Emotions run high as Coolmore land Palace Pier's dam at 2,200,000gns
James Thomas reports from the second day of the December Mares Sale
The close of one chapter invariably begets the start of another further up the racing and breeding chain, and that was certainly the case at the Tattersalls December Mares Sale on Tuesday as Highclere Stud bid farewell to Beach Frolic, dam of champion miler Palace Pier, as the hammer fell in favour of Coolmore's MV Magnier at 2,200,000gns.
Having bred this year's two-time Group 1 winner, the nine-year-old daughter of Nayef looked a standout among the 1,108 entries in the four-day sale, and auctioneer Edmond Mahony duly went in search of a bid of two million when she took to the Park Paddocks ring.
Julian Dollar made a bold play when the Newsells Park Stud man threw in an opening offer of 1,000,000gns, but was soon joined by the likes of Alex Elliott, stationed at the top of the stairs with Kia Joorabchian, Rob Speers, who was taking instructions on the phone to the right of the rostrum, and an online bidder.
However, when Magnier, bidding outside by the parade ring, pushed the price to 2,200,000gns the other parties cried enough. A date with perennial champion sire Galileo now looks to be in the offing for Beach Frolic, who was offered in foal to Blue Point.
"She's a special mare though and they don't come up very often. I'd say we're going to cover her with Galileo next year. Let's hope she's lucky for everyone involved. Lady Carolyn and her team have done an amazing job with her the whole way through."
There was a poignancy to the result as Highclere had owned Beach Frolic in partnership with the late Duke of Roxburghe, whose Floors Stud had earlier held a part dispersal when seven of the Duke's mares fetched receipts totalling 1,308,000gns.
Highclere's John Warren bought Beach Frolic's granddam Miss D'Ouilly, a Listed-winning Bikala half-sister to Prix Jacques le Marois heroine Miss Satamixa, for 50,000gns back in 2000, after which the Duke took a share.
"I'm not normally emotional but she's just such an amazing mare and it's been such a long journey with her," said Highclere's Lady Carolyn Warren. "The family has given us so much pleasure and I hope for the Coolmore team that she does it for them too. I'm sure she will. All the team at Highclere do such an amazing job day in, day out. She looked magnificent today so this result is for everybody."
John Warren added: "It's a bit of an end of an era as we've been involved so closely with Floors for 35 years. This whole week has been really poignant but I'm so pleased that the Duchess and her son George will be carrying on with a few nice mares.
"The relationship with the Duke of Roxburghe went beyond the horses, he was a special friend. Beach Frolic was a magnificent mare and was a collector's item in so many ways."
Tattersalls December Mares Sale stats: day two
Offered lots: 235
Sold lots: 186 (79 per cent)
Aggregate: 24,969,000gns (down 30 per cent)
Average: 134,240gns (down 31 per cent)
Median: 60,000gns (down 33 per cent)
Moyglare's need for speed
It has been a little over 12 months since BBA Ireland signed for Sonaiyla at €110,000 at last year's Goffs November Sale when offered by the Aga Khan Studs. The daughter of Dark Angel subsequently took her form to new heights for Paddy Twomey and Ennistown Stud and duly saw her value soar when Fiona Craig saw off Joseph O'Brien and Demi O'Byrne to add the filly to the Moyglare Stud broodmare band at a cost of 900,000gns.
Sonaiyla's four-year-old campaign has seen the relation to Sinndar land the Listed Sweet Mimosa Stakes and a valuable Curragh handicap, while she was beaten just a length into third by Glass Slippers in the Group 1 Flying Five Stakes. Craig said her purchase would bring some much-needed sprinting blood to Moyglare's blue-chip broodmare band.
Craig said a mating plan was still to be drawn up, but noted that Sonaiyla's pedigree meant that her new owners would not be short of options.
"With the exception of Dark Angel, she can go to any of the top 15 stallions by stakes winners," she said. "She can go to Frankel, Sea The Stars, Kingman, Galileo, Dubawi, she can go to all of those.
A second lot brought 900,000gns a short while later when Charlie Vigors from Hillwood Bloodstock secured the classy Kurious, winner of the Group 3 Coral Charge for the Hot To Trot Racing syndicate.
The four-year-old, offered by Whitsbury Manor Stud, is by Kuroshio and out of Easy To Image, who also produced the Group 1-winning sprinters Tangerine Trees and Alpha Delphini.
"She's for the same clients who we sold yearlings for back in October. They're a group of British-based investors and they're reinvesting after a good round of yearling sales."
Blandford go back in Time
Another mare making a quick reappearance at public auction was Time Saver, a Frankel half-sister to Timepiece and Passage Of Time, who was signed for by Aquis Farm at 750,000gns some 12 months ago.
She was reoffered on Tuesday by Genesis Green Stud in foal to Kingman and duly went the way of Blandford Bloodstock's Richard Brown at 850,000gns.
"We went a long way on her last year," said Brown. "I can't remember quite how far but it was a hell of a long way as we thought she was the standout of last year's Juddmonte draft.
"It's an amazing family and a very active pedigree; there was another Grade 1 winner in America on there at the weekend [Viadera] and Time Test is a young stallion I have a lot of time for.
"She's been bought for a partnership of owner-breeders and she'll live with Luca and Sara Cumani at Fittocks Stud. We knew she'd be hard to buy so we put a partnership together to get her bought."
Date with Kameko on the cards for Dulkashe
A date with Tweenhills' 2,000 Guineas-winning recruit Kameko could be on the cards for Dulkashe after David Redvers secured the daughter of Pivotal for 525,000gns.
The 11-year-old is best known as the dam of the much-missed Defoe, winner of the 2019 Coronation Cup for Roger Varian and Sheikh Mohammed Obaid. Dulkashe was offered by Miltown Park Stud in foal to Churchill.
"A daughter of Pivotal who's thrown a Group 1 winner is a terribly rare commodity to come on the market. We'll have a long hard think about where she goes next year but Kameko would be a distinct possibility."
Floors Stud mares in demand
The part dispersal of the late Duke of Roxburghe's Floors Stud concluded on Tuesday with seven lots bringing receipts totalling 1,308,000gns. Anthony Stroud bought the most expensive of the septet when going to 425,000gns for Deep Inside, a Redoute's Choice half-sister to Chrysanthemum in foal to Lope De Vega.
Members of the late Duke's family were on hand to watch the mares sell, including Virginia Innes-Ker, the Duchess of Roxburghe, and two of their children, George and Isabella.
"It was sad as well as being exciting for the buyers," reflected George Innes-Ker. "I know Dad would be extremely proud of the team at home as they had the mares looking incredible. We're keeping fives mares though and we'll try to keep the Attraction name and Dad's legacy going. We'll have Attraction, Cushion, Motion, Titivation and Blinking.
"Blinking is 95 per cent blind but Dad was completely in love with her so keeping her is great. Attraction is carrying a Kingman filly this year and I know he'd be over the moon with that. Hopefully all goes well with her next year."
Attraction was the best horse bred by the late Duke, with the daughter of Efisio having won five Group 1s, including the Anglo-Irish 1,000 Guineas and the following year's Matron Stakes.
On the future for the remaining Floors Stud mares, the Duchess of Roxburghe added: "Attraction and Blinking are going to Sara Cumani at Fittocks, she's looked after them and knows them incredibly well so that's where Guy would want them to go, and the other three are going to Watership Down."
Mia Maria ticks Carisbrooke's boxes
Yvonne Jacques made a noteworthy addition to her Carisbrooke Stud broodmare band when agent Cathy Grassick secured Moyglare Stud's Mia Maria with a bid of 450,000gns. The four-year-old daughter of Dansili is a winning sibling to three black type performers, including her dual Group 3-winning sister Carla Bianca, and was offered in foal to Lope De Vega by John Troy.
"There's lots we like about her," said Jacques. "There's her pedigree page, of course, and the fact she's in foal to Lope De Vega means a lot as we're very big fans of his. We're trying to focus on quality with our broodmares and she's one that we hope will be very lucky for us in the coming years."
"Moyglare have only ever sold four fillies from this family; this filly and Candle Lit, who I bought for Clodagh and John McStay who bred Fresnel, so I've bought two of them now. It's a family you just can't go wrong with."
Opportunity knocks for Nerses
Tisa River was another mare who had appreciated in value since her last appearance at public auction, thanks in no small part to some punchy pedigree updates.
The six-year-old daughter of Equiano is a half-sister to the Breeders' Cup-winning siblings Iridessa and Order Of Australia and now joins the Blue Diamond Stud broodmare band after Tony Nerses went to 400,000gns.
She was offered in foal to Blue Point by Voute Sales on behalf of Khalid Almudhaf and Mohammed Alqatami, who bought Tisa River through Hugo Merry for 60,000gns two years ago.
The mare is out of Senta's Dream, who has really clicked with sire sons of Galileo such as Ruler Of The World and Australia, and her daughter will now visit another son of the perennial champion sire in the Irish National Stud's Decorated Knight.
"When opportunity knocks, you have to grab it and that's exactly what we did as it's not very often a half-sister to two Breeders' Cup winners comes on the market," said Nerses. "She's got a lovely covering as well so we're very glad to have her. She'll be heading to our boy Decorated Knight."
Coleman in action early
The first major strike came from Matt Coleman, who bagged Aperitif, a daughter of Pivotal from Lordship Stud's famed Swiss Lake family, with a bid of 300,000gns. The four-year-old, who was offered in foal to Ten Sovereigns, is out of the Listed-winning Swiss Dream, making her a half-sister to Hackwood Stakes scorer Yafta, who has been recruited to Haras de Saint Arnoult for 2021.
In turn, Swiss Dream is one of four black type performers out of Swiss Lake, with her siblings including Swiss Diva, Swiss Spirit and Swiss Franc.
"I bought her for Noel O'Callaghan of Mountarmstrong Stud," said Coleman from his position on the back stairs. "Noel likes to buy quality mares from good pedigrees and obviously Pivotal mares are hard to get hold of.
"She's from Lordship Stud's magnificent family, and it's not only a family of racehorses but commercial sales horses as well. Noel will be trying to breed for Book 1 and her progeny will no doubt be sold in future. She's carrying a colt so if she gets a nice Ten Sovereigns foal hopefully that'll get some of her purchase price back."
Coleman said no plans had been put in place with regards to a 2021 covering for Aperitif, but explained that O'Callaghan would be looking to repeat the sales ring success he had enjoyed with a purchase from the 2018 December Sales.
He said: "We bought a mare off Juddmonte called Fine Time [for 420,000gns] two years ago, she's a sister to Timepiece, and her yearling made 475,000gns at Book 1. That was a similar buy to this mare in that she's from a big family. That was the last big mare we bought together, but we shop when we see the right mare rather than saying we're definitely going to come and buy one.
"There's Pivotal, Oasis Dream and Indian Ridge in Aperitif's pedigree and they're three of the best broodmare sires of all time so hopefully she's got the ingredients to be a really good broodmare."
Later in the session Swiss Air, a daughter of Oasis Dream and Swiss Lake carrying to Dark Angel, sold to Anthony Stroud of Stroud Coleman Bloodstock for 390,000gns.
The Tattersalls December Mares Sale continues on Wednesday at 9.30am.
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