OFFERED from New England Stud, the partial dispersal of the Rothschild’s Southcourt Stud foals on Friday afternoon attracted plenty of interest.

Leading the way was an early February filly by Sea The Stars out of the listed winner and group-paced Waila. That mare’s stakes-winning half-sister is the dam of Group/Grade 1 winners Crystal Ocean and Hillstar. The hammer fell at 400,000gns in favour of Johnny McKeever, acting on behalf of Ballyhimikin Stud.

Johnny McKeever reported on the purchase of the top-price of the quartet. “James [Hanly of Ballyhimikin] will probably put her back through Book 1, but she is also a foundation broodmare. It is so hard to get into these families and it is a once-in-lifetime opportunity. Sadly, with the passing of Sir Evelyn de Rothschild, there is a chance to get into families that would never be available.

“We understand that the full-sister is an extremely useful filly and she is to be offered next week [Infinite Cosmos, Lot 1954], so it will be interesting to see which trainer gets hold of her, but I believe Sir Michael thinks she is very, very good. That was an added incentive to buy this foal.

“We have worked very hard at this sale and come away with nothing so far. James likes to buy the one that he gets a really strong feeling about, the really important ones. We have stopped on others but he was not stopping on her.”

The filly was the last of the quartet, all of whom sold in ascending order of value. She was preceded by a colt from the same family, and he was by Sea The Stars’ classic-winning son Sea The Moon. Bitzen Bloodstock spent 210,000gns to acquire the colt, a half-brother to two winners and put of a stakes-winning daughter of Dubawi, Crystal Zvezda. She, along with Crystal Ocean and Hillstar, are among four blacktype winners from their dam.

A third member of the same family, a son of Starspangledbanner, and the second produce of a stakes-placed Nathaniel mare, cost McCalmont Bloodstock 160,000gns.