End of an era as Ballymacoll nursery to go under the hammer
Auction of property takes place in Dublin on Tuesday afternoon
It is land steeped in history, even before its purchase by the Weinstock family in 1960. But an era will come to an end on Tuesday afternoon when Ballymacoll Stud goes under the hammer at the Shelbourne Hotel in Dublin.
Peter Reynolds, the long-serving Ballymacoll manager, long hoped to find a lock-stock-and-barrel buyer for both the County Meath nursery and its roster of racing and breeding stock. In March, however, he reconciled himself to the reality that the property and 52 horses would be auctioned separately - the latter almost exclusively through various pertinent sales at Tattersalls.
The guide price for the sale of the farm, conducted by agents Frank Knight and REA Coonan, has been set at €6 to €8 million. It comprises 294 acres of railed land, 60 stables spread between four yards, a manager's house and three other staff properties.
Reynolds has been maintaining the operation on a commercial basis for the heirs to the late Lord Weinstock, but he is retiring after overseeing the dispersal.
Tattersalls will be selling 18 mares, 14 horses in training, nine yearlings, nine foals and two horses out of training. In just over two weeks' time, dual Group 3 scorer Arab Spring will be first to enter the ring at the July Sale.
The value of some lots continues to improve, with the famous light blue and yellow silks carried by Abingdon to an impressive success in the Listed Pontefract Castle Fillies' Stakes on Sunday.
Whoever holds the keys when the auction concludes will be able open a new chapter for a nursery already celebrated as the birthplace of Arkle. The 30 Group/Grade 1 winners to have graduated from Ballymacoll since include Derby heroes Troy and North Light; St Leger scorers Conduit and Sun Princess; 2,000 Guineas winner Golan; Pilsudski, who won big races all over the world; and Breeders' Cup heroine Islington.
The auction commences at 3pm.