Gordon Elliott to train €470,000 Cheltenham top lot for big-spending new owners
Ginto topped the relocated Tattersalls Cheltenham November Sale
Bective Stud may not yet be a name that trips off the tongue alongside the likes of JP McManus, Gigginstown House Stud or Rich Ricci when listing powerhouse National Hunt owners, but if the evidence of Friday's relocated Tattersalls Cheltenham November Sale is anything to go by, that might be only a matter of time.
The County Meath-based operation is run by Noel and Valerie Moran, who secured the sale-topping Ginto at €470,000 at Fairyhouse along with the €270,000 second-top lot, Gringo D'Aubrelle.
Ginto is set to rejoin Gordon Elliott's Cullentra House Stables after the trainer prepared the four-year-old to make a winning debut between the flags at Tattersalls late last month, a race he won by no fewer than 12 lengths under Jamie Codd.
"Obviously Gordon already trained Ginto and he's shown us all the right signs from day one," said Elliott's bloodstock agent Aidan 'Mouse' O'Ryan. "He showed himself to be a very high-class horse when he won his point-to-point. We were very anxious to keep him in the yard and thankfully Noel Moran bought him to stay with us.
"Hopefully he'll be very lucky for his new owner now as he could go right to the very top. He's a horse for the future so he won't get much racing this year but might run in a bumper or maiden hurdle before being given a break."
The French-bred son of Walk In The Park was making his second appearance at public auction, having been signed for by Mags O'Toole at €60,000 when offered by Moanmore Stables at last year's Goffs Land Rover Sale. He ran in the colours of the Crocodile Pockets Syndicate when winning his maiden point-to-point.
The €270,000 Gringo D'Aubrelle will also be continuing his career at Cullentra House Stables having made a winning debut at Loughanmore for Monbeg Stables' Donnchadh Doyle.
The four-year-old son of Saddler Maker was another lot whose value had soared in a little over 16 months, having been bought by Monbeg Stables for €68,000 when offered by Busher Bloodstock at last year's Tattersalls Ireland Derby Sale.
"He's another lovely horse and came very well recommended by Donnchadh Doyle and jockey Rob James," said O'Ryan. "We've been very lucky with Saddler Maker before with horses like Apple's Jade and Alpha Des Obeaux. He's a very nice horse and hopefully he can take high rank as well."
The couple, who sold their company Prepaid Financial Services to an Australian payments firm for a reported €327 million last year, have invested heavily in some exciting National Hunt prospects, with their string including the likes of Grand Roi, the £400,000 Goffs UK Summer Sale top lot, as well as winning point-to-pointers Fiston Des Issards and Hollow Games, who fetched £255,000 apiece.
Racing may be the couple's primary focus in the immediate future, but Bective Stud is also home to their fledgling breeding operation - comprising a select broodmare band and youngstock - as well as a pre-training facility for their string.
"They've also bought a very nice stud just outside Navan and they're developing that to be a high-class facility. It's brilliant for the yard to have owners like this on board. Noel is a local man and he's passionate about racing so we're delighted to have horses for him. I hope we'll be very lucky for him."
The third-top lot also came from Doyle's Monbeg academy as agent Mags O'Toole went to €250,000 for the highly touted Curraghmore maiden winner Gentlemansgame.
The four-year-old son of Gentlewave was bought by Monbeg Stables for €62,000 when offered by Liss House at the Derby Sale and went on to make a winning debut by five lengths.
The sale, which was relocated from its usual home at Cheltenham to Tattersalls Ireland's Fairyhouse complex, saw 13 of 24 offered lots change hands for turnover of €1,644,000 (down 50 per cent, albeit from an offering that was down by 47 per cent), an average of €126,460 (up 22 per cent) and a median of €75,000 (down by two per cent). The clearance rate was 54 per cent.
Although conducted with a live auctioneer, the sale took place under the Irish government's level 5 lockdown restrictions, meaning the sales ring was closed to all except Tattersalls sales day staff, with purchasers lodging their bids via phone or the online platform.
At the close of trade, Tattersalls Cheltenham's head of sales Matt Prior said: "Having initially moved this fixture from its Cheltenham home to Tattersalls Ireland as a result of Covid-19, new ground has been broken with today's sale being the first live online auction to be held by the Tattersalls group.
"We have witnessed strong demand for the top end of the market, with purchasers from both Ireland and the UK competing for the cream of the Irish point-to-point crop via a combination of internet bidding and telephone bids. The highlight of the day was the sale of the hugely exciting prospect Ginto, whose price of €470,000 marks him out as the highest price horse to ever be sold at Fairyhouse, which is testament to the location being able to service this sector.
"It would be remiss to not acknowledge that trade has been difficult for some vendors with a selective clearance rate and we will certainly review the format ahead of the next sale. We would like to thank vendors who have thrown their support behind this new concept, providing us with the same accustomed quality that is the hallmark of Tattersalls Cheltenham sales and those purchasers that have participated in the sale."
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