Tattersalls Topper Coplow Joins Coolmore

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Coplow, carrying a Kingman colt, sells for 2.1 million gns | Laura Green/Tattersalls

By Emma Berry and Chris McGrath

NEWMARKET, UK—She may have been the reluctant star of the show but the Classic-producing Coplow (GB) (Manduro {Ger}) topped the bill at Tattersalls, with MV Magnier making a single bid to buy her for 2.1 million gns from Jeanette McCreery’s Stowell Hill Stud.

The dam of 1000 Guineas winner Billesdon Brook (GB) (Champs Elysees {GB}) needed a lead from another mare to persuade her to enter the bright lights of the auditorium packed with people eager to see her sell, but once she was guided to centre stage by David Ludlow, the bidding soon began in earnest. James Delahooke and David Redvers were among the early participants, but it was Ross Doyle who lasted longest of the challengers, standing alongside the team from Barnane Stud. Momentarily it appeared that Coplow (lot 1836) would be sold at 2 million gns until Magnier made the closing play.

“She’s a good-looking mare and she’s made a great start to her broodmare career,” he said of the 10-year-old, whose own moderate racing career is all but erased by her pedigree and the fact that her first two foals are both stakes winners.

Billesdon Bess (GB) (Dick Turpin {Ire}) made a promising start with a listed victory at two and, sold for 800,000gns last year to Erdenheim Farm, she, like her mother, is now in foal to Kingman (GB).

Magnier added of his purchase, a half-sister to the Bob McCreery-bred group winners Anna Nerium (GB), Piping Rock (GB) and Middle Club (GB), “She’s in foal to a hot young stallion and she’s already proved she can get a good one. I imagine she will go to Galileo but I’ll discuss it with the lads.”

While McCreery has now parted with Coplow, she still has Billesdon Brook, who added victory in the G1 Sun Chariot S. to her record this season and will go back into training with Richard Hannon in 2020. Another of her daughters, Bruisa (GB) (Sepoy {Aus}), is in training in the same stable and the breeder is retaining Coplow’s Dubawi (Ire) colt foal.

“One of them had to go and I woke up one morning and decided it had to be Coplow,” McCreery said. “She has gone to a very good home and will be sent to the best stallions. All the success of the family is down to the Hannons.”

The top-class sprinter Mabs Cross (GB) (Dutch Art {GB}) had been widely tipped to be another blockbuster lot on Tuesday but she will return to her breeders David and Emma Armstrong after being bought in at 1.1 million gns. Her former trainer Michael Dods paid tribute to the 5-year-old, who won seven races for his stable including the G1 Prix de l’Abbaye.

“Her breeder her is happy to take her home and to breed from her,” he said. “I’m very surprised that she didn’t make more than that. She is a really talented mare with a great temperament.”

With just one seven-figure lot sold during the session, compared to seven last year, figures levelled out on Tuesday following a strong opening day. At 195,407gns the average dropped by 10% and the median slid from 110,000gns last year to 90,000gns. From 225 lots through the ring, 183 fillies and mares sold for a total of 35,759,500gns.

Pride Of France To America
A wildcard had already provided some drama on Monday when the stallion Sands Of Mali (Fr) (Panis) was sold to dissolve a partnership for 600,000gns, and another horse not in the main catalogue was the first to hover close to the million mark on Tuesday. Sands Of Mali’s fellow G3 Prix Sigy winner Big Brothers Pride (Fr) (Invincible Spirit {Ire}) (1793C) brought the hammer down at 975,000gns when representatives from Northern Farm dropped out of the bidding, leaving Eamon Reilly to sign the docket on behalf of an undisclosed American client.

“She’s a good-looking filly from a great family which doesn’t come onto the market very often,” said the agent of the half-sister to G1 Prix Maurice de Gheest winner Polydream (Ire) (Oasis Dream {GB}).

Bought as a yearling from Ecurie des Monceaux for €400,000, Big Brothers Pride, a daughter of the Wertheimer-bred listed winner Polygreen (Fr) (Green Tune), raced for the partnership of Kin Hung Kei and Qatar Racing, and the 3-year-old was offered this time through Tweenhills.

Reilly’s BBA Ireland colleague Michael Donohoe stepped in to buy the listed-placed dual winner Alwaysandforever (Ire) (Teofilo {Ire}) in foal to Siyouni (Fr) for 525,000gns.

“She is for Michael Enright of Cregg Castle Stud,” he said of lot 1806, offered by John Troy. “Michael is looking to upgrade his mares and she is beautiful, from a proper deep family and has been well covered. Her progeny will be offered for sale.”

With the 1000 Guineas winner Arctique Royale (GB) as he third dam, Alwaysandforever hails from the family of Irish Oaks heroine Moonstone (Ire) and G1 Prix Saint-Alary winner Cerulean Sky (Ire).

New Blood At Old Mill
One of the most striking developments of the session was an investment of 2,125,000gns for three mares by Rob Speers for Old Mill Stud, recently purchased by Ibrahim Araci.

The Chippenham farm was previously in the ownership of the late David Shekells. “He’s much missed by everyone in racing and breeding,” Speers said. “And actually it’s a farm I know well, having worked there years ago, so it’s amazing how things go full circle. We’ve been redeveloping the site over the past few months, and now the mares are starting to come in and we’re getting operational. Mr. Araci is trying to build up his portfolio and today I think we’ve bought three wonderful young mares, all from fantastic families and in foal to exciting stallions.”

These were headed at 825,000gns by lot 1848, Guerriere (Ire) (Invincible Spirit {Ire}), a stakes-placed 5-year-old carrying a foal by Lope De Vega (Ire). Her dam Mathematicienne (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) has produced two Group 1-placed females in Soustraction (Ire), by this mare’s covering sire; and Matematica (Ger) (Rock Of Gibraltar {Ire}).

Earlier Araci had made a seven-figure investment inside 10 minutes, giving 600,000gns for lot 1825 and 700,000gns for lot 1829, both from The Castlebridge Consignment.

First up was Predawn (Ire), a 4-year-old full sister to G1 Epsom Oaks winner Qualify (Ire) (Fastnet Rock {Aus}) carrying a foal by No Nay Never. The second dam is a half-sister to Eva Luna, a Group 3 winner herself but even more productive in retirement: besides her sons Brian Boru (GB) and multiple Group 2 winner Sea Moon (GB), she is the grandam of Derby winner Workforce (GB).

Then came something of a collector’s item, this side of the water: a mare in foal to Triple Crown winner Justify. Butterscotch (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}), another in her first pregnancy at four, was Group 3-placed herself but is also a half-sister to G2 Norfolk S. runner-up and young sire Coach House (Ire) (Oasis Dream {GB}). Their dam Lesson In Humility (Ire) (Mujadil) was fast enough to make the frame in two Group 1 sprints and also won at Group 3 level.

“Guerriere is a half-sister to two Group 1 fillies and she herself was Listed-placed, from her mare’s only three runners,” Speers said. “She goes back to Green Valley (Fr), one of the best families out there. Butterscotch was very good herself, her brother ran third in a Curragh maiden and looks like he’ll improve and there are fillies producing throughout the page. And she’s in foal to an unbeaten Triple Crown winner. And Predawn’s half-sister Qualify has two Dubawis and a Shamardal coming through.”

Winter Produces Fertile Harvest
An American pedigree was repatriated when Snowy Winter (Elusive Quality) completed her rags-to-riches story as lot 1828.

Discarded by Godolphin as an unraced 3-year-old at the Goffs February Sale of 2017 for just €7,500 to Blandford Bloodstock, Snowy Winter flourished in the care of Archie Watson, working her way up the handicap and then grabbing a priceless 25-1 Listed success at Gowran Park last year. She topped even that with a Group 1 podium in Italy on her final start, and was then covered by Kingman (GB).

That qualified her as a spectacular touch for Boadicea Bloodstock: presented here as part of the Castlebridge Consignment, she was sold for 725,000gns to Reiley McDonald of Eaton Bloodstock on behalf of Athens Wood Farm in Kentucky.

Actually it’s a nicely transatlantic package. The late Elusive Quality will doubtless continue to enjoy posthumous success as a broodmare sire, as we see in No Nay Never. But while this mare’s dam by Pleasantly Perfect is a stakes winner in California, the page has nostalgic European resonance further down: the second dam is a half-sister to G2 Prix Robert Papin winner Ozone Friendly (Green Forest) and it is the further family of Ardkinglass (GB) (Green Desert) and Reprimand (GB) (Mummy’s Pet {GB}).

And it was another cosmopolitan pedigree that prompted McDonald to give 800,000gns for Easter (Ire), for the same clients. Presented as lot 1856 by Norelands Stud, she too is in foal to Kingman (GB). A listed winner for Ballydoyle, she’s a daughter of the European titan Galileo (Ire) and her dam Missvinski (Stravinsky) was Group 1-placed in France, but there is plenty of American blood along the bottom line.

“We’re putting together a bunch of U.S. and European-bred mares,” explained McDonald. “The yearlings will be bred for resale: they could be sold in the U.S. or Europe, plans will be wide open. I used to say that every yearling had a sale in the U.S. I think that now every yearling has a sale internationally.”

Onthemoonagain Helps Zerolo’s Team Into Orbit
This is no business for the faint of heart and somebody out there is certainly starting like he means it, judging from the 800,000gns given by Kern / Lillingston for lot 1850, the accomplished racemare Onthemoonagain (Fr) (Cape Cross {Ire}).

“She’s for a new man altogether,” Luke Lillingston said. “I hope she’ll be a foundation mare and, while it’s a big throw, I have got a lot of confidence in her. If we get some luck, she’s entitled to produce something really good at ten furlongs plus. I love her every which way: pedigree, performance, looks. Honestly I thought her the nicest mare in the sale, she’s gorgeous and by a great broodmare sire.”

With multiple Group podiums in her French youth, Onthemoonagain was exported to join Chad Brown for whom she was twice beaten two lengths or less at the highest level, notably as runner-up in the GI Flower Bowl S. Her half-brother Flying Tiger (Ire) (Soldier Of Fortune {Ire}) won over hurdles at the Cheltenham Festival while their second dam is a half-sister to Classic winner Resless Kara (Fr) (Akarad {Fr}).

Onthemoonagain was sold by European Sales Management on behalf of Martin Schwartz. The consignors had a spectacular day, selling 13 for an aggregate 5,961,000gns at an average 458,538gns.

“We had reasonably high expectations, and some of those were surpassed,” said Michel Zerolo modestly. “But we have good owners, and they trust us. We’ve paid our dues. We’ve been selling here for 17 years and I don’t think there has been a year when we’ve been out of the top ten consignors. And this is a very good vintage.”

Other highlights in the draft included Dandhu (GB) (Dandy Man {Ire}), who brought 750,000gns from Juddmonte as lot 1851. She won the G3 Fred Darling S. and was also runner-up in the G2 Rockfel S. as a juvenile, while her dam is an unraced Cape Cross (Ire) half-sister to the Group 1-placed dam of that smart sprinter Invincible Army (Ire) (Invincible Spirit {Ire}).

Moments later Hugo Lascelles gave the same amount for lot 1854, the G3 Prix Cleopatre winner Etoile (Fr) (Siyouni {Fr}), while Oceanic Bloodstock secured an exceptional pedigree in lot 1845, the Listed winner Sivoliere (Ire) (Sea The Stars {Ire}). Given that she has a Kingman (GB) cover, and already has foals by Siyouni (Fr), Fastnet Rock (Aus) and Frankel (GB) to work for the page, even 575,000gns looked pretty fair for access to such a family: Sivoliere’s mother is a listed winner (who has already produced a Group winner) and the next two dams are elite runner Sophisticat (Storm Cat) and the great Serena’s Song (Rahy).

Shambolic Buy A ‘No-Brainer’
Craig Bennett’s Merry Fox Stud has a new addition in Shambolic (GB) (Shamardal), who was bought for 800,000gns on the owner-breeder’s behalf by the stud’s managing director Gary Hadden.

“This was the only mare we were interested in—she is a stakes-performing daughter of Shamardal and there will not be many of those available in future,” said Hadden of the half-sister to Hong Kong champion Comic Strip (GB) (Marju {Ire}) and dual Grade I winner Laughing (Ire) (Dansili {GB}). The 3-year-old, sold as lot 1840 from Highclere Stud, was bred by the late Duke of Roxburghe in partnership with the Duke of Devonshire and departed John Gosden’s Clarehaven stable with two victories and a rating of 96.

Hadden added, “Her purchase was a no brainer—she is a half-sister to two Group 1 winners, and she is a beautiful model. We have no plans as yet as regard stallions, but she will be open to many options.”

Treve’s Sister to Hillwood
It was hard to put a value on a yearling sister to the great Treve (Fr) (Motivator {GB}) when she arrived from Haras du Quesnay at the Arqana August Sale in 2015. Treve had won the Arc twice already and seemed on track for a third success that autumn and, when bidding for her sibling stalled at €1.2 million, the Head family resolved to keep her.

While Treve was ultimately unable to complete her hat-trick, Criquette Head welcomed Terre (Fr) to her stable and succeeded in winning a race with her at three, albeit black type proved elusive. With the bonus of a Siyouni (Fr) cover, and an Intello (Ger) colt already on the ground to fly the flag, the 5-year-old was sold here as lot 1790 for 680,000gns to Charlie Vigors of Hillwood Stud, seeing off Charlie Gordon-Watson alongside Simon Marsh of Watership Down Stud.

“She’s for a client who’s keen to upgrade his broodmares—and you can’t get much better than a winning mare own sister to one of the best racemares we’ve ever seen,” said Vigors. “She was very attractively covered as well. It’s a young and happening family and, as we all know, the Heads are fantastic breeders. What’s on the page will stay there and what’s to come is very exciting. You can rest assured she’ll be well covered.”

Treve herself has a 2-year-old Dubawi (Ire) colt named Qous (Fr) with Andre Fabre; a yearling filly by Shalaa (Ire) named Paris (Fr); a filly foal, also by Siyouni; and is now in foal to Sea The Stars (Ire).

Criquette Head was on hand to thank Vigors. “I am absolutely thrilled,” she said. “We’ve a lot of fillies from the family producing well at home so we were happy to sell. To run this kind of show you need a bit of money sometimes!”

Sisters To Galileo Champions In Demand
When this catalogue was published the eye was immediately drawn to lot 1803 as one of its standout pedigrees. Consigned by Highclere Stud, How (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) is a full sister to serial champion Minding (Ire) out of G1 Coronation S. winner Lillie Langtry (Ire) (Danehill Dancer {Ire}). Though narrowly unable to win herself, either during her own Ballydoyle career or when sold on to race for a partnership in the U.S., the 5-year-old arrived with the benefit of a Lope De Vega (Ire) cover and proved in corresponding demand—not least with the Ballylinch Stud posse, who were presumably taken with How when she came to visit their stallion.

But it was Anthony Stroud who had the final say at 680,000gns. Though he could only specify that he was not operating for Godolphin on this occasion, Stroud enthused, “She’s the whole package: by Galileo, a sister to a champion, and in foal to a wonderful horse. And she’s a very good-looking mare too.”

Besides Minding, How is also a sister to Kissed By Angels (Ire) who looked very smart when breaking her maiden in Group company and was fast-tracked to a Classic only to derail completely. How already has a Dubawi (Ire) filly on the ground.

Another page with some splendid Ballydoyle resonance was presented by Lofts Hall Stud in lot 1811, a sister to Rip Van Winkle (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}). Susan B Anthony (Ire), placed once in a light career with Chad Brown in the U.S., is carrying a foal by War Front and that international package prompted Dean Hawthorne and Badgers Bloodstock to go to 560,000gns for the 4-year-old.

“She’ll be foaled down here and we’ll see what we end up with, and make a plan then,” Hawthorne said. “But eventually we’ll take her back down to Australia. It’s something we’ve been doing the last three or four years: we bought the full-sister here a couple of years ago [the unraced Wooing (Ire) for 375,000gns] and she has a very nice Fastnet Rock (Aus) filly at foot, and is in foal to I Am Invincible (Aus). So we’ve been following the family through.”

A sister to this mare has already had a profitable liaison with War Front, A Star Is Born having produced dual Group 1-placed sprinter Fleet Review. But it was the Galileo factor that especially animated Hawthorne.

“Galileo has been absolutely flying in Australia,” he said. “It seems like every carnival, his mares come up with another Group 1 winner, and there aren’t that many down there. But I guess he’s like that everywhere.”

Just minutes later Badgers Bloodstock pounced for another daughter of the Coolmore legend, giving 320,000gns for lot 1823. Another Charm (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}), part of the Castlebridge Consignment, is a sister to G2 Curragh Cup winner Sword Fighter (Ire) and carrying a foal by Invincible Spirit (Ire).

Brant Buys Dam Of Fleeting
There has been plenty of Spanish investment at the yearling and broodmare sales over the last year but Spanish owner-breeders were also involved on the opposite side of one transaction on Tuesday in the sale of lot 1769, Azafata (Spa) (Motivator {GB}). The 10-year-old mare won three times in her native country but has spent her broodmare career between France and Ireland and has produced the Irish Oaks runner-up and G2 May Hill S. winner Fleeting (Ire). Offered back in foal to that filly’s sire Zoffany (Ire) by Pia Tonani’s Castlepark Stud, based close to Coolmore in Co Tipperary, Azafata went to the head of the list in the early afternoon when sold for 625,000gns to Peter Brant’s White Birch Farm.

“She’s a lovely mare and she is owned by my son and daughter, Fernando and Anna,” said Fernando Bermudez-Beltran. “I was in two minds whether or not to sell her but I think it was probably the right thing to do.”

Hugo Lascelles conduced the bidding on Brant’s behalf and said after signing the ticket, “She is the dam of a Classic-placed filly and there are not many of those available. She will stay in Europe and will possibly come to Lofts Hall Stud. Fleeting is very good and Shawn Dugan spent 400,000gns on Azafata’s Olympic Glory (Ire) yearling this year.”

Japanese Broodmare Ranks Boosted
Graduates of Northern Farm have continued to advertise the merits of Japanese breeding to a worldwide audience this year, with a G1 Nassau S. victory for Deirdre (Jpn) (Harbinger {GB}) and G1 Cox Plate and G1 Caulfield Cup wins for Lys Gracieux (Jpn) (Heart’s Cry {Jpn}) and Mer De Glace (Jpn) (Rulership {Jpn}). Katsumi Yoshida added another classy mare to his sizeable broodmare band on Tuesday when his son Shunsuke went to 600,000gns for the Oaks and Irish Oaks runner-up Architecture (Ire) (Zoffany {Ire}). Sold as lot 1776 through New England Stud for owner Lael Stable, she is carrying her first foal by Lope De Vega (Ire). The 6-year-old was bought as a foal for just €4,800 by Patricia Burke.

“Her page is a bit white but she is a lovely individual and her race record is very good,” said Yoshida. “She will come back to Japan and I don’t know yet who she will go to next year—we lost two very good stallions [Deep Impact and King Kamehameha] this year.”

The Yoshidas later added two French Group 3 winners to the shipment to Japan. Cavale Doree (Fr) (lot 1847), a daughter of the Forty Niner stallion Sunday Break (Jpn), was bought in foal to War Front for 650,000gns, and 4-year-old Zonza (Fr) (lot 1799), by Storm Cat’s French-based son Alex The Winner, was picked up for 340,000gns. Both were consigned by European Sales Management.

Also on her way to Hokkaido, but this time to Koji Maeda’s North Hills, is lot 1721, La Figlia (Ire), the daughter of Classic winners Frankel (GB) and Finsceal Beo (Ire) (Mr Greeley), consigned by the National Stud.

Dr Hiroshi Fukuda, acting on behalf of Maeda, said, “Her sire was a champion and Finsceal Beo was a champion. We’re planning to send the mare back to Japan, to North Hills in Hokkaido, and next spring she will be covered by Kizuna (Jpn), a son of Deep Impact (Jpn) who is doing really well and is the champion first-season sire in Japan.”

He added, “We’re trying to introduce the best pedigrees from all over the world and that’s why I’m here at Tattersalls.”

Originally sold for €1.8 million as a foal to Dermot Farrington for Paul Makin, who died in May, La Figlia won a novice stakes last year over a mile and achieved a ratings high of 99.

Kingman Boosts Cintra’s Value
As a half-sister to Grandera (Ire) and George Washington (Ire), Cintra (Ire) (Camacho {GB}) looks to have been quite a bargain when bought unraced at this sale last year for 90,000gns by High Valley Equine.

The only ‘update’ for lot 1715 is that the 4-year-old mare is now in foal to Kingman (GB), but such is the popularity of the young Juddmonte stallion that Cintra was resold for 420,000gns to James Wigan of London Thoroughbred Services on behalf of Erdenheim Farm.

“We put together a partnership with Amanda Skiffington,” said Anna Sundstrom of Coulonces Sales. “We didn’t think we’d be able to buy her last year as she has the most amazing pedigree. We decided quite quickly to send her to Kingman and she has turned into a queen. I have to thank Charlotte at home for all her work getting her to look like this.”

As well as having two champions as half-brothers, Cintra’s other siblings include dual listed winner Sun Central (Ire) and G3 Pinnacle S. runner-up Wonderstruck (Ire).

Another mare sold in foal to Kingman was Galileo’s young daughter Birch Grove (Ire), offered as lot 1824 from the Castlebridge Consignment. She is another to be heading to Normandy-based Ecurie des Monceaux, with Henri Bozo having held the upper hand in the bidding war with a final offer of 700,000gns.

“She’s for Monceaux and partners, though I don’t know exactly which partners yet,” he said of the 4-year-old listed winner. “I love Galileo and the fact that she’s a stakes winner in France is also appealing. It’s a family with a lot of speed and she is in foal to one of the most exciting young stallions.”

Birch Grove’s dam Danehurst (GB) (Danehill) won 10 races across Europe, including the G2 Flying Five S. among her eight black-type victories, and she was also runner-up in the G1 July Cup and G1 Golden Jubilee S.

Stirring Prospect For Plantation
Stirring Ballad offered a pretty viable blend as lot 1774, being by a speed influence in Compton Place (GB) from the classy Oppenheimer family of her dam’s full-sister Inchmurrin (Ire) (Lomond). That formula appealed to the astute judgement of Mags O’Toole, who signed a 390,000gns docket for the 10-year-old on behalf of Plantation Stud.

“There’s a Kingman (GB) in her,” reasoned the agent. “And Anthony Stroud gave 320,000gns for her yearling [colt by Siyouni (Fr)] in Book 1, so let’s hope he’s lucky for Godolphin.”

The mare’s sole runner to date is a modest winner, but there are certainly seams of genetic quality to be mined near the surface of the pedigree. Stirring Ballad’s half-sister Balisada (GB) (Kris {GB}) won the G1 Coronation S. and is dam of a Listed winner and second dam of G1 Cox Plate third Folkswood (GB) (Exceed And Excel {Aus}). And Inchmurrin, herself a Group 2 winner, is the little gem who gave us that tough creature Inchinor (GB) besides some very good female producers: the dam of Grade I winner Miss Keller (Ire) (Montjeu {Ire}), for instance, and the second dam of young sire Poet’s Word (Ire) (Poet’s Voice {GB}). Stirring Ballad was presented by New England Stud.

Tabor Returns To His Hurdling Roots
If Verdana Blue (Ire) (Getaway {Ger}) represented rather an unusual proposition at a sale like this, as a mare being prepared for her defence of the Christmas Hurdle, then the silks the 7-year-old will be carrying at Kempton could scarcely be more familiar to the Flat marketplace. For when a bid of 370,000gns from Tom Goff saw off the likes of Anthony Bromley and Matt Houldsworth for lot 1764, it turned out that the Blandford agent was operating on behalf of none other than Michael Tabor.

It was a top-class hurdler, Royal Derbi (GB), who first brought Tabor’s blue and orange silks to public attention some 20 years ago. And now he will be restoring Verdana Blue to Nicky Henderson in the hope of renewing some of those early excitements.

“She’s one of the most beautiful National Hunt mares I have seen in recent years,” Goff said, as what had become a large, hushed crowd of the mare’s other admirers began to disperse. “I don’t think that’s any exaggeration. Michael loves the filly and of course he loves the stallion too, who’s doing so well [at Grange Stud]. She’s ready to run in the Christmas Hurdle and down the line she’ll make a fabulous broodmare in the National Hunt ranks. Obviously I know the [previous] owners very well, having acted for Sir Eric and Charlie Parker for many years. A number of other sales were discussed, but in the end they decided this was the best showcase.”

Verdana Blue has also shown useful form on the Flat, having last been seen finishing fourth in the G3 Sagaro S. at Ascot in May, but it was her impressive success in the Scottish Champion Hurdle on her previous start that really suggested her to still be on the upgrade over jumps.

 

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