THE November NH Sale at Tattersalls Ireland came to a close on Thursday after five days of selling and it was a sale where it definitely paid to offer a foal or yearling by one of a select number of very much in vogue stallions.

Stock by Blue Bresil and Walk In The Park very much came to the fore, so much so that 34 of the top 50 lots were by either of the two stallions.

Bearing in mind the catalogue was 20% smaller than last year it was still slightly disconcerting to see the aggregate fall 23% to €10,660,700 and the clearance rate dip three points to 62%. There wasn’t a significant difference in the €17,592 average. However, the median price fell 14% to €12,000.

Tattersalls Ireland CEO Simon Kerins said: “It was always going to be a tough ask to follow two years of record-breaking trade at the November NH Sale, so for the foal section to return an average just off €18,000 and a commercially-bred yearling fetch €58,000, the best price given for a yearling at the sale since 2021, is a satisfying result.

“The mares’ session lacked the stars from previous years, reflecting the desire for owners to retain good racemares as breeding prospects. We recognise that the yearling format on the last day did not prove effective, and we are committed to a thorough reflection on improving this particular section for 2024.

“For the November NH Sale to achieve record-breaking sales of top-level foals is a fine reflection on the quality of the stock produced by breeders and offered at Fairyhouse, supported by our regular as well as new buyers, both pinhookers and end users from Ireland, the UK and France.

“Foals sold at that top level were a feature of all four days’ trade, but whilst that top bracket of foals sold this week over €50,000 was a joint-record - and more foals were sold in excess of €80,000 than ever before - undoubtedly there are trade gaps further down the level and there is no denying the current market is selective.

€100,000 paid for Posh colt by Walk In The Park

THE only foal to make six figures this week was a son of Walk In The Park who sold to Gerry Aherne and Charles Shanahan for €100,000.

Out of the very smart racemare Posh Trish, the colt was bred and offered by Oliver Loughlin. The vendor also bred Posh Trish but sold her for small money as a foal in this ring 10 years ago. She eventually made her way to Paul Nicholls and carried the Highclere silks with distinction on the track winning six times, including two at listed level.

After retiring from racing she was re-offered at this sale three years ago when Oliver Loughlin bought her for €118,000. Her first cover was to Walk In The Park and the resulting colt foal sold to Joey Logan here last year for €85,000 and with the sale of this foal Loughlin has more than recouped his investment.

“As soon as this colt was born I thought I might hit the jackpot as he came out looking like a star from the start,” Loughlin said.

“He is the image of Posh Trish, a baby version of her. Walk In The Park is a very good stallion, she was a good mare and the plan was to breed the best to the best. Unfortunately she is not in foal, but is being prepared for February and if we get a filly we would keep her,” he added.

Coolmore’s Gerry Aherne has been on quite the mission to acquire Walk In The Park foals since last year’s sales and he said: “For us he is the best foal here. We probably will race him, but not yet decided for sure, we will see where we are and match them up when we have finished. But the way the stallion is going, we were anxious to get the best ones we can. Oliver is a very good breeder and we have been lucky with him before.”

Aherne and Shanahan combined again to purchase another by the Coolmore sire for €80,000. Apart from being by Walk In The Park, the colt’s credentials were furthered by being a half-brother to the very smart Glory And Fortune from the family of Ballyadam.

One of the best bred foals offered during the week was another Walk In The Park colt out of Aura About You who was a Grade 3 winner over fences having been Grade 1 placed as a hurdler for trainer Paul Nolan and owner Jim Mernagh.

She has since bred the ill-fated but top class Latest Exhibition who won a Grade 1 novice hurdle among five wins and Sunday’s offering from Mernagh’s Coolamurry Stud was knocked down to Mick Fitzpatrick of JC Bloodstock for €60,000.

“Aura About You was a very good race mare and ran third behind Quevega in the Mares’ Hurdle at Cheltenham,” Mernagh said. “She bred a good one in Latest Exhibition and I sent her to Walk In The Park as he is just a legend of a sire,” he added.

Buyers go crazy for Blue blood

BLUE Bresil had 56 foals sell for an average of €36,920 this week and 18 of them sold for €50,000 or more.

The gold rush for the progeny of the Rathbarry & Glenview Stud sire hit a peak on Monday when a colt foal by him from Ballykineally Stables sold for €97,000 to Cathal Mariga from Cork-based Coolmara Stables.

The bay colt was offered out of the Presenting mare Beautiful War whose first runner Tinklers Hill showed promise when second in a bumper for Paul Nicholls in the spring. Further back the pedigree features high class operators like Glamorgan Duke and Harbour Pilot.

“He is a great sire and we have a good few mares in foal to him,” Cathal Mariga said. “They are all able to move and have a bit of size and presence. This was a neighbour’s foal and we saw him in the summer. He is one of the best foals here and is for resale to come back hopefully to the Derby Sale,” he added.

The colt’s vendor Maurice Barry was delighted with the result and said: “He is out of Beautiful War who was well named as she is beautiful. She is the loveliest mare and this foal was like a lamb.

“We have supported Blue Bresil all the way through since he stood in Cork and Beautiful War is back in foal to him.”

Clontenty Farm’s Blue Bresil colt out of Dreamers Daughter sold to Paul and Alana Cowley of Vanquish Bloodstock for €80,000.

This colt’s dam is an unraced sister to two smart types in Highway One O Two and Doctor Harper. Successful purchaser Paul Cowley said: “He is a good, correct foal with a nice action and plenty of quality. We have bought him for resale.”

The Cowleys added another colt by same sire when purchasing a colt from the Motherways’ Yellowford & Drumlin for €55,000.

This April-born foal is out of dual hurdles winner May Dullea who is a half-sister to Irish Gold Cup winner Conflated.

It wasn’t just Blue Bresil colts that were sought after as Joey Logan went to €60,000 to acquire a filly by the stallion from Mountain View Stud.

This foal is the first produce out of the unraced Flemensfirth mare Minella Elite, herself a half-sister to the Grade 1 placed Paloma Blue.

A Blue Bresil colt consigned by James Sheehan’s Clonmult Farm on behalf of Richard and May Nolan of Old Court Stud was bought by Timmy Hillman for €68,000.

The colt is out of the unraced Shirocco mare Bee Yanka and hails from the family of high class Nicky Henderson runners Rajdhani Express and Gold Present.

“Donal White, who advises us, suggested we send Bee Yanka to Blue Bresil and she has visited the sire three times now,” the Nolans said afterwards. “The stock she has produced are magnificent, we just kept going back and she is an amazing breeder of foals,” they added.

The first lot by the stallion to make a splash was a colt bought by Kieran Shields for €67,000. Offered by Mark Furlong’s Thistletown Stud the colt is the third produce out of the four-time winning blacktype performer Rolanna and has a predominantly flat pedigree, being a great grandson of American stakes winner Desert Radiance.

“He is a good walker and by the right sire, he is a good size and he has been bought as a pinhooking prospect,” said the buyer’s daughter Kate Shields.

Vendor Mark Furlong said: “He is a cracking individual, we had all the right men for him and he made a good price, we’d have been disappointed he had not made €50,000.”

‘To get a result like this was badly needed’

THE only foal in the sale by Kapgarde, the sire of Gold Cup winner A Plus Tard, made a big impact when selling to Jamie Codd for €92,000.

Consigned by Clonbonny Stud for Cathal Ennis of Quill Farm, the colt is the first produce out of the three-time winning Yeats mare Cushuish, who is a half-sister to Grade 1 winner My Drogo.

Codd was standing alongside Joey Logan when bidding and said: “We’ll keep our options open with him and he could either be kept to race or could be re-offered for sale at the Derby Sale. We had to stretch to get him, but he’s a lovely horse and is the only one by the sire in the sale.”

For breeder Cathal Ennis it was a sweet result having sent the mare to France for her first cover. “I love Irish sires, but I like to send maiden or barren mares to France. I think Doctor Dino, No Risk At All and Kapgarde are three phenomenal sires. There are never too many by them here for sale and it was always going to be the plan to sell this chap as a foal,” he explained.

Ennis also hopes it’s a sign of better things to come after a trying period. “We have had a difficult year. We had an outbreak of Equine Virus Abortion and we lost some of our best pregnancies and it was a nightmare. It was a tough year and so, to get a result like this, was badly needed.”

Ian Ferguson was underbidder on the above Kapgarde colt and he set his sights on the very next lot into the ring, eventually co-signing along with Katrina Mackie for the son of No Risk At All from Lisnagar Paddocks for €60,000.

Ferguson was back in the ring before long and he bought a Walk In The Park colt from The Beeches Stud for €62,000. This purchase is out of Glasgow Allen, a half-sister to eight times Grade 1 winner Envoi Allen.

It was a productive hour for Ferguson as he then successfully bid €85,000 for a Nathaniel colt, the first foal out of the French listed jumps winner Hawai Tree.

Consignor Caroline Berry said: “I was friendly with the late David Powell who rang me from France to say there was a really nice mare that we should try and buy.

“I told him that if he liked her to go ahead and then when we brought her home Jayne McGivern had a nomination to Nathaniel that she was not going to use so I said that we’d take it for Hawai Tree.”

Reflecting on trade, Ian Ferguson, who bought 11 foals over the four days for over €262,000 said, “We’ve had a busy week buying and trade has been solid enough. Monday was fine but Tuesday was very strong but I guess that was reflective of the level of stock on offer, the nice ones were still hard to buy.”

French buyers spend Big Buck’s

HAVING bought the session-topping Blue Bresil colt on Monday, Coolmara Stables returned as vendor of a Blue Bresil filly on Tuesday who is destined for France after being bought by Nicolas Bertran de Balanda for €85,000.

The filly is out of the French-bred mare Buck’s Bee who is a half-sister to four-time Stayers’ Hurdle winner Big Buck’s.

“She is a very good-looking filly with a very good pedigree and by a very good stallion,” Bertran de Balanda said. “She has been bought for a client to race in France and to hopefully be a long term breeding prospect,” he added.

The French agent made another significant contribution to the sale when he purchased a colt by Nathaniel out of the former high-class Willie Mullins-trained racemare Limini for €90,000.

The colt was offered by Will Kinsey’s Peel Hall Stables and the mare was very well bought by Kinsey for €75,000 in this ring in 2019 when offered with her first cover by Australia.

Kinsey sold this foal’s year-elder brother for €75,000 last year and Tuesday’s transaction puts his Future Bloodstock syndicate well ahead with their investment.

“She [Limini] certainly owes us nothing but, most importantly, she looks like she is producing athletes like herself,” Kinsey said.

“We’ve had a few by Nathaniel and absolutely love them. We think he is a very good stallion and will continue to support him. Limini is now carrying to Golden Horn,” he added.

Also involved in the purchase was Joey Logan and, on future plans, Nicolas Bertran de Balanda said: “He is going to Joey’s initially but will then go to France and has been bought as a racing prospect. Hopefully he’ll become a good juvenile. He is very racy and correct.”

An early star for Santiago

THE first crop of foals by Irish Derby winner Santiago came to the market this week and the Coolmore son of Authorized was well represented.

A colt by him offered by Kilbarry Lodge Stud was bought by Charles Shanahan and Ciaran Conroy’s Glenvale Stud for €65,000.

Out of Alighting, a former Gigginstown-owned listed-placed half-sister to Don Poli, the mare is also a full-sister to Debece and a half-sister to another smart mare in Politesse.

Explaining how he came to acquire the dam, vendor Con O’Keeffe, who stands Diamond Boy, Harzand, Success Days and Pillar Coral at his Waterford stud, said: “Alighting caught my eye when she came to Kilbarry to be covered by Diamond Boy and we bought her afterwards.

“ She is a lovely, big, scopey mare and has a great pedigree. We always send a few of our mares to outside stallions and we decided on Santiago as a new stallion for that year.”

Kent times yearling sale to a Tea

THE final day of the sale was devoted to yearlings and breeding stock and the session topper was a yearling by Blue Bresil out of Edmont Kent’s good money-spinner Thanks For Tea.

Offered by the Kent family’s Ballyhampshire Stud the gelding was bought by Kevin and Anna Ross for €58,000.

Kent has had a long association with the family. “I trained the dam and had the granddam,” he said. “She was very promising but got an injury and she had three runners and three winners.

“We raced Thanks For Tea and we had a lot of fun with her. She was a hardy mare and this was always a nice foal. He was born a bit late and I said I’d keep him until he was a yearling. She is back in foal to Blue Bresil, due in January.”

The sale ended with a selection of breeding stock and among those to prove popular was Clonbonny Stud’s Bonny Kate who sold for €40,000 to Maurice Sheehy.

A high-class chaser in her day, she won the Grade 2 Dawn Run Chase for Noel Meade and owner Patricia Hunt and the full-sister to Mala Beach was offered with a March cover to Jet Away.

“She is a nice blacktype mare by Beneficial so hopefully she’ll produce a nice foal in the spring,” Sheehy said.

The same price of €40,000 was given by Aubrey McMahon’s Temple Bloodstock for The Twelve Pins from Closutton Stables. This five-year-old mare by Beat Hollow is from a pedigree that has been very good to Willie and Jackie Mullins through the exploits of Blackstairmountain, Mt Leinster and Diamond Hill.