Pearling, the dam of three-time Group 1 winner Decorated Knight, will remain with Imad Al Sagar after the owner bought out his partner Saleh Al Homaizi through agent Tony Nerses for 2.4 million guineas at the Tattersalls December Mares Sale on Tuesday.

Purchased for 1.3 million guineas at the 2011 edition of this sale, Pearling has proved to be a successful buy for Blue Diamond Stud, with her first foal Decorated Knight going on to land the Tattersalls Gold Cup, Irish Champion Stakes and Jebel Hatta.

Pearling boasts an impressive pedigree being a sister to both Giant’s Causeway and You’resothrilling, the dam of Gleneagles, Happily, Marvellous, Taj Mahal and Coolmore. The 12-year-old daughter of Storm Cat was offered by New England Stud carrying a full sibling to Decorated Knight.

Al Sagar said: “Saleh has a new business commitment and has needed to reduce his interests.

“Life changes. I am buying what I want to keep. I am selling to reduce the numbers and am keeping the mares I like.

“There is no conflict. Saleh is a relative of mine and one of my best friends.

“Pearling was here for sale at the right price. I got her back and I’m very pleased.”

Later in the session Blue Diamond Stud’s Ambrosia, by Frankel out of Pearling, was sold for 1.3 million guineas when David Hanly of WinStar Farm in the US outbid K I Farm for the four-year-old mare.

Lordship Stud secure Bound

Prior to Pearling topping Tuesday’s session at Park Paddocks, trade was headed by Bound, who went the way of agent Luke Lillingston for 2.2 million guineas to join Lordship Stud’s broodmare band in Newmarket.

Auctioneer Alistair Pim was taken aback when an opening bid of 1,000,000gns was fielded by agent Lincoln Collins to secure the mare. After Bertrand Le Metayer made a play for the mare, it was Lillingston and Lordship Stud who came into the fold to have the final say.

The Listed-winning daughter of Galileo was offered in foal to Yeomanstown Stud’s Dark Angel and is a sister to the Group winners Wedding Vow, Beacon Rock and Bye Bye Baby. Her dam, the Danehill Dancer mare Remember When, is closely related to Group 1 hero Dylan Thomas.

Lillingston said: “It’s a long road with a broodmare. I remember saying to Trevor when he bought Swiss Lake that he would have to throw the sink at her, and he did and he got just rewards.

“This one is a bit more obvious. She’s a very special mare and she’ll probably go to Dubawi.”

 More joy for Heartache’s connections

Heartache provided both Hot To Trot Racing and Whitsbury Manor Stud with a memorable success in last year’s Group 2 Queen Mary Stakes at Royal Ascot and the daughter of Kyllachy made headlines again when selling for 1.3 million guineas on Tuesday.

Trained by Clive Cox, Heartache also struck in the Group 2 Flying Childers Stakes and bidding on the three-year-old opened at a substantial 500,000gns.

James Delahooke and Jamie McCalmont were among the early players but as Heartache’s price creeped higher and higher, MV Magnier made sure the fast filly was heading to Coolmore’s broodmare band with a bid of 1.3 million guineas.

Magnier said: “She’s a very fast filly and Pivotal works so well with Galileo and Kyllachy. I’d say that Galileo is where we’re going to send her at the moment

“Ed Harper has always been saying how good looking she is and she came from a great nursery in Whitsbury Manor Stud from day one.”

Heartache is from the fifth generation of a family that Chris Harper of Whitsbury Manor Stud has bred, going all the way back to a mare called Hollow Heart who Harper purchased in the 1970s.

Out of the Listed-winning Compton Place mare Place In My Heart, the operation has raced every daughter from the family right down to Heartache.

Heartache winning the Queen Mary Stakes at Royal Ascot in 2017 – Photo: George Selwyn

Ed Harper, son of Chris and Director of Whitsbury Manor Stud, said: “We didn’t sell Heartache as a yearling and at that time Kyllachy fillies weren’t in favour. Since the Queen Mary win, he’s had three or four other good fillies.

“We know the family so well and Heartache is a testament to dad’s stockmanship. He’s had massive faith in this family.

“Whoever bought her was going to be sending her to spectacular stallions. If she can go to Galileo a couple of times and make our family then that’s helpful because we’re going to keep everything else.

“We knew we had her value in the bag when we went bidding for Havana Grey. Maybe we wouldn’t have been so brave on him. All these things add up to try and push us forward.”

No Limits for Erdenheim

As the only Group or Grade 1 winner in the catalogue, Off Limits boasted obvious appeal to a host of buyers in town for the December Mares Sale and it was James Wigan of London Thoroughbred Services, acting on behalf of Erdenheim Farm, who struck the winning bid of 1.2 million guineas.

The six-year-old, who began her career with David Wachman before joining Chad Brown, secured her top-level success when landing the Matriarch Stakes at Del Mar in November 2017.

With two Grade 3 victories and the Listed Cairn Rouge Stakes to her name, Off Limits was consigned by European Sales Management on behalf of her owner Martin Schwartz.

Erdenheim Farm was bought in 2009 by the McCausland family. It was once home to British sire Leamington, the sire of Derby winner Iroquois.

James Wigan said: “Erdenheim Farm hasn’t had horses on it for a long time and Mr McCausland is setting up on the property in Pennsylvania.

“He’s looking for some nice mares and she’s a Grade 1 winner in the States with a lovely family. She has American as well as European appeal.”

Erdenheim and Wigan were back on the mark on Tuesday evening when going to 800,000gns for Billesdon Bess, a half-sister to this year’s QIPCO 1,000 Guineas heroine Billesdon Brook.

Phoenix dreaming of more

The million-guinea mark was broken for the first-time on Tuesday by Phoenix Thoroughbred when they snapped up the Listed-winning Pocketfullofdreams, consigned by Baroda and Colbinstown Studs.

Pocketfullofdreams was one of only two mares in foal to Coolmore’s perennial champion sire Galileo and the Phoenix team, comprising agent Dermot Farrington, Vice-President Tom Ludt and CEO Amer Abdulaziz Salman, were determined in their pursuit of the four-year-old.

The daughter of Invincible Spirit is a half-sister to the Group 2-winning The Juliet Rose and out of the Listed-placed Dubai Destination mare Dubai Rose.

John Quinn with the Phoenix Thoroughbred team during the Tattersalls December Mares Sale – Photo: George Selwyn

Ludt said: “You’re starting right off the bat with a mare in foal to Galileo. We’re building a large operation and she’s a phenomenal mare.”

Phoenix were back in action immediately one lot later when they secured Ballet De La Reine, a winning daughter of War Front who like Pocketfullofdreams was offered by Baroda and Colbinstown Studs.

“It’s kind of tough having them back to back but we don’t have anything to do with that. She’s in foal to Frankel; look at her third dam Urban Sea – it’s incredible.”