Teona Stars at Tattersalls as Juddmonte Bids 4.5 Million

Teona joins the Juddmonte broodmare band | Tattersalls

By Brian Sheerin and Emma Berry

NEWMARKET, UK – A Group 1 winner out of a Group 1 winner, by one of the world's best stallions and carrying a foal by the dual champion sire. As recipes go, it has all the ingredients necessary to make a special dish, and that is exactly what the Juddmonte team decided she was when buying Teona (Ire) (Sea The Stars {Ire}) from Rabbah Bloodstock for 4.5 million gns.

Northern Farm, Charlie Gordon-Watson, Jill Lamb and Coolmore all made attempts on the five-year-old G1 Prix Vermeille winner, who is in foal for the first time to Frankel (GB), but it was Simon Mockridge who outlasted them all.

He said of lot 1786, “She is the best mare in the sale – a Group 1 winner out of a Group 1 winner. That's what they cost you. She's a beautiful addition and she's got a great pedigree. She's by Sea The Stars, who has made a fantastic start as a broodmare sire. He is already the damsire of four Group 1 winners. She'll fit in very well.”

Mockridge continued, “There were plenty at Goffs and we tried very hard at Goffs but we got beaten on most of the great individuals there. This is a great pedigree and, as I said, a Group 1 winner out of a Group 1 winner, they're hard to find. 

“She's an outcross for Frankel, which is ideal. That's what we are looking for. She'll be going to Frankel [next year].”

Asked if 4.5 million gns was where Mockridge expected to end up for Teona, he replied, “You always have to stretch a little bit further than you really want to but, to buy the best, that's how competitive it is. We're seeing that tonight. I did think she would make around three-and-a-half to four [million] but we had to make that extra stretch. It's something that we've learned. We try to value them but, when it comes to the moment, you've got to be a little stronger.”

Via Sistina Rewards Patience of Hillens

From 5,000 to 2.7 million gns: that's the story of Via Sistina (Ire) (Fastnet Rock {Aus}) through two December Sales four years apart, and with wins in Group 1, Group 2 and Group 3 races in the interim for Stephen and Becky Hillen when trained by George Boughey. Consigned on their behalf by Grove Stud, the five-year-old, out of a Galileo (Ire) half-sister to top sprinter Kingsgate Native (Ire), was sold to an online bidder who later signed as Evergreen Equine.

“Surreal. It's been tremendous,” said Stephen Hillen of lot 1788. “From the day Jamie Magee broke her in, he has a lot of good stock through his hands and he rang me about February and said, 'She gets up the gallop better than anything else. She's just so big. You could breeze this.' I said, 'No, it would be the wrong thing to do, we'll race her.' 

“She didn't go into training until August just because the pedigree said wait. She's just a strong traveller. She walked round there like a sheep, she's just an amazing horse.”

He continued, “It's a dream. I did think she'd bring two-plus. That cross is sensational. A Group 1 winner, she ran great in the Champion Stakes. She was improving all the time. It's nice now that she's retired sound. I felt that if we didn't get what we wanted for her, we'd race her, so it was going to be a celebration anyway.

“I would have given a lot more for her at the time. She was a foal-share and she wasn't protected by either side. She needed a fair bit of imagination. You buy those things sometimes and most of them turn out useless but she always had something, an unbelievable walker with a big frame. I'm always patient, every trainer who trains for us would always say they're never under pressure. I may have my opinions from time to time but I'll wait and wait and wait.”



Who for Lezoo?

A similar mystery surrounds the purchaser of the G1 Cheveley Park S. winner Lezoo (GB), one of two seven-figure fillies from Ralph Beckett's stable. The ring may have been packed with onlookers and potential bidders, but the final bid was made invisibly, online, at 2.2 million gns. It was eventually confirmed under the name of Emmanuel de Seroux of Narvick International.

He said of the Chasemore-bred filly (lot 1776), who won five of her nine starts, including the G3 Princess Margaret S., for Andrew Rosen and Marc Chan, “She is going to be kept in Europe to be bred. She was a top-class two-year-old, we were looking for two-year-old form, and she is a beautiful type.”

The agent had earlier bought Helenium (GB) (lot 1750), a Frankel half-sister to G2 Coventry S. winner and Coolmore sire Calyx (GB). She sold from the Juddmonte draft for 625,000gns carrying her first foal by Calyx's sire Kingman (GB).

Online bidders signing under the names of Sanctuary Lodge and Mrs A Sullivan respectively secured two more of the night's big names.

Poptronic (GB) (Nathaniel {Ire}) (lot 1784) gave her owner/breeders David and Yvonne Blunt a major thrill when winning the G1 QIPCO British Champions Fillies and Mares S. on Champions' Day at Ascot, and she was sold from Karl Burke's Spigot Lodge Stables for 1.4 million gns.

Crack two-year-old Relief Rally (Ire) (Kodiac {GB}) (lot 1798), who has won four of her five starts for William Haggas and the ownership duo of Simon Munir and Isaac Souede, including the G2 Lowther S., sold for 800,000gns.

Group 1 Winners with a touch of Cachet for Northern Farm

Katsumi Yoshida's Japanese powerhouse Northern Farm has been a steady force at the December Mares Sale in recent years and, after adding last year's 1,000 Guineas winner Cachet (Ire) (Aclaim {Ire}) to the roster at 2.2 million gns, a private deal was brokered to add Group 1 winner Prosperous Voyage (Ire) (Zoffany {Ire}) to the haul.

Cachet (lot 1799) was famously bought by Jake Warren and Harry Herbert of Highclere Agency for 60,000gns from her breeder John Bourke at the Tattersalls Craven Breeze-up Sale. The pair, who run the Highclere Thoroughbred Racing syndicate which has also campaigned the Irish Oaks winner Petrushka, were naturally delighted with the result. 

“It has been such a journey, the whole thing has been extraordinary,” said Herbert. “From Jake saying, 'Uncle H, I've found this breeze-up filly and I can't wait to show you', through to this whole process.”

Warren added, “We just watched her being prepared to come into the ring and she stood like a rock and didn't turn a hair. She was so cool in the ring and she's been like that from day one. She's been an amazing filly to be part of. She's always had a special something about her and there was so much interest in her; she's been run off her feet all week.

“For her owners, that's special. She was £6,500 a share, and she was such a good two-year-old as well. It's exciting, she was our first domestic Classic winner and the challenge is on, we've got to do it again now.”

He added, “This is how you get access to racing. The dream is real: when you take a share in a syndicate, you can win the Guineas, you can sell a multi-million-pound horse and you can be in it competing with the best in the world. And her share-holders have achieved that.”

The Northern Farm team had also signed for Galileo Gal (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) (lot 1789) earlier in the session at 500,000gns to bring their total spend to 5,100,000gns on the day. Such visits are viewed as extremely important with a view towards keeping Japanese bloodlines fresh, according to Shingo Hashimoto, who explained how plans were still fluid for the big-name acquisitions. 

He said, “Of course, Cachet is the 1,000 Guineas winner and she really looked gorgeous. We felt something special from her so we are pretty excited to bring her back to Japan. She'll be covered but we haven't decided whether or not she'll be covered in Europe first or in Japan. She definitely has the speed.”

On Prosperous Voyage (lot 1811), he added, “We are happy that we were able to buy her at the end of the day. We'll think about bringing her back to Japan or keeping her in Europe. There are some very good stallions in Europe as well. We always try to diversify the blood that we have and we don't want to put all of the eggs into the one basket. That is part of our plan.”

Prosperous Voyage failed to sell in the ring initially but Northern Farm were quickest off the blocks to get a deal done privately for the G1 Falmouth S. winner. 

Bloodstock agent Jamie McCalmont, who manages the interests of Marc Chan, the joint-owner of Lezoo and Prosperous Voyage, credited Tattersalls for attracting a broad cohort of buyers for the Sceptre Sessions but admitted to finding the experience of selling two top-class mares an emotional one. 

McCalmont said, “We're very fond of both of them as they're lovely girls and have given us some great days out. It's more sad than happy I'd have to say. It's an expensive hobby owning horses in England so you have to do this unless you have stallion income coming in, and we don't have any of that.”

He added, “We were looking obviously for a bit more for Prosperous Voyage and debated going to one of the top stallions with her and bringing her back here next year. But then, all the buyers are here, aren't they? Tattersalls has done a great job bringing so many different groups of people here and the market speaks for itself.”

Millennium Millionaire

This has been a memorable year for The Rogues Gallery who, not long after selling listed winner Rogue Lightning (Ire) Kodiac {GB}) for £1 million at the Goffs Champions Sale at Ascot, cashed in on Rogue Millenium (Ire) (Dubawi {Ire}) (lot 1800) on Tuesday for 1.65 million gns.

The two Rogues were trained by Tom Clover and sourced by bloodstock agent Billy Jackson-Stops for a combined figure of less than £100,000. 

Rogue Millennium landed the G2 Duke Of Cambridge S. at Royal Ascot earlier this season and chased home Tahiyra (Ire) (Siyouni {Fr}) in the G1 Matron S. at Leopardstown as recently as September. 

She was bought by David Lanigan and Ted Durcan on behalf of owner Scott Heider to be trained by Joseph O'Brien with the distinct aim of winning a Group 1 in 2024. 

Lanigan said, “I thought she was the obvious one in the sale. Mr Heider has a few horses with Joseph this year and a lot of younger horses in training as well. He was looking for a Saturday horse. He has four with Brendan Walsh and three with Steve Asmussen and has had Agartha, Brostaigh and Twilight Spinner with Joseph. We were trying to find a Saturday horse so hopefully she can go on.”

He added, “They've done a great job and they gave a great report on her as well. She has been a very easy filly to train and has a lot of class so hopefully she can go on and step up to pick up a Group 1 next year. She looks like she wants a good surface and I actually thought her Matron Stakes run was one of her best performances, just by how she travelled into the race. If it worked out at some stage, perhaps Joseph could find a race for her in America.”

Woodford Thoroughbreds Sign Classy Trio

American trainer Will Walden has been in action over the first two days of the sale and has signed for three fillies to remain in training and switch to his stable in Kentucky. 

Following the purchase of Aussie Girl (Ire) (Starspangledbanner {Aus}) for 380,000gns on Monday, Walden also bought the Listed winner and Group 2-placed Olivia Maralda (Ire) (Kodiac {GB}) (lot 1804) for 725,000gns, along with a second Listed-winning daughter of Kodiac, the wild card Pipsy (Ire) (lot 1825B) from Kilcarn Park at 700,000gns. 

All three have been bought in the name of John Sykes's Woodford Thoroughbreds.

“They will come back to the US to be trained,” said Walden, the son of WinStar Farm's Elliott Walden. “Turf is the [European] strength and our weakness so we want to bring some of that strength back. We have plenty of good turf horses, but of course primarily America is known for dirt, so hopefully if these horses can be competitive here they can be competitive there.”

Vigors Gets Ahead With Two Millionaires 

William Haggas signed for Get Ahead (GB) (Showcasing {GB}), the G1 Flying Five S. runner-up, who is a half-sister to 2,000 Guineas winner Chaldean (GB), for 2.5 million gns. 

However, Get Ahead will not race on as a five-year-old next season, with Haggas confirming he sourced the filly (lot 1813) on behalf of a new British-based breeding consortium called First Bloodstock.

He explained, “She is for a new syndicate and goes to Hillwood Stud to board. She will be bred this coming spring.”

Charlie Vigors remained tight-lipped on the new consortium but described himself as excited to have Primo Bacio (Ire) (Awtaad {Ire}) (lot 1771) and Get Ahead in the broodmare band at Hillwood Stud. 

He said, “It is very exciting to have such good mares as Primo Bacio and Get Ahead coming to the farm and that these top pedigrees are staying in Britain.”

Get Ahead was trained by Clive Cox to win three races and chase home Moss Tucker (Ire) (Excelebration {Ire}) in that Curragh Group 1 back in September. 

She boasted one of the finest pedigrees in the sale, being a sister to stallions Chaldean and Alkumait (GB). Indeed, the family was once again in the news here last week when Get Ahead's little brother sold to Alex Elliott for 260,000gns at the December Foal Sale.

Meanwhile, Primo Bacio was sold in foal to Frankel (GB) for 1.1 million gns. She was knocked down to Vigors and offered by owner David Ward through the Castlebridge Consignment.

“She is a beautiful mare, she has lovely movement, and I loved her when I first saw her,” said Vigors. “Hopefully her progeny will be coming back here to sell as well, as she is a commercial purchase.”

Living the Vida

Vida Amorosa (Ire) (Lope De Vega {Ire}), originally bought for breeder Tom Lacy for €1,200, has struck gold with her first two foals, the Weatherbys Super Sprint winner Gubbass (Ire) and G2 July S. winner Persian Force (Ire). The nine-year-old mare (lot 1793), who is back in foal to the sire of those two, Mehmas (Ire), brought 700,000gns this time around from Charlie Gordon-Watson. The agent bought the mare on behalf of the partnership of Watership Down Stud and Andrew Rosen.

“The first time we saw her we really liked her, and she's got a great breeding record. We thought she'd suit Too Darn Hot so she'll go to him next year,” said Watership Down Stud manager Simon Marsh.

Gordon-Watson later went to 1.2 million gns for the Listed-winning Kodiac (GB) mare Geocentric (Ire) (lot 1797) for the Duchess of Roxburghe, Virginia Wynn-Williams, and her son George Innes-Ker. Their breeding operation was formerly based at the family's Floors Stud in the Scottish Borders but they now keep mares at Watership Down Stud. The four-year-old mare was sold in foal to Frankel.

Golden Returns for Mare and Foal

Golden Pelican (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}), a sibling to Group 3 winners Ernest Hemingway (Ire) and Toulifaut (Ire), was bought for the American-based Pursuit Of Success for 600,000gns and will remain in Britain. The six-year-old (Lot 1729) was sold carrying her second foal by Lope De Vega (Ire). Her first foal by Kingman (GB) was sold for 350,000gns last week to Juddmonte, with both mare and foal having been consigned by Hazelwood Bloodstock on behalf of Sun Bloodstock.

Unraced herself, Golden Pelican's first three dams are all group winners, with her dam Cassydora (GB) (Darshaan {GB}) having won the GIII Hillsborough S. in Florida as well as the Listed Lingfield Oaks Trial. The mare will board at Chris Budgett's Kirtlington Stud.

He said, “Roger [O'Callaghan] recommended her to the team especially after he saw her Kingman colt foal, who was bought last week by Juddmonte and is a lovely sort. We are very happy to have her.”

Talking Points

  • Eight different Japanese buyers have so far purchased 16 horses for almost 8 million gns during the first two days of the sale.
  • The Australian contingent has also been busy. At least six different entities have signed for 12 fillies and mares for 3,350,000gns. 
  • How about some love for Awtaad? Based at Derrinstown Stud, the Irish 2,000 Guineas winner must be one of the best value stallions at €5,000. Not only did Awtaad produce another marvellous result when Primo Bacio sold for 1.1 million gns at Tattersalls on Tuesday, but who could forget the marvellous Sceptre Sessions he enjoyed here 12 months ago. Three mares by Awtaad sold on this day last year for a combined sum of 1.1 million gns, led by the 600,000gns Mags O'Toole spent on behalf of Plantation Stud for Mohjatty (Ire). 
  • Bobby Flay returned to the buying bench at Tattersalls, signing up Final Gesture (Ire) (Dubawi {Ire}) (lot 1787) at 850,000gns and Jaaizah (GB) (Dansili {GB}) (lot 1794) for 270,000gns. The former is a daughter of the Group 2 winner Secret Gesture (GB) (Galileo {Ire}), a sister to the Group 1 winners Japan (GB) and Mogul (GB), all three out of the late Newsells Park Stud matriarch Shastye (Ire) (Danehill).
  • There were 12 millionaires at this sale 12 months ago compared to 10 this week.
  • Tuesday marked the third-highest grossing day of trade ever recorded in Europe.
  • Sea The Stars is proving to be an outstanding broodmare sire, which was evident once again this season through the achievements of Eldar Eldarov (GB) (Dubawi {Ire}) and Big Rock (Fr) (Rock Of Gibraltar {Ire}). Therefore, it was little wonder that well-bred mares by the stallion were in high demand on Tuesday with Sea The Stars coming out on top with 12 lots selling for 5,203,000gns.
  • Online bidding, understandably introduced during Covid when international buyers were prevented from travelling, now serves to muddy the waters at live auctions  as well as reducing the previous drama of some of the tense bidding wars in the ring. 
  • Of the 221 lots offered on Tuesday, 175 were sold, which represented a clearance rate of 79% [down 5% on last year]. The aggregate fell 11% to 48,167,000gns, the average dropped 2% to 275,240gns and the median fell 18% to 92,000gns.

Buy of the Day

Lot 1718, Malakoot (Ire) (Dubawi {Ire}–Ambivalent {Ire}, by Authorized {Ire})
Buyer: Tinnakill, 52,000gns
Vendor: Barton Sales

Credit to the Cantillons of Tinnakill House Stud for sniffing out the bargain of the day, if not the entire sale. 

A Dubawi (Ire) half-sister to Teona, who would later go on to top the sale on 4.5 million gns, sold in foal to Baaeed (GB) to Tinnakill for 52,000gns. Given that Baaeed stands for £80,000, it's hard to see a scenario where the sister to Teona does not work out to be value at just over half that covering fee. 

There's every chance the Cantillons could pay for the mare with the first foal, be it a filly or a colt, and they have a lovely family to work with for the coming years with lot 1718 still a young prospect at just six years of age. 


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