A Camelot colt in possession of a timely update set the seal on the final day of a memorable Goffs Orby Sale on Wednesday when selling for €1.2 million to MV Magnier.

The colt, a brother to Saturday’s emphatic Beresford Stakes winner Luxembourg, was one of two million euro lots to sell during a sale at which last year’s ceiling of £450,000 was surpassed on no fewer than eight occasions.

By the time the hammer came down on the final lot, last year’s challenging Doncaster-based renewal was a distant memory.

In all, 372 yearlings – 91% of those offered – changed hands for a total of €40,581,500, up an impressive 74% from last year. The average rose by 46% to €109,090 while the median improved 44% to €75,000.

The sale was topped by the purchase of a Galileo filly out of Nickname for €1.5 million by MV Magnier during the opening session.

The sale featured no activity from either Godolphin or Shadwell Estates. However, against that it benefitted greatly by the participation of an array of American interests, many of whom took advantage of a flight sourced specifically out of New York for the job.

At first glance, American interest would have appeared to have accounted for at least €7.7 million worth of stock led by Kenny McPeek, who dug deep as the purchaser of €1.71 million worth of stock.

Goffs’ American representative Jacob West was busy, signing for €450,000 worth of yearlings, while trainer Anthony Dutrow came away with the Dandy Man half-sister to recent Grade 1 Saratoga Derby Invitational winner State Of Rest at €180,000. 

American-based agents Justin Casse, Deuce Greathouse, Dan Hayden, Bo Bromagen, Kim Valerio and Ben McElroy also made purchases as did owners such as DJ Stables, Lewis Lakin, Philip Antonacci, Lindsay Laroche and breeze-up pinhookers Top Line Sales and Niall Brennan.

All in all, it was a very satisfactory outcome for an initiative by Goffs that required a significant amount of effort and investment.

“It’s good to be back, very good indeed,” said Goffs Group Chief Executive Henry Beeby. “The Irish National Yearling Sale obviously belongs in Ireland at Kildare Paddocks and it is simply wonderful to have returned with a sale of such depth and consistency over the two days after last year’s hiatus. Indeed Orby has reclaimed its rightful place at the top table of yearling sales with seven figure top prices, a six figure average and a staggering 91% clearance rate that points to a vibrant two days of bidding for the superb catalogue that was assembled.

“We are indebted to many people and several entities. Firstly our vendors who placed their trust in the Goffs service at a time when several factors may have worked against making that decision as memories of last year’s disappointment combined with Covid induced uncertainty in the summer made the choice of sale more complicated than ever. That so many took that leap of faith is very gratifying and we are just delighted that we have been able to repay their trust with a really good sale whilst laying such solid foundations for the future.

“Our buyers have embraced the sale with enthusiasm and a hunger for quality. Many have been driven on by the lure of Europe’s richest two-year-old race, the Goffs Million next year and we can’t wait to see how the picture develops as next season progresses. Suffice to say that the concept has been a powerful tool in reinvigorating Orby and we will look to develop the model as the years progress with enhancements and additions for Orby 22 and beyond.

“Orby has always been a magnet for global interest but we focused extra attention on USA and we salute our new US Agent, Jacob West who attracted unprecedented numbers from across the Atlantic. Happily they liked what they saw and really engaged with the promise of even more in future years as they were so enthused by the quality of the catalogue, the workability of the complex and the warm welcome and helpfulness of the Goffs Purchaser Attraction Team and our colleagues at Irish Thoroughbred Marketing, the latter of which have proved absolutely invaluable in making a trip to Ireland truly memorable for every visitor.”

Brother to Luxembourg steals the show

As with the sale-topping €1.5 million Galileo filly, Wednesday’s €1.2 million leading light is heading into Coolmore hands. 

Their desire to add the colt to their portfolio is understandable given that they campaign his brother Luxembourg, who leapt to the head of the 2022 Derby market with an ultra-impressive success for Aidan O’Brien in Saturday’s Group 2 Beresford Stakes. Bred by Ben Sangster and sold by The Castlebridge Consignment, the colt is also a half-brother to the Group 2 Mooresbridge Stakes winner Leo De Fury and Listed-placed Sense Of Style. 

They are out of Attire, a Sangster-bred sister to Group 3 winner Forgotten Voice. Further back, it is the family of shock 1993 Breeders’ Cup Classic hero Arcangues.

“First of all, I’m delighted for Ben Sangster,” said Magnier. “He and his family have been great supporters of ours for a very long time and it’s a great result for him.

“Luxembourg looks like he is something out of the ordinary. I was actually talking to Seamie Heffernan earlier today and he was saying he couldn’t believe how good he was the other day [when winning the Beresford].

“Camelot is having another great year. And this is a very nice horse – lets hope he’s a good one.”

With both million euro lots to his name among six purchases worth €3.815 million, MV Magnier ended the sale as leading buyer.

The brother to Luxembourg sold for €1.2 million. Photo – Goffs

First Goffs visit for McPeek worthwhile

Kenny McPeek’s sizeable haul included a well-related Frankel colt, for whom he went to €900,000. 

Bred by Eddie Irwin’s Marhill House Stud, the flashy colt is out of Belesta, a winning Xaar daughter of influential producer Bellarida who cost the breeder 280,000gns at the 2010 Tattersalls December Sale. She has become a real asset to the operation since then, not only as the dam of three stakes horses – Group 2 winner Adjusted, Scandinavian champion Giuseppe Piazzi and the Group 3-placed Old Glory – but also in a commercial sense, with her stock turning over close to €2.2 million at the Orby Sale since 2012. The list includes this colt’s brother Old Glory, who sold for €1.6 million to Justin Casse and Zayat Stables in 2017.

“I’m very lucky to have a really great group of owners,” said McPeek. “I reached out to a few today and we have Peter Callahan, owner of Swiss Skydiver [winner of the Preakness Stakes for McPeek], and Fern Circle Stables [owner of last week’s 13-length Bourbon Trail Stakes winner King Fury] partnering on this colt. We may bring in a few others.

“He is a pretty obvious horse. My wife and I walked through the group and he was a ‘wow’ horse. He’s a beautiful horse. He looks to have a great mind and he has a beautiful face too – my wife has already named him ‘Freckles’ with his markings.

“He’ll ship to the US with IRT and be pre-trained in Florida. We won’t push him. He looks like he could take to the dirt but we’ll see. I suspect he’ll be a two-turn horse. He’s the type of horse who could play at an extremely high level.

“We don’t get many Galileos or Frankels in the US – certainly not the same numbers as in Europe – and this will be my first Frankel. If he does end up playing at a high level, then he’s a stallion prospect. I suspect he’ll come to hand quicker than the Galileo colt we bought. Of course, Frankel was such a good two-year-old and this colt is out of a Xaar mare – I actually remember seeing him when he was at Kildangan Stud, a beautiful black horse.”

Kenny McPeek will train this €900,000 son of Frankel. Photo – Goffs

Al Shira’aa to the fore

Fresh from landing the half-sisters to Mother Earth and Poetic Flare during the opening session, Al Shira’aa Farms continued to signal its intent to strengthen its presence within the sport by making another strong play on Wednesday, this time going to €650,000 for the Frankel half-sister to Group 2 winner Creggs Pipes.

Offered by Galbertstown Stables, the result was a landmark moment for breeders John and Una Hayes, who bred the filly out of Sophie Germain. The Hayes purchased the Indian Ridge mare, a daughter of Italian Oaks heroine Nydrion, for €25,000 as a foal. However, she never made the track and nor were the breeders able to sell her first foal, Creggs Pipes.

Yet under the care of Andrew Slattery, Creggs Pipes went on to become a high-class and tough performer, winning seven races including the Group 2 Ridgewood Pearl Stakes. Consequently, Hayes was able to sell the mare’s Australia colt, Anthem, for 300,000gns as a yearling and reinvested the proceedings into a Frankel nomination for Sophie Germain.

Al Shira’aa Farms, which was founded by Sheikha Fatima Bint Hazza Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, recently purchased the storied Meadow Court Stud near the Curragh, and with Kieran Lalor at the helm as manager, has quietly built up a formidable broodmare band. Their new acquisitions will join the band in due course but in the meantime, Lalor is looking forward to seeing what they can achieve on the track. 

As it is, Al Shira’aa are enjoying one of their best seasons to date as the owners of Group/Graded stakes winners Rumi and Mutamakina, both of whom were bought through Shawn Dugan, and as the breeders of Dhahab, this year’s Superlative Stakes third.

“She’s a fabulous filly,” said Lalor after outbidding Ben McElroy for the Frankel filly. “For me, the pick of the sale. Frankel is one of the best sires in the world and she’s a big filly with great movement and bone. Her sister [Creggs Pipes] was a good filly and she was well prepared, the lads did a great job with her. We’re excited to have her.”

Lalor also reported that Rumi, a daughter of Frankel who won the Group 2 Prix de la Nonette on her most recent start, is likely to stay in training. Mutamakina, meanwhile, is likely to run next in the Grade 1 E P Taylor Stakes at Woodbine. The daughter of Nathaniel has already shown a liking for the Canadian track, having captured the Grade 2 Dance Smartly Stakes last time out.

Al Shira’aa Farms landed this Frankel half-sister to Creggs Pipes. Photo – Goffs

Ten Sovereigns lookalike captures the imagination

A No Nay Never colt that evoked comparisons with Ten Sovereigns from co-breeder Timmy Hyde Jr. lived up to his billing in fine style when selling for €620,000 to MV Magnier following a protracted duel with Amanda Skiffington and Mick Kinane.

Sold through Camas Park Stud, the colt is the first foal out of Sweet Charity, a daughter of Myboycharlie whose three wins included the Listed Prix de Liancourt. Also placed in the Grade 2 Santa Ana Stakes in the US, she joined the Camas Park fold when purchased for $250,000 through the BBA Ireland at the 2019 Keeneland January Sale.

“He was always a very good colt,” said Timmy Hyde senior. “He was correct in every way, a big fine horse with great movement. The mare was very fast so he’s bred to be quick.

“She has a filly foal by Churchill and is back in foal to No Nay Never.”

Jus moments earlier, No Nay Never had also been represented by a filly who sold for €300,000 to Alex Elliott and Ben McElroy on behalf of Amo Racing.

Bred by Mike Akers of Diamond Creek Farm, she is a half-sister to dual winner Schooner Ridge and out of Surprisingly, a placed Galileo sister to Irish Derby runner-up Tiger Moth.

The Castlebridge Consignment ended the sale as leading vendor thanks to the sale of 43 yearlings for a total of €5.564 million.

“As we reflect on two good days our mantra of “we can’t do it without you” is as relevant as ever as the focus of Orby must always be the horse because all the spin in the world is worthless without a catalogue of quality,” added Beeby. “Our vendors backed us and we threw everything at it with new agents, the Million, a variety of incentives and more as we recognised this was going to be a pivotal year for the sale. That said there is still so much to do to make Orby the clear first choice for more of the best yearlings in Ireland and we will not rest in our endeavours as we strive to improve and evolve. However I would venture to suggest that Orby 21 has made the point once again that we will deliver when we have the horses; in fact, not just deliver but exceed expectations and Irish breeders need look no further for a global market for the best.”

Attention now turns to the Goffs Sportsman’s Sale, which starts its two-day run at 10am tomorrow.