Progeny of leading sire Sea The Stars dominated trade at the Tattersalls December Yearling Sale in Newmarket on Monday, the final major yearling auction of the year.

With a catalogue that was down 14% in size against last year, total sales unsurprisingly fell, although only by a soft four per cent to 3,986,300gns. The average rose marginally to 32,675gns while the clearance rate wound up at 88% – another pair of encouraging developments given the outside world.

Seeing Stars

Anthony Stroud: signed for the sale-topper. Photo – Tattersalls

The highlight of the day arrived as dusk fell on Park Paddocks in the form of a Sea The Stars colt out of Epsom Oaks heroine Talent. The colt was originally catalogued by vendor Ashbrittle Stud to sell at Book 1 of the Tattersalls October Sale, only for a leg haematoma to derail those plans and prompt a diversion to December.

The patience of connections was well rewarded on Monday when the colt went on to make 300,000gns to agent Anthony Stroud.

“He is a nice horse, he needs time,” said Stroud. “He is by a Derby winner and out of an Oaks winner, and his [half-sister] Ambition has done very well. He goes to John Gosden.”

Bred by Ashbrittle Stud in partnership with Mark Dixon, the colt is the fourth foal out of his dam, who was trained by Ralph Beckett to win the 2013 Oaks. The mare has gone on to make a swift start at stud as the dam of Ambition, the winner of this year’s Group 2 Prix Corrida at Lyon Parilly. Given that Talent is a daughter of New Approach, the colt also possesses inbreeding to blue hen Urban Sea.

Overall, it was a productive day for Dixon, who also co-bred a son of New Approach who was bought by the BBA Ireland for 105,000gns.

This Sea The Stars colt out of Talent is likely to be trained by John Gosden. Photo –

Gosden is also likely to take charge of a Sea The Stars half-sister to the classy Shine So Bright who was bought earlier on in the day by Harry McCalmont of Norelands Stud out of the Castlebridge Consignment draft for 260,000gns.

McCalmont signed in conjunction with De Burgh Equine for the filly, who was bred by Kirsten Rausing out of Group 3 winner Alla Speranza. The family goes back to blue hen Alruccaba via Rausing’s champion filly Alborada.

“She is for a partnership between Norelands and Craig Bernick of Glen Hill Farm,” said McCalmont. “We had good yearling sales so we thought we’d invest. She is a lovely filly, by a stallion whom we love and from a wonderful family – it keeps on producing. Lanwades has the family, Coolmore has a branch and Juddmonte has a branch – we have one now too!”

Like the sale-topping colt, the filly was originally scheduled to take her place in Book 1

Harry McCalmont: will race a Sea The Stars half-sister to Shine So Bright. Photo – Tattersalls

“She had a minor injury three or four weeks before Book 1, it was just a soft tissue injury, ” said Rausing. “We sold her through The Castlebridge Consignment today and the team has been very helpful. For decades we have sold through Staffordstown, but it was a COVID-related decision and logistics. She was prepared at home and met Castlebridge here.

“I have the dam and the granddam both working for me, and two sisters of this filly and other females of the family. So I have many members and there is plenty to come from the family. She is a lovely filly and I wish the new buyer all the best of luck with her.”

Sea The Stars was also represented by a colt out of Crysdal who sold for 125,000gns to Charlie Gordon-Watson.

Update reaps dividend

With a Group 1 update behind her, Knockatrina House Stud’s filly by Starspangledbanner duly proved popular, ultimately selling to Creighton/Schwartz for 130,000gns.

The filly was pinhooked for €40,000 by Pegasus Bloodstock out of the Goffs February Sale, since when her half-sister Alcohol Free has enhanced the page by winning two races including the Cheveley Park Stakes. Their dam Plying is also responsible for French Listed winner Alexander James.

“Her sister has done well his year and she is by a popular sire, who has done well,” said Daniel Creighton. “Let’s hope it all adds up to her being a good filly on the track and eventually a broodmare, too. She is a lovely big filly and has a lot of quality.

“She is for a new client and I imagine she will stay in Britain to be trained.”

Creighton/Schwartz purchased this half-sister to Alcohol Free. Photo – Tattersalls

Balding busy

A busy day for Andrew Balding was led by the purchase of a Lope De Vega colt from Hillwood Stud for 130,000gns. 

Another withdrawn out of Book 1, the colt is the second foal out of Listed winner Stone Roses, a Rip Van Winkle half-sister to the Balding-trained Listed winner Straight Right.

“He is a lovely horse,” said Balding. “We are thrilled to get him and obviously the stallion has done very well. He is an athletic sort.”

Overall, Balding purchased six lots worth a total of 282,000gns to end the sale as second leading buyer behind Stroud Coleman Bloodstock, who signed for 422,000gns worth of stock.

The Tattersalls December Sale continues on Wednesday with the first of four sessions for the Foal Sale.