The remarkable resilience of the bloodstock industry was on full show in Newmarket on Tuesday during a second session of Book 2 of the Tattersalls October Sale that, in the words of one leading consignor, ‘defied all logic’.

Julian Dollar: ‘the sale has taken off’. Photo – Tattersalls

Fears of a Covid-damaged market thankfully failed to come fruition, with demand for good stock pushing the average to 84,448gns, a level that actually sits marginally ahead of last year’s overall figure.

While the median of 52,000gns is not so strong, a high clearance rate of 85% also offers a snapshot of the strength of trade seen so far this week.

Tellingly, a total of 34 yearlings have made 200,000gns or more; there were 35 during the entire three-day sale in 2019. 

“We were very busy showing at the weekend – the number of trainers looking for horses at all different level was very encouraging,” said Baroda Stud’s David Cox, which recorded an average of 216,667gns on Tuesday. “So I suspected that it could be strong. It’s amazing considering what is going on. We’re very lucky to be having a sale at all – everything has been very well run by the sale companies.”

Julian Dollar, general manager of Newsells Park Stud, was another participant also pleasantly surprised at the depth of trade. Speaking after selling the 675,000gns top lot, he said: “In this climate we did not think it would be at all easy, but the sale seems to have taken off incredibly this week. I keep looking back to last week [Book 1], thinking of all those lovely horses and how they now look value. But I am not complaining, it is fantastic – thanks to all the people prepared to take their hands out of their pockets and spend big money on racehorses, long may it continue.”

Vega colt heads busy day for Godolphin

A striking grey son of Lope De Vega stole the show on Tuesday when selling for 675,000gns to Anthony Stroud, acting on behalf of Godolphin.

Bred by Andrew Stone’s St Albans Bloodstock and sold through Newsells Park Stud, the colt is the fourth foal out of Loch Ma Naire, a winning Galileo half-sister to Fillies’ Mile heroine Simply Perfect. In turn, she is the dam of Group 3 winner Mekong River while another half-sister, One Moment In Time, is the dam of Group 3 winners Bondi Beach and Constantinople.

“He’s bred on a very good cross, Lope De Vega over Galileo,” said Stroud. “He’s an attractive horse who is beautifully bred – Lope De Vega is going very well – and from a good farm.”

It was another big result for vendor Newsells Park Stud but general manager Julian Dollar was quick to deflect the credit to breeder Andrew Stone. 

“Our team have done a great job of prepping but we’ve only had him eight or nine weeks – we’ve just put the polish on him,” said Dollar. “The credit really goes to St. Albans and the farm who raised him.”

This striking son of Lope De Vega set a new top mark at Book 2 of the Tattersalls October Sale when selling for 675,000gns. Photo – Tattersalls

A busy day for Stroud also included the purchase of a New Bay colt from Ballylinch Stud for 400,000gns.

By a sire who has made a really bright start with his two-year-olds, the Ballylinch homebred is out of the 2012 Radley Stakes winner Need You Know.

“This was a horse that as an individual caught the eye, when he was down at the barn and when viewers came to see him,” said Ballylinch Stud’s managing director John O’Connor. “He just had an extraordinary action and he is the same when he is lunging, he has a lot of quality.

“Our stallions are going well and we are delighted with the way the market is receiving them. They are getting winners in the right places and the right types of tracks and the right stakes races. That is what it is all about in the end – sales should be about racing.”

In addition to New Bay, the Ballylinch roster includes the Group 1-producing sires Lope De Vega and Make Believe.


Well-related ‘queen’ for Bernick

Florida-based Glen Hill Farm has been steadily increasing its international presence over the past few years and took another step towards that global goal on Tuesday afternoon when going to 460,000gns for a well-related Frankel filly through agent Hubie de Burgh.

The sale continued a momentous few days for Harry McCalmont’s Norelands Stud, also the vendor of Monday’s session-topping 400,000gns son of Kingman in addition to a first-crop daughter of Ribchester who made 300,000gns on Tuesday morning. The farm also raised and sold Saturday’s Dewhurst Stakes winner St. Mark’s Basilica.

The Frankel filly was bred at Norelands by John Camilleri, famously the breeder of Winx, and is the third foal out of Love Is Blindness, an unraced Sir Percy half-sister to French Derby hero Reliable Man. Her third dam is the 1978 Oaks heroine Fair Salinia.

De Burgh was thrilled with the purchase, having come up short last week in his quest to purchase a similarly well-related youngster.

“Craig Bernick [Glen Hill Farm owner] is building up a strong operation in North America, Europe and Australia,” said de Burgh. “He’s great for the industry. He’s thinking long-term, he’s looking 20 years down the line, and hopefully this filly will be one of the foundation mares of the future.

“I actually bought the mare for John Camilleri so I know this filly well! I’ve watched her regularly from when she was born and every time I’ve seen her, she’s just got better and better. She’s a queen, she has real strength to her, and on top of that, she’s from a top farm.

“Hopefully she’s a Classic filly. She has a real Classic page and then she’s by one of the great sires of the modern era in Frankel. You just don’t get your hands on something like that very often!”

The filly will be trained by Fozzy Stack in Ireland.

The 470,000gns Frankel filly will carry the colours of Florida-based Craig Bernick. Photo – Tattersalls

Bernick, a grandson of Florida horseman Leonard Lavin, who campaigned Grade 1 winner Relaunch, maintains a select broodmare band at Norelands Stud that includes Galileo Gal, a winning Galileo half-sister to Alpha Centauri and Alpine Star bought for $1.4 million. He also purchased the Jessica Harrington-trained One Voice back in the spring, after which she carried his colours to victory in the Blue Wind Stakes.

The day had begun in grand style for Norelands Stud when Demi O’Byrne went to 300,000gns for its Ribchester filly on behalf of Arc-winning owner Peter Brant.

It was a particularly popular result given that she was bred by Norelands in partnership with Patrick Robinson of ‘Horsetrader’ fame. Co-authored with his brother Nick, Horsetrader tells the tale of Robert Sangster’s rise within the industry during the boom years in the 1980’s. It is a fascinating insight into the racing world of that time and remains a popular read today.

“Patrick also assisted with a book called Lone Survivor [The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of SEAL Team 10] that was made into a film,” said Noreland’s Harry McCalmont. “With the success of that, he decided to put some money into mares.”

One such animal was Hint Of Pink, a Teofilo half-sister to Listed winner Pelerin purchased through the BBA Ireland for 70,000gns in 2016.

Crucially, the mare’s second foal, Parchemin, won for Godolphin at Compiegne earlier this month.

“It was a pleasant surprise to see her sell so well but timing is everything in this business and the fact this filly’s half-brother won first time out for Andre Fabre the other day was a big plus,” said McCalmont.

On the decision to use Ribchester in his first season at Kildangan Stud, he added: “We tend to use a few first season sires and we liked the horse, he was obviously very good himself and he’s also good-looking. It’s nice when a plan comes together!”

Brant also went to 310,000gns through O’Byrne for a Showcasing colt from Kenilworth House Stud. Out of the Acclamation mare Harlequin Twist, an unraced half-sister to Listed winner Miblish, he was purchased for ‘just’ 70,000gns as a foal by Friends Bloodstock.


Camelot filly for Crisford

Meanwhile, a Camelot filly from the family of this year’s Prix de Saint-Georges winner Batwan will join Simon and Ed Crisford after falling to the duo at 340,000gns.

Bred by Frank Antonacci and David Reid out of the Group 3-placed Matorio, she was the highlight of a good day for vendor Baroda Stud, which also celebrated the sale of a Bated Breath colt – a €95,000 pinhook – for 260,000gns to Shadwell Estate Company.

“Her dam is at Baroda and she went to No Nay Never but didn’t take and transferred to Camelot,” said Baroda Stud’s David Cox. “Luckily it has all worked out well!”