An €85,000 son of Walk In The Park took centre stage as the Tattersalls Ireland November National Hunt Sale began its five-day run on Sunday with a session devoted exclusively to yearlings and one which bodes well for the coming days.
Since the economic downturn of 2008 the yearling market has struggled to recapture its former glories but today’s trade represented a step in the right direction for this sphere which moved forward significantly from where it has been for the last few years.
Of the 173 horses offered, 118 were sold for a turnover of just over €1.5 million. The average of €12,961 and the €8,500 median both represent respectable returns for this category while the clearance rate was a reasonable 68%.
The day’s top lot had any amount to recommend him as he is not only a son of the red-hot Walk In The Park but he is also the fourth produce of an Oscar half-sister to the Cheltenham Gold Cup hero Lord Windermere and the multiple graded winner Sub Lieutenant.
A return to the sales ring as a three-year-old is the plan for this gelding after Adrian Costello outlasted Hamish Macauley for the Edmond Coleman-owned gelding.
“He’s by the sire of the moment and he’s from a top pedigree. He was the standout yearling here today and anyone would be delighted to own him. He’s a grand one and a lovely mover and he’ll be back for the store sales as a three-year-old,” reported Costello.
Soldier Of Fortune
For a period the top priced lot on day one of the sale was occupied by a €68,000 son of Soldier Of Fortune who was consigned by Railstown Stud on behalf of Martin O’Reilly.
The famed Mullingar-based nursery Tally-Ho Stud struck for this gelding who will return for sale as a three-year-old. This gelding is out of an unraced Overbury half-sister to the Cheltenham Gold Cup victor Native River.
Alan Harte and Joey Logan, who often contend for some of the high profile offerings at this sale, signed for two of the day’s most sought after yearlings when giving €65,000 for a son of No Risk At All and €60,000 for a colt by the Saint des Saints horse Jeu St Eloi.
Both were sold by Ballincurrig House Stud and came under the hammer as consecutive lots.
The No Risk At All gelding shares his sire with the likes of Epatante and Allaho while the son of Jeu St Eloi is out of a mare who numbers two listed triumphs amongst her nine victories.
“Alan has bought both of them with a view to bringing them back for resale as three-year-olds,” reported Logan. “They are two very nice horses from good pedigrees and we were delighted to get them. They will now go back to Alan’s farm in Kildare and will be brought along for the store sales in a few years' time.”
The first major transaction of the day came when Henrietta Knight, acting for her nephews William and Arthur Vestey, spent €52,000 on a gelding hailing from the first crop of the top stayer Order Of St George.
“He’s a lovely horse from the first crop of a top-class racehorse. I have seen quite a number of offspring by the stallion and I like what I have seen, they look athletic and they look the part,” reflected the trainer for triple Gold Cup hero Best Mate.
“This lad comes from a good jumping family so all is positive and hopefully he will be kept to race. He’ll stay in Ireland for a while to be reared and they he will go to England.”
Among the other high-profile lots who were bought with a view to resale were sons of Walk In The Park who fetched €50,000 and €34,000 respectively. Both geldings were bought by Glenwood Stud man Dick Frisby who is among the most noted National Hunt pinhookers around.
COMPARATIVE FIGURES FOR DAY ONE
YEAR CAT OFF SOLD AGGREGATE AVERAGE MEDIAN
2021 202 173 118 €1,529,350 €12,961 €8,500
2020 44 28 14 €128,600 €9,186 €3,600
2019 107 85 41 €535,200 €13,054 €9,000
2018 153 124 63 €772,300 €12,259 €8,000