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J.P. McManus pays £570,000 for Douvan's full-brother
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J.P. McManus pays £570,000 for Douvan's full-brother
on 12 November 2020
Speculation that Jonbon will be trained in England after top owner is pushed to pay a record price for the point-to-point winner

Jonbon, a full-brother to Douvan who burst on the scene last weekend when winning a point-to-point by 15 lengths, was sold for £570,000 to J.P. McManus at a Goffs UK sale of horses in training on Thursday.

The four-year-old is now the most expensive point-to-pointer ever sold at public auction.

Douvan, still in training with Willie Mullins, has been lightly raced in recent seasons due to injury, but has won 15 of his 19 races – eight of them at Grade 1 level.

Jonbon was consigned by Co Kilkenny trainer Ellmarie Holden who trained him to win at Dromahane in Co Cork on his debut last Sunday when ridden by Derek O’Connor.

Holden said earlier this week: “Derek thinks very highly of the horse. If it wasn’t for Covid he would have run last season so he was ready to go.

“He’s a bit of a looker, alright. He’s a nice horse and from the day he landed in the yard everything came so easy to him, he’s very straightforward.”

The sale took place at Yorton Farm Stud close to the Wales-England border. Bidding for Jonbon opened at £200,000 and quickly jumped in chunks of £25,000 to £500,000. McManus placed his bids by phone through Goffs UK managing director Tim Kent. The top owner looked to have secured the horse for half a million until a late bid came in at £525,000 from holiday park owner Tony Barney.

Auctioneer Henry Beeby soon had a return bid of £550,000 from McManus and again the gavel was in the air when Barney, who was there in person, went another £10,000 to £560,000.

Beeby was obliged to offer McManus the same opportunity to go another £10,000 and he obliged. This time there was no comeback and the deal was done.

Although there has been no indication from McManus as to who will train the horse, specualtion around the sales ring was that Jonbon was more likely to stay in England.

Underbidder Tony Barney had better luck later in the session when he secured Bold Endeavour for £190,000. The Fame And Glory gelding won at Necarne recently for trainer Warren Ewing and will now be trained in Leicestershire by Laura Morgan.

Another of Thursday's top lots was Jim Key, a four-year-old gelding by Shantou who won at Lisronagh on Saturday, where he was ridden by Derek O'Connor and carried the colours of the rider's wife Carol O'Donnell. He was bought by agent Hamish Macauley for £215,000.

There were three other six-figure sales: Cormac Doyle's Undersupervision sold to Willy Twiston-Davies for £130,000; Colin Bowe's Starevitch sold to Tom Malone and Jamie Snowden for £105,000 and Sean Doyle's Balco Coastal (Lot 40) which sold to Highflyer Bloodstock for £100,000.

Goffs UK managing director Tim Kent said of Jonbon: "I have never known a horse to be as highly touted following its success in a point-to-point and, if social media polls are to be believed, then Jonbon was always set to make a significant price but to achieve a record price for a point-to-pointer during these unprecedent times is simply incredible.

"We are extremely grateful to the Holden family for putting their faith in Goffs and sending him to Yorton where he certainly lived up to the hype following his brilliant performance on Sunday.

"Jonbon was the highlight of the sale but we were delighted with the trade achieved throughout the day. Whilst we are not pretending that it wasn’t selective at times, today was an opportunity to provide an outlet for these recent winners and the feedback that we received has been extremely positive.

"As such, we are indebted to James and Jean Potter, the Futter family and the Yorton team for hosting us today. They have done a fantastic to make room for us all and, once again, it has proven an outstanding facility which has worked fantastically well for vendors and buyers alike.

“We also want to recognise, and say a huge thank you to, our vendors who took a leap of faith when agreeing to bring their horses to Yorton following the Covid-19 restrictions in Doncaster.

"The Yorton Sale only started last year, meaning some had seen the facilities in a sales environment but it was still new to many and we are extremely grateful for their support in this difficult year.

“In all, it has been a difficult few weeks as we juggled sale locations and lockdowns but we were determined to offer a vibrant market place where pointers could be placed in front of buyers from throughout the UK and Ireland and we have achieved that."

SALE STATISTICS (no corresponding sale in 2019)

Offered: 63

Sold: 46 (73%)

Aggregate: £3,046,500

Average: £66,228

Median: £45,000

IN THE IRISH FIELD THIS WEEKEND: 10-PAGE CHRISTMAS GIFTS FEATURE, STABLE TOUR WITH HENRY DE BROMHEAD & INTERVIEW WITH FAIRYHOUSE MANAGER PETER ROE

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