB) filly Many Tears (GB), who has enjoyed a major update since the catalogue was published and was bought for 300,000gns on Ridgmont's behalf by agent Jim Clarke.

Winner of the Listed Cooley Fillies' S. at Dundalk last month for Ger Lyons, the half-sister to stakes winner Intello Kiss (GB) (Intello {Ger}) is a great grand-daughter of the Oaks winner Love Divine (GB) (Diesis) and has now won three of her eight starts. She is set to race on under the care of James Ferguson in Newmarket.

“The whole Ridgmont team and Mitch Cunningham have been pounding the pavements and braving the weather and looking at fillies off the track,” said Clarke. “She was our number one pick – she is a gorgeous mare who is now a stakes winner, a three-year-old with racing upside and a pedigree we can't access in Australia.”

The longer-term plan is for Many Tears to be covered by Frankel (GB).

The agent added, “Ridgmont has a lovely broodmare band that has been tailored toward young mares and stakes-performing mares. They are all bred very commercially and we are looking to sell yearlings at the premier end of the market. The opportunity to acquire bloodlines in this part of the world is to get some diversity. To be going home with the one we all loved is very pleasing.”

Japanese Buyers Active Throughout

Mares by Montjeu (Ire) and his son Motivator (GB) have been responsible for some top-notch Japanese runners this year in the G1 Saudi Cup winner Panthalassa (Jpn) (Lord Kanaloa {Jpn}) and the dual Classic winner Sol Oriens (Jpn) (Kitasan Black {Jpn}) respectively. Ahead of the first Sceptre Session, Japan's JS Company signed for Motivator's Group 3-winning daughter Vue Fantastique (Fr), who was also runner-up in the G1 Prix Saint-Alary when in training with Fabrice Chappet. Sold in foal to Showcasing (GB) by Newsells Park Stud as Lot 1464, she was bought for 150,000gns and has colts by Siyouni (Fr), Le Havre (Ire) and Lope De Vega (Ire) to run for her.

Shadai Farm bid 170,000gns for the 4-year-old Love You Grandpa (GB), a thrice-placed Frankel half-sister to the G2 Queen Mary S. winner Ceiling Kitty (GB) (Red Clubs {Ire}).

Run Zarak Run (Fr) (Zarak {Fr}), who had been bought by Colm Sharkey for only 21,000gns in the same ring back in July, returned in Luke Barry's Manister House Stud draft to sell for 180,000gns to Big Red Farm.

Since September, the 3-year-old filly has made four starts for Harry Eustace, breaking her maiden by 11 lengths at Redcar in October before finishing runner-up in the Listed Prix Ceres nine days ago.

Share Price In Needle Lace Sky-Rockets

Hard to believe that it is less than a year since Needle Lace (GB) failed to sell at just €24,000 at the Goffs February Sale. In that time, and in no small part aided by the emergence of her Group 1-winning brother Rosallion (Ire) (Blue Point {Ire}), the share price in Needle Lace sky-rocketed on Monday to 200,000gns.

It was Blandford Bloodstock, holding off the attention of Yeomanstown Stud, who signed for the winning daughter of Golden Horn (GB). If Needle Lace soaring from buy-back to big-ticket item at the Sceptre Sessions was hard enough to believe, the fact she sold to Hurworth Bloodstock for just 1,000gns from Godolphin back in 2021 makes this story even more remarkable.

Indeed, the Needle Lace pedigree looks a lot different now than it did back then, notably through the exploits of the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere winner Rosallion, but also thanks to G1 Queen Anne S. winner Triple Time (Ire), who is the seventh black-type winner under that wonderful second dam Reem Three (GB) (Mark Of Esteem {Ire}).

Trained most recently by Ken Condon on behalf of owner David Kelly, Needle Lace was sold on Monday in foal to Sioux Nation, one of the hottest young prospects in Ireland.

Tally-Ho Stud Lands Sister To Vandeek

A half-sister to the brilliant dual Group 1-winning and unbeaten juvenile Vandeek (GB) was snapped up by Tally-Ho Stud for 90,000gns. Doncaster Rosa (GB) (Alhebayeb (Ire), the champion 3-year-old in Switzerland, was one of four mares the stud bought for a total of 427,000gns on the day.

The weanling half-brother to Vandeek, by Starspangledbanner (Aus), was sold for 450,000gns last Friday to Coolmore by breeder Kelly Thomas of Maywood Stud.

US Owner Mike Repole Gets In On The Act

American owner Mike Repole, whose silks have been carried by the likes of Uncle Mo, Forte and Nest, got in on the action at Newmarket when signing for a Siyouni half-sister [Faial (Fr)] to National Defense (GB).

Consigned by Castlebridge, the winner, who hails from the extended family of Derby winner Adayar (Ire), fetched 220,000gns.

Paddington Nomination to Watership Down Stud

A nomination to new sire Paddington (Ire) donated by Coolmore Stud to be auctioned to raise funds for Graham Lee was bought for 72,000gns by Lady Lloyd Webber.

The Group 1 and Grand National-winning jockey was seriously injured in a race fall at Newcastle on November 10. A Just Giving campaign launched to aid Lee's recovery has now raised almost £170,000.

Four-time Group 1 winner Paddington will stand his first season in Ireland at €55,000.

Buy of the Day

Lot 1355, STAGE QUEEN (Ire), by Oasis Dream (GB) ex Stage Presence (Ire) (Selkirk)
In foal to Study Of Man (Ire)
Buyer: Raptakos Brett/Gaurav Rampal, 16,000gns
Vendor: The National Stud

There is plenty of value to be found even on the 'big days' as exemplified by the purchase of the 10-year-old mare Stage Queen. Though unraced, she has four black-type earners as siblings, including the G1 Prix de Diane winner Star Of Seville (GB) (Duke Of Marmalade {Ire}), while another two half-sisters are already black-type producers. Stage Queen has been represented by two winners from her three runners to date, and she has a Zoustar (Aus) yearling filly and Sea The Moon (Ger) colt foal on the way through. Her covering sire Study Of Man has made a promising start and more can be expected from his first three-year-old runners in 2024.

All these things considered, the mare looks to have been well bought for 16,000gns and will be a welcome addition to Equus Stud in India.


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