Globetrotting Harlem set to continue his career in Australia
Four-year-old tops third day of Autumn Sale
The highly anticipated Juddmonte draft took centre stage in Newmarket yesterday and, with Alastair Donald going to 520,000gns to secure Harlem, the theme of the priciest lots heading for foreign climes continued.
"He's for a Hong Kong-based owner who we bought Group 1 winner Spillway for," said Donald. "He's determined to win the Sydney Cup, an A$2million dollar race at Randwick. Harlem will go into training with David Hayes and a client of Louis le Metayer will also take a share in the horse."
The colt, a four-year-old son of Champs Elysees from the family of Grade 1 winner Ventura and Geoffrey Freer winner Kings Fete, won twice for Andre Fabre and was last seen finishing fourth to Nearly Caught in the Group 2 Prix Kergorlay at Deauville in August.
At a sale which has been notable for the activity of foreign buyers it was the rather unlikely duo of Tom Malone and Joe Tizzard - fresh from toasting Thistlecrack's chasing debut success at Chepstow - who filled the role of underbidder.
The Juddmonte draft concluded with 32 horses sold for a turnover of 2,257,500gns.
Such was the strength of trade during the first three sessions, this year's renewal of the Autumn Sale had already surpassed last year's turnover with a day to spare.
Ghazali strikes again
Group-winning two-year-olds are a rare commodity at public auction, but when Pleaseletmewin came on the market that is precisely what was on offer. And having brought a winning bid of 450,000gns from Qatari champion trainer Gassim Mohammad Ghazali, the colt more than justified his owner's decision to sell.
The son of Power arrived with an official rating of 108 having run out an impressive winner of the Group 3 Horris Hill Stakes at Newbury on his most recent outing for Ralph Beckett - his third success of the campaign - and was offered with an entry in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf.
"I'm very happy to buy this horse," said Ghazali. "When I came from Qatar I had it in my mind that if this horse wasn't withdrawn he'd be coming back with me.
"The owner, Sheail Al Kuwari - the leading owner in Qatar, told me there was no limit on what I should spend to buy this horse and that I had to bring him back with me.
"We've had our eye on him for three or four weeks now and it was just a case of whether or not he'd be withdrawn."
The trainer was unsure whether the Breeders' Cup entry would be taken up, saying: "I'll speak to the owner tonight."
Reflecting on the sale, Beckett was sanguine, saying: "It was very good business. His owner Richard Roberts has stayed in the game by knowing when to sell and that's a good trick to pull off - it's not always easy. I'm sorry to see him go but he went for the right reasons."
Alex Elliott put in a determined effort to secure the colt but, having been responsible for sourcing him as a yearling for just £36,000 at Goffs UK last August, was unsuccessful in his bid to buy the horse for a second time.
Stroud steps back in
The first major impact of the day was made by Autumn Sale regular Anthony Stroud who was busy sourcing talent for the Dubai Carnival. First, Stroud snapped up Dutch Law, a four-year-old son of Dutch Art rated 99 from Hughie Morrison's stable, for 150,000gns.
That was followed by a winning bid of 230,000gns for Above N Beyond, a three-year-old Exceed And Excel colt from Tom Dascombe's yard who is rated 103 after making all in a Haydock handicap in September.
"Horses have to be rated at least 98 to run at the Carnival," said Stroud. "So that limits the number of horses you can look at. Then they've got to pass the vet, which is crucial, so a lot fall by the wayside."
Despite the two six-figure acquisitions Stroud admitted that the number of purchases he had made was down on previous years. He said: "I don't think there's the number of horses available here as in previous years - we've bought five so far this year, sometimes we've bought eight, in other years as many as 12.
"We always buys a few at the Arc Sale as well but only got one this year. I do think the numbers are down but of course, a number are sold privately as well."
Voute splashes out
Ted Voute was in action throughout the session, sourcing a number of horses for Prince Faisal bin Khalid's Red Stable in Saudi Arabia. By the close of trade Voute had signed for four lots on the day, including the third priciest in the auction so far, Real Dominion.
The three-year-old son of Cape Blanco has won two of his 12 starts for Andrew Balding, including an Ascot handicap by six lengths back in July, and was secured with a bid of 350,000gns.
On Racing Post Ratings Real Dominion is the highest-rated runner produced by Cape Blanco, who now stands under the Bloodhorse Breeders Association banner in Japan.
Voute also went to 220,000gns for Jorvick, a three-year-old son of Mizzen Mast that won twice on the all-weather at Deauville for David Smaga. The colt will reportedly be aimed at the King's Cup.
Familiar duo in action
The day may have been dominated by those sourcing horses for further afield, but the familiar partnership of Harold Kirk and Willie Mullins were in action to strike a blow for the home team as they snapped up Stratum for 160,000gns.
The colt had won one of his eight starts for champion trainer John Gosden and finished runner-up on five occasions, earning him an official rating of 92. The three-year-old son of Dansili, consigned by The Castlebridge Consignment, now looks set to follow a tried and tested path for Mullins' Flat acquisitions.
"He was recommended by John Gosden," said Kirk. "We've been very lucky buying from him in the past having with the likes of Nichols Canyon and Thomas Hobson.
"He'll go jumping for a season and then we'll run him on the Flat again next year. He stays very well and we're hoping he might make up into a Melbourne Cup type."