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Cheltenham star Laurina leads the way for €290,000 at Tattersalls Ireland

Aisling Crowe reports from an eventful conclusion to the November Sale

Laurina: a Cheltenham Festival winner and Grade 1 heroine for Willie Mullins
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Laurina, the Grade 1 Fairyhouse Mares' Novice Hurdle and Cheltenham Festival winner, is set for a date with Jet Away after selling to Dougie Taylor for €290,000 at Tattersalls Ireland November National Hunt Sale on Monday night.

The seven-year-old daughter of Spanish Moon, consigned by Ballincurrig House Stud, was a wildcard entry to the sale last week after her retirement from racing was announced, and her inclusion added extra spice to a mares’ section that was already brimming with exciting prospects.

Taylor owns the up-and-coming son of Cape Cross in partnership with Eoin Banville, who stands Jet Away at Arctic Tack Stud, and he was delighted to get Laurina although he was forced to go a little higher than he had anticipated.

"Mares like her are hard to come by, I was one of the underbidders on Apple’s Jade last week but there were two bigger guys in there," said the happy buyer.

Laurina: the Grade 1 winner is set for a date with Jet Away

"Laurina is a Grade 1 winner and was fourth in a Champion Hurdle so she was a top-class performer and it’s difficult to buy mares like her. I had to go a bit deeper to get her than I thought I would but I’m delighted to buy her and looking forward to sending her to Jet Away in the spring."

Jet Away, who is from the family of the brilliant sire Dansili, as well as Group 1 winners and sires Champs Elysees and Cacique, had his first crop of four-year-olds this year and they are already creating a buzz around the Group 3 winner's daughter Brandy Love.

She was sold for £200,000 at the Tattersalls Cheltenham February Sale this year by Colin Bowe after a winning point-to-point debut, made an equally positive impression on her track debut winning her bumper across the road from the sales complex on Saturday for Willie and Patrick Mullins.

Out of a Saddler’s Hall mare, she is bred on a similar cross to the foal Taylor is hoping to breed out of Laurina. Laurina’s purchase price made her the most expensive National Hunt mare sold by Tattersalls Ireland and one of three mares to sell for six figures on Monday evening, making her the brightest star on top of the Fairyhouse Christmas tree.

Loughlin aims high for Posh

While the headline act was undoubtedly Laurina the supporting cast was not short on talent.

First of the trio through the ring to sell for in excess of €100,000 was Posh Trish, a seven-year-old daughter of Stowaway who won two Listed mares’ hurdles and a Listed mares’ bumper for Paul Nicholls and Highclere Thoroughbred Racing, who was consigned by Mimi Wadham and Violet Hesketh’s WH Bloodstock.

It was the second appearance for Posh Trish at the November Sale but this one had a very different outcome to her first. Back in 2013 the mare sold for just €1,200 to Amber Lodge from Oliver Loughlin, and her story came full circle on Monday as she was bought by Loughlin and Hamish Macauley for €118,000, more than 100 times the price she fetched as a foal.

“She was a very good race mare and I'm very happy to bring her back home, although she cost me a lot more than what we got for her for as a foal. I’ve had a good week selling foals, trade has been very good and it’s great to be able to buy her,” said Loughlin.

A number of stallions will be considered for Posh Trish, who was bought by Tom Malone for £135,000 at the Tattersalls Cheltenham Festival Sale in 2017 from trainer Shark Hanlon, for whom she won a four-year-old maiden point at Lemonfield, defeating subsequent Grade 2 winner Getaway Katie Mai.

Posh Trish: made €118,000 to Oliver Loughlin and Hamish Macauley

The only mare offered for sale in Ireland in foal to Group 1 winner Crystal Ocean sold for €160,000 to Robert McCarthy, who owns The Beeches Stud where the Royal Ascot winner stands.

Another late entry, Moskovite had more than just her unique covering to recommend her to buyers. Consigned by trainer Denis Hogan on behalf of owner-breeder Robert Hennelly, the daughter of Flemensfirth won four races and was placed in the Grade 2 Dawn Run Mares’ Novice Chase and the Grade 3 Powerstown Novice Hurdle. As well as her good level of form, she also has a strong black type pedigree to go with it.

Her dam Moskova won the Dawn Run and was placed in the Grade 2 Lismullen and Galmoy Hurdles. She is also the dam of the Westerner-sired Moyhenna, who emulated her by winning the Limerick chase named after the legendary mare.

Moskova is a Montjeu half-sister to Lakil Princess, a Grade 2-placed chaser and dam of Danny Whizzbang who won the Grade 2 John Francome Novices' Chase and was third in the Grade 1 Kauto Star Novices’ Chase last season for Paul Nicholls.

Jury in favour for Jukebox foals

The second Irish-bred crop of youngsters by Burgage Stud’s Group 1 Irish St Leger and Preis Von Europa winner Jukebox Jury has been impressing breeders and buyers alike this year, and a particularly attractive son set bidders aflame during the final part of the foal session.

Lot 736 was consigned by Vanesa Teehan-Rouzier’s Charel Park Stud and bidding began at €20,000 for the grey colt with a number of players in contention, but when the hammer was brought down at €70,000 it was Richard Rohan, at ringside who had seen off all contenders for the well-related foal.

"He's a gorgeous colt, an absolutely lovely individual," remarked the buyer of his latest purchase who is a half-brother to Appreciate It, last season’s Grade 2 bumper winner at the Dublin Racing Festival and second in the Grade 1 Champion Bumper.

Charel Park Stud's Jukebox Jury colt is knocked down to Richard Rohan for €70,000

Since the catalogue was printed the six-year-old son of Jeremy has made a winning hurdling debut for Willie Mullins and his half-brother Danny Kirwan, who was second in the 2018 Kennel Gate Novices' Hurdle, returned from an absence to get off the mark over hurdles for Paul Nicholls.

It is a fine French jumping family; their dam Sainte Baronne is a Saint Des Saints half-sister to Listed Prix Morgex Chase winner Bingo Bell. A top class sire, Saint Des Saints also has an excellent reputation as a broodmare sire with his daughters producing the likes of superstars Douvan and Envoi Allen.

He was the second Jukebox Jury colt bought by Rohan at Fairyhouse over the course of the sale, signing for €75,000 for Limefield Stud's lot 356 on Sunday, the first foal of the Listed placed Flemensfirth mare Flementine.

"I am a fan of the sire and both foals will be offered for resale at some point in the future," he added.

Ferguson strikes for Simonsig relation

Ian Ferguson returned to a familiar family to source a gorgeous Getaway colt out of a half-sister to the dual Cheltenham Festival hero Simonsig for €65,000.

"The family has been lucky for me so I was interested in him, Simonsig won two points and a bumper for me and I had Dusart before he went over to Nicky Henderson’s yard," Ferguson explained.

"He won his novice hurdle and is entered in the Grade 2 at Ascot on Friday [Kennel Gate Novice Hurdle] so they like what they are seeing over there. I had to pay a bit of money for him but I am delighted to have got him."

From Simmonstown Stud he is the first foal of Simonia, a Yeats half-sister to the ill-fated Simonsig, winner of the Grade 1 Arkle Chase and Grade 1 Bingham Novices’ Hurdle for Ronnie Bartlett and Nicky Henderson.

Simonia was placed in a bumper and over hurdles for Henderson and her owner-breeder Simon Tindall.

Ferguson purchased Dusart, a Flemensfirth half-brother to Simonsig and Simonia, at the 2018 Derby Sale and he made quite the first impression when winning a Newbury hurdle for Henderson and Bartlett early last month.

Copper Kay brought an immediate return on the €60,000 she cost in this sales ring last November, with the Soldier Of Fortune foal she was carrying at the time selling for €62,000 to Tally Ho Stud.

Lot 660 was consigned by Boardsmill Stud and Copper Kay, a daughter of Kayf Tara, won a Listed mares’ bumper at Cheltenham and was Grade 2-placed over hurdles for trainer Philip Hobbs.

Final figures

From a much reduced catalogue, 53 per cent fewer mares were offered compared with the 2019 sale, but the increase in quality saw a record price of €290,000 and incredible gains across the board.

The average of €55,222 was up an astounding 229 points on last year’s figure while the median leaped by 282 per cent to €32,500.

Despite the fact that just 18 mares changed hands on Monday evening compared with 49 in 2019, turnover was just shy of €1m and grew by 21 per cent from last year’s figure of €822,100 to €994,000.

The foal section of the catalogue was slashed by 27 per cent but the phenomenal demand for youngstock meant that the average price actually grew by seven points year on year from €16,830 to €17,973 while the clearance rate of 79 per cent was an increase of eight
points on 2019.

The median dipped by five per cent to €13,000 from €13,750 while turnover declined by 17 per cent to €8,932,500 but from 23 per cent fewer horses sold.

Tattersalls Ireland CEO Matt Mitchell said: "Words fail to credibly describe the foal market. The depth of demand vastly exceeded the most optimistic expectations, with the number of foals sold for €50,000 or more rising to 28 this year.

"Equally significant has been the outstanding quality of the foals on offer this week and breeders have been handsomely rewarded which instils confidence in the future of National Hunt breeding in Ireland. This confidence was reflected in the strength and depth of the mare market."

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I had to go a bit deeper to get her than I thought I would but I’m delighted to buy her and looking forward to sending her to Jet Away
E.W. Terms