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Life's a breeze as 400,000gns Craven Sale buy Commander Han gets off the mark

The son of Siyouni was signed for by Stephen Hillen and Kevin Ryan

Commander Han in the ring at Tattersalls
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It may only have been a lowly Chelmsford novice stakes, but 400,000gns breeze-up buy Commander Han looked a decidedly smart prospect when getting off the mark at the third time of asking in the opening race on Friday's card. 

The three-year-old son of Siyouni was always travelling sweetly under Kevin Stott and, having been sent for home entering the straight, he readily put seven lengths between himself and the fairly useful Nice Shot, who was conceding 7 lbs having won over course and distance on his previous start.

Commander Han was picked up by agent Stephen Hillen and trainer Kevin Ryan for 400,000gns at last year's Tattersalls Craven Breeze-Up Sale, where he was offered by Church Farm and Horse Park Stud.

He was the third highest-priced offering at the 2017 Craven Sale, behind the 675,000gns Scat Daddy colt Kings Shield - who made a winning debut for Qatar Racing and John Gosden in November - and the 575,000gns Intello colt Nordic Lights, who remains unraced for Charlie Appleby and Godolphin.

The colt is a half-brother to the winning Blue Hills and is the second foal out of the placed Shirocco mare Acentela, who in turn is out of a half-sister to the French 2,000 Guineas winner Tin Horse and is also a granddaughter of Group 3 winner Joyeuse Entree.

Commander Han breezing before the Tattersalls Craven Sale
"I didn't think I'd have to pay that but the market seems up a savage amount and if you want the horses you’ve just got to get involved," said Hillen immediately after signing the docket.

"I liked his action and I saw him at Roger Marley's about a month ago and he impressed me there. We've been lucky buying from there, that's where we got Brando from. He's by a good sire and is a good physical, he's big but he's not backward."

It may have been more than Hillen expected to pay at the time, but if Commander Han can keep progressing he may well just look money well spent.

Commander Han further strengthens the three-year-old hand of the Aga Khan's Haras de Bonneval resident Siyouni, who will also be represented by the exciting Fillies' Mile winner Laurens, the unbeaten Group 3 winner Sacred Life, the Listed-winning Sully and the stakes-placed pair Altea and Zyzzyva in 2018.


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