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International traffic fuels strong Horses In Training trade

James Thomas reports from day two at Park Paddocks

Lot 691: Pivoine in the Tattersalls ring before going the way of Alastair Donald for 340,000gns
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The number of international departures from Tattersalls during Tuesday's session of the Autumn Horses In Training Sale would have given most major airports a run for their money, with horses that changed hands now bound for the likes of Norway, Hong Kong, Australia and the US.

An international campaign could also be on the agenda for Pivoine in due course, after Alastair Donald went to 340,000gns to secure the son of Redoute's Choice from the Ballymacoll Stud dispersal draft after a protracted duel with Australian agent Guy Mulcaster.

"He's a lovely horse that we've followed for a while and I think there's a lot more to come from him," said Donald, who acquired the three-year-old on behalf of an established but undisclosed client.

"He's run some very good times and has shown an excellent turn of foot. The Australians were underbidders and there's every chance this could be a horse to be campaigned internationally at some point, though he'll remain in Britain for the time being."

Pivoine made obvious appeal to the Antipodean market, not only as a son of the dominant Australian sire of the era but also being out of a winning half-sister to the dam of Melbourne Cup winner Fiorente.

The gelding won three times for Sir Michael Stoute, including when recording back-to-back successes at Kempton and Doncaster on his most recent outings.

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Earlier in the session Donald also went to 200,000gns for Battered from the William Haggas draft, with the three-time winner also bound for foreign shores.

"He'll go to the Dubai Carnival - he has the right rating to get into those races but still looks fairly treated," said Donald. "He looks progressive, tough, versatile and he's run very good times on his last two starts - you have to be bordering on stakes-class to run those sort of figures. He's a very good physical to boot."

The three-year-old son of Foxwedge was last seen finishing runner-up to Kryptos, an effort that earned him a Racing Post Rating (RPR) of 104.

Destination Dubai

Anthony Stroud made a pair of noteworthy acquisitions during the session, the most expensive of which was Eynhallow, with the agent going to 300,000gns to land the progressive son of Nathaniel, who will next be seen in Dubai.

"He'll go to the Carnival," said Stroud. "He's a lovely horse bred by the McCreerys, is highly progressive and has been well trained. He's gone up about 20 pounds this year so fits the right profile for Dubai."

The three-year-old, who was never out of the first four from seven starts this season for Roger Charlton, is a half-brother to Jersey Stakes winner and Irish National Stud resident Gale Force Ten. His race record also features two wins and a peak RPR of 100.

Eynhallow comes from last to first to make a winning handicap debut at Goodwood in May

Stroud also went to 220,000gns for Jupiter Light from John Gosden's Clarehaven Stables. The three-year-old Lonhro gelding won three times, including when awarded a Nottingham handicap last time out.

"He was recommended by the trainer," said Stroud of George Strawbridge's homebred. "He vetted well and has the profile for Dubai and the right rating."

California dreaming

Regular Autumn Horses In Training Sale purchasers Red Baron's Barn and Rancho Temescal were back in action sourcing stock to take back to California, and high on their list was dual winner Eldritch, who they picked up for 200,000gns.

"We're looking for a strong allowance horse," said the operation's Tim Cohen, who went on to explain where the peculiar moniker originated.

"My father races under Red Baron. He used to do some advising for athletes out in California and instead of paying him they gifted him part of a restaurant called Red Baron. It was a terrible gift as, of course, it lost money!

"We bought six head here last year and we've been coming on or off for 30 years or so. A horse we got here last year called Force won a nice race for us at Golden Gate a little while ago, and Zaffinah won two races for us."

Cohen said he would be returning to Del Mar before the end of the sale to see Red Baron's Itsinthepost line up in the Breeders' Cup Turf on Saturday. 

"I watched the draw last night at about one in the morning, we got the seven hole so that's good. We're hoping for a big run," added Cohen. 

Eldritch: the son of Dark Angel will continue his career in California

All eyes on Escobar

David O'Meara has forged his reputation through revitalising cast-offs from other yards, and the North Yorkshire-based handler acquired a number of new recruits through his assistant trainer Jason Kelly during the session. Among the most eye-catching was Escobar, who cost 100,000gns from the draft of Hugo Palmer.

"He's a horse who was high-class at two and just seemed to lose his way a little bit, but they can often be the horses we do well with," said Kelly after a bit of gentle ribbing from underbidder, Tom Malone.

"He'll have the winter off and we'll see what we can do with him - he'll be straight in at a high level next year though. He's been bought for Tiffin Sandwiches, who have an unraced Dawn Approach filly and a horse called Royal Headley with us."

Escobar, a son of Famous Name, won the Listed Washington Singer Stakes as a two-year-old and boasts a peak RPR of 107.

The O'Meara team will be hoping that he can follow in the footsteps of Lord Glitters, a €270,000 buy from Arqana in July who produced a remarkable last-to-first effort to land the Balmoral Handicap on Champions Day.

"That was fantastic as the owner paid quite a bit of money for him but he's got most of that back now!" said Kelly. "We have a couple of Listed races in mind for him and that will give us an idea of where we can go next year."

Escobar lands the 2016 Washington Singer Stakes

Off by heart

On the day that it was announced that Frankel had earned himself a hefty increase in covering fee, upped by £50,000 to £175,000, his smart son Learn By Heart was bought for 160,000gns by Bent Olsen to continue his career in Scandinavia.

"I wanted a young horse that could go for all the best races in Norway and Denmark," said Denmark-based Olsen, whose stable is home to around 40 thoroughbreds.

"Hopefully you'll see him in the Norwegian Derby! And of course, everyone wants a Frankel. I think they will get better as they get older."

The two-year-old Learn By Heart was bred by the Queen out of the Cherry Hinton Stakes winner Memory, lineage that makes the colt inbred 3x3 to Danehill and a close relation to Acomb Stakes winner Recorder and the Listed-winning Call To Mind, with his siblings both being sons of Galileo.

Learn By Heart won one of his five starts for William Haggas, and achieved an RPR of 99 when fourth to Hey Gaman in a Newbury Listed event in August.


The second session saw 270 lots bring turnover of 7,668,300gns, an average of 33,195gns - a five per cent increase on the comparative figure from 2016 - and a median of 18,000gns - down five per cent from 19,000gns.

The clearance rate stood at 86 per cent.

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The Australians were underbidders and there's every chance this could be a horse to be campaigned internationally at some point
E.W. Terms
Sky bet