A new sale record, set by a £500,000 son of Harry Angel, capped a memorable renewal of the Goffs UK Breeze-Up Sale in Doncaster on Tuesday, one that featured significant advances in key areas of trade.
The statistics told an impressive tale, with 152 horses changing hands for a total of £9,919,500 and average of £65,260, up 33 per cent from 2022. The median rose by 11 per cent to £40,000.
There were no shortage of players at the top end of the market, as illustrated by the presence of four lots to sell for £300,000 or more. The bottom end of the system will always have its challenges but what was encouraging was the depth to the middle market, something that is not always present in such sales.
“I think it’s a very good sale. There’s a lot of middle market to it, which is very encouraging.”
“I think it’s a very good sale,” said Anthony Stroud. “There’s a lot of middle market to it, which is very encouraging. It feels good. Last week, when it was more of a selective market, I think we all questioned whether the breeze-up system could take these extra horses and sales, but today shows that things are moving in the right direction.”
He added: “These guys work so hard because it’s such a difficult job preparing breezers. Obviously we as buyers want to buy them at the right price as well, but it’s also important that the vendors are rewarded. A good market makes buying more difficult, but you want the best for the industry.”
It was certainly a day of rewards for Tally-Ho Stud, which sold four six-figure lots while setting a new sale record of £500,000 for their Harry Angel colt. In all, the O’Callaghan family’s operation sold 12 lots for a total of £1.34 million to end the sale as leading vendor.
Trainer Michael O’Callaghan came out on top over the Amo Racing team for the sale-topping colt, who was bred by Lynch Bages, Camas Park and Summerhill out of the Listed-winning Go Angellica, herself a relation to the trainer’s talented sprinter Twilight Jet – another breezer also once sold in the Doncaster sale ring by Tally-Ho.
“It’s been a great trade – I didn’t think we’d have to pay that much but when you think something is the real deal, you have to pull out the stops,” said O’Callaghan. “He was the one we wanted out of the sale and we kept our powder dry for him. We’ve been extremely lucky with the vendor and he’s from the same family as Twilight Jet, who’s been a very good horse for us.”
Tally-Ho paid just €38,000 for the youngster as a Goffs November foal.
“A class horse, always was,” said Roger O’Callaghan. “When we bought him, the plan was to breeze him. It’s worked out beyond our expectations. He was always natural. He’s got an unbelievable temperament, he was a very simple horse to breeze.
“I had no expectations but it’s been a very good sale. Fair dues to Donny, they got it right.”
War of attrition
Sheikh Rashid Dalmook al Maktoum and Richard Brown have had great success buying out of breeze-up sales – think Perfect Power, who cost £110,000 out of this sale in 2021 – and they will be hoping that their good run continues in the shape of the sale’s most expensive filly, a £360,000 daughter of Twilight Son.
“This market is phenomenal – the top end is very, very strong.”
Bought for just £30,000 as a Tattersalls Somerville yearling by her vendors, Shane and Alex Power of Tradewinds Stud, the filly turned in an exceptionally fast time during her breeze and was duly hot property as she entered the ring, eventually becoming the subject of a lengthy bidding battle between the Blandford Bloodstock agent and Conrad Allen.
“That was a war of attrition!” said Brown as he signed the ticket. “She did an exceptionally quick breeze. She was the quickest up there so she beat all the colts as well, which was a very good performance.
“We bought a filly off Shane last year called Bright Diamond for Sheikh Rashid and she went on to win her maiden very well and was then third in the Fillies’ Mile. So we’ve had a bit of luck already buying off Tradewinds.
“She was the one we really wanted and Sheikh Rashid was very determined. It was significantly more than we expected to pay and let’s hope she’s as good on the track as she was up there yesterday morning. This filly is rapid and I’d imagine she’ll be pointing for Ascot.
“This market is phenomenal – the top end is very, very strong.”
They say every cloud has a silver lining and that’s indeed what happened for Brendan Holland of Grove Stud with the sale of his homebred Starspangledbanner filly for £350,000 to Anthony Stroud.
The vendor was forced to pull the filly from her engagement at the yearling sales due to sickness, leaving him with little option but to roll the dice at a breeze. With talent and looks on her side, it turned out to be the right decision.
“She was due to go to Book 3 and got sick,” said Holland. “I’d loved her all the way through so I thought I’d keep her and give it a go. She’s got lovely balance and movement, and I wanted to bring a good one here. In hindsight it came too early for her but she still produced on the day. She’s got loads of quality.”
The filly was co-bred by Holland with David Spratt out of two-time winner Sulaalat, a New Approach relation to the Group 1 winners Summoner and Compton Admiral.
“I don’t breed much, I’ve got shares in about four mares,” said Holland. “Shadwell sold this mare and while she didn’t have an extremely strong pedigree up close, she herself ran some very good speed figures, and that was the main reason I bought her. She was a little inconsistent but she could really run. She had a lot of speed for a New Approach.”
On a day when fast fillies assumed a prominent role, Jake Warren also saw off an online bidder for Longways Stables’ daughter of Dark Angel filly.
Although picked up by her vendor for a relatively inexpensive €52,500 at the Arqana October Sale, the filly boasts a fine page as a half-sister to the Listed-placed Power Of Light, herself dam of the May Hill Stakes winner Powerful Breeze.
“She’ll be trained by Andrew Balding for Bermuda Thoroughbreds and is exactly the type of filly we look for,” said Warren. “We breed out of the fillies we buy and she’s a beautiful, beautiful filly with a very good pedigree – there are half-sisters producing good horses all the way down the page.
“The way she breezed was phenomenal. Married with that, she’s a beautiful looker too. She’s a very correct, lovely, scopey filly who should make a lovely two-year-old. She’ll be a lovely filly to race and hopefully a good broodmare further down the line.”
To the point
As at Newmarket last week, progeny of the exciting first-crop sire Blue Point captured the imagination, with five selling for an average of £138,000.
They included a colt destined for Roger Varian after selling for £220,000 to Oliver St Lawrence. As with the majority of breezers offered by his sire so far this season, he provided a fine profit for his vendor, in this instance Katie Walsh of Greenhills Farm who paid just 42,000gns for the colt at last year’s Tattersalls October Book 2 Sale. He is the second foal out of the placed Miss Fay, a Sayif half-sister to North American Grade 3 winner Queen Of The Sand.
“I’m absolutely over the moon,” said Walsh. “He was always a very straightforward colt. Everything has clicked with him. It’s fantastic money. We do it for days like this.
“I’m absolutely over the moon. It’s fantastic money. We do it for days like this.”
“He’s developed nicely, as he’s getting a bit more length and scope to him. It’s nice to see him change. Let’s hope he’s lucky for Roger.”
Already a buzz stallion among the first-crops sires, Blue Point is already justifying the hype thanks to five winners, among them impressive Newmarket scorer Blue Storm.
“The sire is on fire and everyone is very aware of that,” said Walsh. “He just seems so consistent. It seems they’re very straightforward, looking at the ones on the track and at the breeze-ups, all they want to do is go forward. They’re delivering, but you’d think they’d only get better. I was lucky to have one by him, and to have this colt.”
Also on Tuesday…..
There were celebratory scenes across the yards following the sale of a Tamayuz filly midway through yesterday’s session. The filly in question is the first ever horse to be offered by Donna Cowens and her partner Nicky under their DNA Bloodstock banner and having been sourced for just €10,000 out of last year’s Goffs Autumn Sale, she went on to provide the pair with an outstanding return when resold for £160,000 to Jake Warren.
“We had one last year but that went through Mocklershill,” said Cowens. “This is the first one that we’ve sold under our own banner and its fantastic.
“Nicky was at the Breeders’ Cup last year with Spirit Gal so I was by myself at the sale. I bought this filly and when Nicky came home, luckily he liked her! She was strong and square, which is what you want in a breezer, and her joints and limbs looked like they could take it.”
Donna and Nicky are familiar faces on the sales circuit, primarily in their positions at Willie Browne’s Mocklershill where Nicky is chief breeze-up jockey.
“Hopefully this will give us a push,” said Cowens. “It’s really hard and everybody needs a bit of help. Willie has been very kind, he’s allowed us to rent some stables, and we couldn’t do it without him.”