The Cheltenham Festival heroine Benie Des Dieux sold for a record-breaking €350,000 on Thursday to provide a stunning crescendo to a memorable edition of the Tattersalls Ireland November National Hunt Sale.

A vibrant foal section of the sale was, as ever, central to the entire week and this was followed by the best edition of the mares sale for a number of years and all this gave rise to a turnover of just over €15.7 million which was the best produced by this sale since the pre-recession era.

A catalogue that grew by almost two-thirds meant that the median and average actually finished marginally behind last year’s figures with tallies of €12,500 and €18,388, respectively dropping by 4% and 3%.

However, this decreases are rendered largely irrelevant given the growth in size of the sale and there is no doubting that this was an excellent week’s trade on all fronts.

The clearance rate for the five days came in at 73% as opposed to the 78% which was recorded last year.

As a four-time Grade 1 winner and victorious on the greatest stage of all Benie Des Dieux looked a certain sale-topper from the moment the catalogue for this sale was released and the finest mare that Willie Mullins has brought to public auction duly delivered the much anticipated fireworks that were expected.

In 2020 this produced a record price of €290,000 in the shape of the former Mullins inmate Laurina but that mark was left in the shade by the supremely-talented daughter of Great Pretender who was sold in foal to Walk In The Park.

Will Kinsey, Ross Doyle and Cormac Farrell all made a strong play for this 10-year-old mare but none of them could match Coolmore’s Gerry Aherne who was acting for a partnership of two of the superpowers of Irish racing.

“She’s been bought for a partnership of M.V. Magnier and Noel and Valerie Moran. Noel and Valerie are putting together an incredible collection of racehorses and mares and we are delighted to be involved with them,” commented Aherne.

“I was talking to Willie (Mullins) this morning and he said, of all the good mares he has sold here over the last number of years, this was the best of them. We’re delighted to have gotten her and it’s great she has sold so well for the Riccis as well, as they have put so much into the game.

“In terms of sires for Benie Des Dieux we have no shortage of options and one of them would be our new horse In Swoop but plans are fluid at the moment. The first job was to get her bought and now we can make plans going forward,” added Aherne.

Magic Of Light

The sale-topper was preceded into the ring by Jessica Harrington’s Grand National runner-up and triple Grade 2 winner Magic Of Light and she fetched €185,000 with the Coolmara Stables team striking the winning bid just a day after they sold the sale’s top priced foal for €120,000.

Magic Of Light was consigned by Baroda Stud and was sold carrying to Crystal Ocean while she is also a half-sister to the Grade 1-winning Pingshou and a couple of other graded performers.

“She’s a lovely, quality mare with size and scope and she’s a great walker too. She ticked a lot of boxes and we felt that she could make a bit more than €150,000 and we’re thrilled to get her,” remarked Cathal Mariga.

“We have five mares in foal to Crystal Ocean at home and this is another one to go with them and maybe when this mare foals down she could go back to him but we’ll see,” he added.

More Mullins mares

Willie Mullins offered quite an array of breeding prospects at this year’s sale and his draft also included the high-class Buildmeupbuttercup. The daughter of Sixties Icon was sold in foal to Crystal Ocean and she fell to Jayne McGivern’s online bid of €165,000.

Another member of the Closutton draft was the Kingsalsa eight-year-old Salsaretta who is in foal to Blue Bresil. Also owned by Susannah Ricci and a Grade 2 winner over fences, this fine mare fetched €135,000 and was knocked down to Seamar Bloodstock Ltd.

Two lots later the champion trainer offered the very smart dual purpose performer Diamond Hill whose finest hour came when she won the Listed Oyster Stakes at Galway. The eight-year-old daughter of Beat Hollow cost Cottage Bloodstock €100,000.

Harzand foal

Before the mares took centre stage the final session of the sale played host to the remainder of the foal catalogue and the top lot in this section was a €57,000 son of the dual Derby winner Harzand.

Timmy Hillman signed for this John Yarr-owned colt who is already a half-brother to the Grade 1-winning juvenile hurdler A Wave Of The Sea and the recent Lartigue Hurdle third Dark Voyager.

“He’s a good colt and he would have sold well regardless of what day he was up for sale this week,” remarked Hillman. “The mare has already done it by producing a Grade 1 winner and Dark Voyager looks like he could do a bit more for the pedigree before this horse comes back for sale as a three-year-old.”

Hillman then had to settle for the role of underbidder as he was bested by Kevin Ross and Chris Jones for a €42,000 son of Malinas belonging to Joe Pratt whose siblings are headed by the Ladbrokes Trophy hero Cloth Cap.

“He’s been bought for Chris Jones’ Killeen Glebe and he’s a lovely, athletic colt. The mare has already produced a good one and there’s plenty going on in the family so the page could look better by the time he comes back as a three-year-old,” declared Ross.

Williamson purchase

The early exchanges were headed by a €40,000 son of Walk In The Park out of a mare who won seven times in France and he too will be back for sale as a three-year-old after being snapped up by Norman Williamson.



2021 92 83 59 €1,799,100 €30,493 €13,000

2020 37 25 18 €944,000 €55,222 €32,500

2019 79 65 49 €822,100 €16,778 €8,500

2018 93 76 42 €1,004,750 €23,923 €13,000

2017 101 75 51 €786,900 €15,429 €6,500

2016 144 112 47 €786,250 €16,729 €10,000

2015 155 127 84 €1,226,950 €14,607 €8,000



2021 1,333 1,182 857 €15,758,100 €18,388 €12,500

2020 823 680 529 €10,055,100 €19,008 €13,000

2019 1,202 1,055 733 €12,167,650 €16,600 €12,000

2018 1,415 1,216 771 €13,003,350 €16,866 €11,000

2017 1,413 1,191 867 €13,868,300 €15,996 €11,500

2016 1,469 1,250 844 €12,038,950 €14,264 €10,500

2015 1,530 1,314 924 €12,753,750 €13,803 €10,500



2021 1,025 925 676 €12,352,600 €18,273 €13,500

2020 736 627 497 €8,932,500 €17,973 €13,000

2019 1,002 905 642 €10,804,850 €16,832 €13,750

2018 1,088 979 651 €11,201,200 €17,206 €11,500

2017 1,059 929 705 €11,688,200 €16,579 €12,500

2016 1,104 967 687 €9,995,600 €14,550 €11,000

2015 1,077 948 697 €9,538,350 €13,685 €11,000