A £230,000 first-crop son of Shadwell’s Tasleet headed a day of records at Goffs UK Breeze-Up Sale in Doncaster on Thursday.
The sale is riding the crest of a wave as the source of 2,000 Guineas hopefuls Perfect Power and Light Infantry, a fact not lost on potential buyers as they descended on Town Moor for the latest edition of the sale. And when all was done and dusted, Goffs UK were able to celebrated a record aggregate, average and median.
Of the 158 horses offered, 130 found new homes at a clearance rate of 82%. The aggregate rose by four per cent to £6,467,500, the average rose by two per cent to £49,750 and the median rose by six per cent to £36,000.
“As ever with a Breeze-Up Sale, vendors can only expect to be paid for those that perform their very best when galloping prior to sale and those that ticked all the boxes sold very well today,” Tim Kent, Goffs UK Managing Director.
“A record breaking 17 horses sold for £100,000 or more, with three making more than £200,000, which helped to return a record average price that was just shy of £50,000 for the first time in the sale’s history. These highlights also included a phenomenal pinhook for Bushypark Stud with a £14,000 Premier Yearling realising £230,000 to top today’s sale – an incredible result for connections and congratulations to the Bushypark team.
“These were the highlights of a fantastic few days in sunny Donny and, as ever, we would like to thank our loyal band of vendors who again prepared some truly exceptional horses to showcase their talents on Town Moor.
“Much of the talk during the last few days has been the search for Royal Ascot runners as this sale has an unrivalled record of success at the Royal meeting. This fact was not lost on James Harron and his team who will be donning their top hat and tails in just eight weeks’ time after buying two potential runners for new connections in partnership with Stuart Boman and Hubie De Burgh. It is always great to welcome new buyers to Doncaster and we wish them and others the very best of luck with their runners. We are sure that they will be following in the footsteps of Perfect Power and others at Ascot in June and we look forward to being there to cheer them home.”
It’s been a rollercoaster year for Matty Whyte of Bushypark Stables, who was forced to split his breezers around ‘colleagues and friends’ after suffering a bad fall in January.
That was a distant memory on Thursday for Whyte as he watched on while Richard Brown of Blandford Bloodstock fought off a host of interested parties for his Tasleet colt, eventually sealing the deal with a winning bid of £230,000.
His sale marked a momentous pinhook for Whyte, who had paid just £14,000 for the colt out of last year’s Goffs UK Premier Sale. A half-brother to three winners, he is out of the winning Peintre Celebre mare Silent Music.
“He was in the top yard here as a yearling and the consignor had done a lovely job with him but he was just a bit raw and immature, and I thought there was a bit of potential,” recalled Whyte.
“All credit has to go to Stephen Byrne of Knockgraffon Stables. I got smashed up off a horse in January, fractured a few vertebrae and so I had to farm my horses out – seven of them were split between friends and colleagues and Stephen did a wonderful job with him, so it’s his day.
“And of course, Tasleet had his first winner the other day [Carmela at Yarmouth], so it all came together.”
Brown’s achievement of buying dual Group 1 winner Perfect Power out of this sale last year had been recognised by Goffs UK on Wednesday evening when he became the latest recipient of the Willie Stephenson Memorial Trophy, and the agent is hopeful that this latest purchase of behalf of Sheikh Rashid Dalmook al Maktoum will follow a similarly successful trajectory.
It’s something we discuss here every year – do we go strong on a first-crop horse?
“The Tasleet colt is for Sheikh Rashid and will go to Richard Fahey,” he said “We bought Perfect Power for Sheikh Rashid last year and he was keen to come here again and buy a nice colt – and I hope I’ve done that again!
“We bought Far Above off Matt Whyte, he was an extremely talented horse and he’s getting exceptional first foals. This colt did an outstanding breeze – he went fast, which is important when a horse is bred the way he is. He actually caught my eye in the practice breeze. He has a great attitude and action, and he breezed in nice style. He’s a gorgeous colt, and is more than a two-year-old as he has plenty of scope.”
He added: “Tasleet just had his first winner at Yarmouth. He was a tough and talented horse himself. It’s something we discuss here every year – do we go strong on a first-crop horse? Obviously we did it last year with Ardad [sire of Perfect Power] and history shows us it was the right move.”
Brown’s haul also included a Kodiac colt out of She Bu from Tally-Ho Stud, for whom he signed at £160,000. The agent has forged a productive partnership with Tally-Ho at this sale, not only as the purchaser of Perfect Power but also of his sire Ardad for £170,000 in 2016. Appropriately, his latest purchase off the farm boasts Ardad as a close relation, being out of a half-sister to his dam Good Clodora. It is also the family of last week’s impressive Newmarket maiden winner Tajalla in addition to the classy speedsters Maarek and Ruby Rocket.
“He’s a very close relation to Ardad and from the same consignor in Tally-Ho,” said Brown. “He’s a May foal and so he’s going to take a bit more time than Ardad, he’s a little bit more backward. He’s been bought for Sheikh Hamad, a brother to Sheikh Juma Dalmook al Maktoum. They’ve been very lucky on the track and we’ve had a bit of success with them.”
The purchase of a brother to last year’s Queen Mary Stakes heroine Quick Suzy for £125,000 went on to complete a busy ten minutes for the Blandford Bloodstock agent. The son of Profitable had been a €80,000 Goffs Orby pinhook by his vendor, Norman Williamson’s Oak Tree Farm.
Tally-Ho on top again
Unsurprisingly given their track record, Tally-Ho Stud were never far from the action. It was at this sale last year that trainer Michael O’Callaghan went to a joint sale-topping £210,000 for a Twilight Son colt from the operation, who turned out to be Cornwallis Stakes winner Twilight Jet, and on Thursday he returned to the well, this time going to £200,000 for a son of Mehmas.
The first foal out of She’s Different, a winning daughter of Epaulette, he had been knocked down to Nick Bell at Book 3 of last year’s Tattersalls October Sale.
“He’s by a very good stallion and from a hotel I’ve had luck with – I bought Twilight Jet off them last year and [Classic-placed] Now Or Later a few years back,” said O’Callaghan. “He came well recommended and hopefully he makes up into an Royal Ascot horse. He’s not just a two-year-old though as he has plenty of size about him.”
With 12 sold for a total of £735,000, Tally-Ho Stud again ended the sale as leading vendor.
Kessaar on the mark
Mehmas and Kodiac weren’t the only Tally-Ho-based stallions with their name in lights on Thursday. Following the smashing debut win of his first runner Tajalla at Newmarket last week, the operation’s first-crop sire Kessaar has been the name on many lips and he was again to the fore on Thursday, this time as the sire of two colts who made £160,000 apiece.
First up was a strong chestnut colt from Star Bloodstock who has Royal Ascot on his agenda after falling to the triumvirate of Stuart Boman of Blandford Bloodstock, Martin Buick and Australian agent James Harron.
The colt had been widely marketed on social media by his vendor Star Bloodstock as potential Royal Ascot material – they would know, having sold Norfolk Stakes winner A’Ali at this sale – and as such, it was no surprise to see him attract his share of admirers. Quite how many folded when Boman threw in an opening bid of £125,000 is hard to determine but one undisclosed bidder was brave enough to take on the agent via the company’s online platform before calling it a day at £160,000.
Pinhooked by Star Bloodstock for £25,000 from Tally-Ho Stud out of last year’s Goffs UK Premier Sale, he was bred by John Martin McLoughney and is the second foal out of Lady Lizabeth, an unraced Lord Shanakill relation to Italian Champion two-year-old Fontanelice.
“I’ve sent five mares to Kessaar off the back of him!”
For Harron, a major player at the top end of the Australian industry, his sale marked a first foray into the European breeze-up market, and he was to double up later in the day when going to £150,000 alongside Boman and Buick for a daughter of Zoustar out of dual Group 3 winner Ainippe. Sold by Longways Stables, she had cost her vendor £26,000 at last year’s Goffs UK Breeze-Up Sale.
“James got in touch with Martin Buick and myself just before the Craven Sale,” said Boman. “He was after a Royal Ascot type of horse, he wants a runner there. This colt did a very quick time, we liked him a lot physically and he vetted thoroughly. Ultimately, we came here to buy one horse.”
On the last occasion that Star Bloodstock sold a breezer pinhooked off Tally-Ho Stud, the horse in question turned out to be Malavath, a strong fancy for the 1,000 Guineas off the back of her impressive winning return in the Prix Imprudence at Deauville. Hopes will be running high that this colt, who now joins Richard Hannon, can follow suit.
Kessaar repeated the trick later in the day courtesy of a well-related youngster out of Tisa River who will join Roger Varian after falling to Fawzi Nass, signing as Oliver St Lawrence Bloodstock.
Out of a half-sister to Group/Grade 1 winners Iridessa, Order Of Australia and Santa Barbara, the colt turned a mighty profit for Con Marnane of Bansha House Stables, having cost the vendor just £20,000 out of last year’s Goffs UK Premier Sale.
“He’s a gorgeous colt who did very well all winter,” said Marnane. “I’ve always loved him. He’s got a gorgeous temperament.
“I’ve sent five mares to Kessaar off the back of him!”
Marnane tends to hit the mark when it comes to stallions; it was due to what he saw early on from the progeny of Ardad and Mehmas that he decided to support those two stallions as their first runners hit the track, for which he was duly well rewarded.
Nass, meanwhile, is looking forward to what he hopes to be an imminent debut from his new acquisition.
“He’s going to go to Roger Varian and hopefully he’ll be racing very soon,” he said. “He’s the type that could make it to Royal Ascot, hopefully. I liked him and he’s a proper two-year-old type. He’s well put together and can obviously breeze with a nice stride.”
There was a popular result late in the day in the sale of a Munnings colt for £205,000 to Colm Sharkey. The striking grey hailed from the consignment of Ballinahulla Stables but actually represented the respected combination of Ballinahulla’s Tadhg Ryan, Micky Cleere of MC Thoroughbreds and Donal Keene. Few people work the sale grounds harder than that trio and the sale of this colt, who had been a $32,000 pinhook out of the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky October Sale, provided ample reward.
“It was a gamble coming here as they wanted him for Dubai [the inaugural Goffs Dubai Sale],” said Ryan. “But it worked out. He ended up being the only Munnings breezer for sale in Europe this year. I’d have to say I think he’s a very good horse as he loves the game and has a great mind and constitution. He was a gorgeous horse when he came off the box. I’m very glad Colm bought him – we have him right up there with the best judges and he was on him from day one.”
Of their modus operandi at the sales, Ryan added: “Donal does the ground work in the US and we look at the videos. The video work is brutal. We’d have a short list and we’d go through them and whittle it down.”
The trio ship ‘around six and seven’ over a year from the US and would seem to have hit upon a winning formula given that last year’s draft included recent UAE Derby runner-up Summer Is Tomorrow, a very inexpensive Keeneland September pinhook who resold as a breezer for £120,000. The son of Summer Front is currently a 40/1 shot for the Kentucky Derby.
As with Summer Is Tomorrow, the Munnings colt will now ply his trade in Dubai.
“He’s the only horse I wanted to buy so I’ve waited all day for him,” said Sharkey. “He’s got a nice pedigree, did a nice, even breeze and vetted well. My client was keen to have him so he’ll head to Dubai now. Hopefully he’ll race at the back end once they get going in October or November.”
Overall, 64 of 127 pinhooks offered turned a profit on paper, once approximate expenses are taken into account. For those horses that missed, some brutal losses were incurred. On the other hand, there were plenty who hit the mark.
In addition to the sale-topping son of Tasleet, of particular note was a Havana Gold filly, who blossomed from a €22,000 yearling to a £120,000 two-year-old for Knockgraffon Stables, a Galileo Gold colt whose value leapt from €18,000 to £115,000 for Mocklershill, and a Havana Grey filly who sold for £125,000 having cost £15,000 as a yearling.