“THE horse came well recommended, the sire looks the business, and I just hope he’ll be lucky” was the immediate post sale comment by Gordon Elliott who had watched Eddie O’Leary see off all opposition at £300,000 for He Can’t Dance, a four-year-old son of Jukebox Jury who topped the Goffs Aintree Sale following racing on Thursday.

Led out unsold at the Derby Sale last year at €45,000, He Can’t Dance won on his debut at the end of March at Monksgrange, and he is the first successful offspring of an unraced half-sister to the brilliant two-mile chaser Master Minded, twice successful in the Champion Chase at Cheltenham.

The next four best prices on a rainy night in the winners’ enclosure at Aintree were achieved by fillies and mares. A four-year-old daughter of Jukebox Jury, who earlier in the day was responsible for the impressive Grade 1 winner Il Etait Temps, sold to Jerry McGrath for £180,000. She was Denis Murphy’s Holloway Queen, beaten a length on her sole start at Monksgrange, and this represented a handsome profit on her Derby Sale price of €40,000.

Holloway Queen was beaten at Monksgrange by Jackie Hobbs, and four lots earlier that daughter of Jack Hobbs was acquired by Noel Fehily’s Hagg Hill Farm for £130,000. Paul Pierce saddled Jackie Hobbs for the Blackhall Stables Partnership, and she had cost £36,000 at the Goffs UK Spring Sale last year. Jackie Hobbs comes from the family of Cheltenham Festival winner Celtic Giant and the smart staying chaser Gunner Welburn.

Good start

The sale got off to a good start when the Grade 2 Cheltenham Festival hurdle winner Love Envoi was sold as a broodmare prospect and with a non-racing agreement.

Runner-up last year in a Grade 1 to Honeysuckle, Love Envoi now heads to Ireland after Rathmore Stud’s Peter Molony won the bidding war for her at £135,000. Admirably campaigned by Harry Fry to win eight times and £250,000, Love Envoi was bought for a new breeder who last year started to build a smart broodmare band with the purchase of Magic Daze.

Bloodstock agent Matt Coleman was not going to be denied for the ultra-smart Tattersalls Farm debut winning four-year-old Flamingo Grove. The daughter of Blue Bresil won by eight lengths and she was selected at the Goffs Arkle Sale last year by J.D. Moore, costing €38,000. Coleman said the filly won on very deep ground, and “is very honest at home, was very impressive when she won, and should make into a two and a half mile or three-mile racemare.”

Flamingo Grove will be trained by Jonjo O’Neill for Mike and Mary Gaskell, and they had a bumper winner this season in Wellington Arch, also a daughter of Blue Bresil, and she is due to line up for the Grade 2 bumper at Aintree on Saturday.


All but three of the 26 lots offered sold for a shade over £2 million, averaging £90,000 and producing a median of £75,000. All the metrics declined significantly from last year’s renewal. Two more lots realised six-figure sums.

Another significant purchase by Noel Fehily’s Hagg Hill Farm was Cobbler’s Boy, a four-year-old son of Diamond Boy who was runner-up at Portrush on his only start. His grandam is an own-sister to the Ericsson Chase winner Foxchapel King.

Hamish Macauley was buying for Rebecca Menzies when he spent £100,000 on the Snow Sky four-year-old gelding Parish Quiz. Placed on his debut at Punchestown, he battled to win by a head next time out. The vast majority of the lots sold were bought on behalf of owners who intend to race them in Britain.

Goffs UK managing director Tim Kent commented: "It is always a highlight to be here at Aintree and it’s been a pleasure to watch this sale become a part of the iconic Randox Grand National Festival since its launch in 2016. Today’s sale had plenty of highlights, including a top price of £300,000, but the results also reflect a difficult few weeks for us and our vendors.

“The inclement weather has meant a large number of point-to-point meetings have been postponed or cancelled so it has been very difficult to compile a catalogue to meet the high expectations for which this sale has become renowned. That being said, we exist to provide a stage from which vendors can sell their stock and we are grateful to everyone who have supported the sale this year."