Strong Start As Yoshida Plumps For Tatts Topper

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Crimson Rock, sold in foal to Highland Reel, is off to Japan | Laura Green/Tattersalls

By Chris McGrath and Emma Berry

NEWMARKET, UK–If the opening session was a mere warm-up for bigger and better things to come on Tuesday, then we are likely to be in for some red-hot trade as the stellar names come rolling out. For Monday's trade was, as we have seen at so many auctions throughout 2021, up across all sectors, with buyers from Japan, Australia, France, Britain and Ireland all participating in the day's leading ladies.

We are well used to the spending power of Japanese buyers, particularly various members of the Yoshida family, and it was Katsumi Yoshida's Northern Farm which signed for the day's top lot, a young mare who perhaps appropriately traces back to the great Best In Show, at 450,000gns.

Gains of 33% and 30% in median and average speak to the consistently high level of demand for breeding stock, and though the clearance rate dropped slightly, it still settled at a respectable 84%, while the aggregate had passed last year's opening day mark by late afternoon. By the end of the 12-hour session it was up by 24%, at 15,281,000gns for 232 horses sold–11 fewer than last year.

Japanese take Pride in new export

The Blush With Pride branch of the Best In Show dynasty has grown fresh limbs in the U.S. during 2021. The 1982 Kentucky Oaks winner's celebrated daughter Better Than Honour (Deputy Minister) can now add to her record new credits as respectively second and third dam of two brilliant talents, albeit both meanwhile held up by injury: GII Fountain of Youth S. winner Greatest Honour (Tapit), and GIII Kona Gold S. winner Cezanne (Curlin). And another of her daughters, Butterfly Blue (Ire) (Sadler's Wells), is third dam of GIII Dwyer S. winner First Captain (Curlin).

On this side of the water, however, it is Butterfly Blue's full sister Maryinsky (Ire) who remains the most conspicuous blossom on the family tree, notably through her champion daughter Peeping Fawn (Danehill) and her Group 1-winning son Thewayyouare (Kingmambo). Coolmore's use of Japanese titan Deep Impact (Jpn) as an outcross mate for Peeping Fawn produced a very smart juvenile in September (Ire), and now Maryinsky's 7-year-old daughter by Fastnet Rock (Aus), Crimson Rock, will participate in the Japanese industry's quest for regeneration following the loss of its perennial champion sire. Presented here as lot 1418 by Newsells Park, in the partial dispersal from Al Shahania Stud, she was sold to Katsumi Yoshida for 450,000gns.

It is instructive of the peculiar fluctuations of bloodstock values that Crimson Rock should have caused the ring to fall silent as the bidding climbed, through competition from the likes of James Wigan of London Thoroughbred Services and Greg Goodman of Mt. Brilliant Farm, to the highest level of the sale to date. For she made even more as a yearling, when knocked down to Spendthrift Farm for $1,000,000 at the 2015 Keeneland September Sale. One way or another, however, she ended up running in the silks of Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa al Thani when winning a Newbury maiden on debut for Ralph Becket the following year. Sadly she could not live up to that promise in two starts at three, but she appeared here carrying a third foal (by Highland Reel {Ire}) and these remain early days in her second career.

“Of course this mare line is one of the best,” said Yoshida's representative here, Shingo Hashimoto. “That was very attractive, and Fastnet Rock is going well in Japan. We are always looking for the best blood to refresh our breeding. We haven't yet decided whether or not she'll go straight to Japan, but hopefully she will suit the sons of Deep Impact on the farm.”

While his odyssey via the breeding stock sales in the U.S. had gone smoothly to this point, Hashimoto will be facing new isolation rules when he returns home.

The Al Shahania draft resumes on Wednesday, headed by the offering of GI E.P. Taylor S. winner Blond Me (Ire) (Tamayuz {GB}) as lot 1837. At a very similar stage of her breeding career, she is carrying a foal by Siyouni (Fr).

First-time buyer aims high with Juddmonte mare 

The first of two batches of fillies and mares from Juddmonte Farms provided a late afternoon highlight during the opening session with a range of the operation's top families proving a lure for buyers.

At the head of the group was Sun Tide (GB) (Siyouni {Fr}), a winner last year at three and now in foal for the first time to Kameko, whose own 3-year-old career included victory in last year's 2000 Guineas. On a page which featured only two dams, and with almost every name listed being in bold black type, Sun Tide's most illustrious immediate relative is her half-sister Midday (GB) (Oasis Dream {GB}). Three other half-siblings have also claimed stakes races, while her dam Midsummer (GB) (Kingmambo), a listed-placed winner herself, is a half-sister to the dual Group 1 winners Reams Of Verse (Nureyev) and Elmaamul (Diesis {GB}).

For a new player in the industry signing up a first broodmare, it would be hard to think of a better way to start than with a mare who offers both owner/breeder and commercial possibilities. The lucky new owner of Sun Tide could not be named by Charlie Vigors, who was the last bidder standing at 400,000gns, but he did confirm that lot 1426 would now be residing at his Hillwood Stud.

“She's been bought for a new English-based client and I think this is their first horse. They want to have a boutique broodmare band and there's no better family to buy into. They might race a filly but she has a nice commercial cover if they do decide to sell,” said Vigors.

“She's a neat, attractive mare so there are plenty of options for where you want to go with her in the future.”

Sun Tide had followed another 4-year-old, Tacitly (GB) (Dubawi {Ire}), into the ring  and the daughter of the G1 Falmouth S. winner Timepiece (GB) (Zamindar) will be heading to Normandy to join an elite group of mares after Robert Nataf and Henri Bozo went to 375,000gns.

“She's for a partnership between Ecurie des Moneaux and a client of Robert Nataf,” said Bozo of lot 1425, who is carrying her first foal by Frankel (GB). “Her pedigree speaks for itself and she is in foal to the right stallion.”

Regarding plans for next year, he added, “I have an idea but we will have to discuss the mating. Maybe she could be one for Wootton Bassett.”

Tacitly's family has been in the news of late as her relation Time Test (GB), who is also by Dubawi and is out of her dam's half-sister Passage Of Time (GB) (Dansili {GB}), is currently in vogue with breeders on the back of a successful season for his first crop of runners.

The first eight of the Juddmonte draft, all in-foal mares, sold for an average of 167,750gns, with 15 fillies to be sold on Tuesday.

Showcasing mares in demand

Group 3-placed as a juvenile and finally a winner at the 23rd time of asking, Model Guest (GB) (Showcasing {GB}) was certainly a trier in her racing days, with eight runner-up finishes to her name. Covered by Kingman (GB) in February, she went through the ring on Monday as lot 1469 and will continue her secondary career in Ireland, having been bought by Eddie O'Leary for 330,000gns.

“If she produces something like herself we'll be okay,” said the Lynn Lodge Stud owner. “She's a beautiful mare and there are some good Kingman crops to come through.”

Another daughter of Showcasing with a markedly similar profile was also on the shopping list of Gerard Larrieu of Chantilly Bloodstock Agency, who bid 270,000gns for Endless Joy (GB). The 4-year-old (lot 1464) won over six furlongs at two and was third in the G3 Firth of Clyde S. on her final start for Clipper Logistics. She was sent to Darley newcomer Blue Point (Ire) for her first cover in February. 

Like so many from her breeders Whitsbury Manor Stud and Margaret Slade, Endless Joy hails from a fast family which includes her half-brother, the hardy listed winner and Group 3 runner-up Laugh A Minute (GB) (Mayson {GB}), while the further family features one of this season's leading sprinters in the July Cup and Commonwealth Cup runner-up Dragon Symbol (GB) (Dragon Pulse {Ire}).

Hillen has last word on Statement 

It was a long wait, but Stephen Hillen was “very excited” to have landed one of the final lots into the ring—the standout in a tail-end session reserved for horses in training—as a rather different project from most that had preceded her through the preceding 11 and a half hours.

Statement (Ire) (Lawman {Fr}) touched an official rating of 106 for Martyn Meade, having run none other than Alcohol Free (Ire) (No Nay Never) to a photo in the G3 Fred Darling S. before trying her luck in the G1 1,000 Guineas. Her form has somewhat tapered off since, despite a Group placing at Epsom, but she still has miles on the clock and Hillen hopes that she can renew her progress in the silks of his wife Becky.

He duly gave 300,000gns for lot 1568, in the process rewarding the perseverance of this filly's breeders at Ballylinch Stud. Offered at the Orby Sale as a yearling, she was knocked down for 100,000gns but ended up running in the silks of her home farm.

“I loved her run at Newbury, beaten a short head by Andrew Balding's filly that went on to win two Group 1s,” Hillen said. “It's all about her form, hopefully she can come back to something like that. I don't where she will be trained, but it will be in the U.K.”

As and when Statement does move onto the kind of career that drives the rest of this sale, she will be supported by multiple stakes placings in both her first two dams. “Lawman looks like a tremendous broodmare sire, too,” Hillen noted. “And this filly is from a brilliant nursery in Ballylinch.”

Newsells invest in French blood

Rarity value counts for plenty but it was far from the only reason that Jill Lamb singled out the only mare in the catalogue in foal to the Aga Khan Studs' rising young stallion Zarak (Fr). Of course the son of Dubawi (Ire) and Zarkava (Fr) owns a wonderful pedigree, but then the stakes-placed mare Nooramunga (Fr) has plenty to recommend her too, being by another Aga Khan resident, Siyouni (Fr), and out of the G2 Prix d'Astarté winner Turtle Bow (Fr) (Turtle Island {Ire}), herself a half-sister to the late Group 1 winner and stallion Turtle Bowl (Ire) (Dyhim Diamond {Ire}). The 5-year-old won over a mile in France as well as being listed-placed for her breeder Berend van Dalfsen, who also bred Nooramunga's dam and grandam.

After signing for lot 1387 at 270,000gns, Lamb said, “She's been bought for Newsells Park Stud. She's a lovely mare and she's in foal to a very exciting young stallion. There's a lot of quality to her and she's a black-type Siyouni mare which has got to be an exciting thing to have.”

She added of Zarak, “He looks very like Time Test to me, a beautiful horse.”

Newsells Park Stud, which was bought earlier this year by Graham Smith-Bernal, will also be acting in the role of vendor this week, with 19 of their own and clients' mares to sell. They include one of the likely stars of the show, Waldlied (GB) (New Approach {Ire}), the Group 2-winning three-parts-sister to Arc winner Waldgeist (GB) (Galileo {Ire}) who sells on Tuesday as lot 1839.

“We are selling a few so we will be looking to replace them and we wanted to get one under the belt today,” Lamb said. “A lot depends on what happens tomorrow but [Waldlied] sells quite late so Graham said we had to be brave before she goes through.”

Godolphin mare to Arrowfield

A well-credentialed daughter of Sea The Stars (Ire) from the Godolphin draft will be heading south to Australia after John Warren, buying on behalf of Arrowfield Stud, selected the 3-year-old filly Final Thought (Ire) (lot 1522) at 240,000gns.

“Arrowfield is a big, successful operation and she will be a marvellous mare for one of their many stallions,” said Warren of the 85-rated relation to Group 1 winners Nathaniel (Ire) and Great Heavens (GB).

He continued, “She is from one of the best families, it is pretty hard to beat, and the stud is trying to introduce these sorts of pedigrees into Australia for more diversity. Arrowfield is a Classic organisation and it doesn't want to be caught up in the narrow trend dominated by speed; she will offer that diversity.”

A daughter of the Grade III-winning Street Cry (Ire) mare Anjaz, Final Thought was a winner last year at two for Saeed Bin Suroor. Her grandam Playful Act (Ire) (Sadler's Wells) won the G1 Fillies' Mile en route to becoming the English joint-champion 2-year-old filly and she is herself out of the celebrated matriarch Magnificient Style (Silver Hawk), the dam of six black-type winners led by Newsells Park Stud stallion Nathaniel. 

Mascalls boxing clever

Whether in the sales ring or the kind with a canvas floor, it's equally important to be capable of punching above weight. And if Barry Hearn could tell you as much of boxing, then his wife Susan has done much the same at the boutique Mascalls Stud through consecutive foals of Reckoning (Ire) (Danehill Dancer {Ire}), a mare bought here seven years ago for 160,000gns: dual Group 2 winner and G1 St Leger runner-up Sir Ron Priestley (GB) (Australia {GB}) and G1 Ascot Gold Cup winner Subjectivist (GB) (Teofilo {Ire}).

Hearn hopes that she may have found another in the same mould in Taraateel (GB) (Oasis Dream {GB}), who formed part of the Shadwell cull as lot 1450. The 5-year-old, who won her only start in France, made 230,000gns carrying her second foal (by Blue Point {Ire}). She is out of Farmah (Speightstown), a Group winner in Italy; while the second dam is French Classic winner Torrestrella (Ire) (Orpen).

No less than in boxing promotion, it helps to have the inside track. And Hearn explained that this mare's juvenile full-brother Zawaaya (GB), who had broken his maiden at Deauville since the publication of the catalogue, has been well reviewed by trainer Francois Rohaut.

“I know a bit about what's going on further down in the family,” she said. “Francois trains for me in France, and he tells me he thinks a lot of two of Farmah's progeny, particularly her 2-year-old. It's helpful to have a bit of inside information!

“I have spent too much, but hopefully I have bought a really nice mare. I'm happy, it's a lovely family and obviously Oasis Dream as a broodmare sire is very attractive. I don't know who we'll send her to, but I'll do my best to find something nice for her.”

Regal pedigree for Fittocks client

“We are hoping to give the farm a royal touch!” smiled Luca Cumani in welcoming to Fittocks Stud the top lot of the morning, the 4-year-old Dusty Dream (Dubawi {Ire}) (lot 1318) carrying a first foal by Showcasing (GB). A disappointing racetrack career in the Queen's silks naturally does not diminish her own regal genes, and Cumani and his wife Sara had picked her out for a client before signing a 180,000gns docket in the name of SH Bloodstock.

Dusty Dream was homebred out of that very smart juvenile Memory (Ire) (Danehill Dancer {Ire}), who won the G3 Albany S. and G2 Cherry Hinton S. for Highclere Thoroughbreds. Dusty Dream herself did not build on the glimpse of promise she showed for William Haggas at two, but Memory has already produced three Group winners from just five runners to date in Call To Mind (GB) (Galileo {Ire}), Learn By Heart (GB) (Frankel {GB}) and Recorder (GB) (Galileo {Ire}). And Sara Cumani noted that she has a couple of fillies—a yearling sister to Dusty Dream and a foal by Night Of Thunder (Ire)—in the pipeline for the further decoration of the family tree.

“It is a beautiful pedigree,” she said. “It's mostly colts so far but we hope those fillies can do something too. She's on an early cover, which is a positive, but we need to discuss future covering plans with our client.”

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