CURRAGH trainer Michael O'Callaghan added to his promising two-year-old team on Thursday when spending 160,000gns on the top lot at the Tattersalls Guineas Breeze Up Sale.
The colt by Time Test was consigned by Tally-Ho Stud.
"He is a lovely horse, he did one of the better breezes and is a lovely looking horse," said O'Callaghan. "He has a nice pedigree and is out of a Galileo mare. I thought he was the best physical in the sale and hopefully he goes on to be useful."
O’Callaghan is a strong supporter of the breeze ups and commented: "He is the seventh breeze-up horse I have bought this year, we had a few more bought at this point last year but we keep tipping away and try to get the numbers up as well as a quality bunch. I bought more of a spread of horses last year, but I am trying to buy more of a quality horse this year."
The colt is the first foal of the winning Galileo mare Luna Mare and represented a pinhooking triumph for his consignor who purchased him for 65,000gnsat Book 3 of the Tattersalls October Yearling Sale.
There were eight lots that realised 100,000gns or more in Thursday's ‘breeze up’ section, more than at the previous three renewals of the sale combined. The ‘horses in training’ section of the sale saw turnover pass the million guineas mark for the first time.
O'Callaghan was denied a second big price purchase when he was underbidder on a Mehmas filly consigned by John Nolan. The daughter of the Bertolini mare What About Me, placed fourth in the Group 3 Naas Juvenile Sprint and the Listed Loughbrown Stakes, was knocked down to Chantilly-based trainer Alessandro Marconi for 150,000gns.
"She is for an owner based in Dubai," said Marconi. "[The consignor] Mr Nolan is more experienced in life and in the game than myself and he highly recommended her. She did a highly impressive breeze, and the underbidder Michael O'Callaghan is very shrewd and has been buying more breeze-up horses than anyone else and has been very successful!"
He added: "The filly is something special and is the pick of the sale, and she is staying for now in England. We will make a plan in half an hour!"
Of the stallion influence, Marconi enthused: "Mehmas is a great sire, we really like these new speedy sires such as him and Sioux Nation. We like the speed and that they were precocious, but it is the breeze that is important. Time is not everything, it is more the way they gallop out and how they are afterwards."
Another consignor who enjoyed a fruitful sale was Tom Whitehead’s Powerstown Stud who sold the Soldier Hollow colt out of the Lando mare Loyalty to Blandford Bloodstock’s Stuart Boman for 130,000gns.
"He is a lovely horse and he will go into training with Joseph O'Brien in Ireland. He is a gorgeous individual, he was bought in Germany very well by Tom Whitehead; it was actually the day everyone got stuck in the hotel due to the fire the night before. Tom missed the fire and bought the horse!"
Whitehead purchased the March-born colt for €28,000 as a yearling. His dam Loyalty won twice in France and is a half-sister to the Deutsches Derby winner Lucky Speed. Loyalty has had one runner from her two foals of racing age, a filly named Lonia who has won in Germany since the catalogue was published.
Boman added: "I had to come back and buy the horse this year. He is a lovely horse and breezed very well, he is very quick for a stayer as he is a horse bred to get 1m4f. He showed a lot of speed and is a gorgeous individual."
Horses in training
The horses in training section of the Tattersalls Guineas Sale saw turnover rise above a million guineas for the first time. The 71 lots sold realised a record 1,090,000gns, almost quadruple last year’s corresponding turnover with a remarkable clearance rate of 92%.
Leading the way was the six-year-old Teofilo gelding Halimi who was knocked down to Italian agent Marco Bozzi for 80,000gns. Rated 102 by Timeform the Gainsborough Thoroughbreds consigned horse won a handicap at Wolverhampton three weeks ago beating the high-class River Verdon.
"He is a stayer, he is sound, he has no problem with the vet, he likes good ground and he is exactly what my client is looking for – a horse who can stay and run in group races in Italy," said Bozzi. "He goes into training with Bruno Grizzetti and has been bought for a long-standing client of mine. He has had horses in Italy before, has some now in France, but this horse will be trained in Italy."
Bozzi predicted a busy autumn for Halimi: "We have a lot of races in Italy over this sort of trip from September to November."
Guineas Horses in Training Sale
Current Year Previous Year Change %
Catalogued 121 43 +181%
Withdrawn 44 13 +238%
Offered 77 30 +157
Unsold 6 6 0
Sold 71 24 +196
Aggregate 1,090,000gns 262,500gns +315%
Median 9,000gns 5,000gns +80%
Average 15,352gns 10,938gns +40%
% sold 92% 80% +15%
Guineas Breeze Up Sale, 2022
Current Year Previous Year Change %
Catalogued 211 236 -11%
Withdrawn 26 52 -50%
Offered 185 184 +1%
Unsold 28 34 -18%
Sold 157 150 +5%
Aggregate 5,601,000gns 4,492,250gns +25%
Median 30,000gns 24,500gns +22%
Average 35,678gns 29,948gns +19%
% sold 85% 82% +4%