A busy day for Bromley as Doncaster Spring Sale ends on a high
Highflyer Bloodstock's agent signed for both six-figure lots
A vibrant renewal of the Goffs UK Spring Sale concluded on Thursday with yet another solid day of trade in Doncaster.
The two-day horses-in-training and point-to-point section ended with 327 of the 381 lots on offer finding new homes for turnover of £6,233,200 - a 32 per cent year-on-year gain from 95 more lots offered. The average price of £19,060 and median of £10,000 were both almost identical to 2016’s figures. The clearance rate was a healthy 86 per cent.
The two most expensive lots came late in the day, with Highflyer Bloodstock’s Anthony Bromley signing for point winner Indian Hawk at £110,000 and bumper runner-up The Bottom Bar at £100,000, with both now destined to carry the familiar green silks of Simon Munir and Isaac Souede
“I’ve waited all day for those two, they were the standout horses today,” said Bromley, who explained that the top-lot's update was what initially piqued his interest. “I’ve never seen a horse win a race so easily as he won the maiden at Tabley, the official distance said 40 lengths. He might not have beaten much but it was a very, very impressive display - he’d clearly improved no end from first to second run.”
The five-year-old son of Westerner, whose page includes classy Flat performers such as Behkabad, Behera and Vital Equine, was consigned by Nicky Tinkler’s Ivy Lea Farm, having been bought as a store by his near neighbour Mark Dwyer for €36,000.
“We haven’t been going that long but this is our best result yet,” said Tinkler, who revealed the money brought in from the sale-topper wasn’t all he was taking home from Doncaster. “I sold Supasundae here as well and he’s obviously going well now. I’ve actually just got the banner with his picture on it off the wall to take home with me!”
Bromley’s other six-figure buy, consigned by Paul Webber's Cropredy Lawn, also boasted a significant update, having finished second in a Market Rasen bumper since the catalogue’s publication.
“He ran a really nice race at Market Rasen ten days ago and just got nabbed on the line by a horse that I know Alan [King] likes a lot,” he said of the five-year-old Stowaway gelding. “He’s a lovely, big scopey horse that looks like he’ll improve with age, there’s a lot of quality about him.
“They’ll both go back to Benson Stud in Essex where Simon and Isaac’s horses summer, and trainers will be decided on later.”
The owner's new acquisitions will join a strong string of horses in training which includes Daring Rose, Baraka De Thaix, Prince Ali and Sudiste, all of which won at Auteuil on Saturday.
"These horses stood out to me this morning so I rang them and explained what was on offer and it tickled their fancy," said Bromley, who acts as racing manager to the pair alongside his Highflyer duties. "I only got home at about midnight on Sunday and then came straight up here on Monday to look at stores. It's been a long week but a really satisfying one. They're good investors in the game and it's great to see them do well on the big days and enjoying the game."
That man again
Earlier in the session Bromley had also been in action when snapping up Peter The Mayo Man for £54,000.
“I’ve bought him for the Million In Mind partnership as I’ve now sold all their horses from last year,” he commented. “It’s nice to reinvest at the same sale that we’ve just sold our horses at.
“We’ll see if he’s a novice chaser. He’s a nice, big scopey horse. I just feel he was a little outclassed on his last run in a Grade 1 at Punchestown, but he’d run really well behind a couple of horses I bought. He was third to River Wylde in the Dovecote and second at Musselburgh to Lough Derg Spirit, so two horses I know quite well. He’ll go into the pot for one of our Million In Mind trainers for next year.”
The seven-year-old son of Dylan Thomas won three times for Neil Mulholland, with his most recent success earning him a Racing Post Rating (RPR) of 142, a figure he matched when not beaten far into third in the Grade 2 Dovecote Novices’ Hurdle.
Bromley also reflected on what had been a busy week for himself and plenty of others in attendance at Doncaster.
“There’s been a real good buzz about the place all week, it’s gone back to having a real vibrant feel to the sale,” he said. “They’ve been rewarded with good prices throughout - there’s been healthy trade for the second- and third-hand horses. Summer jumping has its own bit of the market now, and the point-to-point fraternity are rock-solid and this is where they get the majority of their horses from.
“It’s a sign of the times that plenty of people want to buy horses, and it’s not all about the big owners this week. This is a good barometer or what the trade is really like and there’s been a lot of different buyers, which is a good sign. It feels like there’s a lot of people enjoying jump racing that want to get involved.”
Well-bred mare goes to Williams
A host of Grand National-winning trainers paid a visit to the Doncaster ring, including Richard Newland, Lucinda Russell and Venetia Williams, and it was the latter that signed for Magic Of Light, who headed trade for much of the day, at £75,000.
“She’s been bought for an existing owner who will race her and then breed from her afterwards,” said Williams. “It’s far too early to say what the plan will be with her.
"We wouldn’t have been interested had she not had a very good pedigree, being a half-sister to Pingshou, who’s only a seven-year-old and not had much racing. You can’t buy too many with a pedigree like she has that still have plenty of seasons on the racecourse still to come.”
The six-year-old daughter of Flemensfirth was consigned by Jessica Harrington’s Commonstown Racing, and came to the sale having won a competitive Punchestown handicap on her most recent outing, her second victory from nine lifetime starts.
The mare boasts a particularly current pedigree, being a half-sister to Colin Tizzard’s unexposed Grade 1 novice hurdle winner Pingshou, the Grade 2-placed Mughas, and the Grade 3-placed Sizing Platinum.
Another National-winning trainer on the premises was Gordon Elliott, whose five purchases on Thursday were headed by Diamond Cauchois at £68,000.
“He’s been bought for a few owners we already have in the yard,” said Elliott. “He looks like a good, fun horse that can give us a few good days out. We’ll get him home and give him a break before we decide where we go next.”
The six-year-old son of Crillon won two of his 13 starts over hurdles for owner-trainer Sue Bramall, and was last seen handing out a six-length beating to Raz De Maree in a Thurles handicap hurdle, a performance that earned him an RPR of 132.
“We’ve got eight or nine so far this week, as long as we can keep buying them we’ll be grand,” concluded Elliott, who looks to have his sights firmly fixed on going one place better than he managed in the most recent Irish jumps trainers’ title race.
Farewell to Grendisar
There have been plenty of well-known partnerships in competitive sport - Steve Redgrave and Matthew Pinsent, Kevin Keegan and John Toshack, Torvill and Dean. And it wouldn't be wholly unfair to add Marco Botti and Grendisar to that list.
The seven-year-old son of Invincible Spirit had been with Botti for each of his 40 starts, with his ten victories including last year's Winter Derby and a quartet of Listed wins.
But that five year association came to an end on Thursday, as Richard Venn and Rashid Bouresly parted with £45,000 to secure the horse in a deal which now sees him bound for the Middle East.