Trade for foals remained in competitive at the Tattersalls December Foal Sale in Newmarket on Thursday as pinhookers continued to restock ahead of next year’s round of yearling sales.

A 225,000gns daughter of Sea The Stars was the star turn on a day that featured 13 six-figure lots and – as in keeping with the rest of the breeding stock sales season so far this year – rises across-the-board.

With the sale of 235 foals in the books, Tattersalls turned over 9,255,000gns for the day at an average of 39,255gns, up 16% from 2020. The median rose by 20% to 30,000gns.

The session-topping Sea The Stars filly is set to carry the colours of Andrew Stone of St Albans Bloodstock following her sale for 225,000gns to Richard Brown of Blandford Bloodstock.

Bred by vendor Whatton Manor Stud, she is out of Careful Thought, a Brazen Beau half-sister to champion two-year-old Best Terms and thus bred along similar lines to the 1,500,000gns Tattersalls October Book 1 sale-topper; both fillies are Sea The Stars granddaughters of Sharp Terms, a member of the Barnett’s fine family of Time Charter.

“Andrew had a phenomenal Book 1 sale, he sold a Frankel colt for 925,000gns and a Lope De Vega for 725,000gns, and he’s had a great year on the racecourse too,” said Brown.

“We’re always looking for opportunities and she’s been bought to race before hopefully becoming a broodmare. He’s trying to build a boutique, high-quality broodmare band and she’d be a great addition to that.

“I manage quite a few horses at Whatton Manor, so I’ve seen this filly all the way along. In the summer she was a bit first foal-like, she probably lacked a little bit of muscle, but she’s just improved and improved and turned into a very nice filly.

“She’s on a very steep upward trajectory, although I had a bit of an advantage having seen where she’s come from. She’s got a load of class and is by a top-class stallion.”

The sale marked a new high for Whatton Manor Stud in its role as foal vendor, as the stud’s Ed Player explained.

“We are absolutely over the moon” said Player. “I’m flabbergasted. She’d been very popular and she’d been vetted a lot of times, so we hoped she’d make up to the 200,000gns mark. But to actually get it, we couldn’t be happier.

“This is the most expensive foal we’ve sold. The previous high was for [Coventry Stakes winner] Nando Parrado [165,000gns], so she has big shoes to fill – hopefully she can be just as good!”

The filly is the first foal out of her dam, who made one unproductive start at two for Mark Johnston. However, that doesn’t tell the whole story.

“We had had a good yearling sale a couple of years ago, and we always say to Richard Brown that if he sees a future broodmare prospect anywhere, that we are always in the market. 

“So he found this lovely filly in Book 3 from Newsells and we bought her for 20,000gns and sent her to Mark Johnston. He thought she was quite useful but she got injured after one run. We retired her and it has now all come full circle.

“As soon as we bought the filly, Star Terms and Fresh Terms [both stakes winners out of Best Terms] came up in the pedigree. Things were happening in the family so we thought we had better give her the best chance we could.

“We sent her to Sea The Stars on a foal share. Obviously, the Sea The Stars filly out of Best Terms topped Book 1 when selling for 1,500,000gns so other people are thinking the family is pretty nice as well.”

Andrew Stone will race this 225,000gns Sea The Stars filly. Photo – Tattersalls

On a a day when well-bred and well-conformed fillies were in demand, a daughter of Night Of Thunder also proved popular when sold for 130,000gns to J C Bloodstock.

Her sale maintained the fine week enjoyed by her vendor Overbury Stud, which bred the filly out of Pacifica Highway, a Pulpit granddaughter of top racemare Kostroma.

Purchased for $110,000 through Blandford Bloodstock at the 2014 Keeneland November Sale, Pacifica Highway has become a real asset for Overbury, notably as the dam of the Grade 3-placed American colt Ayacara and promising two-year-old Spanish Baroque, a dual winner in France for Peter Brant and Jean-Claude Rouget this autumn. However, she also boasts a fine sales record, with no fewer than five six-figure foals to her credit. In addition to Thursday’s filly, they include a Showcasing colt who sold for 200,000gns to Stroud Coleman at this year’s Tattersalls October Book 2 Sale.

For Michael Fitzpatrick and Barry Mahon of JC Bloodstock, her purchase was the continuation of what is likely to be a busy week for the pinhooking duo.

“She has been bought off a good farm, and hopefully there will be a good few updates next year,” said Michael Fitzpatrick.

“I would only really pinhook a filly who is likely to get into Book 1. It is very difficult to get a filly by a proven stallion and with a pedigree – this filly has a champion mare on the page in Kostroma [also a three-time Grade 1 winner] and she is out of a young mare, who has two winners from four foals.”

Michael Fitzpatrick: “Hopefully there will be a good few updates next year”.  Photo – Tattersalls

The 130,000gns mark was also reached by a first-crop representative of Coolmore’s Ten Sovereigns, who was knocked down out of the National Stud consignment to Yeomanstown Stud.

The colt was bred by Andrew Rosen with Kilshannig Stud, who raised the colt, and is out of Fashion Darling, a Sea The Stars half-sister to Group 3 winner Majestic Queen.

Overall, it was a good day for Ten Sovereigns, who heads into the third session as the sale’s leading first-crop sire by average on a figure of 60,333gns. Fellow Coolmore stallion Magna Grecia isn’t far behind on 60,000gns.

Yeomanstown’s haul also included a son for Sea The Moon from the immediate family of this year’s Matron Stakes runner-up Pearls Galore who cost 110,000gns from Kellsgrange Stud.

“He will be coming back for sale next year,” said Yeomanstown’s Robert O’Callaghan. “He is a very simple colt, a big strong horse with a great walk. He has a good page and we have had luck with Sea The Moon already. We were mad to get him. 

Sea The Moon is getting better year on year, and with better crops to come. “

He added: ”Trade has been strong, everyone wants to the nice ones, but you have to pick and choose your battles and not get too carried away.

“We bought 20 last week between ourselves and [Guy O’Callaghan’s] Grangemore, and we will be looking to buy about the same again – it is time to get stuck in and stock up for next year!”

Petches star

Meanwhile, it was quality not quantity for Petches Farm as its select draft of three – all by first-crop stallions – turned over 235,000gns within the space of several minutes.

A major vote of confidence came the way of Coolmore’s young stallion Magna Grecia in the sale of the farm’s filly out of She’s So Flawless for 110,000gns to Arthur Hoyeau. Two lots later, the same agent also went to 45,000gns for Petches’ Calyx filly, the first foal out of its homebred Garswood mare Crown Of Flowers. In between, Fairway Partners – a French-based pinhooking group fronted by Charlie Briere – went to 80,000gns for the farm’s colt by Masar, a relation to top stayers Subjectivist and Sir Ron Priestley.

Hoyeau outlined that his purchases had been sourced to race in France.

“After the strength of the yearling market, we thought foals might offer a bit more value,” he said. “They will go to France for an owner who was looking for a few fillies to race.

“It has been tough to buy yearlings this year so we were trying to buy a bit of value and buy foals and get them into the system.

“They may eventually be bred from – we will have to see how good they are, but buying as foals is really a response to the yearling market than anything else.

“The two fillies are different types. The Magna Grecia is a just a lovely, strong, scopey filly. She is a good mix of Invincible Spirit and Fastnet Rock – the mare is young and Fastnet Rock is such a good broodmare sire.”

This Magna Grecia filly contributed to an excellent few minutes for Petches Farm. Photo – Tattersalls

The highest priced foal sold by Magna Grecia to date, the filly is the second foal out of the winning She’s So Flawless, a half-sister to Group 2 winner Parvaneh.

“A Guineas-winning miler by Invincible Spirit – Magna Grecia suited us down to the ground,” said Simon Venner of Petches Farm. “This filly has been stunning since day one – a knockout, very straightforward. We got her into prep and she just marched around and never put a foot wrong. Every time she came out of her box here, she just marched. We knew she was popular as she had a lot of vets.”

At 80,000gns, Petches’ colt by Masar also provided a new auction high for his Derby-winning sire, who stands at Dalham Hall Stud. The first-crop of Masar, who was also quick enough to defeat Invincible Army on debut at Goodwood, also gained good reviews at Goffs, where the son of New Approach was represented by a colt out of Tahneed who sold for €68,000 to Tally-Ho Stud.

Petches’ colt is a half-brother to eight winners, including the Listed-placed Hope Cross and Reckoning (dam of Subjectivist and Sir Ron Priestley), and out of the winning Great Hope, by Halling.

“His popularity was a bit more of a surprise to be honest,” said Venner. “He’s a totally different type, a rangy, lighter type. He’s a very good moving colt. I was slightly surprised at how busy he has been and was a little unsure how popular he would be as a foal as a more middle-distance type, but as he is out of one of the Petches farm’s own mares, he was always going to be sold as a foal.”

He added: “It’s a great credit to the team. It’s hard work for everyone up here – the team and the foals – and they did a great job.”

The sale continues at 10am on Friday.