LOT 272 at the 2021 Goffs Land Rover Sale, from this year forward to be known as the Goffs Arkle Sale, needed to have the fifth dam included on the catalogue page to have any mention of a blacktype winner.

In the first four removes, there was not a single horse who had even been placed in a blacktype race.

The French-bred, named It’s For Me, was a three-year-old son of the then relatively unknown Jeu St Eloi (Saint Des Saints), and while the sire was a son of a leading French jumps stallion, he had merely been runner-up in half of his six starts over jumps in France.

A half-brother to the dual Grade 1 winning chaser Oculi (Denham Red), and with the sire Balko (Pistolet Bleu) under the second dam, this was considered enough to give him a place at stud, even as a non-winner. Here he would have been gelded!

The first crop by Jeu St Eloi was born in 2017, and numbered 67 foals. His sixth crop are now yearlings, and his average crop size has been 65. So breeders obviously believed in him and he is now sire of two blacktype jumps winners in France. This year Jeu St Eloi will be available at a fee of €4,000.

What will that fee go to if It’s For Me, from his second crop, goes on to win the Grade 1 Weatherbys Champion Bumper at Cheltenham? He is the current favourite in most places for the race, and the sire got a second boost at Gowran Park on Thursday with D Art D Art.

Thankfully the team at Highflyer Bloodstock could look beyond the mere pedigree page at the Goffs Land Rover Sale, and they paid €40,000 for It’s For Me who was consigned by Kieran Lennon’s Springhill Stud.

Sent to Stuart Crawford, It’s For Me ran out an eight-length winner of his only point-to-point last April at Loughanmore, carrying the colours of Simon Munir and Isaac Souede. Still sporting their colours, he now races from Willie Mullins’s yard, and we know what the trainer’s record is like in the bumper at the Cheltenham Festival.

It’s For Me is the first winner for his dam, a minor winner over jumps in France, and she is one of four successful offspring from her own unraced dam, Qlementine (Video Rock). The most recent winner emerged after It’s For Me was purchased, Gin Coco (Cokoriko), and he won a couple of hurdle races last year for Harry Fry, and on his latest run to action he was runner-up in the Grade 3 Greatwood Hurdle at Cheltenham.

So, after years of producing ‘ordinary’ winners, this family could, before the end of this season, boast of two blacktype winners. What a transformation that would be.

D Art D Art

Then, as we were getting our heads around the name Jeu St Eloi, he produces a second bumper winner of promise. With no runner from the Willie Mullins stable, Patrick took the mount on the Tom Cooper-trained D Art D Art in the bumper at Gowran two days ago, and the combination duly made a winning debut.

The four-year-old is out of Fleur Du Brizais (Trempolino) who was placed once over jumps in France from seven starts, at a track I confess to never having heard of before, Castera-Verduza. That mare has a few winning siblings, but perhaps significantly her winning own-sister Diane Du Brizais (Trempolino) has been a successful winner-producer, led by Risk Du Brizais (No Risk At All), already winner of six races and placed in a listed chase.

This is a family that has its roots in producing high-class runners on the level, but the branch responsible for D Art D Art has taken a different route. His third dam Just Abroad (Abwah), through her daughters, is ancestress of at least seven blacktype winners over jumps. While almost all are in France, there is one name that will be familiar.

Yanworth (Norse Dancer), a £16,000 store purchase by Highflyer Bloodstock, went on to enjoy 13 wins in bumpers, over hurdles and fences, but it was over the smaller obstacles that he has excelled, winning the Grade 1 Aintree Hurdle and the Grade 1 Christmas Hurdle, though he did win a Grade 2 novices’ chase also.