A colt by Ulysses provided one of the moments of the yearling sales season at Tattersalls in Newmarket on Thursday when topping the first day of the Book 3 October Sale on a bid of 150,000gns from Matt Coleman.
The youngster’s sale represented an outstanding return on the 4,000gns that he had cost Galley Flash Bloodstock, namely Newmarket-based David and Geraldine Hegarty of Hegarty Bloodstock and Paul and Sara Thorman of Trickledown Stud, as a foal last December. Since then, the colt’s full-brother Gwan So has enhanced the pedigree appreciably by placing in the Listed Flying Scotsman Stakes while his sire, Cheveley Park Stud’s Ulysses, has shown enough promise with his first crop to suggest that he could become an important part of the British stallion scene for some time to come.
More importantly, however, the colt evidently flourished physically during his time with Hegarty, all of which helped align the stars for Thursday’s popular result.
“I cannot stress enough what a gifted horseman David is,” said Thorman of Hegarty, who is also well known within sales circles as a valuable member of the team at Genesis Green Stud. “I first met him ten years ago when he bought a foal off me that made a corkscrew look straight. When it came back as a yearling, it was still a bit like a corkscrew but looked brilliant. I thought to myself that this lad is paying buttons for horses but getting nowhere, so I said to him that we would buy some foals together.”
Thursday’s sale-topper was bred by Cheveley Park Stud out of Regal Heiress, a placed Pivotal daughter of the outfit’s Cheveley Park Stakes winner Regal Rose. However, he was actually sold as a foal through Thorman’s Trickledown Stud.
“We’ve been relatively lucky but mainly because David and his wife Gerry work extremely hard and are very gifted,” said Thorman. “They have two kids and they do the horses after work.
“This particular foal had gone through a rough patch prior to the sale, he didn’t look his best, and he didn’t have a great hock to him – that’s improved since. But David and Sara [Thorman] could see that he had some scope to him.
“The full-brother Gwan So was a bit of a talking horse earlier in the year [he was bought back for £150,000 as a breezer] but he and Ulysses have also done everything they can to help him since then. And he developed into a stunning horse.
“I hope it gives David the encouragement to go out and buy more foals. He has a real talent for prepping them, the effort and ability that goes into it is 110%.”
Thorman added: “A couple of lots later, I sold a Havana Grey filly for some of the staff at Whitsbury Manor for 35,000gns – she had been an 11,000gns foal and they were in floods of tears afterwards. It’s because of moments like that, and the Ulysses colt, that I’m still in this business.”
The colt is set to join Newmarket trainer Charlie Fellowes.
“I bought him for a guy called Bill Mathis, an American client of Sean Clancy’s whom I also buy for,” said Coleman after outbidding Alex Elliott. “He owns [Group 3 winner] Eve Lodge, who was the first horse I bought for him. Bill was keen to try and buy a few yearlings. He bought a share in a couple of fillies – one in Book 1 – and we tried to find a couple of colts, but we found Book 2 very strong so I thought we’d keep going here.
“I just thought he was the best colt I saw here, he is very athletic. His brother Gwan So has just been sold to go to Annabel Neasham in Australia.
“He’s a light-framed, athletic Galileo-type and I could see him doing well here for Charlie [Fellowes] and then going to the states. He’s a full-brother to a good horse and he looks like a racehorse.”
Although trade predictably stepped down a gear from Book 2, it maintained a buoyant momentum, with 259 yearlings selling for a total of 7,268,000gns – only 98,700gns below the entire two-day Book 3 aggregate of 2020. The average and median soared by 31% and 63% to 28,065gns and 26,000gns. The clearance rate was an exceptional 93%.
“We’ve bought three yearlings today, some real beauties,” said Joe Foley, who signed for 183,000gns worth of stock. “There are some belters and it’s a credit to everyone here. You stand outside in the back ring and there’ll be a couple of nice horses in there at any given time.
“It’s the best trade I’ve seen in years. Maybe the perceived lack of big players has attracted a few people to step in and buy – anyway, it’s been a fantastic trade right the way through this season.”
‘The colt we had to have’
The second six-figure lot of the day came late in the evening in a son of New Bay from Baroda Stud who was knocked down to Joe Foley on behalf of Clipper Logistics for 100,000gns.
By an increasingly popular sire, he was bred by the China Horse Club out of the winning D’Oro Princess, a Medaglia d’Oro half-sister to Grade 3 winner Raylene.
“He was actually the first horse that Federico [Barberini] and I saw here in this book,” said Foley. “We saw him yesterday afternoon and went ‘Jesus, what is that’. We saw him again this morning and loved him, and again in the back walking ring – he was like a cat.
“New Bay has had a great few weeks. I was impressed with the horse in Germany [son Sea Bay won the Group 3 Preis des Winterfavoriten at the weekend] and Sheila Lavery’s horse [Curragh maiden winner New Energy] looked good the other day. New Bay is a stallion who is really starting to impress and this horse reminded us a lot of Bayside Boy, who we admired here as a yearling last year.
“The China Horse Club breed a lot of good horses and this horse is out of a Medaglia d’Oro mare. Ad Valorem is in the pedigree as well [under the third dam], so there’s a lot to like. He was the colt we had to have.”
Purple patch for Havana Gold
A son of Havana Gold provided a fine return for the Burns family’s Lodge Park Stud when selling for 92,000gns to Federico Barberini.
The colt was bred by the stud out of three-time winner Storybook, a $50,000 purchase as a 14-year-old mare at Keeneland in November 2018. Already then a dual stakes producer, the Halling mare has since produced another high-class sort in Get On The Bus, a Grade 2-placed filly of last year, as well as the 91-rated juvenile Chicago Soldier, who has been highly tried by Johnny Murtagh this season.
“He’s for a very good client of mine,” said Barberini. “He is smashing horse by a sire who has done incredibly well this season. He is a real two-year-old type, a great mover with great athleticism. It is likely that he will be trained in Newmarket.
“There is no certainties in this game, but the mare has already done it a few times and the two-year-old is useful as well. The sire has done very, very well with his first crop of quality foals, now two-year-olds of this year – to me it made a lot of sense.”
He added: “The market has been tough all week and the previous week, too. I think, overall, this horse is not expensive – at this price he sticks out a bit in Book 3, but he would not have been out of place in Book 2. He comes from a very good nursery who have bred a lot of good horses.”
The Havana Gold sire line was also on show in the first good touch of the day, a first-crop daughter of Havana Gold’s son Havana Grey who sold for 82,000gns.
Richard Brown of Blandford Bloodstock signed the ticket on the youngster, a close relation to Showcasing who had been pinhooked by vendor Harry Dutfield for just 25,000gns as a foal.
“I work at Adrian and Philippa O’Brien’s Hazelwood Bloodstock,” said Dutfield, “and she cost basically an annual salary for stud hand!
“She just presents herself, I just have to make sure I don’t mess her up. She has a really good mind on her. She has still been very fresh in the mornings, I didn’t lunge her this morning because she had a busy day yesterday and she came out today full of herself, ready for action. She is a credit to herself and deserved that.”
The filly’s sale contributed to a bright commercial start for Whitsbury Manor Stud’s Group 1-winning sprinter Havana Grey. Led by a £110,000 colt who sold to Richard Ryan at the Goffs UK Premier Sale in Doncaster, his yearling average for the year is running at 32,443gns, a good return on his first-year fee of £8,000.
“We’ve been very impressed with the Havana Greys that we’ve seen so far,” said Brown. “This filly looked very forward, very sharp and mature. It is a speedy Juddmonte family and I would say she is the sort of filly who will be out early next year, April, May.
“She is going to David Simcock for an owner of David’s whose got a few mares. The brief was to buy a filly with a page and we’ve been blown out for two weeks, but I absolutely loved this filly.
“She’s a gorgeous filly and Harry does a superb job. He has presented her here looking amazing. I saw her a couple of times and every time she looked amazing. I saw her again this morning at about 8am and she came out like a lion. She looks a runner and we are delighted.”
Book 3 of the Tattersalls October Sale continues tomorrow.