From Jim Bolger to Paul Nicholls for Meagher's Flag after £65,000 sale
Tom Malone signs docket for top lot at September Horses in Training Sale
The yearling sale season may well be in full swing elsewhere in the world, but the National Hunt fraternity came to the fore in Doncaster Wednesday as Goffs UK staged the September Horses in Training Sale.
A sizeable catalogue drew a considerable crowd of buyers to South Yorkshire, and by the close of trade 192 lots had sold for a clearance rate of 88 per cent and turnover of £2,094,800, which was up 30 per cent on the 2017 total.
The average of £10,910 was down three per cent and the median of £7,500 was down from £8,000 12 months ago.
Horses from the Gigginstown House Stud dispersal may have provided the majority of the session's highlights, with aggregate sales of £604,700 accounting for 29 per cent of turnover, but the top lot came from Jim Bolger's Glebe House Stables, as agent Tom Malone parted with £65,000 for winning three-year-old Meagher's Flag.
"He's going to Paul Nicholls for a new owner," said Malone. "He's a three-year-old and there aren't many of those on the market as the Australians are coming in and buying the types we want to take jumping.
"He probably fell under their radar but he's a big scopey horse who's still a bit weak. He wants gelding and hopefully he'll be a nice juvenile hurdler for the winter."
The son of Teofilo, who was also bred by Bolger, won one of his nine starts for the master of Coolcullen, and achieved a peak Racing Post Rating (RPR) of 84 for winning a Gowran handicap back in June.
Meagher's Flag was the second sale-topper to be supplied by Bolger within the last five days, as he was also responsible for Cimeara who topped Saturday's Goffs Champions Sale when sold to Sun Bloodstock for €500,000.
The session's second-most expensive lot away from the Gigginstown horses brought a significant update to the Doncaster ring, with Stacey Sue having landed a Worcester bumper on Monday. The five-year-old daughter of Robin Des Champs was knocked down to JD Moore and Alex Hales for £52,000.
Monday's success was the mare's second bumper victory, and supplemented her win in a Stradbally mares' maiden point-to-point back in April.
"She won as she liked the other day," said Moore. "She's only run five times but has three wins and an unlucky second to her name, and when she pulled up on her first run it was unraceable ground, so you could argue she could have four wins from four runs.
"She was the pick of the youngstock in the catalogue and there'll be plenty of opportunities for her, there's a Listed bumper at Cheltenham in October and she looks like a mare that could gain black type. She looks quality so hopefully she won't prove to be expensive."
The catalogue update was not the only point of interest to come from Stacey Sue's Worcester win, as she also provided Harry Swan - the 16-year-old son of legendary jump jockey Charlie Swan - with his first winner since taking out his amateur jockeys' licence.
Million In Mind restock
The Million In Mind syndicate are no strangers to the Doncaster sales ring, having sold there the likes of Uxizandre and Le Prezien, both of whom went on to win at the Cheltenham Festival.
However, the outfit turned buyer on Wednesday when Anthony Bromley went to £50,000 for smart performer Townshend, who was offered by Willie Mullins' Closutton Stables on behalf of Rich Ricci.
"He's been bought for the Million In Mind Partnership and this is their sixth and last horse for the season" said Bromley. "He'll go to Nigel Twiston-Davies. I just felt that an experienced handicap chaser would be a good addition for the partnership, which usually has a lot of youngsters.
"The horse ran really well on his first attempt at three miles in the Kerry National last Wednesday, so that's opened up a few more avenues for him. He's very versatile and could actually go back hurdling. He's a class horse and should be a lot of fun for a syndicate to own."
The son of Lord Of England, who was sourced for Ricci by Harold Kirk at a cost of €170,000, won four races while with Mullins and reached a peak RPR of 144.
Happy hunting for Henry
Henry Oliver was among the busiest buyers on Wednesday as the trainer parted with £81,000 for two lots on behalf of owner Mark Dunphy. Oliver's first acquisition was French import Envol De La Cour, who fetched £40,000 when offered by Birch Farm Stud.
The son of Maresca Sorrento won three of his five starts for Francois Nicolle, including a chase at Toulouse on his most recent outing.
"He's a winner over hurdles and fences in France but is still very lightly raced," said Oliver. "He's only four and is very nicely put together. The owner was looking for something that could make up into a Saturday horse and he fits the bill.
"He's only been in light work recently so we'll build him up and let him tell us when he's ready to go. There's no rush as it's still early doors at this stage of the season. I had a chat with Jerry McGrath who said his French form looks nice enough. We'll look at graduation chases with him and give him a bit of education and experience before looking at handicaps."
Later in the session Oliver went to £41,000 to secure Caltex from the Gigginstown Stud draft for Dunphy.
Close of trade
After the final lot had exited the ring, Goffs UK's managing director Tony Williams said: "We're delighted with today's sale. The 88 per cent clearance rate was very good and it was particularly pleasing to see another big crowd of domestic and international buyers descend on the complex for a quality day of horses in training.
"The Gigginstown House Stud annual dispersal was undoubtedly a major attraction for the sale with household names such as Road To Riches and Thunder And Roses offered and we would like to extend our thanks to the Gigginstown team, along with all our vendors and buyers, who made today a success."