Hales breaks record price for mare to snare Lingstown winner
Maire Banrigh tops the buoyant Tattersalls Ireland sale
Willie Mullins and Ruby Walsh may have dominated the racecourse action with a fantastic four-timer at Cheltenham on Thursday, but it was former jockey Ryan Mahon acting for John Hales who bossed the sales ring at the Tattersalls Ireland sale held after the last race, when parting with £320,000 for Irish point-to-pointer Maire Banrigh.
The five-year-old is a daughter of the late King’s Theatre, a sire with an outstanding record at the Cheltenham Festival, and she was last seen running at Lingstown on Sunday, when she won a three-mile mares' maiden by five lengths.
Out of the winning Supreme Leader mare La Marianne, her half-brother Ballykan had finished sixth behind Road To Respect in the Grade 3 Brown Advisory and Merriebelle Stable Plate Handicap Chase just a few hours earlier.
Her sale produced a record price paid for a mare at a Tattersalls Ireland Cheltenham auction and eclipsed the previous record set when Redhotfillypeppers was bought by Harold Kirk and Willie Mullins for £200,000 last May.
Maire Banrigh was consigned by Richard Black's Ballinapark Stables.
After securing Thursday’s sale-topper, Mahon purchased the next lot through the ring, Lismullen point winner The Dellercheckout from Monbeg Stables, for £260,000.
Of his purchases, Mahon said: “They’re both for John Hales. One will be for Dan Skelton and one will be for Paul Nicholls. The filly was very impressive and there’s only been good words spoken about her. She has a great pedigree and is a lovely horse.
“I was there on the day The Dellercheckout won and it was very heavy ground. He’s a lovely stamp of a horse and jumped savage the whole way round. I was just very impressed with him.”
The 'hills are alive
Last month's Tattersalls Ireland Cheltenham Sale made history when Flemenshill sold for £480,000, a record price for an Irish point-to-pointer, and Thursday’s second top lot was boosted by that sale.
Palmers Hill, a four-year-old son of Gold Well, finished third behind Flemenshill on his debut at Oldtown before following up at Tyrella with a decivise 20-length victory at the beginning of this month.
His exploits did not go unnoticed by Kieran McManus, son of leading owner JP, who signed the docket at £310,000.
The result delighted Denis Murphy, who offered him through his Ballyboy Stables and said: “He improved for his first run and he was my first four-year-old runner of the year. He’s a gorgeous horse who does everything well.
“When he develops he should make a smashing chaser."
Palmers Hill is a son of Gold Well from the family of high-class hurdler Mighty Mogul.
Malone snaps up 'machine'
Agent Tom Malone was busy in the ring and he got in on the action by securing Thursday’s joint third-top lot in the shape of Slate House for £260,000.
Offered by Loughanmore Farm, the five-year-old son of Presenting boasts a world famous jumps pedigree as it traces back to Paul Nicholls’ multiple Grade 1 hero Big Buck’s.
He was last seen in November when he won a point-to-point at Tattersalls by ten lengths and was bought by Malone for trainer Colin Tizzard.
Malone also stumped up £135,000 for Posh Trish, a four-year-old daughter of Stowaway who landed a mares' contest at Lemonfield earlier this month by 14 lengths.
Malone said: “Slate House is a machine, there’s no two ways about it. He was so impressive. The two most impressive performances in point-to-points this autumn were Finian’s Oscar and Slate House. One has been allowed to go and prove himself and I hope this one will be the same.”
“I was at the meeting when Posh Trish won and she’s a very likeable mare who’s done her job on very heavy ground that day. She jumped, galloped and showed a very good turn of foot.”
Rapid Escape catches the eye
The catalogue was full of point-to-point performers who had notched impressive performances on their debuts and Rapid Escape was another individual to have done so.
A four-year-old son of Doyen, he had sauntered to a ten length success in a Tinahely point-to-point last month and it was Matt Mitchell of Tattersalls Ireland, acting on instructions, who struck the winning bid of £240,000.
Mitchell reported he was bidding on behalf of a client of Gordon Elliott's.
It looked as if Ex Patriot, a four-year-old son of Elusive Pimpernel, was going to steal the limelight as he was offered with an entry in Friday's JCB Triumph Hurdle but he was bought back by his vendor at £200,000.
Impressive rise in figures
At the conclusion of the sale, trade had surpassed the figures set at last year’s corresponding auction.
All told, 21 lots sold for an aggregate of £3,000,000, up a whopping 107 per cent on 2016’s figure of £1,447,000. The average rose to 38 per cent to £142,857 from £103,357 and the median posted an increase of 32 per cent to £120,000 from £91,000.
Thirteen of the lots who sold on Thursday made six figure sums and underlined the market’s demand to snap up point-to-pointers at boutique auctions such as the Cheltenham Festival sale.