THE first live Irish bloodstock auction of 2023 got off to a satisfactory start as Tuesday’s single session Tattersalls Ireland February NH Sale was topped by a son of Walk In The Park who sold for €49,000.

Trade was tough at the lower levels, however, and that was reflected in the 53% clearance rate. The sale closed with an aggregate of €1,643,500, an average of €12,451 and a median of €8,500.

Commenting on the day’s business, Tattersalls Ireland CEO Simon Kerins said: “The focus today was clearly on quality, with strong competition for the better yearlings from a large group of pinhookers who turned out in force.

“The trade was somewhat unforgiving for those yearlings who don’t match the exacting criteria of our buyers who intend to resell them as stores, and that was reflected in the clearance rate of 53%.

“However, the top of the market was strong, with 13 yearlings selling for €30,000 or more. Those with sought-after individuals were well rewarded.”

Walk In The Park

Like many pinhookers Glenwood Stud’s Dick Frisby is keen to get his hands on as many youngsters by Walk In The Park as he can and he added the sale-topper to his squad for the 2025 summer store sales.

Frisby faced plenty of competition for Liam Flavin’s yearling who was consigned by Walshstown Stables but the gavel eventually fell in Frisby’s favour at €49,000 for the half-brother to three winners.

Out of Be Mine Tonight, the bay colt is from the family of Master Of The Chase and Casey Jones and his sire has every chance of registering further Grade 1 success at Leopardstown this weekend with the likes of Facile Vega.

“He’s a grand horse,” Frisby said. “The stallion speaks for himself so hopefully this lad goes the right way over the next couple of years.”

Vendor Donie Murphy of Walshstown Stables added: “We always thought he was a nice horse. This is the right sale for him as he was a June foal. The mare is three-from-three and there are a few more to run. We had plenty of interest yesterday and were very busy. We are very happy with that price.”

Henrietta Knight

Henrietta Knight has been a great supporter of Irish bloodstock for several decades now and she went to €42,000 to secure a son of Getaway from Dunahall Stud.

Out of the Robin Des Pres mare The Sailors Bonnet, the colt hails from the family of former high-class hurdler Get Me Out Of Here and top-class chaser Harbour Pilot, who finished third to Knight’s brilliant Best Mate in the second of his three Gold Cup victories at Cheltenham 20 years ago.

“I bought him for my nephews William and Arthur Vestey to eventually race,” Knight revealed afterwards. “He is a lovely mover, a great goer and seems to have a lovely attitude. I am fan of Getaway as a sire and he will go back to Michael Moore at Ballincurrig Stud.”

Not all the leading purchases on Tuesday are destined to return to a sales ring.

Gerry Hogan has a racing career in mind for the Yeats colt he picked up for €41,000.

He said of the second produce of the unraced Castleknock Lady, a half-sister to Clondaw Castle: “I’ve bought him for a longstanding owner to keep and race. We’re big fans of Yeats, I’ve bought some smashing horses by him over the years and this lad will hopefully do well as he looks the part.”

The Hydes of Camas Park Stud got involved in the sale when Brendan Bashford signed on their behalf for a son of Walk In The Park for €38,000. The colt out of the Shantou mare China Reel is related to some high-class sorts like Death Duty, Beakstown and Shannon Spray.