Plying Lives Up To Star Billing

Plying | Goffs


KILDARE, Ireland–Four days of foal trade certainly whetted the appetite for a quality auction of breeding stock at Goffs on Friday, and the widely anticipated sale of the Group 1 producer Plying (Hard Spun) (lot 1185) certainly didn't disappoint when the dam of Alcohol Free (Ire) (No Nay Never) sold to Michael Donohoe of BBA Ireland for €825,000. This was the most successful edition of this breeding stock session for a number of years with 13 lots making €250,000 or more; the corresponding number for the past two years was three. At the close of business, the aggregate amounted to €13,913,500, well over twice as much last year's figure of €5,479,600, when the sale was staged in a single session. The clearance rate was 86% while the average came in at €70,627 and the median was €30,000, both major increases on 2020. Last year's aggregate for 173 sold was €5,479,600. The average was €31,674, and the median €14,000.

The tale of the sale topper had been well documented in the build up to the sale, with the mare having been bought by Martin Cooney of Jossestown Farm and Elaine Shaw for just €21,000 at Goffs three years ago. Of course, Plying received the mother of all pedigree updates when Alcohol Free won the G1 Cheveley Park S. last year, but she added further lustre to the family when adding both the G1 Sussex S. and G1 Coronation S. to her CV this year. Offered in foal to one of the best stallions in the business in Lope De Vega (Ire), it was no surprise when the bidding quickly surpassed the €500,000 mark and as it progressed it was Donohoe's BBA Ireland colleague Adrian Nicoll who countered each of Donohoe's bids before Nicoll cried enough at €800,000. As has been the case with many of Donohoe's big ticket purchases, he was acting on behalf of Yuesheng Zhang's Yulong Investments.

“We thought this represented a fantastic opportunity to buy a blue hen mare and I actually think she was good value at that price,” the agent said afterwards. “I think Alcohol Free is a proper champion filly, she is so tough and honest and she stays in training next year as well which is great. The Lope De Vega cover is obviously a big attraction as well as he is a stallion very close to Mr Zhang's heart. We haven't decided who we will cover her with next year, we will take our time before deciding, I'm just delighted to have bought her.”


Derrinstown In Demand

The Derrinstown Stud draft provided some rare jewels and one of those, the stakes placed Riqa (GB) (Dubawi {Ire}) (lot 1238), commanded the day's second highest price when selling to David & Diane Nagle's Barronstown Stud for €550,000. Part of that premium was due to the fact the 13-year-old was offered in foal to Kingman (GB), but the fact that she is the dam of the very smart triple group winner Tantheem (GB) (Teofilo {Ire}) did her prospects no harm.

The quality of the Shadwell mares was evident from early on, and a date with five-time Group 1 winner and exciting young stallion St Mark's Basilica (Fr) is on the cards for the Shadwell mare Aaraas (GB) (Haafhd {GB}) after she was knocked down to John McCormack for €380,000. Lot 1077 had obvious credentials, being the dam already of a top-class performer in Madhmoon (Ire) who won the G2 Golden Fleece S. and was runner up in the G1 Epsom Derby two years ago. After seeing off Jeremy Brumitt to land the 12-year-old mare, McCormack said, “I've bought her for an overseas client but she will stay locally for the time being. There are a number of very exciting young stallions in Europe and after careful consideration we have decided to send her to St Mark's Basilica. He was a wonderful racehorse and I think it will be an excellent marriage. This is a very accomplished mare and to me she was one of the obvious ones to try and buy. She is proven and has already bred one very good horse so there is no reason she cannot do that again. When I saw some very respected breeders follow her into the ring, it persuaded me to go the extra yard to try and get her.”

McCormack returned to the fray late in the evening when purchasing Eylara (Ire) (Gleneagles {Ire}) (lot 1246) for €350,000. The Aga Khan-bred filly won last year for Dermot Weld, attaining a rating of 91 in the process and is a half-sister to Eziyra (Ire) (Teofilo {Ire}) from a family replete with black-type horses.

A Shadwell mare called Garmoosha (Kingmambo) (lot 1085), who is also the dam of a Group 2 winner in Raabihah (Sea The Stars {Ire}), surpassed the price paid by John McCormack when selling to MV Magnier for €430,000. The 13-year-old had been covered by Sea The Stars (Ire) but is not in foal and is from the immediate family of two Oaks winners in Eswarah (GB) (Unfuwain) and Midway Lady (Alleged).

“She is a lovely mare and she could suit either Wootton Bassett or St Mark's Basilica so we will see. St Mark's Basilica is a very special horse to do what he has done on the track and we will be supporting him strongly,” said MV Magnier.

Another mare that will make Tipperary her new home is Muteela (GB) (Dansili) (lot 1147). She is off to Mountarmstrong Stud after Noel O'Callaghan bought her for €350,000. In foal to Night Of Thunder (Ire), the stakes winner has already bred two smart 2-year-old winners and gave birth to a Night Of Thunder colt earlier this year.

Mags O'Toole was pushed to the same price of €350,000 to secure Zahratty (Ire) (Muhaarar {GB}) (lot 1244) from Derrinstown. The 4-year-old, in foal to Lope De Vega (Ire), is a daughter of stakes winner Beach Bunny (Ire) (High Chaparral {Ire}) and a half-sister to two black type runners.

Games Boosts Sister

One of the pinhook results of the year was pulled off when the Castlebridge Consignment sold Feminism (Ire) (Shamardal) (lot 1192) for €370,000 to Jill Lamb. The 4-year-old was bought four months ago at the July Sale in Tattersalls for 34,000gns by Barry Lynch on behalf of a long-standing Irish client, but at that stage her 2-year-old half-brother Modern Games (Ire) (Dubawi {Ire}) had only finished fifth on debut in a maiden. Since then, of course, he has gone on to plunder the GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf at Del Mar having won the G3 Somerville S. at Newmarket en route. Add in Feminism's 3-year-old full brother Modern News (GB), who looks a pattern horse in waiting, and it all came together perfectly for her. Having purchased Feminism on behalf of Newsells Park Stud owner Graham Smith-Bernal, Lamb said, “She's a lovely physical with a lot of quality. Obviously the pedigree has blown up but there should be more to come from Modern Games, and Modern News looks like he should get black-type.”

Not content with landing the sale topper alone, Mick Donohoe was on something of a high-end shopping spree throughout the day, and he had earlier gone to €265,000 for Ballylinch Stud's Siyouni (Fr) mare So Unique (Fr) (lot 1153). Stakes-placed in France, the 5-year-old had a colt by Waldgeist (GB) this year and was sold back in foal to the Arc winner. The mare is likely to visit Lucky Vega (Ire), having been bought by Donohoe for Yulong Investments.

“While Mr Zhang's main aim is to support the foals and yearlings by Lucky Vega in the sales ring, he also wanted to buy a few high-class mares to send to him himself and this mare fit the bill,” Donohoe said afterwards.

A few minutes later Donohoe struck for the Aga Khan mare Eytarna (Ire) (Dubai Destination), (lot 1159) for €330,000. The 15-year-old is in foal to Teofilo (Ire) and has bred G2 Blandford S. winner Eziyra (Ire) (Teofilo {Ire}) as well as the listed winner Eshera (Ire) (Oratorio {Ire}). She too will be covered by Lucky Vega when he begins stallion duties at the Irish National Stud in the spring. Donohoe also tapped into the Baroda Stud and The Castlebridge Consignment drafts when paying €225,000 each for Grenadine (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) (lot 1181), sold in foal to Wootton Bassett (GB), and Sapphire Ring (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) (lot 1188), who is carrying to No Nay Never.

Star Mares For New Sire

Another Aga Khan mare bought to support a young stallion was Ediyva (Ire) (Kingman {GB}) (lot 1158), who was knocked down to Northern Star Bloodstock for €300,000. The mare was bought by David Ward, who is keen to send some high-quality mares to his champion sprinter Starman (GB), who will embark on his new career at Tally-Ho Stud in a few months. Ediyva has the not insignificant task beforehand, though, of delivering a Siyouni (Fr) foal, due in February. “There's been a great reception to Starman and he has been very well received so far,” Ward said. “We are keen to get a number of mares to send to him and it's very exciting.”

Ward had earlier spent €160,000 buying Muraaqaba (GB) (lot 1146) from the Shadwell draft. The Derrinstown mares were a testament to the endeavors of the late Sheikh Hamdan over the last few decades and another to sell well was Albaraah Ire) (Oasis Dream {GB}) (lot 1080). The 13-year-old was offered in foal to Blue Point (Ire) and was knocked down to Barronstown Stud for €230,000. Albaraah was a stakes winner herself and she has already produced two stakes winners, while she has a yearling colt by Sea The Stars (Ire) and a filly foal by Lope De Vega (Ire) waiting in the wings.

Four lots later, it took a bid of €210,000 from Summerhill to buy Ajaazah (Ire) (Acclamation {GB}) (lot 1084). The stakes-placed filly was sold in foal to Teofilo (Ire) and her colt foal by Exceed And Excel (Aus) sold for €130,000 in Goffs on Tuesday.

Michel Zerolo's Oceanic Bloodstock made its presence felt online when purchasing Moonlight In Paris (Ire) (lot 1099) for €165,000. Consigned by Baroda Stud, the mare was rated 102 on the track and was sold in foal to No Nay Never on her first cover.

Another overseas purchaser to utilise the Goffs online portal was Morinaga Bokujo, who went to €175,000 to buy lot 1119 from Alice Kavanagh's AK Thoroughbreds. Raheeq (GB) (Muhaarar {GB}) was an impressive winner of her only start as a 2-year-old for Roger Varian, but never made it to the track thereafter. Purchased by Stroud Coleman for 37,000gns this time last year, she returned in foal to Dark Angel (Ire) which added significantly to her value.

Goffs wraps up its flat sales action for the year on Saturday with another day of breeding stock beginning at 10 a.m.

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