The pinhookers were out in force again during a solid second day of the Goffs November Foal Sale on Tuesday.

Enthusiasm to keep trading despite a challenging yearling sales season clearly hasn’t been dampened judging by the action seen so far during the sale, with any foal deemed half decent attracting its share of interest. That was borne out by the statistics on Tuesday at which 82 per cent – 206 foals to be exact – changed hands for a total of €7,608,500. Although the average dropped marginally by four per cent to €36,935, the median rose by three per cent to €31,000.

Six foals realised €100,000 or more led by a second-crop son of Ghaiyyath bred by Milltown House Stud and sold by the operation for €200,000 to the O’Callaghan family’s Tally-Ho Stud.

A major update, namely the Legacy Stakes success of his two-year-old half-sister Pipsy, allied with an attractive physique and the potential of Ghaiyyath did its bit to draw buyers in and indeed Tony, Roger and Henry O’Callaghan had to fight off competition from various well known pinhookers, among them Ger and Brendan Morrin of Pier House Stud alongside Barry Mahon, to secure the colt.

The transaction was a fitting one given it links two of the Irish industry’s most established players. Tally-Ho Stud have been a regular supporter of Goffs for well over 40 years while for the Finegan family of Milltown House Stud, the relationship goes back even further to the days of the first Goffs sales in Ballsbridge during the 1960s.

“My father Noel is 93 and still very much involved,” said Jill Finegan, whose son Jack led up the colt. “He couldn’t be here today but was watching online. My parents started it all, then myself and now Jack, who is in his final year at college. It’s very much a team effort.

“We’re delighted that Tally-Ho bought him. We’ve had a lot of dealings with them over the years and they’ve supported us along the way as well. We’re very thankful to them for having the belief in this horse.”

Dam Experte is one of 12 mares currently owned by Milltown House Stud. The group also includes Exempt, dam of the Group 3 winner Lola Showgirl whose Nando Parrado colt foal sells on Wednesday.

“Eamonn Reilly of the BBA Ireland bought Experte for us in France,” said Finegan of the unraced daughter of High Chaparral, a half-sister to Group 2 winner Ziyad. “Pipsy could be something very special. She’s in the Tattersalls December Sale and hopefully she’ll stay in training and do a bit more.”

Tally-Ho Stud went to a session-topping €200,000 for this Ghaiyyath colt. Photo – Goffs

Celebrations for Donworth

One of the most popular results of the day arrived early on in the session in the sale of an Earthlight colt for €115,000 out of the Galbertstown Stables draft to Timmy Hyde of Camas Park Stud. The colt was bred by Mary and John Donworth, whose daughter Orla is part of the marketing team at Goffs, out of Stone Roses, a winning daughter of Zebedee bought for just €22,000 in 2016. Seven years later and she is the dam of three winners.

“Well I didn’t expect him to make that, you could say we were shocked at the money, but we always knew he was a terrific foal at home,” said John Donworth. “From the moment he was born, he was a very friendly foal who caused no issues and did well all summer. He weaned well and then did very well the last few months.

“I retired in November 2016 and came to the Goffs sale, and two days later I had spent a chunk of money on two mares. One of then was Stone Roses and the rest is history. We were looking for a young mare and she was a winner by Zebedee – she’s an athletic, good-looking mare.”

The colt’s sale continued the warm reception shown this week towards the second crop of Earthlight. The dual Group 1-winning two-year-old is part of the next wave of top-class sons of Shamardal coming through for Darley – Pinatubo and Victor Ludorum being the others – and with a well-received group of first yearlings under his belt, various pinhookers have taken a punt this week that he could be the next Blue Point. At the close of play yesterday, the stallion boasted an average of €50,364 with the figure boosted by Monday’s joint session-topper, who was knocked down to Paul McCartan for €80,000, and fillies who sold on Tuesday for €74,000 and €50,000 to Luke Barry and Yeomanstown Stud.

One stallion that certainly can do no wrong at the moment is Havana Grey. The Whitsbury Manor Stud stallion was a real friend to pinhookers during the yearling sales – an unsurprising development given his rapid rise through the ranks – and understandably many are keen to reinvest again, notably Frannie Woods of Abbeylands Farm who gave €130,000 for a colt out of the winning Showcasing mare Colouring. One of several sent to this sale by breeder Whitsbury Manor Stud, the colt was sold through Olive O’Connor.

The day concluded on a bittersweet note with the foal dispersal of Manfred and Edith Hellwig’s Gestut Hony Hof. Plenty of the stud’s success derived from the Sacarina family via her champion daughter Salve Regina but in this instance it was a member of their Walburga family that took centre stage in a son of Sioux Nation who sold for €125,000 to pinhookers Goodwill Bloodstock. The colt is out of the Listed-placed Westfalica, whose first foal Wikinger recently won a lucrative BBAG sales race.

Pinhookers JC Bloodstock also struck at €120,000 for the farm’s Galiway colt out of the Group 3-placed All For Rome while Peter and Ross Doyle landed a first-crop daughter of St Mark’s Basilica out of German champion two-year-old filly Ocean Fantasy for €85,000.

Overall, the Gestut Hony Hof foals turned over €486,000 for nine sold.

Orla Donworth and her father John celebrate the sale of their Earthlight colt for €115,000. Photo – Goffs