A satisfactory opening session to the Goffs December National Hunt Sale saw the familiar theme of a Walk In The Park foal top proceedings when selling for €110,000.

Monday’s figures compared favourably to 2022 with a total of €1,957,000 worth of foals changing hands at a clip of 60%. The average price of €16,446 and median of €12,000 also represented gains on last year’s corresponding figures.

Lot 157A was supplemented for the sale recently by Baroda Stud’s David Cox and that decision was vindicated when the colt by Walk In The Park sold to Dick Frisby for €110,000.

The January-born foal is out of a smart racemare in Sparky May who won a Grade 2 hurdle but who has since surpassed her racecourse exploits in the breeding shed by producing this year’s Grade 1 Golden Miller Chase winner Stage Star, who more recently produced a huge weight-carrying performance to win the Paddy Power Gold Cup back at Cheltenham last month.

“The stars aligned recently, with Stage Star winning and with Walk In The Park foals selling so well, so we thought it made sense to supplement him for this sale,” David Cox said.

In seeing off underbidder Gerry Aherne for the top lot, Frisby and his son J.J. will no doubt be eyeing a return to a store sale in 2026 for the colt.

The Glenwood Stud team had earlier picked up a Blue Bresil colt for a similar endeavour. After signing for the colt from the family of Shattered Love offered by Railstown Stud for €45,000, J.J. Frisby said: “The sire is on fire and he has a nice pedigree. He’s a good foal and will come back here as a three-year-old hopefully. We didn’t think we’d have to go as far as we did to get him. We actually walked away, but had a quick chat and came back with one more bid, which was enough to get him. The sire’s stock has a premium attached to them and you have to pay that bit extra for them.”

Waldgeist foal

The only foal catalogued by Ballylinch Stud’s Arc winner Waldgeist is destined for France after selling to Nicolas Bertrand de Balanda for €52,000.

Offered by Ballyreddin & Busherstown, the colt out of Salmon Rose has a predominantly flat pedigree, the dam being a half-sister to Dubai World Cup winner Prince Bishop. However the foal’s half-sister Rayna’s World advertised her prowess for jumping by finishing third in the Mares' Novice Hurdle at Cheltenham in 2020.

“He is for a French client and whether he will race or be re-sold hasn’t been decided yet,” Bertrand de Balanda said. “He’s a very nice horse with a good pedigree. It’s a good family in both codes, but he’s a good physical.”

The agent also bought the previous foal into the ring, a filly by Order Of St George for €16,000. “The Order Of St George filly got a big update recently and she’s a good physical. Again, like the Waldgeist, plans haven’t been decided yet, but she will go to France and we’ll see. There can be value for French clients at Irish sales, as you can buy into some of the best families over here. You just need to come over and see them, which I do. The obvious ones over here are making plenty, but there can be value underneath the very top level.”

The first foal by Blue Bresil to make a splash was a colt from Kells House who sold to Jerry McGrath for €50,000. The first foal out of the three-time winner and stakes placed mare Ruaille Buaille, the colt hails from family of the top-class Hidden Cyclone.

McGrath, who was with Noel Fehily while bidding, said: "He’s been bought for an existing client of ours with the intention of re-offering him as a store. He’ll go back to Noel’s farm now and he will look after him until then. He has a lot of class. He’s a very good physical and he impressed us this morning when we went down to see him.

"He’s out of a 135-rated blacktype mare. We’re looking to pinhook a few and we want to make it as easy as possible for the next man to buy them off us, so buying one by Blue Bresil out of a blacktype mare makes sense. We’ll decide whether he comes back here for the Arkle Sale or he goes to Doncaster but, as a Goffs man, I’ll be happy with either.”

Conflated sibling

A Walk In The Park half-brother to dual Grade 1 winner Conflated, as well as to the multiple Grade 1-placed Ordinary World, was knocked down to Bobby and Aidan O’Ryan for €50,000.

The very first horse into the ring on Monday morning was a yearling filly by Order Of St George who was bought by Liz Lucas of Yorkshire-based Swanbridge Bloodstock for €48,000. Consigned by the Irish National Stud the filly is the first produce out of Princess Vega, a winning daughter of Quevega and of course a half-sister to the brilliant Facile Vega and also to unbeaten listed bumper winner Aurora Vega.

Former champion stayer Order Of St George stands at Castlehyde Stud under the Coolmore banner and he welcomed his first winner recently when the Gordon Elliott-trained Mighty Bandit impressively won a three-year-old hurdle at Punchestown on debut, a good omen for his first crop that turn four in a few weeks' time.

A son of fellow Coolmore stallion Crystal Ocean sold for €45,000 to Weir View Stud. Offered by The Beeches Stud, the colt is out of River Bride, a full-sister to Grade 2 chase winner The Long Mile, from the family of some high-achieving chasers including Pairofbrowneyes, Master Of The Hall and Samcro.

The sale continues on Tuesday from 10am.