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Festival Sale to showcase the stars of tomorrow before they become famous

Samcro's former trainer Colin Bowe to offer a strong draft

Long After Dark (green cap): the Kirkistown maiden winner looks a potential highlight of Colin Bowe's draft
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Whether it is having seen a chart-topping band cut their teeth in the dingy backroom of a pub, or a Premiership footballer in his Sunday league days, there is something gratifying about knowing you latched onto the next big thing before the masses followed suit.

And those at Prestbury Park on Thursday will have the chance to see what could well be the stars of tomorrow, as Tattersalls Ireland host the Cheltenham Festival Sale on the hallowed turf of the winners' enclosure following the day's final race, the Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup Amateur Riders' Handicap Chase.

The boutique auction will see 25 handpicked and high-class prospects come under the hammer, and features a standout draft from Colin Bowe, a man who can truly claim to have discovered one of the sport's brightest prospects before the rest of us jumped on the bandwagon.

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It was back in April 2016 that Bowe first unleashed Samcro, who maintained his perfect record with a relentless display of galloping in Wednesday's Ballymore Novices' Hurdle.

And now buyers will have the chance to pick up another star from the Milestone Stables production line, as Bowe is set to offer an eye-catching four-strong draft. 

Colin Bowe: "It's a great idea having a sale like this after racing"
"It's a great idea having a sale like this after racing," he said. "You have all the owners in the one place, it's a great venue and it creates a good atmosphere - it works really well.

"I'm lucky because I've had a good spell coming into the sale. I've brought four over - it all depends on what wins on the build up to the sale."

Bowe's features four recent maiden point-to-point winners, and the first of his lots into the ring will be The Glancing Queen (Lot 3), a daughter of Jeremy who landed a four-year-old mares maiden at Horse and Jockey on Sunday.

"She looks to have a bit of class," said her trainer. "She's a nice filly and has a bit of pace. The mares programme is an awful lot better over in Britain and the demand for fillies and mares seems to be growing again, so I'd be hopeful there'll be customers for her."

Three lots later it will be the turn of The Hollow Chap (6) to take a turn in the ring. The son of Beat Hollow ran out a two-length winner of a Tinahely four-year-old maiden last month, and boasts a pedigree that is no stranger to the Cheltenham winners' enclosure.

"He's a half-brother to [2014 Arkle winner] Western Warhorse - he's not the biggest horse in the world but he jumps a fence well," noted Bowe.

Next up comes Long After Dark (18), a sizeable son of Flemensfirth - sire of Imperial Commander, Tidal Bay and Waiting Patiently - who made most to win an attritional Kirkistown maiden on Saturday.

Lot 18: Long After Dark on parade at the Cheltenham showing area
"He's a big Flemensfirth horse who's from the Carlingford Lough family. It was a tight track and heavy ground when he won - he's 17 hands so he did well win under those conditions because he's a nice, big chasing type," said Bowe, before drawing a particularly flattering comparison.

"He's very similar to Samcro, he's very laid back and has size and scope."

The draft is completed by First Account (26), a ready winner at Belclare on Sunday, of whom Bowe said: "He was nice and accurate over his jumps and he should make into a nice staying chaser."

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He's very similar to Samcro, he's very laid back and has size and scope

Key data

Flemensfirth Samcro
E.W. Terms
Sky bet