The anticipated lack of participation from Shadwell Estates did little to dampen trade during the opening session of Book 2 of the Tattersalls October Sale in Newmarket on Monday.
The organisation, which suffered the loss of its principal Sheikh Hamdan earlier in the year, has long been a key player at this sale, its expenditure amounting to a total of 20,702,000gns over the past three years. However, with a reduction of its holdings currently taking precedent over any further investment, they have been conspicuous by their absence on the buying front at each of the major yearling sales this year, and yesterday was no different.
Nevertheless, trade held up admirably well as demand from a depth of domestic and international buyers contributed to a turnover of 18,895,500gns for 211 yearlings sold at an average of 89,552gns, up 27% from the corresponding day last year. However, the median in particular also returned a healthy increase, rising by 35% to 70,000gns.
A Night Of Thunder colt purchased privately as a foal last winter turned a fine profit for vendor Frannie Woods of Rathbarry Stud early on in the session when reselling for 375,000gns to Dwayne Woods.
Woods, working with his brother Sean, outbid the likes of Richard Hannon, standing with Kia Joorabchian of Amo Racing, for the colt, who received a handy update ten days ago when his two-year-old sister, Hanaady, won at Nottingham for Ed Dunlop.
“He’s the cleanest Night Of Thunder I have ever seen,” said Woods. “He’s very clean conformationally, he’s very strong, correct – he has everything. He is a stunning horse, for me the pick of the sale.”
Sean Woods added: “He’s for an existing client in the yard. He’ll have a bit of time to chill out now and will come back to Shafleet in January.”
Out of the unplaced Where Or When mare Harlequin Girl, the colt is from the immediate family of Group winners Blaine, Bogart and Youth Spirit.
“He is a lovely colt, and a horse with a great mind,” said a delighted Frannie Woods. “He is lovely to do anything with, just a pleasure. The sister won for Ed Dunlop, which just brought everything together – it has proved that the mare can get a winner and with the full-sister, it gave some people some confidence. He looks fast, he vetted very well and everything went according to plan.”
Fresh from coming away with five out of last week’s Book 1, the Hong Kong Jockey Club returned to play at the higher end of the market with a 300,000gns investment in a Kingman colt from Ballyhimikin Stud.
“He’s by a great stallion and he’s a lovely, correct model for what I want,” said Kinane. “I bought five last week but that’s the first one I’ve tried on today – good horses are hard to buy.”
The colt was bred by Ballyhimikin’s James Hanly, Anthony Stroud and Trevor Stewart out of the classy Hunaina, an Aga Khan-bred Tamayuz mare from her breeder’s Hazaradjat family also responsible for Harzand and Hurricane Lane.
“We bought the mare as a three-year-old in training [for €140,000] and sent her to Henri Devin and she won a Listed race [Snowdrop Stakes] and a Group 3 [Prix Bertrand du Breuil],” said Stewart. “He’s a really nice first foal – a good walking, good strong individual. It is a nice start for the mare.”
Hunaina returned to the ring at the end of her four-year-old career but was retained on a bid of 725,000gns. The Kingman colt was her first foal.
Overall, it was an excellent day for Ballyhimikin Stud, as illustrated by an average of 207,000gns for five sold.
They included a Lope De Vega colt out of Listed-winning two-year-old Kambura, who provided the Hanly, Stroud and Stewart triumvirate with another healthy result when selling for 250,000gns to owner Noel Wilson.
“We went out a few years ago and bought some good mares,” said Hanly. “It’s a team effort and we’ve put together a very nice group. It’s a real credit to the team on the farm as well. They’ve done a great job. We look forward now to seeing these horses on the track.”
The colt was bought by Kent-based owner Noel Wilson, yet is heading to Australia to be trained by Annabel Neasham.
Wilson, who worked for ten years on The Sun’s racing desk, races in France as Just Wow Ltd and has also had shares in horses in Australia. However, he finds no appeal in racing horses closer to home.
”It is obvious really, isn’t it?” he said. “I live in Kent, but I would never have a horse in training in England. It is just a joke. I have had horses in Australia come tenth and pick up £1,500. It is not a deciding factor, but it is indicative of what is going on. If you look at Australia, I have seen 90-rated horses placed in Group 1s.
“I am not really rich enough to support British racing.
“This is a very classy horse, he vetted superbly and is a standout. I also bought one by Australia last week – if everything goes badly there is quite a bit of stamina in both pedigrees, though this horse has a bit more speed.”
He added: “I set the alarm to watch the horses run in Australia, and I also have Equidia in the kitchen. I don’t need to go and watch them physically. When they lose it is nice to turn around and make a cup of tea [rather] than have to get in the car and drive to a different country to get home!”
Sole Galileo in demand
As the sale entered its final stages last night, the sole Galileo yearling on offer took centre stage, selling out of the Manister House Stud draft to the BBA Ireland/Yulong Investments via an online bid for 325,000gns.
The grey youngster was bred by the Mrs Danvers Syndicate and is the second foal out of the 2016 Cornwallis stakes heroine Mrs Danvers, a popular filly of her time for trainer Johnny Portman by virtue of her rags-to-riches story.
A striking daughter of Kingman also found favour as darkness fell when selling to Richard Brown of Blandford Bloodstock for 300,000gns.
It was a celebratory result for vendor Appletree Stud, who bred the filly out of Midnight Thoughts, a Henrythenavigator half-sister to Irish St Leger hero Royal Diamond, Ribblesdale Stakes winner Princess Highway and Classic-placed Mad About You. From an excellent Moyglare Stud Farm family, the mare has already done her own bit at stud as the dam of the Group 3-placed Tomorrow’s Dream.
“It is a fantastic result, in the region of double what we’d thought!” said Appletree Stud’s Robert ‘Choc’ Thornton. “Going into the ring, we knew we had good people behind us, but we didn’t expect that! When she went to 150,000gns, I thought then we might get to 200,000gns, then when she went on I did a ‘Del Boy’ and had to step back!
“It is a complete credit to Jonny Sutton, the stud groom, he has done a hell of a job with her and turned her inside out.
“She has been exemplary. She has never put a foot wrong, she is very uncomplicated. You can never be sure until you get in there, but we were confident. She is by far the best daughter out of Midnight Thoughts and, as this is a business, we have put her in the sale, and we have got a great result.”
The filly is set to join John Gosden.
“John thought she was the outstanding Kingman filly in the sale and probably knows more about Kingman than I!” said Brown. “But she is a lovely classy elegant filly, and with a proper page. She is gorgeous so we had to go strong.”
Thornton added: “We have had some indifferent results today, we washed our face with one, we have taken one home and then we had her. It makes a huge difference. It is nice to know that people like John Gosden and Anthony Stroud, the underbidder, have the confidence in the farm. And it is great for the mare and for everybody that she is going into training with John Gosden.”
The sale continues tomorrow at 10am.