ROYAL Ascot was on the minds of many who went shopping at this week’s Goffs UK Doncaster Breeze Up Sale, and with six winners at racing’s centrepiece festival since 2016, there is every reason to believe that another was contained within Thursday’s catalogue.
As the gavel fell on the final lot, records and stories of successful pinhooks abounded. New highs for turnover, average and median will have brought smiles to the face of the company’s managing director, Tim Kent, and it proved to be a fitting tribute to the pioneer of such sales in this part of the world, Harry Beeby, whose life was celebrated in the sale ring on the eve of the auction.
Fittingly, and also on the eve of the sale, Blandford Bloodstock’s Richard Brown was presented with the Willie Stephenson Memorial Trophy in recognition of his support for the company, and his success with purchases. Brown has been one of the leading buyers at both the Breeze Up and Premier Yearling Sales, and has purchased some outstanding horses.
His record at the Breeze Up Sale is noteworthy and includes the multiple Group 1 winning sprinter Dream Ahead, Royal Ascot Listed Windsor Castle Stakes winner and now Group 1 sire Ardad, Group 3 Horris Hill Stakes winner and classic contender Light Infantry, and last season’s dual Group 1 winner and another classic contender, Perfect Power.
No surprise then to find that he was the purchaser of the top lot at this year’s sale, Bushypark Stables’ February-born colt by Tasleet. Matthew Whyte had to enlist the help of Michael Byrne at Knockgraffon Stables to prep the colt, a half-brother to three winners, after he had a riding accident. On the road to a full recovery, he will have been buoyed by the sale of his £14,000 yearling purchase for a whopping £230,000. Tasleet’s success with his first British runner in the days before the sale was also a help.
This was not the first time that Blandford had bought a two-year-old from Whyte, and they will be hoping for the same sort of success enjoyed with a previous buy, the high-class group-winning sprinter Far Above who is now proving popular with breeders at Micheal Orlandi’s Starfield Stud. Brown revealed that the Tasleet colt would be trained by Richard Fahey for Sheikh Rashid.
Blandford led all purchasers at the sale, their seven lots bought outright including four of the 17 juveniles to bring £100,000 or more. High up on their shopping list was a son of Kodiac from Tally Ho Stud, and he is out of an unraced half-sister to the dams of Group 1 winning sprinter Maarek and the Group 2 winner Ardad, now a leading young sire. This homebred cost Brown £160,000 and the May-foaled colt will race for Sheikh Hamed.
Norman Williamson pinhooked a Profitable own-brother to last year’s Group 2 Queen Mary Stakes winner Quick Suzy, and this £125,000 purchase by Brown will carry the silks of Saeed Al Qassimi. While no trainer has yet been decided for this colt, David Simcock was named as the man who will handle the early career of a Galileo Gold colt sold from Mocklershill for £115,000, a nice uplift on his yearling price of €18,000.
Simcock will saddle another Brown buy, Light Infantry, in next week’s 2000 Guineas at Newmarket.
COLM Sharkey’s final bid of £205,000 was enough to thwart the challenge of Jono Mills, representing Rabbah Bloodstock, and secure the only two-year-old by the leading US sire Munnings in the sale.
Named Nightly Report, the colt was among the last lots at the sale and was consigned by Micky Cleere and Tadhg Ryan from the Co Kerry-based Ballinahulla Stables. Sourced last year at Fasig-Tipton for just $32,000, the colt is the second produce of a two-year-old winner, and the mare’s first was a juvenile winner also last year.
Though the auction house wanted the colt for their inaugural breeze up sale in Dubai, Ryan resisted the temptation to go, and the decision to remain at hope reaped a just reward.
Earlier in the sale, another American-born juvenile made it into six figures, and this time Rabbah Bloodstock won the day.
Tom Whitehead’s Powerstown Stud sold an Accelerate half-brother to the dual champion, California Chrome, for £110,000, having acquired him last year for $62,000. Among the 16 victories posted by California Chrome were two legs of the US Triple Crown, the Grade 1 Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes, and the Group 1 Dubai World Cup.
TONY and Anne O’Callaghan’s Tally Ho Stud has a record second to none when it comes to selling breeze up horses, and the Co Westmeath farm traded a dozen lots for £735,000, ending up the leading vendor by some way.
Blandford Bloodstock gave £160,000 for a son of Kodiac from their draft, but that was bettered by Michael O’Callaghan’s purchase of a Mehmas colt for £200,000. The first foal of a two-year-old winner, the colt was bought as a yearling for 42,000gns. The Curragh trainer has enjoyed success with previous horses bought from the vendor, and he has Royal Ascot in mind for his new addition to the stable.
Tally Ho’s Kessaar is already off the mark with his first runners, and two of that Group 2 winning juvenile’s colts each realised £160,000. First to the mark was Star Bloodstock’s son of an unraced Lord Shanakill mare. Purchased by Bryon Rogers for £25,000 on behalf of Matt Eves, his sale to Australian interests saw the buyers listed as Blandford Bloodstock, represented by Stuart Boman, de Burgh Equine represented by Martin Buick, and the Australian agent James Harron who was not present.
Another agent who was not at the sale, Oliver St Lawrence, paid £160,000 for the Kessaar colt out of a placed half-sister to three Group/Grade 1 winners, namely Iridessa, Order Of Australia and Santa Barbara. Con Marnane, a man with a keen eye, snapped this colt up for just £20,000 last year. Well accustomed to success at Royal Ascot, Marnane will be cheering the colt on if he lines up from Roger Varian’s yard, carrying the colours of Fawzi Nass.
MICK and Sarah Murphy’s Longways Stables sold a pair of six-figure lots, and both are by the Tweenhills shuttler, Zoustar.
James Harron, Stuart Boman from Blandford Bloodstock and de Burgh Equine combined to make a second purchase when they paid £150,000 for a daughter of the leading sire out of the Group 3 winning Captain Rio mare Ainippe. Also placed in the Group 1 Matron Stakes, Ainippe is out of a full-sister to Darnay.
Bought in the same ring as a yearling for £28,000, the filly made a handsome profit, and five lots later the Co Waterford-based couple struck again when they sold a Zoustar colt, the first foal of a four-time winning Red Jazz mare, to Bryan Smart for £130,000. He has cost £44,000 as a yearling and comes from a renowned female line.
Though well advanced in years, the sprightly Acclamation still rules at Rathbarry Stud, and the appeal of his stock has never shown signs of abating. Amo Racing will hope that their purchase, for £140,000, of a full-brother to a pair of juvenile winners, will be rewarded.
They gave this for Aguiar Bloodstock’s sibling to five winners out of a Green Desert mare, and the colt also benefited Robson Aguiar who bought him for £60,000.
THERE were notable pinhooking successes at all levels of the market, and many Irish vendors were the lucky recipients of such good fortune.
Jim McCartan’s Gaybrook Lodge turned its €45,000 Arqana buy, a colt by Sioux Nation out of a winning Acclamation mare, into a £130,000 sale to Robin O’Ryan and Richard Fahey. Speedsters Art Power and Penny Pepper appear in the female side of the family, while Coolmore’s Sioux Nation has made a god start with his first runners.
Another young sire with his first runners in 2022 is Havana Grey with two winners, and his daughter of the stakes-placed Oasis Dream mare Anna Sophia soared in value from 15,000gns to £125,000, catching the eye of Federico Barberini and Meridian International. She sold from John Bourke’s Hyde Park Stud, and the filly is from the family of New Approach.
Not to be outdone by his son Havana Grey, but Havana Gold also got in on the action when Knockgraffon Stables sold a daughter of his to Anthony Stroud for £120,000. Stephen Byrne gave £22,000 for the filly, out of a stakes-placed winner of five races, last year.
Star Bloodstock had a second six-figure sale when their £20,000 yearling purchase, a daughter of Camacho out of an Invincible Spirit mare, was bought by trainer Richard Hughes for £100,000. Making £10,000 more was Lynn Lodge Stud’s Night Of Thunder first foal out of a winning Dalakhani mare. He sold to Opulence Bloodstock.
Summing up trade, Goffs UK’s managing director Tim Kent said: “Vendors can only expect to be paid for those that perform their very best when galloping prior to sale, and those that ticked all the boxes sold very well today.
A record-breaking 17 horses sold for £100,000 or more, with three making more than £200,000, which helped to return a record average price that was just shy of £50,000 for the first time in the sale’s history.
“These highlights also included a phenomenal pinhook for Bushypark Stud with a £14,000 Premier Yearling realising £230,000 to top today’s sale; an incredible result for connections and congratulations to the Bushypark team. These were the highlights of a fantastic few days in sunny Donny and, as ever, we would like to thank our loyal band of vendors who again prepared some truly exceptional horses to showcase their talents on Town Moor.
“Much of the talk during the last few days has been the search for Royal Ascot runners as this sale has an unrivalled record of success at the royal meeting.”
“This fact was not lost on James Harron and his team who will be donning their top hat and tails in just eight weeks’ time after buying two potential runners for new connections in partnership with Stuart Boman and Hubie de Burgh. It is always great to welcome new buyers to Doncaster and we wish them and others the very best of luck with their runners. We are sure that they will be following in the footsteps of Perfect Power and others at Ascot in June and we look forward to being there to cheer them home.”