Breeze-up spree for Cheveley Park
Chris Richardson signs for six juveniles at 440,000gns
Granted the remarkable strength of trade at the Tattersalls Craven Breeze-Up Sale, it was no surprise to see all the usual suspects towards the head of the leading buyers' table.
One name among the top dozen spenders drew more raised eyebrows than most, however. Chris Richardson, managing director of David and Patricia Thompson's Cheveley Park Stud, secured six two-year-olds for a total spend of 440,000gns.
Cheveley Park's red, white and blue silks are routinely carried on racecourses by the stud's homebred runners, but very few of the 90-strong string of horses in training have been sourced at public auction.
Despite the eye-catching acquisitions, Richardson said his purchases merely represented the levels of enthusiasm the Thompsons have for the sport rather than a marked policy shift.
"It's purely that Mr Thompson enjoys his horses and has taken a view that he wants to have a bit of fun," he said. "In a strong market it was quite difficult to buy what we selected in our first list, but we managed to find some horses who looked to have breezed well."
Richardson said trainers were yet to be decided for the sextet, a filly by Dawn Approach and colts by Acclamation, Zoffany, Animal Kingdom, Dragon Pulse and Epaulette, but that a decision would be made shortly.
"We'll review everything on Friday and make some plans," he said. "We're very conscious of the fact that people support our eight stallions, they buy our yearlings and our foals, so this is a way of reciprocating some of the support we get with regards to the stud."
The spend comes on the back of the Thompsons increasing the number of National Hunt horses they have in training, with notable purchases including Just A Par, who carried the colours of their son Richard in the Grand National, Le Mercurey and Highland Lodge, all of whom contested the Aintree showpiece.
Richardson had also been in action during the Tattersalls Autumn Horses-In-Training Sale, with one of his buys for the Thompsons, Trevisani, scoring in comfortable fashion at Exeter on Tuesday for Paul Nicholls.