New boy Free Eagle off to a flyer as Shadwell swoop for €400,000 colt
The Irish National Stud bred and offered the six-figure youngster
A lightning-fast start to the Goffs Orby Sale on Tuesday saw the Irish National Stud's first-crop sire Free Eagle claim a noteworthy result when the colt out of Nebraas, just the third lot through the ring, fetched a winning bid of €400,000 from Shadwell's Stephen Collins.
The colt, who was bred and offered by the Irish National Stud, is a half-brother to seven winners, notably the dual Group 3-winning Yellow Rosebud and the Listed scorer Seeharn, while the dam is also a half-sister to Shadwell's 2002 Golden Jubilee Stakes hero Malhub.
"It's a family that Sheikh Hamdan knows very well," said Collins. "We had Arjuzah, who is this colt's second dam and also dam of Malhub, who was a Group 1 winner for us. Nebraas has been a very good mare with Yellow Rosebud, Seeharn and another black-type horse in Megan Lily.
"He was a really nice horse; well-balance, scopey, and looks like he'll be a miler/middle-distance type in time. He's a very good representative of his sire - Sheikh Hamdan particularly liked him."
Free Eagle, a son of High Chaparral who landed the Group 1 Prince Of Wales's Stakes, covered 112 mares at a fee of €20,000 during his debut season at the Irish National Stud.
"We're delighted, especially as he's going to a good home with Shadwell," said the operation's chief executive Cathal Beale.
"It was a great price but he was entitled to make it as he's a beautiful animal. From the sire's point of view it's nice to have the first horse to sell at a select sale in Ireland make €400,000. It's a great sign of what's to come over the next couple of weeks."
He added: "He's got 12 more to sell here and two at Book 1 of Tattersalls next week. I've seen all his yearlings here and we're delighted with them. Physically they've really developed from foals to yearlings, so we couldn't be happier."
Later in the session the Irish National Stud also sold a colt by its flagship resident Invincible Spirit, with Mark Johnston signing for the brother to Group 2 Challenge Stakes winner and Highclere Stud resident Cable Bay for €150,000.