As anticipated, the Weld family’s Dubawi brother to Ghaiyyath dominated proceedings during the third session of the Goffs November Sale on Wednesday, selling for €700,000 to an online bid from Zhang Yuesheng’s Yulong Investments, signing as Lucky Vega.
It was in this ring eight years ago that Ghaiyyath sold for a sale-topping €1.1 million to Godolphin, for whom he became a four-time Group 1-winning champion. The family has continued to flesh out along the way, with an older sibling in Zhukova capturing the Grade 1 Man O’War Stakes prior to selling for 3,700,000gns as a broodmare prospect to Godolphin and another half-sister La Chapelle becoming a stakes producer in her own right. Today, the produce record belonging to their dam Nightime is closing to covering an entire page, something that continues to make it extremely commercial; in addition to Ghaiyyath, others out of the mare have found favour in the sale ring, notably the winning Al Nafir, who topped this sale in 2019 at €1.2 million, and the placed Khaiz, who sold for 700,000gns at Tattersalls in 2018.
All of the above were sold at some stage of their career into Maktoum ownership but their representatives did not play this time around. Instead, the action revolved around a pair of online bidders once the action had dried up in the ring.
The source of all this success is Nightime, who initially found fame as the first Group 1 winner for Galileo when successful in the 2006 Irish 1,000 Guineas. Her success was a true family affair for trainer Dermot Weld given his mother Marguerite bred the filly out of Irish champion Caumshinaun, originally bought by the trainer as a yearling. And today the colt was sold through the family’s Springbank Way Stud having been raised under the eye of Mark Weld and stud groom Mark Murphy.
“Nightime has been an amazing mare,” said Dermot Weld. “A lot of work went into him on the farm. Mark Murphy, our stud groom, Mark, my son, and all the team have worked very hard. They did all the work on him.
“He’s a very good colt, a lovely foal. He made about what we thought he would – he was entitled to make that. It’s been an amazing family. Not only do we still have the dam but we have her dam Caumshinaun still on the stud as well. I bought her as a yearling off the Irish National Stud and raced her, she was a very good race filly for us. She’s a matron now and we’re very proud to have her.”
There is plenty of anticipation surrounding the first crop of Ghaiyyath, which race next year, and Weld unsurprisingly has been quick to support the Darley stallion.
“Yes, I have a couple of very nice Ghaiyyaths in training,” he said. “I have two very nice filly foals by him as well. I’m looking forward to seeing what he can do.”
The sale capped a busy week for Zhang Yuesheng, who is at Goffs in person alongside Yulong’s chief operating officer Sam Fairgray. Signing as Lucky Vega in honour of their Phoenix Stakes winner who stands at the Irish National Stud, the operation has signed for seven foals worth €1,047,000, three of them by Lucky Vega himself.
Doyle lands Star colt
Carrick Hill Stud sold just the one foal on Wednesday but the youngster in question, a Sea The Stars colt, made it count by selling for €310,000 to Ross Doyle. The agent had to fight off Jamie McCalmont to land the foal, who is a half-brother to the Group 2-placed Maritime Wings and as well as the smart hurdler Tio Mio. They are out of the placed Zoffany mare Celeste De La Mer, a half-sister to Listed winner Portage from the Juddmonte family of Rail Link and Wharf.
Plans are fluid for the colt, as Doyle outlined.
“He’s for an existing client who races and sells, so all options are open,” said Doyle. “We’ll see how he does over the year and go from there.
“He’s an outstanding individual by one of the best sires we’ve seen in a long, long time – we bought Mojo Star by him so he’s been lucky for us. The dam is doing the job, she’s bred two black-type winners, one on the Flat and one over hurdles – that might not be for everyone but for me that is a sign of toughness in the family.
“I thought that he was one of those unique horses. I went to see him in his box and very rarely do you see a foal fill a box like that – he has real presence. He’s a very good mover and looks to have a very good temperament.”
No stopping Lope De Vega
Demand for the progeny of Ballylinch Stud’s Lope De Vega propelled much of the early trade as youngsters by the stallion realised €260,000 and €200,000 to fill three of the top five places as dusk fell.
They included an early highlight in a brother to the multiple Group 3 winner Max Vega who was sold by Stanley Lodge for €260,000 to Timmy Hyde Of Camas Park Stud. Also a half-brother to the Listed-placed Camphor and Quickstep Girl, the colt was bred on a foal share by Tullpark Ltd out of Paraphernalia, a Listed-placed Dalakhani mare from the family of Blackbeard.
“The mare has been brilliant, she produces such nice horses,” said William Kennedy. “I’m still involved with Max Vega at Ralph Beckett’s. He’s such a solid horse who shows up every day.
“This lad was a bigger model, probably with more body and a bit more scope. If he’s anything like Max, he’ll do very well, and I wish the Hydes the very best with him.”
Also sold for €260,000 was a Lope De Vega half-sister to Listed scorer Inverleigh knocked down to the American-based Dan Hayden. Another bred on a foal share, in this case by Rowan Patterson, she was sold by Donnellys Well.
Pinhookers Michael and Laurence Gleeson of Aughamore Stud, meanwhile, went to €200,000 for a Lope De Vega filly out of Quiet Times, a Listed-winning daughter of Reliable Man. She was bred by Pia Brandt and Fair Salinia Ltd on a foal share and sold by Alice Kavanagh’s AK Thoroughbreds.
Popular result for Brickfield
Godolphin made a foray into the market to purchase a colt by leading first-crop sire Blue Point from Ringfort Stud, for whom Anthony Stroud bid €250,000.
The purchase made for a popular result given that he was bred by Frances Crowley, wife of the late jockey Pat Smullen who operates the County Offaly nursery Brickfield Stud. Crowley described herself as being ‘in disbelief’ as the colt’s value soared in the ring. No doubt making it all the sweeter though is the fact his dam, La Rosetta, cost a reasonable 40,000gns through Ted Durcan at the 2021 Tattersalls December Mares Sale.
Crowley takes up the story.
“We bought her in foal to Sea The Moon,” she says. “And I sold the Sea The Moon for 60,000gns at the foal sale last year. Her two-year-old by Shamardal, Bold Style, is with Charlie Appleby and hopefully he’ll do something [he holds an entry on Saturday at Wolverhampton].”
On the decision to send the mare to Blue Point, Crowley added: “We were trying to make a decision. Derek and Gay Veitch [of Ringfort Stud] are our neighbours and they’re a great source of help and advice. I think we were just deciding where to go as she had to be covered within a few hours. Blue Point was available and so we did a foal share.”
Of course since then Blue Point has risen to become one of the leading lights of the stallion ranks. Only yesterday he was represented by a 48th winner, a group that is headlined by the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere winner Rosallion and Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint winner Big Evs. In fact, this colt shares his broodmare sire, New Approach, with Rosallion while further back he is related to Godolphin’s Breeders’ Cup Mile hero Master Of The Seas.
“He was always a cracker, always a good mover,” says Crowley. “The way he’s behaved here and taken all the showing has just been amazing. The lads working with him said he pulled out for the last show just as well as he did for the first show. He did everything right. He was really well received and he had a few vets so we were hopeful but we didn’t expect that.”
She added: “We have six mares. I have Eoghan O’Donoghue helping me in the mornings and it’s us two most of the time. The kids help out at the weekends as well and Derek and Gay are always there. We all kind of work together.”
Bargain mare producing the goods
Such is the unpredictable nature of this business that even the best laid plans can go awry. However, it’s so far so good for Paddy Fleming’s Awbeg Stud in the case of Accolade, whose colt by Wootton Bassett was one of the highlights yesterday afternoon when selling to Eddie O’Leary of Lynn Lodge Stud.
Accolade, a winning daughter of Orpen, was bought for just 32,000gns at the 2021 Tattersalls December Sale in foal to Sergei Profokiev; that colt subsequently sold for €52,000. The idea, however, was always to send her to Wootton Bassett in light of the exploits of her half-brother, the Group 3 winner and Classic-placed The Summit, and having produced a good-looking colt for Fleming, the mare has now more than paid for herself.
“She was bought for one reason – to go to Wootton Bassett,” said Fleming. “I remember she was on the third day of the mare sale and there wasn’t a lot of action on her so we bought her handy. The mare was lucky for us straight away and once they’re lucky, they tend to continue to be lucky. And that’s been the case. She’s producing very good-looking stock.”
He added: “The sire has obviously had a great year. We had an idea that he was the only Wootton Bassett colt in the sale and we said look, if we’re the only colt here, we’ll keep it close to home.
“Eddie O’Leary bought a No Nay Never off us last year and he was very lucky. It’s great he’s come back and hopefully this horse will be lucky for him too.”
The figures failed to keep pace with last year’s corresponding day, with 172 foals changing hands for a total of €12,360,500 and average of €71,864, both of which represented a fall of 19 per cent. The median fell by ten per cent to €52,000.
However, in keeping with the chat around the ring that trade feels good, the clearance rate wound up at a very healthy 85 per cent. In addition to the strong domestic bench of active pinhookers, the sale also featured some high-profile American participation, notably the aforementioned purchase by Dan Hayden and that of a Saxon Warrior half-sister to Rumble Inthejungle who sold to Jacob West on behalf of Mike Repole for €100,000.