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Dreams come true for Turley with €320,000 sale of Lecale's Article

Aisling Crowe reports from an eventful Punchestown Sale

Lecale's Article winning a four-year-old maiden point-to-point at Largy on Sunday
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Lecale's Article was the headline story at Goffs Punchestown Sale on Thursday evening, selling for a record-breaking €320,000 to David Minton of Highflyer Bloodstock - the highest price ever registered in the history of the boutique sale.

Consigned by Patrick Turley, the gelding created an enormous buzz when winning his maiden at Largy just five days' ago and was the talk of Punchestown in the lead up to the sale.

The sale represented a stunning triumph for vendor Patrick Turley, who bought Lecale's Article at last year's Tattersalls Ireland Derby Sale for just €26,000.

"It’s what dreams are made of," beamed the delighted 25-year-old. "I always thought a lot of him from the moment I saw him as a three-year-old and he has been so easy to do everything with but then the good ones always are.”

The young man from County Down was quick to deflect praise away to the team around him including Philippa Baird, his brothers Andrew and David, jockey Declan Lavery, the in-house vet and his parents.

"I used to work for Brian Hamilton and he has been a huge help to me as well as Roger and Tony O’Callaghan of Tally-Ho Stud, who have probably been the biggest influence on my career," he added.

Naturally with that connection, Turley has a strong interest in flat bloodstock with several mares at home that he breeds from and a health pinhooking business for the breeze-up sales.

"We sold Mattymolls Gaga last year who went on to be Listed placed on the flat and I have two horses for the sale at Goresbridge next month – a filly by Dragon Pulse that we think a lot of and a nice Zebedee colt," added Turley.

Lecale’s Article was sold as a foal by Rathbarry Stud, where his sire stands, to Brian Delahunt and resold through Abbeyleix Stud last June.

The four-year-old son of Malinas will swap Downpatrick for Seven Barrows after his purchase by Minton, who bought him on behalf of a client of Nicky Henderson. 

Minton said: "He's for a new client with Nicky who is on his way home from the races at Kempton," Minton revealed.

"Nicky saw him at Goffs this morning before flying back to the UK and he loved him. He has such presence about him. Nicky has a couple by Malinas in training and he likes the sire. My wife bred the dam, so it's a family that I'm quite familiar with, but I loved this horse.”

Henry Beeby, group chief executive of Goffs, expressed his pleasure at the fantastic results posted by the Punchestown Sale.

"This is our eighth sale here and it is our most successful so far with a record top price and a record average too. There was more interest again this year and that is because of the quality catalogue our vendors have provided for us. We're delighted with how the sale went and look forward to following the graduates over the coming seasons."

Sublime adds to strong results

That record average price of €125, 143 was added to by the sale of Coeur Sublime to Chris Jones for €260,000. The son of Elusive Pimpernel created quite the impression when winning on debut over ten furlongs at Navan on Monday and Peter Fahey's charge attracted an opening bid of €200,000 from agent Tom Malone.

However it was Kevin Ross, standing with Jones - whose famous maroon and white colours were carried to glory at the Punchestown festival in 2016 by Zabana - who won the bidding war.

Jones admitted he was pleasantly surprised at securing the three-year-old gelding and said: "We came to buy him but we didn't think that we would get him so I am delighted that we have."

The bay is set for a change of career and will go hurdling but no trainer has been decided upon for the half-brother to two winners on the Flat from the family of Grade 2 hurdle winner Sweetheart.

Jones added: "A trainer will be decided for him in due course but he's a gorgeous horse, a lovely looker with a beautiful temperament and such quality about him. Perhaps he could be another Ordinary World.”

Coeur Sublime was purchased by agent Aidan O’Ryan at the Tattersalls Ireland September Yearling Sale for €31,000 for owner Tim O’Driscoll.

Williams makes his mark

Evan Williams was the buyer of the third highest-priced horse on Thursday evening, Quoi De Neuf - a four-year-old gelding by Anzillero consigned by Pat Doyle's Suriview Stables.

The €180,000 purchase won his maiden on debut at Ballysteen, the same race that was won by Thursday's Champion Stayers' hero Faugheen.

Quoi De Neuf is a half-brother to Qualando, who won the 2015 Fred Winter Juvenile Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival for Paul Nicholls.

"I really liked him and he looks like a racehorse so hopefully he is," remarked Williams. "If he turns out to be half as good as Faugheen, then I will be more than happy."

Nine of the 14 horses to change hands did so for six-figure sums highlighting the strength of the select catalogue offered while the  clearance rate posted a healthy 78 per cent.

The median grew from €100,000 in 2017 to €110,000 on Thursday while the average and aggregate both registered increases on 2018. The average rose ten per cent from €112,733 to €125,143 while the aggregate grew by three per cent from €1,691,000 to €1,752,000.

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I always thought a lot of him from the moment I saw him as a three-year-old
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