It was clear talking to the breeze-up consignors ahead of the sales season that they had a lot of time for Blue Point (click here to read more) and that is duly coming to fruition, notably on the track where Darley’s son of Shamardal has already been represented by three winners.
In turn, interest in the stallion’s progeny intensified in the Tattersalls sale ring this week, as illustrated by an average of 239,375gns for eight sold at the company’s Craven Breeze-Up Sale.
They included the co-topping colt, who will be trained by Charlie Appleby on behalf of Godolphin after selling out of Norman Williamson’s Oak Tree Farm draft for 625,000gns to Anthony Stroud.
Making a second quick fire purchase of the evening following that of a Havana Grey colt also for 625,000gns, Stroud outbid Satish Seemer for the youngster, who is the second foal out of the Group 3 winner Most Beautiful.
“The Blue Point is for Godolphin,” said Stroud. “He did a really good time and what we’ve seen so far on the stallion is very encouraging.
“Norman is a fantastic consignor – obviously we bought Native Trail off him. It’s a lot of money but this colt fitted the profile. He was the only one this week that we’ve really been on for Godolphin.”
His sale capped a memorable week for Norman Williamson, whose Oak Tree Farm wound up as leading vendor thanks to the sale of three two-year-olds for a total of 1,185,000gns and average of 395,000gns.
“There were a lot of people telling me this spring that these Blue Points could fly – and I knew that I had one that really could fly,” said Williamson. “I bought him off Tradewinds Stud as a yearling at Book 2. I absolutely loved him when I bought him but for whatever reason he wasn’t sold in the ring [for 70,000gns] and I bought him privately. And we’ve had nothing but joy with him since. He’s been fantastic all spring. He obviously did a very good breeze but he is also a very good-looking horse with size and scope.
“I’d say he’s is probably earlier than Native Trail. Even though Native Trail won six weeks after the sale, this horse feels sharper. Fingers crossed he can do well.”
He added: “You always hope that they might make more than you think but we didn’t think he’d go to that, so we’re thrilled. It’s what we do it for. We’ve had bad days in the past but it’s been a great week, outstanding. The team at home have done a great job.”
Another to contribute to Blue Point’s good week was Kilminfoyle House Stud’s filly out of Immediate, who sold earlier in the session for 350,000gns to Richard Brown of Blandford Bloodstock.
A 70,000gns Tattersalls October Book 2 pinhook by J C Bloodstock, the filly is the second foal out of her triple-winning dam, a daughter of Oasis Dream from the good Juddmonte family of top sprinter Prohibit.
“A gorgeous filly,” said Brown. “I think she’ll need a little bit of time. I don’t think we’ll try to make her into an Ascot filly but we’ll see – we’ll let whoever trains her decide on that. Blue Point has made a tremendous start – I think he could be a bit special. She obviously did a good breeze in a nice style. I can’t imagine that she liked that ground as she has a really low action.”
Plans call for her to remain in Europe for an existing client.
Also popular was Mark Grant’s colt out of Bitter Lake, who was knocked down to Jason Kelly for 250,000gns on behalf of Frank Gillespie.
“Blue Point looks a smart stallion and he’s done that in the the space of 30 days,” said Kelly. “Hopefully he will go on to be as good as he looks right now.
“This is a gorgeous colt who is a three-parts to a black-type performer already. He’ll go to David O’Meara for Frank Gillespie – we’ve had a bit of luck before and hopefully we’ll have some more.
“He’s a big horse, and he breezed nicely. I liked how he sustained his gallop and how he galloped out well at the end. It was tough going for them and for a big horse like him, he went through it well.”
The sale was another high point in the fledgling breeze-up career of vendor Mark Grant, also the vendor of last year’s Coventry Stakes winner Bradsell.
“I loved him all year,” said Grant of his €70,000 Goffs Orby pinhook. “This is a very similar horse to Bradsell, his work is very similar at home and when Bradsell breezed, he was not the fastest horse in the sale either.
“This fella is big but very good actioned and balanced, and I think he could be very good.”
Anthony Stroud’s high-profile purchases also included the co-topping son of Havana Grey, another 625,000gns acquisition – although this time on behalf of an undisclosed client.
“He did a very good time,” said Stroud. “He’s a very nice horse, a real two-year-old type. The sire has done it the hard way. The filly winning today [Nell Gwyn Stakes winner Mammas Girl] underlines that he’s a legitimate stallion.”
For Roderic Kavanagh of Glending Stables, who had pinhooked the steel grey for 42,000gns at last year’s Tattersalls December Yearling Sale, it marked a new high in his career as a breeze-up consignor.
“He’s a good looking horse by a decent stallion and luckily he could run!” said Kavanagh. “He’s untypical of the sire I’d say as he’s big and rangy. I don’t think he’s just a sprinter. Hopefully he’ll go 7f or a mile.
“We hoped he’d do something like that in his breeze as his homework has always been great. The stars aligned today with the Nell Gwyn winner and an impressive one at that.”
The sale-toppers arrived late in the sale and Kavanagh admitted to having several anxious moments about his colt’s position as Lot 198.
“You hope they’re all going to pitch up,” he said. “It was getting late in the sale, it was getting a bit lonely, but they all got there in the end, and some great judges were on him. It’s unbelievable, a great thrill.”
Hopes also ran high for a Royal Ascot appearance for the most expensive filly of the day, a daughter of Night Of Thunder, following her sale for 600,000gns to Kerri Radcliffe.
“She’s for a new client who’s based in London,” said Radcliffe. “We’ve bought quite a few in America so far and we’ll be buying quite a few in America next week. We don’t know where she’s going to go yet but she could either stay in Britain, go to France or there’s a chance she could go to America as there’s plenty of good turf trainers over there. I have to get on a plane to Florida to go to Ocala in the morning so I’ll have plenty of time to think about it.”
The May foal is out of the Dark Angel mare Guana, making her a half-sister to the Molecomb Stakes winner Rumble Inthejungle, now standing at Norman Court Stud, as well as the Group 2-placed Great Prospector. Further back, it is the fast family of Birchwood and Prince Sabo.
“She’s a beautiful filly physically, she’s got the pedigree, so she’s got residual value, and she comes from a great consignor,” said Radcliffe. “She did a lovely breeze. It wasn’t one of the quickest times, that’s not what I buy. I like to buy something that finishes well. When she hit the rising ground she took off and that’s what you want to see. I saw her in February and loved her and she’s done very well physically since then. We’ll see how good she is but hopefully she’ll be very good and hopefully she’ll be an Ascot filly.”
The outcome capped a fine sale for vendor Brendan Holland of Grove Stud, who paid a relatively inexpensive €90,000 for the filly at last year’s Goffs Orby Sale.
“I thought all along that she was the best filly we’ve had since [Cheveley Park Stakes winner] Rosdhu Queen but even so, that surpassed expectations,” said Holland. “Fingers crossed she’s very lucky for the new owner.”
He added: “I love the sire and she’s out of a proven mare. It’s a very fast family, it’s hard to get these real speed families and that sire can throw you speed horses – the best sprinter in Europe last year [Highfield Princess] was a Night Of Thunder. So she was an easy buy for me.”
Of the 202 horses catalogued, up from 164 last year, 166 were offered and 126 sold for a record turnover of 15,357,500gns. The average of 121,885gns was up by five per cent from 2022 although the median fell by 11 per cent to 80,000gns. A total of eight horses made 300,000gns or more.
“Two Craven Breeze Up Classic winners last year as well as more 2022 two year old Group and Listed performers than any other European two-year-olds in training sale have been the perfect advertisements for the Tattersalls Craven Breeze Up Sale and this year’s renewal has attracted leading international buyers in abundance, all of whom have contributed to notably strong demand particularly at the higher end of the market and a record sale turnover in excess of 15 million guineas,” said Tattersalls Chairman Edmond Mahony.
“There has been a significant rise in the number of lots of selling for 200,000gns or more and a number of participants new to the Craven Breeze Up Sale, all of which demonstrates the sale’s international reputation as a consistent source of horses which go on to prove themselves at the highest level on the global stage. The largest Craven Breeze Up catalogue for more than 15 years, 25% larger than last year, may not quite have matched the impressive clearance rate of last year’s sale, but the key indicators of average and median have both held up well and there has been no shortage of outstanding pinhooking triumphs with the obvious highlights being the 625,000gns sale-topping colts by Havana Grey and Blue Point, consigned Glending Stables and Oak Tree Farm respectively, and Grove Stud’s 600,000gns filly who is the second highest-priced filly ever sold at the Craven Breeze Up.
“Year after year the consignors support the Tattersalls Craven Breeze Up with so many of the best breeze-up two-year-olds to be found in Europe and it is wonderful to see their professionalism and confidence in the sale rewarded as it has been over the past two days. Buyers, both domestic and international, have shown similar confidence in the sale and we look forward not only to seeing many of them rewarded with the lucrative Tattersalls bonuses which have proved so popular since their inception, but also to welcoming many of them back to the forthcoming Tattersalls Guineas Breeze Up and Horses in Training Sale.”