“We Wanted A Melbourne Cup Horse” – Fancy Man Snapped Up For 675,000

Fancy Man: could be Melbourne Cup-bound | Laura Green


Annabel Neasham's dreams of one day winning the Melbourne Cup were provided with a boost when the leading Australian-based trainer added the ultra-consistent Fancy Man (Ire) (Pride Of Dubai {Aus}) to her stable for 675,000gns.

Fancy Man, a four-time winner who rarely let the Richard Hannon side down by placing a further eight times and amassing close to £150,000, was identified as the best horse in the sale by Stuart Boman of Blandford Bloodstock.

The big horses were making big money at Tattersalls this week and, with a rating of 108, Fancy Man fitted the profile of what Boman was looking for-a horse to win Australia's most famous race.

The leading agent said, “We wanted a Melbourne Cup horse so we thought we'd come and buy the best horse here and I genuinely think he is that. He has been running to a very high level for a long time, he has been beautifully trained by Richard Hannon and I have followed him through the year. He vetted very cleanly.”

Boman added, “Annabel is extraordinarily brave and willing to go to that sort of figure. We always knew he'd be an expensive horse. But you either get on with it and buy them and make it happen or you don't.

“He is a highly-rated horse and you are really buying the number. He has been high-class all the way through and is one of those horses who can perform over a mile-and-a-half. We think he will get two miles in Australia.

“Annabel had 200 people sign up expressing an interest to get involved with whatever horse we bought so I am sure she will be able to sell him. She has been very patient and we think we have bought a Cup horse.”

Boman and Neasham's exploits at Tattersalls are there for everyone to see; precisely on the back page of the gigantic Autumn Horses-In-Training Catalogue as the trainer's multiple Group 1 winner down under is one of the rightful poster boys for this sale.

Fancy Man was the highlight of a nine-strong draft from the Hannon stable that also featured four-time winner Pure Dreamer (GB) (Oasis Dream {GB}), sold to Sackville Donald for 200,000gns.

Hannon's horses went for 1,130,000gns all told and, on Fancy Man, the trainer commented, “It is always sad with that much ability leaving the yard but it makes way for new horses. He has been a gentleman for us and Michael [Pescod, owner].

“He brought the money I think that he deserved. I thought he'd make that as physically he is a gorgeous horse. Trade here is unbelievable.”

For the third day in a row, figures were up. The 13,532,000gns spent represented a rise of 27% while the average was also up 20%. The clearance rate was down just 1% to 92% while the median climbed 14% to 46,027.

One World The Highlight Of Juddmonte Draft

What do Giant Treasure (Mizzen Mast), Mirage Dancer (GB) and Derevo (GB) (Dansili {GB}) have in common? All three horses were previously owned and bred by Juddmonte before going on to win Group 1 races internationally for their new connections.

The stud's 22-strong draft proved predictably popular on Thursday, with the 86-rated One World (GB) (Sea The Stars {Ire}) selling to a new Saudi Arabian-based racing owner who signed for the gelding under the name Athbah Racing for 525,000gns.

The new connections were aided by Ted Durcan, who was labelled “a good man” by the delighted racing manager, Dr Abdul Moniem.

He explained, “The plan is to take him to Saudi Arabia. We are so delighted as this is the first time for HRH Prince Abdulaziz bin Ahmed bin Abdulaziz Al Saud to buy a thoroughbred horse at Tattersalls. We have been racing Arabians, and he is a leading owner, but we are just developing our thoroughbred side of ownership.”

Moniem added on One World, “The pedigree is beautiful; he is a very well-bred horse and he was bred by Juddmonte, which we really like. We like his conformation and he vetted well. He will be trained by Lucas Gaitan, who is already training a few horses for us.”

One World won twice and placed a further three times for John and Thady Gosden and is a half-brother to narrow Listed runner-up Time Lock (GB) (Frankel {GB}).

One enthusiastic buyer provided some entertainment a couple of lots previously. The unknown man, who had been standing in the front row of the bidders area for most of the day and opened up plenty of horses at 1,000gns, tried to do the same for Special Envoy (GB) (Frankel {GB}).

Upon realising that when auctioneer Matt Hall said one, he meant 100,000gns, the man stopped waving and promptly made for the exit.

All's well that ends well and Special Envoy eventually sold to Susie McKeever on behalf of Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott for 250,000gns.

It was McKeever who actually struck that opening bid of 100,000gns, and after securing the classy runner for Australia, said, “I couldn't see the point of the bidding starting lower. He will head down tomorrow with yesterday's purchase [Just Fine (Ire) (Sea The Stars {Ire})]. We liked his profile and he is a lovely horse.”

There was another set of Saudi owners to make a splash as Bjorn Nielsen's homebred Magisterial (GB) (Frankel {GB}) fetched 425,000gns to bloodstock agent Andre Pereira.

He said, “Sami Alhurabi will be training the horse and he liked him when he saw him here. The team likes him, being by Frankel, and he has a great pedigree, too.

“The intention for this horse is to be aimed for the Saudi World Cup day, depending on how he adapts to the new environment. And, yes, we thought we'd have to pay that for him!”

He added, “The owner is new to racing and he is ambitious and keen to get to have a runner on Saudi Cup day.”

Marco Bozzi went on to secure Going Gone (Ire) (Le Havre {Ire}) for Saudi-based HRH Prince Saud Bin Salman Al Saud for 330,000gns.

Gadget Goes To Australia

Guy Mulcaster signed for Monday's top lot Waterville (Ire) (Camelot {GB}) on behalf of Chris Waller and snapped up another notable runner in Ralph Beckett's The Gadget Man (GB) for the Australian-based handler on Wednesday.

The highest-rated [91] son of Irish Derby-winning stallion (Jack Hobbs {GB}), The Gadget Man won twice over staying trips, and Mulcaster said that he is confident there is more improvement in the 310,000gns buy.

“Let's hope he keeps on the upward curve,” the agent said. “I just watched his replays this morning and thought he was so tough. He is also a very athletic horse-he is light on his feet, moves well and we think he will fit into our programme pretty well.”

Mulcaster added, “He was not cheap, but judging by the way this sale has gone, he might not have been that expensive either. There were a number of people pushing us along.

“We are pretty happy to have gotten him at that sort of money. He has a pretty dour sort of pedigree.”

Mulcaster and Waller got stuck into the Juddmonte draft, buying Counter (GB) (Lope De Vega {Ire}) for 80,000gns, Pervade (GB) (Kingman {GB}) for 140,000gns and Demarcay (GB) (Postponed {Ire}) for 180,000gns.

Najd Stud Strong On Sound

Recent form has resulted in good prices in the ring all week and Finest Sound (Ire) (Exceed And Excel {Aus}) boasted exactly that after placing third behind Modern Games (Ire) (Dubawi {Ire}) in the G1 Woodbine Mile last month.

The five-year-old, who ran in the colours of Sheikh Mohammed Obaid Al Maktoum for Simon and Ed Crisford and won close to £250,000 in prize-money, was sold to Najd Stud for 350,000gns.

The Saudi Arabian-based buyers have been strong all week, including when buying Beautiful Aisling (GB) (Havana Gold {Ire}) off the Crisfords on Monday for 240,000gns.

Speaking after adding Finest Sound to the team, Saad Bin Mishraf of Najd Stud said, “Hopefully he will acclimatise quickly and we have bought him for the Saudi Cup meeting-we don't know for which race yet.

He added, “It has been a very good market here and there are a lot of people from all around the world here to try and buy horses. We have been underbidders to three or four different groups from Australia and America.”

Few horses have captured the imagination quite like Amichi (Ire) (Gutaifan {Ire}) this season. Ed Sackville's 15,500 yearling purchase at last year's Sommerville Sale has bagged two big auction races under the guidance of Ed Walker and netted his owner Laurence Bellman almost £140,000 in prize-money.

But the wheel needs to keep on turning and Bellman secured his last big payday from the grey on Thursday when Najd Stud added gelding to their haul at 325,000gns.

Walker said, “What a legend. He really has been a cool horse. I was just saying to Jimmy George of Tattersalls that I wished I hadn't sold him to Laurence now! I bought him on spec with Ed Sackville. It's great and Laurence has been a brilliant supporter of mine since I started training. We offered him straight to Laurence and he bought him straight away on our recommendation and never hesitated. The rest is history.”

He added, “Without banging on and being negative about the state of British racing, but we have to make our money through other avenues than through prize-money so we have to keep trading horses. I've got yearlings for sale and, the great thing about Laurence is, he will buy one or two of them. He doesn't take out of the game. He puts in. I have sold plenty of horses for big money in the past and the wheels haven't kept turning. For this one, I know that the wheels will keep turning and it's great.”

Big In Japan? Shark Buys Eight And Reveals Hewick Plan

“Hup, hup, hup,” said Shark Hanlon striding out behind Godolphin's Bold Presence, who was a little hesitant entering the ring before selling to Mouse O'Ryan for 32,000gns.

It wasn't the first time that Shark, fresh from sending out €850 buy Hewick (Ire) (Virtual {GB}) to win the American Grand National, made his presence felt at Tattersalls this week.

He may have failed to secure Bold Presence, who is heading to rival jumps trainer Gordon Elliott, but Hanlon has been riding on a crest of a wave all week and added eight horses to his County Carlow yard.

Hanlon said, “We've bought eight and we have to drive on now that we've got a few customers. I got a new owner out in America and gave 40,000gns for a horse of John Butler's [Ivasecret (Ire) (Ivawood {Ire}) for him.”

He added, “We're going to leave him with John and run him in an all-weather final worth £80,000 at Kempton. After that, we'll bring him home and he'll go hurdling. Everything I bought this week, the plan is to go jumping with them.”

The immediate plan for Hewick is a well-earned break but, after that, a tilt at the Nakayama Grand Jump has entered the picture for Hanlon's Gold Cup charge.

Hanlon said, “I've been here since Monday and the amount of people who have been coming up shaking my hand is unreal. I can remember Danoli (Ire) (The Parson {GB}) years ago and he was the people's horse. Hewick is the people's horse now.

“The Nakayama Jump in April is in the back of my mind for him. It's worth a lot of money and Willie [Mullins] won it before with Blackstairmountain (Ire) (Imperial Ballet {Ire}). He'll go for the Gold Cup first and then it's quite possible that he could go to Japan afterwards.”

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