Goffs received the ultimate update for their London Sale when Jean-Pierre Dubois’ homebred Sparkling Plenty landed the Group 1 Prix de Diane just over 24 hours before being offered at Kensington Gardens.

It came as no surprise when bidding opened at £1million for Patrice Coittier’s stable star and attendees at the invite-only event held their breath as the price quickly spiralled upwards. A new bidder entered the fray at £6.5million, but the highest honour was eventually awarded to Goffs representative Amanda Zetterholm, taking instructions over the phone, at £8.1million. Or so it was thought.

Plot twist

With a twist worthy of your favourite whodunnit, it was later revealed that connections had bought back Sparkling Plenty for what would have been a new record price in the bloodstock world. Soon after, Al Shaqab Racing finalised a private purchase of the classic heroine for £5million, a price only disappointing when compared to the earlier fireworks. It later transpired that connections had only sold a 50% share in the top lot.

Auctioneer and Goffs CEO Henry Beeby described the evening’s events as unprecedented in his long career in the business. He told The Irish Field: “I had a live bid of £8 million, but the owner bought it back for £8.1 million, which they are perfectly entitled to do. Now they have decided to sell her for £5 million, or valued her at that figure.”

Another Unsold

The evening ended with another disappointment, as Jerome Reynier’s unbeaten three-year-old Lazzat was declared unsold at £2.25million.

Connections still have plenty to look forward to with the Territories gelding, with Reynier having listed various Group 1 races as possible targets following the gelding’s second Group 3 success. Owner/breeder Nurlan Bizakov is ultimately dreaming of a trip to Australia to target the Golden Eagle, which boasted a prize fund of Aus$10million in 2023.

Kia Joorabchian was among the underbidders for Sparkling Plenty, but concluded the sale with two purchases, assisted by agent Hamish Macauley.

The combination stretched to £650,000 for Laurens’ unraced two-year-old filly by Kingman. Oaks Farm Stables consigned the April-born bay, who is the second foal out of Karl Burke and John Dance’s six-time Group 1 winner.

Amo and Macauley also purchased Dermot Weld’s progressive three-year-old Taraj for the price of £480,000. The son of Churchill enjoyed a boost in form when Los Angeles finished third in the Epsom Derby, with Weld’s charge having finished third to the Ballydoyle inmate in the Group 3 Derby Trial at Leopardstown on his most recent start.

International buyers

Jack Davison’s stable star Take Me To Church may be bound for the US, after American owners Flurry Racing Stables purchased the Irish 2,000 Guineas fifth for £300,000. He could be joined Stateside by Eric McNamara’s impressive debut winner Raw Ability, who was knocked down to agent Shawn Dugan for £140,000

The Johnny Murtagh-trained Asian Daze will join Gai Waterhouse and Adrien Bott after the training partnership secured the improving filly with McKeever Bloodstock for £200,000. Bott, McKeever and Waterhouse’s previous purchases at the London Sale include £170,000 buy Military Mission, who went on to win four Group races Down Under.

The sale concluded with 13 of the 23 offered selling for a combined turnover of £8,040,000.