HORSES with the Minella prefix have proven themselves over and over again, Minella Indo and Minella Times being two of the more recent standouts.

On Wednesday, Hotel Minella owner John Nallen sold a horse who he believes could be the best yet, Minella Premier.

Trainer Nicky Henderson will be hoping that is the case, as he paid £400,000 to acquire the latest point-to-point winner from Nallen. Three weeks ago, Minella Premier made an awesome winning debut at Ballindenisk, scoring by a dozen lengths. The Shantou gelding, who cost €20,000 as a foal, was among the supplementary entries and he duly topped the two days of selling at the Goffs Doncaster Spring Horses In Training and Point-to-Point Sale.

Minella Premier caught the interest of many who bid past £300,000, but it was Jerry McGrath who prevailed at £400,000. Henderson said: “Jerry’s known all about him for a while and we followed him into his point-to-point and out of his point-to-point. Everybody was impressed by him and he had a lot of ‘wow’ around him. He’s come here with that behind him and all the right people followed him into the ring.

“He’s a beautiful horse. He’s for Oliver Harris. We’ve had four for him this year and all four have won. They’re all proper horses and this one joins the portfolio with all the right credentials.”

It was a good day for Nallen who also sold Minella Juke, a five-year-old son of Jukebox Jury who won on his debut at Dromahane, to Dan Astbury and Gillian Johnston for £140,000, Minella Sixo, a five-year-old son of Shantou who scored on his first start at Loughrea to Aidan O’Ryan and Pioneer Racing for £115,000, and Minella Post, a placed son of Champs Elysees, to Tom Gibney for £90,000.

Nallen said: “Minella Premier is the most impressive point-to-pointer we’ve ever produced. He’s by a good sire and he’s always been quality since we bought him as a foal. We were confident when we took him to Ballindenisk. It’s a great result and Nicky Henderson will improve him stones. He’ll be a proper two and half-mile horse at Cheltenham next March.”

Turnover for the two days was just short of £8.9 million, almost matching last year, and the clearance rate was 81%, a seven-point fall. The average was almost identical to 12 months ago, while the median price of €12,000 was down €2,000 from last year.

Goffs UK managing director Tim Kent said: “This sale’s popularity as a market-leading sale has been made clear by the 180 additional horses-in-training and point-to-point entries taken over the last two-weeks and the three separate catalogues needed to accommodate them.

“The sale has proven time and again its ability to perform at the top the market, as evidenced with John Nallen’s pointer Minella Premier, which saw four separate buyers place bids for £300,000 or more, and with Dullingham Park’s highly promising Mossy Fen Park.

“As we acknowledged at the end of Tuesday’s Spring Store Sale, it has not all been plain sailing and we have yet to get a proper read on the store market, but the trade witnessed for horses-in-training and pointers has been strong which is a positive note on which to conclude this year’s sale.”

Laura Morgan and Alan Rogers invest heavily

LEICESTERSHIRE trainer Laura Morgan lost her stable star Notlongtillmay when he suffered a fatal fall at Kempton, but she and the gelding’s owner Alan Rogers have hopefully picked an able replacement.

They gave £220,000 for Dawn Miss, a five-year-old Malinas mare who came for sale on the back of a 12-length victory at Dromahane for Sean Doyle, and £120,000 for I Ain’t Your Mate, a four-year-old Sea Moon gelding who had finished placed on both his starts for James and Ellen Doyle.

Morgan said: “We’ve got pretty much all geldings, apart from Queens Wish who we bought at the Goffs Punchestown Sale recently [for €140,000], and we thought it would be good to have a go at the mares’ programme.”

Tony Mullins fulfilled an ambition to renew his relationship with the Champion Hurdle and Gold Cup heroine Dawn Run’s family by purchasing Red Acres Georgie from Moate Stables for £100,000. The four-year-old daughter of Order Of St George has been kept on the go by Michael Goff, falling on her debut at Stowlin on May 5th and breaking her maiden by 14 lengths a fortnight later.

Mullins reported: “I was very impressed with both her runs and I just love the pedigree. I’ve been looking for a good filly from this family for many years and now I have one. It keeps coming up with good horses, recently Ballyburn.”

Coumeenoole, who won a five-year-old maiden at Ballindenisk at the start of the month for Jonathan Fogarty, sparked a bidding war after which Gerry Hogan had the final say at £180,000. “He’s been bought by Paul Nolan for an existing owner,” said the agent. “His winning performance was very good, and physically he’s a really nice horse, so we were anxious to get him.”

Fogarty sold a second six-figure lot, when Gordon Bloodstock spent £110,000 to acquire Local Derby. This Stradbally debut winner is a four-year-old son of Soldier Of Fortune. Also sold for the same price was Wilson Dennison’s Ballybow. The five-year-old Flemensfirth gelding is out of a half-sister to Hurricane Fly and was runner-up on both his outings this year between the flags.

Sean Doyle’s Monbeg Stables ended the week as the sale’s top consignor, selling 11 lots for £815,000. Aiden and Olly Murphy spent £125,000 on Orderoftheday, a winning four-year-old son of Order Of St George from the family of Bilboa, while Highflyer Bloodstock’s eight purchases included Parkatthetheatre, a placed four-year-old son of Walk In The Park who cost £120,000.

Also under the Monbeg banner, Donnchadh Doyle sold seven lots, the best of which was Kalium, a four-year-old son of Gentlewave. He was knocked down to Tom Malone for £100,000, one of 15 lots to realise six-figure sums on Wednesday and Thursday. Kalium won a bumper at Killarney on his first start.

Runner-up on both her point-to-point starts last year, the five-year-old Authorised mare Jasmine D’Airy made a winning racecourse debut earlier this month at Tipperary for Sam Curling, and she sold to Jerry McGrath for £120,000.

De Bromhead spends big to keep Mossy Fen Park

TRAINER Henry de Bromhead paid £235,000 on Thursday to keep Mossy Fen Park in his yard.

The five-year-old Walk In The Park gelding, winner of a Down Royal maiden hurdle before finishing second in a Grade 2 novice hurdle at Fairyhouse in March, was the pick of a draft of Clipper Logistics horses who were offered during the second session of sale.

“I’m delighted to get him back, he’s a horse we think a lot of,” said de Bromhead. “He’s been bought for a syndicate and hopefully we’ll have plenty of fun with him. The plan is to go chasing with him. He looks like a real chasing type.”

Sporting Glory, trained by Pat Fahy to win a Fairyhouse bumper before running a close fourth in a Grade 2 novices’ hurdle at the same track in March, was another in-demand from the Dullingham Park draft of Steve Parkin. The eight-year-old son of Malinas was the subject of a bidding battle between Mouse O’Ryan, standing with Mags O’Toole, and A.J. O’Neill. O’Ryan had the final say with a bid of £120,000.

“His form is all there in the book,” reported O’Ryan. “He’s had very few runs for his age, but he’s shown he’s a lovely horse. He won his bumper and ran well on his first start over hurdles, in spite of being thrown in at the deep end in a Grade 2, so we’ve been following him for a while and were anxious to get him.” O’Ryan said that Sporting Glory would be going to Gordon Elliott. “He’s for sale at the moment but I’d be pretty confident I’d have him sold by the time I’m on the plane home.”