THE first live sale of the year in Ireland started in some style today as the opening session of the Goffs Land Rover Sale played host to a sparkling day’s trade headed by a €230,000 son of Shantou who will carry the Bective Stud colours.
The expansion of Part 1 of the Land Rover from one day to two means that direct comparisons with previous years will have to wait until tomorrow but this was a strong sale by any measure.
An average of €46,626 represented an impressive return as did the €42,000 median and a turnover of in excess of €8.5m but most striking of all was the 91% clearance rate.
After a year of upheaval and uncertainty which dogged the 2020 round of store sales, the market has bounced back in great style and today’s session represented a tremendous start to a pivotal few weeks in the National Hunt market.
The Shantou session topper was widely touted as one of the stars on the opening day of the sale and he more than lived up to expectations. Indeed bidding for the own-brother to the stakes winner and Grade 1 Royal Bond Novice Hurdle heroine Airlie Beach opened up at €100,000.
For a brief period it seemed as though the Peter Nolan Bloodstock offering’s price would settle at €120,000 but then a lengthy battle ensued between Tom Malone, standing in the auditorium, and Eddie O’Leary who was position outside in the parade ring.
The pair exchanged bids relatively quickly before things became a little more considered as the €200,000 mark approached. Malone offered €225,000 but this was soon matched by O’Leary whose offer of €230,000 was good enough to secure this most prized of stores.
“He’s been bought for Bective Stud and he will be going into training with Gordon Elliott. He’s a wonderful horse from a wonderful family and he looks the complete package. Hopefully he’ll be as good as he looks,” declared O’Leary.
For much of the day the pace set by a €200,000 son of Martaline from Walter Connors’ Sluggara Farm for whom Joey Logan, acting for owners Andrew and Gemma Brown, outlasted Tom Malone.
This gelding is a half-brother to a pair of Grade 2-placed runners headed by French Dynamite while he is also an own-brother to Mighty Potter. The latter is owned by the Browns and he won a Punchestown bumper on his debut for Gordon Elliott in the spring.
“He’s been bought for Andrew and Gemma who have some lovely young stock with Gordon including this horse’s brother who Gordon rates highly,” stated Logan.
“They also have Grand Paradis who is by Martaline and he won a Grade 3 novice hurdle in the spring and looks a very promising sort for novice chases next winter. He’ll be going to Gordon and hopefully he’s one to look forward to. He’s got the pedigree, he’s got the sire and he was just a wonderful mover.”
Paul Holden, his daughter Ellmaire and Michael Shefflin – the team behind the £570,000 point-to-pointer Jonbon – made a strong play for the €200,000 son of Martaline and they also came away with one of the most sought after stores of the day when giving €145,000 for a son of Authorized.
A €20,000 foal purchase in France by Johnny Collins’ Brown Island Stables, this gelding is out of the very useful dual purpose mare Leah Claire who was stakes-placed on the flat and reached the frame a Grade 2 level over jumps.
“We love the sire. There are a few Authorizeds in the sale but we felt was he was the best one and that was the main thing as it can be hard to find a nice one by the sire,” reported Shefflin.
“He’s a superb mover out of a very good dual purpose mare and point-to-pointing will be the plan although he looks a horse that could easily be one for a bumper too.”
HAWK HIGH BROTHER
The same team also forked out €145,000 for son of Camelot hailing from Ballincurrig House Stud. This grandson of Montjeu is a half-brother to the Fred Winter winner Hawk High.
Although he missed out on a couple of box office lots Tom Malone did secure a son of Mount Nelson for €100,000. This €19,000 foal was consigned by Garrett Barry and he is out of a winning half-sister to Muirhead and Thomas Darby.
“He’s going to go across the water to Paul Nicholls and I said to Paul this was one we shouldn’t leave behind,” remarked Malone. “He’s a lovely horse from a fabulous family and he’s a very strong, manly sort of horse. The vendor told me he was a small foal who has just done exceptionally well in the last few months and I just felt there was a lot to like about him.”
Aiden Murphy had to settle for the role of underbidder on the Mount Nelson but, acting for Kim Bailey, he did later secure a €100,000 Kayf Tara gelding from Norman and Janet Williamson’s Oak Tree Farm. This three-year-old is a half-brother to a Grade 2-placed hurdler from the family of Long Run.
“He’s been bought for an existing owner who has around half a dozen horses with me and he’s a lovely, old fashioned chasing type from a great family. We were delighted to get him,” declared Bailey.
A Soldier Of Fortune half-sister to the brilliant Appreciate It was snapped up by Gerry Hogan for €100,000 and the day featured another €100,000 filly which came when Twiston-Davies Equine signed for a daughter of Authorized related to the Coral Cup winner Medinas.
Elsewhere the prolific Highflyer Bloodstock headed their spending when going to €110,000 for a son of Blue Bresil from Goldford Stud.
YEAR CAT OFF SOLD AGG AVERAGE MEDIAN
2021 215 202 183 €8,532,500 €46,626 €42,000