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Craven Sale records tumble as Scat Daddy colt steals the show

Intense trade saw turnover, average and median figures all reach new highs

Lot 141: the sale-topping Scat Daddy colt that brought 675,000gns from David Redvers
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Another evening of frenzied trade saw the curtain come down on a record-breaking renewal of the Tattersalls Craven Breeze-Up Sale on Wednesday, with the level of competition at all levels highlighted by turnover, average and median figures all reaching new highs for the auction.

The aggregate of 14,120,000gns was up a gargantuan 63 per cent on 2016’s figure, while the average of 144,082gns and median of 110,000gns were up 30 per cent and 42 per cent respectively. The clearance rate of 79 per cent also represented an improvement, with 98 of the 124 lots on offer changing hands.

The showstopping sale topper came late in the day, when a son of the much-missed Scat Daddy from Jim McCartan’s Gaybrook Lodge went the way of David Redvers for 675,000gns.

The colt had been the talk of the town since he lit up the clock during his breeze on Monday morning, but when the bidding seemed to stall at the 100,000gns mark it briefly looked as though all the rumours might prove to be little more than just that.

But bids soon began to come from all corners of the ring, with Ibrahim Araci, Stephen Hillen, Justin Casse and Richard Knight among the players to show their hand. However, it was Redvers, accompanied by Sheikh Fahad and positioned behind the partition beneath the bidding area, who joined in at the 600,000gns mark, and had enough firepower to land the spoils.

The colt had endured a much less fortunate spin through the ring last time he came up for auction, having been returned not sold at $65,000 at Keeneland last September when offered by Tom Evan’s Trackside Farm.

“Clearly he had a few minor issues at the yearling sales that stopped him making that sort of money,” said Redvers. “But he’s proved beyond all shadow of a doubt that he can gallop and that he has a great mind. This is a sale we’ve had tremendous success at over the years and he’s exactly the sort of horse we’ll always come and look for.

“I didn’t actually expect to be able to buy him so I’m pleasantly surprised. I’m pretty certain he’ll go into training in Newmarket but I haven’t spoken to the trainer so I can’t give you a definite answer.”

The colt is out of the winning Miesque’s Son mare Gender Dance, which makes him a half-brother to Group 3 winner Great White Eagle, while the likes of Grade 1 winner Prenup and dual Grade 2 winner Possible Mate also appear further down his page.

Gender Dance has had two other progeny make it from Kentucky to this sale, a filly by Consolidator who made 160,000gns, while Great White Eagle briefly set a sale record when sold for 760,000gns.

"He was being sold by a good friend of mine, Tom Evans of Trackside Farm," said McCartan. "I had another nice horse off Tom a couple of years ago by Exchange Rate. Anyway, this colt RNA'd at $65,000 and I did a private deal to buy him. He was in an early book at Keeneland and I think he just fell through the cracks.

"He's been a very easy horse to prep, lovely to have anything to do with. I've never seen so much action on a horse. There were bids coming from everywhere. Aliz, my head girl, and I had a bet on what he could make. We both came up with numbers and I won, so she owes me a drink!"

Despite his big spending antics at Park Paddocks Sheikh Fahad’s attention will quickly turn to the somewhat unexpected target of Cheltenham, as he is due to ride New World Order in a charity race at the course on Thursday.

“It’s distracted him from his dieting,” joked Redvers. “I think he’s off to the sweatbox to get rid of the last few pounds, but at least he’ll go there with a smile on his face.”

Super Siyouni

For much of the second session a colt by Siyouni lead the way after Stephen Hillen parted with 400,000gns. An opening bid of 50,000gns was quickly surpassed, with Alastair Donald, Angus Gold and Stuart Boman of Blandford Bloodstock involved in driving the price all the way up to the 400,000gns mark.

“I didn’t think I’d have to pay that much but the market seems up a savage amount, and if you want the horses you’ve just got to get involved,” said Hillen, who revealed the colt will be trained by his old ally Kevin Ryan.

“I liked his action and I saw him at Roger Marley’s about a month ago and he impressed me there. We’ve been lucky buying from there, that’s where we got Brando who runs at Newmarket on Thursday. He’s by a good sire and is a good physical, he’s big but he’s not backward.”

The well-made chestnut is out of the Shirocco mare Acentela and is a half-brother to Blue Hills, a winning daughter of Myboycharlie.

The colt was bought as a yearling from the V2 session of Arqana’s August Sale for €62,000 by Powerstown Stud, and was sold by Church Farm and Horse Park Stud

“Alban Chevalier du Fau [of The Channel Consignment] sold him as a yearling and highly recommended him," said John Cullinane of Horse Park Stud. "He's always been a powerful horse with a great mind and he did a lovely breeze - he wasn't among the quickest times but he finished off extremely well.”

The breeze-up sales may not be everybody’s cup of tea, but Hillen was unequivocal about the merits of the format and the skill of those involved in preparing the horses that are put up for sale.

“The guys that are consigning these horses would make excellent trainers,” he said. “The Nell Gwyn winner, Daban, came from the breeze-ups and the statistics from these sales are fantastic. It’s easier for me as I was an assistant trainer for Barry Hills and Paul Cole for a long time. I’d much rather buy a breeze-up horse than a yearling as it’s less of a crap shoot.”

Hillen was among the more active agents during the second session, having also signed for a Pivotal filly from The Bloodstock Connection at 200,000gns and an Intello colt from Malcolm Bastard at 135,000gns.

Kerri's coup

Kerri Radcliffe, who has been busy at sales on both sides of the Atlantic this spring, got in on the action when parting with 350,000gns for a Youmzain colt named Deja from Tally-Ho Stud.

The dark bay is the first foal out of the unraced Anabaa mare Atarfe, a half-sister to Listed-winning and Group 1-placed Hong Kong performer Helene Spirit. He was pinhooked by Stroud Coleman as a foal for €62,000 from the 2015 Arqana December Breeding Stock Sale.

"He's just such a well balanced horse, a lovely mover who did a lovely breeze and will hopefully be one for the Chesham," said Radcliffe, who confirmed that the colt would be trained by her husband Jeremy Noseda.

The colt was bought on behalf of Luxemburg-based Phoenix Thoroughbreds, as were Radcliffe's purchases earlier in the sales season. They include the $1.7 million OBS sale-topping Congrats filly and a $625,000 Super Saver colt, both of whom are with Bob Baffert at Santa Anita.

Radcliffe also twice went to 300,000gns on Wednesday evening, firstly for a Lonhro colt from Lynn Lodge Stud, followed shortly after by a Dark Angel colt from Willie Browne’s Mocklershill, who finished the sale as leading consignor, having sold 13 lots for 2,193,000gns.

Radcliffe recently signed for $2.95 million worth of horses at the OBS March Sale and spent another $1.55 million on two horses at Fasig-Tipton.

Deja vu for the Doyles

At the 2016 renewal of the Craven sale father and son duo Peter and Ross Doyle snapped up the smart Acclamation colt Mehmas from the draft of Horse Park Stud. And on Wednesday night they returned to the well as they parted with 300,000gns for another son of the Rathbarry Stud stalwart from the draft of Church Farm and Horse Park Stud on behalf of Al Shaqab Racing.

"It would be nice to think that lightning might strike twice," said Ross Doyle. "He's by a stallion we've had a lot of luck with over the years and he did a very professional breeze. He came highly recommended from a good hotel and will be trained by Richard Hannon."

Bred by Gerry Burke, the sharp colt is a half-brother to four winners, including the Group 3-placed Majeed. His dam, the winning Cape Canaveral mare Clever Millie, is a half-sister to Grade 2 winner Points of Grace and Listed winner Fatefully, dam of Nassau Stakes heroine Favourable Terms.

He was pinhooked for €80,000 from the Tattersalls Ireland September Sale by Roger Marley's Church Farm.

Knock out for Knockanglass

Thomond O’Mara’s Knockanglass Stables landed a touch with a pinhook from Howson and Houldsworth Bloodstock during the opening session when a colt by Exceed And Excel was bought by Blandford Bloodstock for 370,000gns. And the feat was all but repeated on day two when a Sepoy colt sourced for just 35,000gns went the way of Shadwell’s Angus Gold for 270,000gns.

The colt, who was rumoured to have clocked one of the quickest times of the sale, is out of the Kyllachy mare Caledonia Princess, a winning half-sister to Group 3 winner Caledonia Lady. He was sourced from Book 4 of the Tattersalls October Yearling Sale.

“He was in Book 4 and we were lucky to buy him as he looked quick at the time,” said O’Mara. “He’s a very good horse and he breezed accordingly.”

The consignor was another to remark on the strength of trade, saying: “I think this is one of the strongest Craven Sales I’ve been at. It’s good solid trade right the way through and there’s lots of people for the right horse.”

By the close of trade Shadwell had signed for four lots, including a Dark Angel colt from Yeomanstown Stud for 270,000gns and a Lethal Force colt from Maxine O’Sullivan at 110,000gns, at a total spend of 1,040,000gns.

Fresh challenge for Fforest Farm

Fforest Farm may be better known for firing out three mile chase winners, being the base for leading National Hunt trainer Rebecca Curtis. But this breeze-up season the operation has also ventured into the world of consigning, and secured a good return on a son of freshman sire Declaration Of War who went to Alastair Donald for 250,000gns.

“He’s been bought for a new client and goes to Andrew Balding,” said the agent. “I think a lot of the sire, though I see this colt as more of a mid-season, seven furlong type.”

The colt cost Curtis’s partner Gearoid Costelloe €140,000 when bought at the Goffs Orby Sale as a yearling, and with good reason, as he is out of the Woodman mare Flamingo Sea, which makes him a half-brother to Irish Derby winner Frozen Fire.

“We thought we’d try something different,” said Costello. “It’s been a learning curve and we’ve certainly learned plenty this week, but so far so good and hopefully we’ll buy some more yearlings in the autumn.”

He's always been a powerful horse with a great mind and he did a lovely breeze - he wasn't among the quickest times but he finished off extremely well
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