The Cream of Ireland on Offer in Doncaster

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Orby poster boy Lucky Vega | Racingfotos.com

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A different venue is not the only deviation from the norm as the Goffs Orby Sale takes centre stage in the European yearling sales calendar at Doncaster this week. On the last three occasions she has been represented in this sale Galileo (Ire) has been the sire of the star offering out of stellar producer Green Room (Theatrical), but on this occasion it will be Gilltown Stud’s Sea The Stars (Ire) who has the honour of aiming to continue the mare’s spectacular sales results. As usual consigned by Ballylinch Stud on behalf of breeders Vimal and Gillian Khosla, the bay filly (lot 176) has a lot to live up to as the mare’s progeny have yielded just shy of €9 million in the ring at Goffs over the years as well as, more importantly, excelling on the racecourse. While the pedigree needs little introduction some new names have added even further depth to the page this year. Military Style (War Front), a son of this filly’s half-sister Together Forever (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}), won the G3 JRA Tyros S. at Leopardstown in August while another half-sister Do You Love Me (Ire ) (Galileo {Ire}), herself a €3.2-million purchase at this sale two years ago, obtained some valuable black-type when third in a listed race at Newmarket. While the mating with Sea The Stars is a slight deviation, there is a successful precedent with Green Room’s daughter by the same sire Signe (Ire) fetching €1.1 million at this sale in 2014, so overall the case for more of the same seems fairly airtight.

Of course the sale is not at all about just one or even a handful of horses. Last year’s edition unearthed this year’s G1 Keeneland Phoenix S. winner Lucky Vega (Ire), a €175,000 purchase by BBA Ireland for Yulong Investments as well as that horse’s Group 2- winning stablemate Cadillac (Ire) (Lope De Vega {Ire}), a bargain at €40,000. There is equal strength in depth throughout this year’s catalogue and Henry Beeby’s usual optimism and infectious enthusiasm show no signs of abating despite these trying times.

“As usual we have had great support from vendors and we’ve assembled another strong Orby catalogue as a result,” Beeby said. “Just as much work has gone into creating an environment that will allow as many potential purchasers from around the world get involved with the sale and while we were unable to have as much person-to-person contact with owners, trainers and agents as we would normally have had, our phones have been working non-stop and we have been direct mailing people. Thankfully we’ve had a lot of interest from all over the world and while it will manifest itself in a lot less people being at the sale we are confident that between our online bidding and through the use of agents on the ground people will have no trouble buying horses. The online platform is very customer- friendly and it has been used successfully now at several sales here at Goffs UK. We have also organised for videographers to go to as many farms as possible so there are up-to-date videos of most lots available as well as having videographers on site at the sales complex. It’s a case of being adaptable and finding a way through this.”

Beeby continued, “Of course we will be doing our very best to achieve the maximum price for each lot but the metric we will look at most will be the clearance rate and to provide as vibrant a marketplace as is possible at the moment. The top of the market has held up well at Arqana and Keeneland so we are hoping we can replicate that kind of activity. We are fortunate to have a sales complex that rivals anywhere and we have added even more facilities to cater for people. Also Irish Thoroughbred Marketing are treating this as an Irish sale so will be providing support to buyers coming from Ireland, which is another great help. Doncaster is also a very accessible place within England between the motorway network and the train line from London so that is in our favour too. So between the strength of the catalogue we’ve assembled and the record of Orby graduates on the track this year and in the past we are as confident as we can be in this ever-evolving situation that things will go well. There will be no lack of effort from everyone involved so please god we can get a reasonable result.”

Galileo has been prolific at the top end of this sale, siring the highest-priced yearling the last two years and indeed the top two last year headed by the €3-million filly out of Green Room now named Espania (Ire) who is in training with Aidan O’Brien. When crossed with sprinting mares Galileo has produced some top-class horses, notably Cape Blanco (Ire) and Churchill (Ire) to name just two and buyers will have that in mind when inspecting lot 122, one of eight by the sire in the catalogue. The Castlebridge-consigned filly is grey like her very fast dam Easton Angel (Ire) (Dark Angel {Ire}) who won two listed races over the minimum trip for trainer Mike Dodds before being sold for 500,000gns in 2017.

Luke Barry offers a Galileo half-sister to G1 Irish Derby winner Trading Leather (Ire) (Teofilo {Ire}) through his Manister House Stud as lot 311, while Baroda Stud’s lot 305 is out of Australian Group 1 winner Nechita (Aus) (Fastnet Rock {Aus}). Having topped one yearling session already this season Baroda has a strong hand to repeat that feat and their draft, which is the second-largest numerically, also features a colt by Kingman (GB) out of the German champion 2-year-old Monami (Ger) (Sholokhov {Ire}). Lot 291 has added appeal as a half-brother to this year’s G1 Preis de Diana winner Miss Yoda (Ger) (Sea The Stars {Ire}). Another Baroda yearling with a close Classic connection is lot 211, a Dark Angel (Ire) colt out of G1 Irish 1000 Guineas winner Jet Setting (Ire) (Fast Company {Ire}) while few boast a better page than Baroda’s lot 458. This colt by Frankel (GB) is a half-brother to six-time Group 1 winner Moonlight Cloud (GB) (Invincible Spirit {Ire}) and his third dam is Doff The Derby (Master Derby), dam of the mighty Generous (Ire) et al.

At the time of writing Dubawi (Ire) was sitting at the top of the table of the leading European stallions of 2020 based on worldwide earnings and Darley’s flagship stallion is represented by just the one offering in the Orby Sale, lot 17 from Kirsten Rausing’s Staffordstown Stud. The February-born colt is out of All At Sea (GB) (Sea The Stars {Ire}), a winner of three stakes races in France and a daughter of champion Albanova (GB) (Alzao). All At Sea’s first produce, a 3-year-old filly called A La Voile (GB), has proved quite progressive for Sir Michael Stoute this year winning her only three starts and is now rated 88 with the promise of more to come.

Whether a homebred or a pinhook, stock from Timmy Hyde’s Camas Park Stud demand the utmost attention and hopes will surely be high for lot 102, a colt by Gleneagles (Ire). The son of Daneleta (Ire) (Danehill) is closely related to Group 1 winners Intense Focus and Skitter Scatter (Scat Daddy) and his foal price tag of €155,000, when purchased from breeders Airlie Stud at Goffs last year, suggests he looks the part too. Camas Park also offers a full-brother to last year’s champion European sprinter Ten Sovereigns (Ire) as lot 388. The No Nay Never colt’s two older full-sisters have made €600,000 and 320,000gns, respectively, the last two years so his credentials are obvious.

Last year’s G1 Prix de Diane Longines winner Channel (Ire) (Nathaniel {Ire}) slipped through the net at this sale three years ago when sold to Meridian International for just €18,000 but one imagines a bit more attention will be paid to lot 253. This Sea The Stars (Ire) filly, offered by The Castlebridge Consignment on behalf of Pat O’Kelly’s revered Kilcarn Stud, is a half-sister to Channel and comes from a fantastic fillies family with her granddam being the G1 Cheveley Park S. winner Magical Romance (Ire) (Barathea {Ire}).

Lot 114 from Michael O’Flynn’s Rockfield Farm is one that’s certainly bred for speed. The No Nay Never filly is out of Double Fantasy (Ger) (Indian Ridge {Ire}), who has already bred two stakes winning fillies including the Fozzy Stack trained Piece Of Paradise (Ire) (Holy Roman Emperor {Ire}). This April-born filly’s year-older full-brother brought 320,000gns as a yearling last year and although unraced so far for Roger Varian and Sheikh Mohammed Obaid, his name Jet Engine (Ire) suggests he is showing some pace at home.

Another speedily bred filly with high residual value is lot 223 from Yeomanstown Stud. The Dark Angel filly is a full-sister to the classy and durable 15-time winner Sovereign Debt (Ire) and a half to another stakes winner in Puff (Ire) (Camacho {GB}) while her 3-year-old full-sister Darkest (Ire) broke her maiden at Limerick recently.

The Bolger family have been quite fortunate with updates this year and lot 180 from Clare Manning’s Boherguy Stud got a timely boost when his half-brother Mac Swiney (Ire) (New Approach {Ire}) won the G2 Futurity S. at The Curragh. The Vocalised yearling colt is closely related to high-class Bolger performers Light Heavy (Ire) (Teofilo {Ire}) and Parish Hall (Ire) and buyers should be reminded that Bolger sold this year’s G3 Acomb S. winner Gear Up (Ire) (Teofilo {Ire}) at this sale last year for €52,000 to Mark Johnston.

International buyers are vital to the success of this sale and one that could appeal to various overseas markets is lot 259, a colt by Caravaggio from the Castlebridge Consignment. The colt is a half-brother to both Royal Ascot winner Beauty Flame (Ire), (Footstepsinthesand {GB}) who went on to have a successful career in Hong Kong, and Roca Roja (Ire) (Strategic Prince {GB}), who also parlayed her smart Irish form to be a successful stakes winner in America. Another half-sister Roca Roma (Ire) (Australia {GB}) is a 97-rated 3-year-old filly that looks potentially stakes class for Ger Lyons.

With such quality packed into the two days there are dozens more yearlings that will no doubt command a premium while Jessica Harrington’s Cadillac (Ire) proves that there will be plenty of horsepower to be found at all levels of spending.

The sale will begin at 10 a.m. each morning.

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