Given the recent weather, My Whirlwind proved aptly named when she was offered at the Tattersalls Cheltenham Festival Sale on Thursday evening. A flurry of hot bids saw her sell for £400,000 to Tattersalls Ireland Chief Executive Matt Mitchell, acting on behalf of trainer Nicky Henderson.
The price for My Whirlwind was a record for a National Hunt mare in training.
Auctioneer Alastair Pim was aware of the talent the four-year-old daughter of Stowaway held and asked a packed winner’s enclosure for an opening bid of £300,000.
While that price wasn’t met, a bid of £200,000 was fielded that sparked prospective buyers into action. The price rose steadily before Mitchell secured the filly, a four-length winner of a maiden point-to-point at Ballycahane on her debut earlier this month.
Out of the placed Presenting mare Garranlea Maree, My Whirlwind is from the family of dual Cheltenham Festival hero Albertas Run and was offered by Patrick Turley’s Kingsfield Stud.
Malone and Nicholls reinvest
Following Frodon’s terrific victory in the Grade 1 Ryanair Chase, trainer Paul Nicholls was on hand with agent Tom Malone to secure new stock for his Ditcheat stable, paying £370,000 for Donnchadh Doyle’s Bravemansgame.
The four-year-old son of Brave Mansonnien was one of a number of horses to have been added to the sale following last weekend’s point-to-point action, where he had impressed with an eight-length victory on debut at Killinick.
Malone said: “I loved the horse and his pedigree. I saw him as a store and then saw him in January before seeing him in action at the weekend.
“He tore apart the field and sprinted away from them at the finish. If he’s anything like Envoi Allen, we’ll be in business.”
Malone and Nicholls also signed the docket for Jeremy Pass at £100,000, a four-year-old son of Jeremy who had fallen at the last when half a length behind the eventual winner Giants Table.
Matt Coleman was another of the bloodstock agents busy at a sale where the lots came thick and fast, signing for two lots – the £220,000 Hold That Taught and the £200,000 Crypto, who was the last lot to be offered at the sale.
Hold That Taught, consigned by Denis Murphy’s Ballyboy Stables, had left his rivals for dust when winning on debut by ten lengths in a four-year-old point-to-point at Turtulla last weekend.
The son of Kayf Tara is a product of Robert Chugg’s Little Lodge Stud and is the final foal out of the unraced Exit To Nowhere mare, Belle Magello.
Crypto, a five-year-old son of the late Gold Well, had taken a bumper at Newcastle by an astonishing 16 lengths earlier this month for trainer Micky Hammond and owner Jane Newett.
Of his purchases, Coleman said: “Both are going to Venetia Williams. Hold That Taught comes from one of Robert Chugg’s best families and while he was green in his point-to-point, he finished strongly.
“There was a huge jump from him in the last and he powered through to the line.
“I just loved the way Crypto won; the form is unknown but the time he recorded in that bumper was impressive. He looks an honest horse and gallops well. I like the horse and he seems to have a strong attitude.”
At the end of trade, the Tattersalls Cheltenham Festival Sale had recorded its best ever figures with that saw 21 lots sold for an aggregate of £3,410,000, up seven per cent on last year’s figure of £3,165,000. The average rose three per cent higher from £158,250 to £162,381 while the median posted a two per cent increase from £147,500 to £150,000.
Director of Horses in Training Sales Richard Pugh said: “Tonight’s trade was phenomenal. It was such a thrill to sell the highest priced point-to-point mare on record, but the rewards tonight just kept coming.
“Fourteen horses made £100,000 or more and produced an exceptional clearance rate of 91% with 21 of the 23 horses going through the ring selling. This sale’s stage is second to none; the atmosphere, the excitement and adrenalin witnessed in this very winner’s enclosure was magically mirrored at tonight’s sale and we wish vendors and purchasers alike, the very best of luck.”