Festival bumper winner Vision Des Flos tops Punchestown Sale
Four-year-old son of Balko changed hands for €270,000
Robert Tyner's winning jig after Vision Des Flos landed the Land Rover bumper on Tuesday made a viral sensation of the Cork trainer, and connections were celebrating once again on Thursday night when the gelding returned to Punchestown to top the Goffs sale.
Vision Des Flos was the last of 17 horses to go under the hammer in the Punchestown winners’ enclosure, but with bidding opening at €100,000 the four-year-old son of Balko proved more than worth the wait.
Bloodstock agent Tom Malone appeared to have sealed the deal at €230,000, only for Professor Caroline Tisdall - shadowed by trainer David Pipe, to enter the fray.
Malone was not to be deterred however, and it was his bid of €270,000 that brought the hammer down. He was acting on behalf of big-spending owner Alan Potts, who enjoyed an historic success with Sizing John in Wednesday’s Gold Cup.
“It sounds stupid but he looks a cheap horse,” Malone remarked. “When you look at what horses are going for, to get the Land Rover Bumper winner for that price isn’t bad. I was so close to buying him as a store so I'm delighted to finally get him.”
He was bought at last year’s Land Rover Sale by Paurick O’Connor, whose wife Grainne’s colours Vision Des Flos carried to success on Tuesday, for €25,000 from Norman Williamson’s Oak Tree Farm.
Vision Des Flos is out of the Turgeon mare Marie Royale, a half-sister to the Bryne Group Plate winner Salut Flo.
It was a typically busy day for Malone, who also struck for Senor Lombardy from the renowned Colin Bowe nursery of Milestone Stables at €125,000. The four-year-old son of Milan had made a winning debut at Ballysteen point-to-point just four days previously.
“He's a big, raw, narrow son of Milan who was very good first time out and to win like that when he is still so raw, he must be a good horse. Milan’s stock improve with age so there's lots to look forward to with this fella,” commented the agent.
Senor Lombardy is out of an Alderbrook half-sister to Irish Grand National winner Glebe Lad and the Grade 3 chase winner Stashedaway. He is now set to continue his racing career in Britain.
More Minutes for Dunsdon
Minutestomidnight was a taking winner of the Grade 3 mares’ bumper at Punchestown a little over 24 hours before the sale, and was another lot that returned to the winners’ enclosure to a warm reception on Thursday night, with David Dunsdon securing the mare for €200,000.
The six-year-old daughter of Vinnie Roe, who is out of a half-sister to the dam of Grade 1 winning novice hurdler Death Duty, has remained unbeaten in three starts since making a victorious debut at Lingstown in March 2016.
Dunsdon is an amateur jockey who rode his family’s Joly Bey, trained by his cousin Nick Gifford - who accompanied him at the sale, in the 2002 Grand National.
More recently he has also partnered the Willie Mullins-trained Redhotfillypeppers, a £200,000 purchase from the 2016 Cheltenham Premier Sale, to victory in a bumper at Punchestown on New Year’s Eve.
The Dunsdon family, under its Coldunnel Limited banner, has a number of horses in training with Mullins, after the amateur rider struck up a friendship with the master trainer through racing in France.
The sale provided trainer Jonathan Sweeney and owner Larry Murphy with a remarkable profit, with the pair having picked up Minutestomidnight for just €5,500 at the previous renewal of the Land Rover Sale.
Harrington up for an Oscar
Jessica Harrington’s wonderful run of winners has continued from festival to festival, and the in-form trainer added to her string when snapping up the only son of the brilliant Oscar to be offered in the sale at €150,000.
Harrington’s stunning run of form has been aided by the progeny of Oscar, as Irish Grand National and Grade 1 novice chase hero Our Duke is a son of the Coolmore sire, who was retired from stud duties in 2015.
Harrington's purchase looks particularly well-named given his sire's pensioned status, with Colin Bowe being responsible for offering Not Many Left.
The dual Gold Cup-winning trainer outbid her good friend, and Punchestown house guest, Nicky Henderson, for the gelding, who made a winning debut in a Largy maiden the previous Saturday. He is a brother to two winners, including the Grade 2-placed Coverholder, and a half-brother to two more.
“I absolutely love Oscar’s progeny and this horse is a mini Our Duke,” said Harrington. “I saw him in Colin’s yard before he ran and I loved him. He's for an existing owner in the yard.”
The success of Disko in the Grade 1 Growise Champion Novice Chase on Tuesday was another fine advertisement for the potency of his sire Martaline. Only one horse by the Haras de Montaigu resident was offered for sale on Thursday night and it was owner Michael Buckley that added Burrows Edge to his string when buying the four-year-old for €140,000.
Consigned by Warren Ewing, Burrows Edge was runner-up to Not Many Left in the Largy four-year-old maiden the previous Saturday. A French-bred, he is out of a half-sister to the dual Group 1 Prix Royal-Oak winner Tac De Boistron, while his further family includes the smart chaser Edgardo Sol.
Highflyer Bloodstock also got in on the action late in the session, purchasing The Butcher Said, a son of Robin Des Champs who was runner-up to Roaring Bull on debut in Tuesday’s bumper, from trainer Emmet Mullins for €135,000.
The sale concluded with 15 of the 17 lots offered changing hands for turnover of €1,691,000 - a 61 per cent increase on 2016's return, an average of €112,733 - a 50 per cent gain, and a median of €100,000 - up 57 per cent year on year.