THE opening day of the Goffs UK January Sale at Doncaster on Tuesday featured a catalogue of National Hunt mares and newly-turned yearlings.

Trade was very selective, to the point that from a reduced catalogue, just 51% of the lots offered changed hands, down from 71% at the corresponding sale last year. The median was static, but the average did show a move in a positive direction, advancing 14%.

A new record top price for a ‘foal’ at the sale, along with the Grade 2-winning mare The Glancing Queen achieving a top price of £150,000, were the undoubted highlights. Offered late in the day by Juliet Minton’s Mill House Stud, The Glancing Queen was a highly-attractive breeding opportunity given her exploits on the track, headed by her victory in the Grade 2 Goffs Nickel Coin Bumper at Aintree’s Grand National Festival, and she was subject to bids from multiple parties around the ring before being sold to Simon and Rhian Davies’ DahlBury.

Subsequently, Simon Davies revealed that The Glancing Queen, an eight-time winning daughter of Jeremy and out of a Kayf Tara half-sister to the Grade 1-winning chaser Operating, would be among a fine group of mares due to be covered by Bangkok.

Blacktype winner

Another mare to feature was the multiple blacktype winner Cap Soleil. The French-bred daughter of Kapgarde, from the immediate family of the Grade A Punchestown Festival winner Blood Cotil, won a pair of listed bumper and also a listed hurdle race. Runner-up to Laurina in a Grade 2 hurdle race at the Cheltenham Festival for owner Sally Noott, she was offered carrying her second foal to Crystal Ocean by Throckmorton Court Stud, and was purchased by Rathmore Stud for £75,000. Peter Molony did not reveal the name of the purchaser.

The National Hunt ‘foal’ session realised a new record top price within an hour of the sale starting, with Nick Skelton’s Alne Park Stud’s Walk In The Park half-brother to the Grade 2 winner Nube Negra selling to Gerry Aherne for £75,000. Seven-times a winner, Nube Negra has also been placed a number of times at Grade 1 level, among these efforts finishing runner-up in the Queen Mother Champion Chase. The Prospect Stud owner and Coolmore team member has been stocking up on offspring of Walk In The Park. This one has been bought to race.

Other foals to feature included Yorton’s Blue Bresil colt which sold to Jon and Julia Aisbitt and Aherne’s Prospect Stables for £52,000. Out of a half-sister to a pair of blacktype winners in France, his third dam bred the Grade 2 winning chaser Vaniteux who was placed in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at Cheltenham.


Richard and Sally Aston’s Goldford Stud sold a Nathaniel colt out of the multiple Grade 2-placed mare Petticoat Tails to Abbeylands Farm for £50,000. Tom Malone did the bidding on behalf of Frannie and Niamh Woods. Nathaniel was also responsible for a colt sold by Jackie Chugg’s Little Lodge Farm, Peter Molony and Niall Bleahen combining to pay £40,000 for this son of the listed-placed hurdler Miss Ballantyne.

Maxios sired the best filly in this section of the sale, Mill House Stud’s half-sister to the six-time winner Stoner’s Choice, and she cost Tom Malone and Harry Cobden £40,000.

Just ahead of the broodmare section on the day, a complete dispersal from Mill Farm Stud contained a three-year-old gelding by Doctor Dino, and Brown Island Stables’ Johnny Collins spent £58,000 to acquire him.

Molony’s patience reaps financial benefit

THE two-day Goffs UK January Sale ended on Wednesday with a session dedicated to horses-in-training and point-to-pointers, and it was headed by a member of the latter group, Rockstown Native.

The day’s top lots all came from the sale’s new £100,000 January Bonus Session, which will pay £100,000 to the connections of the first eligible horse who wins any race at the 2023 or 2024 Cheltenham Festival. Peter Molony’s Rathmore Stud sold Rockstown Native who will be aiming for the new bonus having been purchased by Stroud Coleman’s Matt Coleman and Jonjo O’Neill for £82,000.

The son of Califet was originally purchased by Molony as a foal for €18,000, but having failed to resell him as a store, the Co Limerick stud owner put him in training with Paurick O’Connor. With the handler’s brother Derek in the saddle, the five-year-old was an impressive winner at Turtulla earlier this month at the second attempt.

A total of three horses will be eligible to win the £100,000 bonus, the others being the bumper-placed Fashionelle who was purchased by Fergal O’Brien from the Jamie Railton Sale Agency for £42,000, and the winning English pointer Taita Hills who was offered by Dalmer Lodge Stables and knocked down to Gary Moore Racing for £35,000.

Rae Guest saddled the four-year-old Champs Elysees filly Fashionelle to finish second at Huntingdon on her debut. She will now carry the colours of a new owner with O’Brien.

Bloodstock agent David Phelan liked the way that the five-year-old gelding Taita Hills won his point-to-point at Ampton, having been placed a few times last year, and revealed that the purchase would join Gary Moore.

Welcome back

Con O’Keeffe’s Kilbarry Lodge Stud will welcome back their homebred five-year-old Silent Approach following her reacquisition for £26,000. The daughter of Walk In The Park is a half-sister to four winners, notably Yorkist, and her dam is a half-sister to the dual Peterborough Chase winner Racing Demon who was placed at Grade 1 level over hurdles and fences. This is also the family of Grade 1 winner Minella Cocooner and Merry Gale.

A winner over hurdles for Gordon Elliott, the Soldier Of Fortune six-year-old Jack In The Box will now join John Llewellyn in Wales after he sold for £24,000 to the Bill and Ben Partnership.

Just 57 of the 80 lots catalogued on the day were offered, and 44 of them sold. Even so, the modest figure for turnover was up on the corresponding number last year, and there were also increases in the average and median.

Following the sale, Goffs UK managing director Tim Kent reflected on the two days of selling.

He said: “A £75,000 record price for a National Hunt foal is a fantastic way to start the new sales year, and we’re delighted with the results that have been achieved at the top of end of the market, including The Glancing Queen selling for £150,000 and Rockstown Native realising £82,000.

Obvious highlights

“These were the obvious highlights and they proved yet again that when we’re given the best horses, we can achieve the best prices in any category, and we will continue to work with British breeders to encourage them to offer their very best for sale in the UK.

“Having said all that, it would be remiss of us not to acknowledge the selective nature of the foal market, which was very similar to that shown at the same sales in Ireland last year.

The difference between the UK and Ireland was the greater number of Irish animals by stallions deemed to be ‘in fashion’ which can present a different picture to that shown in the UK.

“We will obviously work with the TBA and breeders to try and address a challenge which applies to us all rather than being specific to one side of the Irish Sea.

“We will start our inspections for the Spring Store Sale over the coming weeks, and our Aintree Sale is just around the corner, so it gives us plenty of opportunity to discuss the market with breeders and enable us to react in a positive manner to ensure that we continue to offer the best service to breeders at all levels of the market.”