All eyes on Park Paddocks for start of Book 1 of October Sale
502 blue-blooded yearlings catalogued to come up for auction
The 2017 sales season has already provided an absorbing round of auction action. There has been the glamour of Arqana, the sheer strength of trade at Keeneland and Doncaster and, just a few days ago, the drama of the Goffs Orby Sale, and things could yet reach new heights during Book 1 of the Tattersalls October Sale that kicks off its three-day run in Newmarket on Tuesday.
Perhaps the biggest talking point of the sales circuit this year has been the line-up and activities of Godolphin's buying team. With John Gosden, Anthony Stroud and David Loder having been entrusted with securing the best bloodstock they can find, the colours of Sheikh Mohammed will now be carried by the progeny of Coolmore sires such as Australia, Uncle Mo, Scat Daddy, and - after the €1.2 million acquisition of a filly out of L'Amour De Ma Vie - the jewel in Coolmore's crown, Galileo.
Should Godolphin plan on making a play for any of the 19 sons and daughters of Galileo that remain in the Book 1 catalogue throughout this week, one lot that is sure to be on their radar is the filly out of 2013 Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf winner Dank (Lot 418).
The filly, offered by Norris Bloodstock on behalf of James Wigan's West Blagdon farm, is the first foal out of the dual Grade 1-winning daughter of Dansili.
"You only have to look at her to see she's got it all," said consignor Jenny Norris. "She's a gorgeous filly and has done everything right the whole time we've had her. When you get fillies of her calibre they just know what to do and when to do it.
"It'll be very interesting to see what she can do on the track. If she's anywhere near as good as her mum or dad it would be fantastic. The mare also has the most beautiful Galileo filly foal at foot and is back in foal to Galileo."
The colt, bred by - and sold on behalf of - Philippa Cooper's Normandie Stud turned out to be Group 3 winner Glorious Journey, and his racecourse exploits will have doubtless have piqued buyers' interest in the two lots set to be offered by Norris Bloodstock on behalf of Normandie later this week.
Cooper will offer back-to-back lots during Thursday's session, namely a Kingman colt out of Fallen In Love, a Group 2-placed Galileo half-sister to Fallen In Love (455), and another colt by Juddmonte's crack miler out of Normandie foundation mare Fallen Star (456).
"You want to be selling racehorses," added Norris. "It's great to be selling sale-toppers, but if they can't live up to it on the track then people won't come back.
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"Seeing horses we've sold go on to do well on the racecourse is a real pleasure and it's great to be given the opportunity to sell such lovely, beautifully bred horses to sell again as we're only a small operation and everybody works so hard back at home. The two Kingman colts are both really beautiful individuals."
End of an era
If Godolphin having ended their embargo on Coolmore sires signals the start of a new era in the bloodstock world, a step towards the end of another particularly storied and fruitful epoch will take place early on Tuesday evening, as the five yearlings from the Ballymacoll Dispersal will head through the ring at the end of the opening session.
The small but highly select draft begins with a bang, with the Sea The Stars filly out of the great champion Islington (167) being followed into the ring by a daughter of Kingman and Justlookdontouch (168), which makes the filly a half-sister to triple Listed winner and Group 2-placed Galileo mare Abingdon.
"The horses have been going down very, very well and we've had a number of vets, which is indicative of strong interest," said Peter Reynolds, manager of Ballymacoll Stud - which was sold for €8.15m back in June.Sea The Stars filly out of Islington and the Kingman filly out of Justlookdontouch, they're the standouts," a sanguine Reynolds said of the Corduff Stud-consigned offerings. "People are looking for nice fillies to race and then breed from, and that's exactly what those two look like they'll be capable of.
"It's a sad time as it's the beginning of the end. Even commercial breeders that sell their colts and fillies every year keep the family. The Ballymacoll families are now being distributed all over the world - let's just hope all the horses find happy homes.
"The staff here have been excellent," he added. "I've brought two Ballymacoll staff here with me, Angus and Shane, and they've been able to tell people about these horses as they've known them since they were born. We've had Americans, Australians, Japanese, French and quite a few Arab operations showing interest in the horses."
Come 11am on Tuesday there will be a whole host of buyers, sellers and, of course, yearlings on the grounds at Park Paddocks capable of grabbing the headlines. And while It is impossible to predict with absolute certainty who will buy what and for how much this week, the one thing that is for certain is that you won't want to miss out on what goes down.