A first-crop daughter of St Mark’s Basilica took centre stage during the third session of the Tattersalls December Foal Sale on Friday when sold for 575,000gns to Jill Lamb acting for Newsells Park Stud.

The filly boasted some of the best bloodlines of the day as a daughter of the 2013 Oaks winner Talent, whose Dubawi daughter Ambition won the 2020 Prix Corrida.

The filly was bred by her vendor Ashbritlte Stud in partnership with Mark Dixon, who has been associated with a number of this family over the years. It was in the colours of Dixon and Ashbrittle Stud owner James Rowsell that Talent sprang a 20/1 surprise in the Oaks, thereby maintaining a link with the Classic that stretches back to her third dam Bireme, winner of the race for Dixon’s uncle Dick Hollingsworth in 1980.

“She’s an absolutely gorgeous filly,” said Lamb. “I fell in love with her as soon as I saw her. She’s very athletic with a wonderful page. She’ll race for us and at worst, she’ll be a nice broodmare down the line. She’s got two Dubawi half-sisters breeding away as well. I’m just delighted to get her.”

She added: “St Mark’s Basilica is the unknown quantity. Of all the ones I’ve seen, she’s the best. I watched them all following her in – MV [Magnier], Angus [Gold]. That gives you confidence but it’s also a combination of dread and confidence.”

The third session of the foal sale is traditionally the strongest of the week and her sale provided the highlight of a robust day that featured 15 lots that sold for 250,000gns or more alongside a high clearance rate of 87%. However, even at the higher end of the market, there remains some correction as illustrated by the 13% drop in average to 95,952gns and nine per cent fall in median to 62,000gns.

This St Mark’s Basilica daughter of Oaks heroine Talent sold for 575,000gns. Photo – Tattersalls

Magnier snaps up Vandeek relation

An ‘unbelievable year’ for Kelly Thomas of Maywood Stud got even better yesterday evening as her Starspangledbanner half-brother to Vandeek realised 450,000gns to MV Magnier.

Thomas bred his dam Mosa Mine out of Baldemosa and having sold her as a yearling, bought the mare back for just £800 through Jill Lamb out of the 2011 DBS April Horses in Training Sale. Over a decade on and the daughter of Exceed And Excel has rewarded that faith many times over as the dam of five winners from as many foals of racing age led by this season’s brilliant two-year-old Vandeek, winner of the Prix Morny and Middle Park Stakes during his impressive unbeaten campaign for Simon and Ed Crisford.

“We bred the dam, sold her as a yearling and then bought her back for very little money,” said Thomas, who maintains a select broodmare band of five. “I’ve had faith in the family for a long time. I just felt something had to come up at some stage because they’re too determined – they have that will to win. This colt even has his head in front come feed time – he has that competitive nature. 

“He’s been a superstar all week. He’s taken everything in his stride. He’s a very relaxed character – he likes his sleep, likes his food and also likes to exercise. Charlene has been frogmarched around the exercise ring every morning. He’s come out fresh as a daisy every day despite what he’s had to do. He certainly looks the part, that’s for sure.”

MV Magnier: bought the half-brother to Vandeek. Photo – Tattersalls

“In fairness to Kelly Thomas and everyone, they have done a great job with him,” added Magnier. “I am just glad we can support the likes of the Thomas’s and it is a great result for them. He is a lovely horse, a half-brother to a very good horse in Vandeek and quality. He is a good mover and he looks like he will be a fast early horse – hopefully he will be.”

It was a day during which end users were particularly busy, notably Juddmonte Farms which paid 425,000gns for Langton Stud’s homebred Wootton Bassett colt out of Poet’s Vanity, winner of the Oh So Sharp Stakes.

“We bought the Lope De Vega half-sister here last year and we think she is one of our nicest at home,” said Simon Mockridge, general manager of Juddmonte Farms. “This is a nice horse, a bit later as a May foal but very well balanced, compact, and a great walker. 

“Wootton Bassett has had a very good year and this foal is out of a very good mare. He made a lot of sense to us.”

Juddmonte also struck at 350,000gns for a son of its resident sire Kingman from Hazelwood Bloodstock. Sold on behalf of Sun Bloodstock, the colt is the first foal out of the unraced Golden Pelican, a Galileo sister to the Group 3 winner Ernest Hemingway.

“He was very well presented – Hazelwood does a terrific job,” said Mockridge. “This foal has size and scope, which is just what we need, and a great page. The cross of Kingman over Galileo is unbelievable, it has produced 15 per cent stakes winners-to-runners and Kingman has had a fantastic year with four Group 1 winners.”

Juddmonte struck for this Wootton Bassett colt. Photo – Tattersalls