Dubawi's day again as Godolphin secure 700,000gns headline act
Tom Peacock sees some late high-rolling at the Tattersalls December Foal Sale
It took a long time for the fog to lift above Park Paddocks, seemingly an appropriate meteorological metaphor to describe racing's wider uncertainties as the statistics rumbled along beneath what would usually be expected for the premier day of foal offerings.
Step forward the potent combination of two sons of Dubawi, one of which became the equal second-highest priced colt ever bought at the Tattersalls December Foal Sale, with both knocked down to Anthony Stroud and Godolphin for combined receipts of 1,300,000gns within only a few minutes.
The 2.5 million guineas paid for Padua's Pride, the brother of Derby winner Generous, back in 1997 is a mark that shredded most others in bloodstock but the 700,000gns for Airlie Stud's half-brother to champion juvenile Skitter Scatter, followed by 600,000gns for a colt consigned by Fittocks Stud and a few other hefty transactions in an early evening flurry, pulled the session average far closer to its now regular six-figure mark.
Stroud spoke after buying the top lot, out of the Street Cry mare Dane Street.
"In all these decisions, we're always trying to aim for quality and this is a horse David [Loder] and I really loved," he said. "He comes from a great nursery and is obviously by Dubawi, who we absolutely love."
Fittocks, the Newmarket operation of Luca and Sara Cumani, had consigned lot 944 on behalf of Hoppegarten racecourse owner Gerhard Schoeningh out of his High Chaparral mare Baisse and Sheikh Mohammed's Godolphin have been back for more since tasting victory in Australia with her earlier foal Best Of Days.
"She's actually the only mare he has, she boards with us," Sara Cumani explained. "The two-year-old sister Summerland is with Charlie Appleby and the yearling [by Nathaniel] is called Beau Rivage, the owner hasn't decided where she's going into training yet. She's in foal to Frankel and going to Sea The Moon.
"We're delighted with where she's gone, and just thrilled to be here at the sale."
Frankel had topped last year's sale with the 600,000gns colt out of the top-class Simple Verse, and the champion's breeders Juddmonte went close to eclipsing that when taking another of his sons for 550,000gns. A half-brother to this year's Mill Reef winner Alkumait, he was another dream result for breeders Whitsbury Manor Stud.
"I am so pleased Juddmonte have got him, it's going to be so satisfying seeing him in the pink and green," said Whitsbury's Ed Harper.
Ringfort run continues
Along with Miss Amulet and Ubettabelieveit, Gimcrack winner Minzaal has formed part of what has been a banner season for Derek Veitch's Ringfort Stud, a run of form which continued when he sold the latter's Belardo half-brother for 280,000gns to agent Alex Elliott.
"It's been a superb racing year and that's topped it all off," said Veitch.
"It's nice to be able to have a bit of success on the track and to then bring a couple of nice foals, and everybody sort of expects to see them now. I hope I can keep up my own standards!"
Elliott explained that the purchase was the first in foal form for Amo Racing, the operation of football uber-agent Kia Joorabchian which has been a notable yearling purchaser.
"If you take out the pinhookers, there are a lot fewer end-user buyers up against you," Elliott said. "If you are patient enough, you can buy value. We stretched to buy him but we took the view that if he was here as a yearling, he'd have been even more. He was pretty faultless, to be honest
"Amo has a Belardo filly called Lullaby Moon with Ralph Beckett who won the Prix Miesque and will probably go for something like the Fred Darling and could be a Guineas filly."
Another Warrior wonder
Some words of wisdom from jockey Ryan Moore about Saxon Warrior stuck in the mind of Andy Lloyd and three years later they paid off when a filly from his first crop also sold for 280,000gns.
Lloyd, the former international cricketer who manages Steven Smith’s Hunscote Stud, was on the ground to see the February 18-foaled daughter of the unraced Archangel Gabriel, jointly owned with Chris Humber, catch the eye of pinhooker Philipp Stauffenberg.
"She’s an absolute darling and I’m very sorry to see her go but it’s a lot of money so you have to be commercial sometimes," he said, praising the foal's consignor Jenny Norris.
"He won a strong Guineas and I think he’s a really good stamp of a stallion. You can see some of the results he’s been getting, apart from this one, and I think he has a real chance of making it."
No decisions have been made on a cover for Archangel Gabriel, a half-sister to National Stakes winner Kingsfort, but her Le Havre daughter Ville De Grace has shown considerable promise in two starts for Sir Michael Stoute. "How far she’ll progress, who knows," said Lloyd.
By close of play, the day-three year-on-year aggregate was down just four per cent to 16,297,000gns and the average of 87,618gns had dipped 12 per cent from last year's 100,012gns.
The median had fallen eight per cent to 59,000gns from 65,000gns but the clearance rate of 87 per cent was a good improvement from last year's 81.