Five subplots that played out during the 2018 Goffs February Sale
James Thomas takes a look at the stories that flew under the radar
A New wave
With the first crop by New Approach having only just turned eight, it is understandable that he is still awaiting his first success as a broodmare sire. However, a number of parties are clearly banking on him proving his worth in that sphere, as a pair of his daughters fetched the two highest prices at this year's February Sale.
The sale-topper was Glamorous Approach, a dual Listed winner who saw off subsequent Group 1 heroine Laganore when landing the Silver Stakes, for whom Ballylinch Stud parted with €280,000.
A Jim Bolger homebred, Glamorous Approach's second dam is a half-sister to Speirbhean, the dam of Bolger's champion two-year-old Teofilo.
The other six-figure daughter of New Approach came under the hammer just two lots later, as Tally-Ho Stud parted with €150,000 for Harrana, who is out of a half-sister to Derby hero Harzand and is now set for a date with Kodiac.
It stands to reason that New Approach has what it takes to become a force in the broodmare sire ranks. Firstly, his own sire has proved a force to be reckoned with in this area, with Galileo's daughters having given us the likes of Barney Roy, Night Of Thunder, Galileo Gold, US Navy Flag and Saxon Warrior, to name but a few.
Moreover, New Approach has covered some high-class books of mares and is a more than capable sire of fillies, with three of his six elite winners belonging to the fairer sex, namely May's Dream, Sultanina and Talent, while three-year-old Magic Lily looks a filly of serious Classic potential.
One other stallion had two lots among the top ten prices, Juddmonte's progressive young sire Bated Breath. The son of Dansili had two weanlings sell for a total of €175,000 and an average of €87,500, a healthy return on the fee they were conceived at - just £10,000.
The pricier of the pair was the colt out of Modesty's Way offered by Norelands Stud and bought by Jamie Railton for €105,000. The colt's second dam is a half-sister to Grade 1 winners Aldebaran and Good Journey, while he is bred on the same cross as the smart sprinter Ekhtiyaar.
The other son of Bated Breath to sell, the first foal out of the dual winner Starlight Symphony, went the way of Goodwill Bloodstock for €70,000.
Although a small sample size, these returns undeniably augur well for the year Bated Breath has in store. The momentum behind him has been building steadily, as last year proved fruitful both on the track and in the sales ring. He was represented by runners like the Railway Stakes winner Beckford and the progressive pair Unabated and Gavota.
In the sales ring meanwhile, he had 56 yearlings sell at an average of £48,385, almost five times the fee they were conceived at. He also had top lots at two of Europe's major sales, namely the €210,000 Landshark, who topped the Goresbridge Breeze-Up Sale, and the colt out of Night Sphere who topped the Goffs UK Premier Sale when sold to Joe Foley for £270,000.
Better Believe it
The Ballylinch Stud team won't only have been celebrating the acquisition of the auction-topping mare Glamorous Approach, as the stud's resident Make Believe also enjoyed a productive February Sale.
The dual Group 1-winning son of Makfi, whose first crop are this year's yearlings, had three lots sell for a total of €189,000 and an average of €63,000, not bad returns for horses bred at a fee of €20,000.
The priciest of those was another lot pinhooked by Jamie Railton, who went to €115,000 to secure the colt out of Lady Shanghai offered by Collegelands Studs. The purchaser was quick to heap praise on the sire, whose first foals fetched upto €80,000, saying: "It's a lot of money but he's an awfully nice horse. The sire is very handsome so it's no surprise that his stock are so good looking."
Hats off to Howson and Houldsworth
Turning a profit on a cheaply bought filly is no mean feat at the best of times, let alone in a three month window during which the horse hasn't run.
So hats off to Geoffrey Howson and Matthew Houldsworth, who didn't miss a trick when Noble Manners was offered as part of the Godolphin draft at the Tattersalls Ireland Ascot November Sale.
The daughter of Myboycharlie won a Newmarket nursery while under the care of Mark Johnston, and boasts a strong pedigree, being out of the Prix Marcel Boussac runner-up New Story as well as being a half-sister to Prix Robert Papin winner New Girlfriend. But when she appeared in the Ascot ring she found favour hard to come by, as Howson and Houldsworth signed the docket at a mere £5,500.
The three-year-old was reoffered at the February Sale by Brookfield Farm and was duly snapped up by John and Jake Warren for €32,000, a price rather more in keeping with her appeal and over five times what Howson and Houldsworth paid for her back in November.
At the 2017 February Sale, Jamie Railton signed for two lots, a No Nay Never filly out of Always A Way at €24,000, and a Tagula filly out of Weekend Lady at €16,000. Both went on to turn a profit when reoffered later in the year, with the No Nay Never going the way of Dermot Farrington for €30,000 during the Orby Sale while the Tagula fetched £48,000 from breeze-up master Willie Browne at the Goffs UK Premier Sale.
It is, therefore, interesting to note that Railton returned to the well this week to secure a trio of weanlings, including two that he forked out six-figure sums for, to finish third on the leading buyers' table by aggregate on €275,000.
The priciest of the agent's pinhooks was the Make Believe colt out of Lady Shanghai offered by Collegelands Stud who fetched €115,000, followed by a Norelands Stud-consigned son of Bated Breath who cost €105,000, and a colt by Hallowed Crown offered by Ballybin Stud who came in at €55,000 to complete the trio.
Given Railton's recent track record, not to mention that he has signed for the likes of Ribchester as a foal, it would be no surprise to see his latest acquisitions turn a profit later this year.
Catch up on all the action from the Goffs February Sale: