One day on from supplying the top lot during the opener to the Tattersalls December Foal Sale, Havana Grey was on top again, this time as the sire of a colt who dominated the second day of proceedings on Wednesday by selling for 250,000gns.
Rumstar Bloodstock, bidding online, went to 250,000gns for the colt, who was bred by his vendor Whitsbury Manor Stud out of the Sakhee’s Secret mare Stellarta. The seven-time winner has just the one living foal of racing age on the ground but that is Rumstar, one of the stars of Havana Grey’s first crop who capped a busy juvenile season last year with a win in the Cornwallis Stakes at Newmarket.
“Funnily enough we sold a Havana Grey colt for 250,000gns [to Philipp Stauffenberg] on the second day last year,” said Ed Harper of Whitsbury Manor Stud. “He went and made 600,000gns at Book 1 so hopefully history will repeat itself.
“We wanted him to be the star lot on this day and it’s turned out that way. You never know when you make the entry, though, and that feels like a long time ago now.”
He was one of 12 lots to make six figures while the clearance rate wound up at a healthy 81 per cent, a far cry from the 59 per cent achieved on Tuesday. Trade declined across the board but at a minimal level, with the average and median falling by three per cent apiece to 41,126gns and 31,000gns.
Yet the memory of the opening day, when the average and median fell by 32 per cent and 38 per cent, was never far away and in a market dictated to a large degree by stallion fashion, it still wasn’t all plain sailing for breeders.
“It’s frighteningly polarised,” said Peter Stanley of New England Stud, whose draft yesterday was highlighted by a 185,000gns colt by Too Darn Hot. “That’s fine but the trouble is it’s going to knock a lot of smaller breeders out of racing. It’s sad because the whole fun of racing is people playing at every level and what we saw on Tuesday was a bloodbath for people lower down the scale.
“These people get in and they’re enthused about it. Smaller breeders don’t mind losing a little bit of money but if you’re only getting 1,000gns or no bid, it’s humiliating. I think we saw something yesterday that was frightening – the stallion market is just so polarised at the moment.”
Pinhookers were understandably out in force throughout yesterday but it was an end user in France-Galop president Baron Edouard de Rothschild who struck for the second most expensive lot of the day, a Kingman colt for whom Haras de Meautry stud manager Nick Bell signed at 200,000gns.
Sold by Newsells Park Stud, the colt was bred by Gestut Hof Ittlingen out of the dual German Group 2 winner Liberty London.
“This colt will be kept to go into training with Andre Fabre,” said Bell. “We always buy a couple of foals every year. We bought a foal called Alcantor [Gr.3 winner] two years ago who has worked out very well. They’re probably better value and we can compare them to the foals we have at home. The fact this colt was a first foal probably worked in our favour as there’s nothing to come up [as an update] for the pinhookers.
“He was just a nice good-looking, good-walking foal who is out of a very good racemare – she won from three to five and ran in good company all the time. She was obviously tough and that’s a big plus.”
On another day where sire power was key, the leading first-crop sires Too Darn Hot and Blue Point understandably played a major role in the day’s proceedings.
Guy O’Callaghan’s Grangemore Stud went to 185,000gns for the Too Darn Hot colt out of Canonbury, one of just two catalogued across the day by his Group 1-producing sire.
It was a bittersweet sale in that the colt formed part of a complete dispersal on behalf of Lady Ogden, handled in this instance by New England Stud. A half-brother to two winners including recent Kempton juvenile scorer Tchaikovsky, the colt is a grandson of the Ballymacoll champion Islington.
“This was such a nice horse,” said Peter Stanley of New England Stud. “He had a great walk with a bit of size with quality.
“Obviously the Ogdens have enjoyed their racing for many years and Lady Ogden is getting out so it was nice to end up with a really lovely one by Too Darn Hot. There have been a couple of updates in the pedigree. It’s the most wonderful family going back and it looks like it might be starting to happen under the first dam. Then on top of that you have the class of Too Darn Hot – he’s looking very exciting and you would think that it can all only get better next year with his three-year-olds.”
Not long after the Grangemore also signed at 170,000gns for a colt by the similarly popular Blue Point.
“I bought three Blue Points at Goffs last week and we’ll try to get our hands on as many as we can this week,” said Guy O’Callaghan. “We’re believers!”
“This is a smart horse out a good mare – we’ve seen her stock every year for the past couple of years. The three-year-old [Two Stars] looks progressive. Hopefully this one will turn out to be good as well.”
Bred by Hawes Stud, the colt is a half-brother to four winners including the Listed-placed sprinter King of Stars and out of the Clodovil mare Glowing Star.
“We have bred all the mare’s offspring and we have Two Stars, who won for us earlier this year,” said Michael Gaffney of Hawes Stud. “He runs in my wife’s colours and will race on for us next year.
“Glowing Star is from a very fast family. Blue Point was a rocket and we loved him when we saw him. We put two rockets together and we got a superstar of a horse so we are thrilled!”
Blue Point, who registered his 50th winner on Tuesday when Word’s Out won at Deauville, was also responsible for a filly out of Roseau City who was sold by her breeders McCracken Farms for 165,000gns to pinhookers Goodwill Bloodstock.
“We bought Roseau City here at the February Sales [for 4,000gns] from David Elsworth’s,” said Craig McCracken. “Richard Kent knows the family very well and he said he missed her! He told us we had a lovely filly and it has worked out very well for us.
“He was a fabulous racehorse, a great physical and we thought he’s suit the mare. We love the Shamardal thing, which has been good to us over the years. Of course it was a bit of a punt going to him after his first crop would have run, but we have to take those chances as it is difficult to justify spending the money [to go to established sires].
“But in our opinion, it was a calculated risk as we had been to see a few of his foals and we thought they were very nice and this game is very much about the physical, and Blue Point is the physical. Even if he had not hit the dizzy heights he has hit, he still think he would have been very commercial.”
The sale continues on Friday at 10am.