Young Guns: Buyers Have Their Say On The Up-And-Coming Stallions 

John Cullinan: concentrating on the top end of the market | Tattersalls

By Brian Sheerin and Emma Berry


After a hectic few months perusing this year's foal and yearling crops, we asked the buyers to share their thoughts on the young stallions with first foals and yearlings. 

Dermot Farrington, agent:

“If you look at the list of people who have bought yearlings and foals by Advertise, it's a long time since a young stallion has attracted the who's who of the bloodstock world, and that's exactly what he has done. Whether it be yearlings to breeze, yearlings to race or foals to pinhook, Advertise has attracted what I would call the best horse men and women in the industry. He's hugely popular among the right people and it truly is amazing. People will say I am biased given I bought the horse and my father-in-law [Martyn Meade] trained him, but I genuinely think he'll be a big success.

“Of the first crop of foals, Kameko is producing some very nice stock. I was actually very disappointed not to buy a colt on Thursday night by Kameko. I was the underbidder on him and Mick Fitzpatrick bought him. Kameko was a classy racehorse and I'd be backing him to do well from what I have seen so far.”

John Cullinan, pinhooker:

“Everyone loves the new kids on the block and I'm no different. Ghaiyyath is the new exciting stallion and I was delighted to get a colt by him this week for 240,000gns. He's producing fantastic stock but sure he was the outstanding racehorse of his generation and is by a sire of sires in Dubawi (Ire). Look at Night Of Thunder and New Bay for example. Hopefully Ghaiyyath can carry on in that direction because they are a nice bunch of horses.

“I also bid strong on a Pinatubo on Thursday night but I didn't get him unfortunately. I like what I have seen from him. I don't usually buy many foals by sires who have their first runners the following season because, when you are only buying a few every year, you could leave yourself open. It's a huge risk, huge exposure. Having said that, myself and Roger [Marley] had a chat the other evening, and I hope to God that I am not putting the kiss of death on him now, but we both think Blue Point will have a big season next year. For any horse to win twice in the one week at Royal Ascot, they have to be blessed with uncommon talent. We have one very nice colt by him to breeze next year and, on the strength of what he's been doing, we bought a foal by him this week for 72,000gns, but it's not something we'd do normally.

“The market has been interesting this week and I think we could be facing a tough spell, especially in Britain, which is why we have been concentrating on the top end. The thinking there is, if we do hit a little bump next year, we will have the horses to sell to the recession-proof buyers. And, sure if all else fails, we can go out in a blaze of glory! But in all seriousness, it's been very tough at the sales because everyone has had the same idea. We looked at 136 horses, only vetted 14 of them and came home with three. I'm after leaving myself a little light on numbers but I have some high-end horses, which was the plan. I bought 11 foals last year and the ones I bought cheaply were the ones who didn't make money. The ones I pushed on and gave the few quid for, they left money behind, so I decided to spend my money this year, but on fewer horses at a higher level.”

Nancy Sexton, journalist and pinhooker:

“It's no secret that Ghaiyyath has some lovely foals: they have a look of Dubawi about them but they also have scope and the ones I've seen have been good movers. It's easy to see why they were so popular at Goffs and at Tattersalls.

“I also liked the Earthlight foals: on the whole they were good movers and straightforward. King Of Change wouldn't have many soldiers, but from the small selection over the last two weeks I thought they were good-looking and good-moving horses. He was a little underrated on the track and as a well-bred son of Farhh (GB), anything could happen.”

Eddie O'Leary, Lynn Lodge Stud:

“The Ghaiyyaths are gorgeous. They are big lovely-walking foals and they have plenty of quality about them. I've seen plenty of nice Earthlights and there were a few Arizonas who caught my eye as well. I actually underbid the Arizona colt who Peter Nolan bought at Goffs for €60,000. Advertise has his first runners next year and, after what I saw on my gallops at home recently, I was keen to pick up a few foals by him and I'm happy I did. I think he'll do well next year.”

Clare Manning, Boherguy Stud:

“I'm going to have to nominate two because I have been very impressed by the first foals by Ghaiyyath and Earthlight. They really seem to be stamping their stock. The Ghaiyyaths have plenty of size and are good walkers. He was a brilliant racehorse and is producing fine-bodied individuals. Earthlight is out of a New Approach (Ire) mare, which is obviously a big plus for me, and I have been a fan of what I have seen from him so far.”

Julie Woods, owner:

Ghaiyyath is putting a nice stamp on his foals and Sergei Prokofiev seems popular as well. We bought a Without Parole because we like the Frankel (GB) line and followed Cracksman (GB) last year. There's a lot to look at but those are the ones we have really concentrated on.”

Freddy Tylicki, agent:

“I have been very taken by the Ghaiyyaths and the Sergei Prokofievs. Ghaiyyath is producing very good and attractive foals so let's see if they can run. The Sergei Prokofiev are going down as well as hot biscuits and he looks like he is stamping his foals. I bought an Advertise foal and it looks as though she was a giveaway as she cost just 2,500gns. I liked him when I saw him at stud and I loved him as a racehorse. I also bought a Blue Point foal and I think they will be fast.”

Joe Foley, Ballyhane Stud:

“I have been very pleased with the Sands Of Malis. He did well at Goffs and a nice colt sold for 27,000gns so we're very happy with that. In other news, the Mohaathers have been catching my eye. He was a lovely yearling himself, a lovely horse and a very good racehorse, so I was very interested in his foals. They have come back in his real Showcasing (GB) shape and they have that action. They look like runners to me. We bought a few Soldier's Calls last week at Goffs and again this week and I fancy him to do well in his first season next year and to become a good sire. Ten Sovereigns is another stallion whose yearlings I have liked the shape of and we bought a foal by him last week at Goffs. But that's a risky game, buying foals in the hope that the stallion clicks with his first runners.

“Next year is probably one of the most competitive years I can remember for first-season sires but, you know what, the good ones will come through. People are clever nowadays and, with all of the statistics available to everyone, they will be able to spot the good ones at the different price ranges. The likes of Too Darn Hot, who was a very good racehorse, his yearlings look very racey and appear to have plenty of Dubawi about them. I bought a few by him this week so I took a gamble there.

“And, speaking of Dubawi, Ghaiyyath has done well with his first foals. He was the highest-rated horse in the world at one point and is a very good-looking horse with a great attitude and a wonderful pedigree. Not only that, he showed good acceleration for a horse who stayed 10 furlongs. I'd like him as well. There are some very nice horses coming through the ranks which is great because we need some more good stallions. There are very good stallions coming through over the next few years and that's what makes this game so interesting.”

Liam Norris, agent and pinhooker:

“For me the Kameko foals are all a similar type. I like to see a stallion stamping his stock and I have seen a good few of his foals that I've liked.”

Larry Stratton, agent and pinhooker:

“There's a real consistency to the Sergei Prokofiev foals. One after another they have been really strong; he's really stamping them. They have lovely strong tops like himself.”

Amy Lynam, agent:

“Of those with first foals, I have liked the stock of Mohaather. He's stamping his stock and obviously if they take after him you'd definitely like that. I've liked some of the Without Paroles as well; I think they are good walkers with a bit of quality about them.

“From the first yearlings I liked the Too Darn Hots. They were probably a bit too expensive for me, but I liked them all the same and I am excited to see what he can do. I also bought a yearling by Magna Grecia in Doncaster and he was one of my favourites that I bought. Invincible Spirit (Ire) is a proven sire of sires, Magna Grecia was top class himself and he is very impressive to look at. I also liked Masar's yearlings and it has been great to see his foals sell well this week as well.”

Harry Dutfield, pinhooker:

“Over in Ireland, the Earthlights made the list. At the cheaper end of the scale, Sergei Prokofiev has hit the mark repeatedly, and the Kameko foals are good-bodied sorts. But if you had a small mare, Sergei Prokofiev seems to be stamping them: they are big, brawny, lengthy horses with plenty of size and scope.”

Tom Whelan, pinhooker:

“For me the Sergei Prokofiev foals were the best. I underbid one at 92,000gns. I liked him a lot and I followed one in again today who made 70,000gns. They are good, strong foals.

“I also saw some nice Mohaather foals. Some of them look very like Showcasing and the way he has gone that can't be a bad thing. The Earthlights were also very consistent.”

John Bourke, Hyde Park Stud:

Ghiayyath is the one everyone is raving about and the Earthlights are nice as well. I'm not a big foal buyer but I buy a lot of yearlings and mares, they are my big thing, so I'm always watching the young sires coming through. That's one of the most interesting parts of this game for me.

“I might try and buy a mare who is in foal to one of the up-and-coming stallions next week. The way I look at mares is, I'll be looking at sending them to a stallion who will have his first runners next year. I sent two mares to Havana Grey (GB) in April when it looked like he was going to do the business. People can be panicking about getting their mares in foal but I will always keep a few back to see what first-season sires are going well and I'll take a chance on the ones who are showing the right signs.

Soldier's Call is one I'll be backing. To be honest, I've one or two at home who are being prepared for the breeze-ups and they look like rockets. There's one filly in particular there and, if she can't gallop, I'll be very surprised.”

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