WILLIE Mullins has begun stocking up for next season and among the new arrivals at his yard this autumn will be Porthill, who was sold for £250,000 at the Goffs UK Spring Sale on Wednesday.
Over £5 million changed hands during the record-breaking session at Doncaster, with 90% of the 180 form horses offered for sale finding buyers. The average price of £31,400 was just 1% down on last year.
Top lot Porthill came from the famous Northern Ireland academy of owner Wilson Dennison and trainer Colin McKeever. The Flemensfirth four-year-old gelding finished second on his sole start in point-to-points at Fairyhouse last month.
Six other horses were bought for six-figure sums on Wednesday. Among them was Ballystone, another from the Dennison/McKeever alliance, and he sold for £120,000 to trainer Tom Gibney. This son of Shirocco finished second in a point-to-point at Broughshane two weeks ago.
Agent Tom Malone and trainer Jamie Snowden paid £185,000 for Passing Well, runner-up in a bumper at the recent Punchestown Festival for trainer Robert Tyner.
Malone struck again for another horse from Tyner's yard when paying £135,000 for Myretown, a Dromahane point-to-point winner. This son of Dylan Thomas is set to join Lucinda Russell.
Wexford handler Donnchadh Doyle sold three six-figure lots. Great Samourai, a faller on his debut at Stowlin point-to-point when looking likely to be involved in the finish, was bought by agent Ryan Mahon for £130,000. The Doyle-trained Sea Invasion, runner-up at Dawstown, was sold to trainer Chris Gordon for £110,000, and stable companion Thermusa (a daughter of Kayf Tara who won at Dawstown, was sold to agent Bobby O'Ryan and trainer Ruth Jefferson for the same figure.
The sale concludes on Thursday. It starts at 10am and features horses-in-training and the annual Million In Mind Dispersal.
DAY ONE OF THE PTP/HIT SALE
Sold: 162 (90%)
Aggregate: £5,085,700 (+10%)
Average: £31,393 (-1.1%)
Median: £22,000 (-4%)