TWO mares from the family of Crystal Ocean, owned by the late Sir Evelyn de Rothschild, were among the top lots at Monday's opening session of the Tattersalls December Mares Sale in Newmarket.

Sir Evelyn, a prominent owner-breeder, died earlier this month, aged 91. Before his passing, he had already entered four foals and six mares from his Southcourt Stud in the December sales.

They included the 10-year-old Crystal Zvezda, a listed-winning daughter of Dubawi who has bred two winners. On Monday she was sold for 775,000gns to Stroud Coleman Bloodstock.

Bloodstock agent Anthony Stroud said: "She is a beautiful mare from a very good breeder. This mare has been bought for a long established client who is looking for some very good mares, she stays in England."

A little later Crystal Zvezda's four-year-old daughter Crystal Starlet sold for 425,000gns. By Frankel, she was a race this year and was bought today by Sam Haggas of Hurworth Bloodstock.

Topping Monday's session was Archangel Gabriel, a nine-year-old Arch mare in foal to St Mark's Basilica. She has already bred this year's Group 3 winner Ville De Grace. The price was 800,000gns and it later emerged she was bought by one of her joint-owners to dissolve a partnership.

Newsells Park Stud owner Graham Smith Bernal spent 750,000gns to acquire Innevera, an eight-year-old mare by Motivator in foal to Zarak. She is the dam of Godolphin's very progressive three-year-old Ottoman Fleet.

BBA Ireland were by far the busiest buyers on Monday, signing for 18 lots at a total cost of almost 3.5 million guineas. At least one of those is for owner Zhang Yuesheng, owner of Group 1 winner and stallion Lucky Vega.

After spending 330,000gns on the Kingmambo mare Violante, BBA's Michael Donohoe said: "She is for Lucky Vega. They don't make Kingmambo mares any more, we bought her half-sister last week – it is a great family and there are not many young Kingmambo mares left."

The sale continues on Tuesday.


Sold: 221

Aggregate: 22.090.500gns

Average: 99,957gns

Median: 55,000gns