Nap hand for St Lawrence but agent rues 'hot market' for many others
Underbidder with Fawzi Nass on $1 million Scat Daddy filly
Working with clients Fawzi Nass and Sir Mark Prescott, Newmarket bloodstock agent Oliver St Lawrence haltered five yearlings for a total of nearly $1 million during Books 1 and 2 of the Keeneland September Sale.
However, the competition during the opening sessions of the world's largest yearling auction was such that St Lawrence was among many left wondering about a few that got away. "The market is jolly strong," he observed. "We've been perennial underbidders on loads of expensive ones."
For Nass, St Lawrence signed tickets for a $400,000 Bernardini colt, a $250,000 Scat Daddy colt and a $100,000 Tiznow colt. They also chased the $1 million Scat Daddy filly that jointly topped Thursday's session, but wound up as underbidders to Kerri Radcliffe.
St Lawrence said that owner and trainer Nass, a Bahraini-born construction executive, races in both Europe and Dubai and therefore "he doesn't mind a dirt pedigree."
Bred by Summer Wind Farm and Godolphin, the Bernardini colt – "a lovely individual," according to St Lawrence – is out of the Curlin mare No Curfew, a half-sister to the dam of Grade 1 winners To Honor And Serve and Angela Renee.
The Scat Daddy colt is a half-brother to stakes winner Giovanni Boldini, who placed in both the National Stakes and the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf. "We'll take him back to England for training and will take it from there," Nass said. "We'll see if he suits the turf, otherwise he ends up in Dubai."
The Tiznow colt, who will follow the same general plan, is the first foal of multiple Grade 1-placed stakes winner Street Girl, by Street Hero.
St Lawrence and Nass, who cited Shumoos as their previous best buy from this sale, planned to continue looking – and possibly shopping through Book 3.Shumoos was a Group 3 winner and runner-up in the Queen Mary Stakes and Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Sprint. Her first foal, a Medaglia d'Oro filly, was sold by Nass's Aislabie Stud to Sheikha Fatima Bint Hazza Bin Zayed Al Nahyan's Al Shira'aa Farms for 600,000gns at last year’s Tattersalls October yearling sale. The mare has a Dubawi colt consigned to the same auction this autumn as Lot 214.
In shopping with Prescott at Keeneland, meanwhile, St Lawrence acquired a $200,000 Flatter half-sister to Grade 2 American Turf Stakes winner Arklow; plus a $40,000 Declaration of War colt out of a half-sister to St Leger winner Millenary.
"Definitely there are horses to be had here," St Lawrence said. "If you find the right horse to go on grass, they'll do perfectly well. But it's a hot market for the nice horses. You always think you've got value when you've bought – but when you're underbidder, you think it's expensive!"