AT a time when concerns over the availability of insurance and its implications for the point-to-point sector continue to dominate discussions, last week’s electric trade in the Cheltenham sales ring certainly came at the perfect time to provide a welcome boost for handlers during this period of uncertainty.

Just under £3.8 million or €4.5 million was traded on Irish point-to-point horses on the evening, highlighting the great appetite that exists currently for young horses that have proven themselves in the Irish pointing system.

That hunger is unsurprising following the successes which had been achieved out on the track adjacent to the Cheltenham sales ring some eight months earlier with those 13 festival victories which included two-thirds of the Grade 1 contests that were held across the four days in March.

Unsurprisingly, the prices achieved by Present Soldier, Arctic Bresil and Master Chewy – the first three finishers in the same Tattersalls maiden – drew all of the headlines when they were sold for over €1 million combined.

That fixture at Tattersalls was only arranged at the last minute due to the cancellation of fixtures at Lisronagh and Tinahely on the same weekend due to the aforementioned insurance woes, and while some may raise eyebrows at such figures being paid at three horses from the same maiden, there are now numerous example of multiple graded winners coming from the same four-year-old maiden – with one responsible for no fewer than three individual Grade 1 winners alone.

It was also not just in the headline-grabbing sums achieved by those top lots, but right throughout each of the point-to-pointers offered.

An average price of just over £90,000 or €105,000 for the 42 Irish point-to-pointers that were sold is a testament to that, and in the context of the ongoing insurance concerns and the uncertainty for the spring that it creates, there can be few people that would begrudge the revenue that point-to-point owners and handlers received last week.