Qataris lock horns for a Jewel from Frankel's family at July Sale
James Thomas reports on the action at Park Paddocks
Buyers came from far and wide for Thursday's second session of the Tattersalls July Sale, and the horses in training and untried stock on offer duly returned significant year-on-year gains.
By the close of trade the figures will have made for extremely pleasing reading for the Tattersalls team, with turnover for the day standing at 3,500,900gns - up a whopping 43 per cent.
The average was up by 37 per cent to 20,475gns and the median leapt by 79 per cent from 7,000gns to 12,500gns.
Perhaps the most encouraging figure of all for those selling on the day was the clearance rate, which stood at an impressive 96 per cent
The day's top lot came during the evening session, with two of Qatar's leading trainers trading increasingly expensive blows over Jewel House from the Juddmonte draft.
Tattersalls regular Gassim Ghazali, stood just inside the entrance to the ring with agent Will Douglass, and Ibrahim Al-Malki, stood at the top of the stairs opposite the rostrum, went toe to toe until Al-Malki elicited a shake of the head from his rival with a bid of 215,000gns.
"He's for a new owner, Abdulatif Hussain Al-Emadi," said Al Malki, who has a stable of 70 thoroughbreds and Arabians and finished fourth in the most recent Qatari trainers' championship.
"He'll ship straight away to Qatar and, if all goes well, he could be one for the Qatar Derby. He's very well bred and we like the fact he's by Dubawi. You never know, one day he could stand as a stallion in Qatar."
The three-year-old colt is out of the Dansili mare Arizona Jewel, a winning sister to Ribblesdale Stakes winner Riposte and a close relation of Kind - which means the great Frankel and his high-achieving brothers appear prominently on the page. Arizona Jewel is also a half-sister to champion stayer Powerscourt.
It is not only his family that makes plenty of appeal, as Jewel House also showed smart form when winning a maiden on the fifth of his six starts for John Gosden.
"He goes on good to firm, which is important," added Al-Malki. "Yes, maybe he was disappointing on his last start [when eighth of nine in a handicap at Ascot] but he had good form before and we believe in him."
Ghazali enjoyed a more successful venture onto the market later in the session, however, when securing the talented Dark Angel filly Vona from Richard Fahey's Musley Bank Stables draft for 140,000gns. That purchase contributed to the leading trainer's outlay of 369,000gns on a total of six lots.
Warren's Laidback approach
The Clive Cox-trained Laidback Romeo has enjoyed a productive campaign on the racecourse this season, bringing up a hat-trick of wins and achieving a new peak Racing Post Rating (RPR) of 104 when going down by just a length and a quarter to Greenside in a Sandown handicap on his most recent outing.
Those exploits ensured he also enjoyed a fruitful time of it in the Tattersalls ring, with Jake Warren striking the winning bid for him at 115,000gns.
"There's a plan afoot!" beamed Warren. "He's for a private client and will be heading to Bahrain eventually, but we may continue to race him here in the short term as he's race-fit at the moment.
"He has the right profile for Bahrain - he goes on fast ground, sees the mile out well, he is sound and is by a tough stallion. He's a beautiful horse and, for a five-year-old, he's also lightly raced."
The five-year-old is a son of Kodiac out of a Scrimshaw half-sister to the three-time Listed winner Senor Benny. He had been picked up by Cox for just €32,000 as a yearling back in 2013.
Palmer produces the goods
The draft of horses offered by The Castlebridge Consignment on behalf of Hugo Palmer dominated the morning session and the early exchanges of the evening. The most expensive lot from the draft was Baydar, who went the way of agent Richard Knight for 110,000gns.
The four-year-old son of Rock Of Gibraltar, bred by the Luca and Sara Cumani's Fittocks Stud, has won five of his 11 starts, with his latest success - in a Newbury handicap in September 2016 - seeing him achieve a Racing Post Rating (RPR) of 111.
"He's going back to Hugo but for a new owner," said Knight. "He was a good horse last year and hopefully we can get him back to that. He has lost his way a little, but he's a high-class horse on his day."
The colt had been through the Tattersalls ring on one previous occasion, when selling to Rob Speers, racing and bloodstock manager to Baydar's previous owner Ibrahim Araci, for 85,000gns as a yearling back in 2014. He is the third foal out of the Listed-winning Falbrav mare Splashdown, which makes him a half-brother to Palmer's 2014 Solario Stakes winner Aktabantay.
The first six-figure lot of the evening session came when Via Serendipity went through the ring, with the Norris Huntingdon partnership landing the winning bid at 100,000gns.
"He's to go to Stuart Williams for Happy Valley Racing," revealed Liam Norris. "Geoff [Price, Happy Valley Racing manager] has been a good supporter of ours. We were searching for a nice horse and we waited for him. They clearly valued him very highly."
The three-year-old son of Invincible Spirit has won one of his seven starts for the Kremlin Cottage-based trainer, and boasts a peak RPR of 90.
Also offered from Palmer's yard was Qaviy Cash, a three-year-old son of Oasis Dream with a peak RPR of 87, who went to Alex Elliott for 85,000gns.
The colt won the most recent of his four outings when breaking his maiden in a Hamilton handicap.
He is the sixth foal out of Neartica, a daughter of Sadler's Wells closely related to the Group 1 winner Galikova and a half-sister to the outstanding racemare Galdikova, whose own broodmare career has got off to a bright start with her second foal by Galileo, Terrakova, landing the Group 3 Prix Cleopatre and finishing a close third behind Senga in the Prix de Diane last month.
Another lot destined for pastures new is Majoris, a son of Frankel who won two of his eight starts for Palmer and was secured by Greg Chung with a bid of 82,000gns.
"The owners haven't decided yet, he could stay here or he could go to Hong Kong," said Chung. "We'd like to think we can recapture his form from last year - if we can maybe we'll reach a turning point with him and then give ourselves a pat on the back.
"We've been following him, a lot of people have been following the Frankels to see how they train on from two to three."
The sale concludes on Friday.