No stone can go unturned when it comes to sires of stores
Martin Stevens looks at the names likely to be popular with traders
Here is where the horse trader's dream of turning an enormous profit starts: the 508 lot-strong catalogue for the Goffs Land Rover Sale, which starts its two-day run in Kill on Tuesday.
Among the many three-year-olds on offer – and only four four-year-olds; a sure sign vendors are kicking on with their stores, as there were 203 of that age on offer in this auction ten years ago – will be those pearls who have the ability to win in the Irish point-to-point field and entice buyers to pay huge sums for them to campaign them under rules.
Cool Getaway, for example, was bought here by Roy Wilson for €40,000 two years ago and, after scoring by three lengths at Tattersalls Farm for Stuart Crawford last November, was sold weeks later at Cheltenham to Mags O'Toole for £305,000.
The only problem for prospective pinhookers is finding the next Cool Getaway and fending off opposition from the many owners and trainers who will also be at Goffs to replenish stock for them.
A look at the sires who were responsible for point-to-pointers and other young jumps horses who sold for £100,000/€110,000 or more at boutique auctions at Cheltenham, Aintree, Punchestown and Doncaster in the last jumps season might be a good place to start.
And no other stallion could match Milan's tally of six such six-figure horses. The sire of Grand National hero One For Arthur has proved a real trader's friend, with the most expensive of the sextet, Quakerstown winner Brewin'Upastorm, sold at Cheltenham for £250,000 after being purchased at last year's Land Rover Sale by Tim Hyde jnr for just €35,000.
There was also Oakley Hall, a €7,500 yearling buy for Niall Hannity who was sold for £120,000 at Cheltenham after winning a Punchestown bumper, and Senor Lombardy, transformed by Colin Bowe from a €34,000 store into a €125,000 Goffs Punchestown showstopper after victory at Ballysteen.
There are 14 Milan offspring at this year's Land Rover Sale. Three who take the eye are the filly out of French Listed hurdle winner En Vedette (lot 232); the gelding out of Grade 3-winning novice chaser Back Of The Pack (436); and the gelding out of Listed-placed Dancingwithbubbles who is a half-brother to Sky Pirate (469), a £150,000 purchase at the Cheltenham Festival in March.
Beeches Stud veteran Flemensfirth was one of four sires to be represented by five six-figure pointers last season, including the record-breaking £480,000 purchase Flemenshilll, a winner between the flags at Oldtown.
SIRES WITH TWO OR MORE POINT-TO-POINTERS OR HORSES IN TRAINING SOLD FOR £100,000/€110,000 OR MORE AT BOUTIQUE SALES IN THE 2016/17 JUMPS SEASON
(Top price: £250,000 for Brewin'upastorm)
(Top price: £480,000 for Flemenshill)
King's Theatre 5
(Top price: £320,000 for Maire Banrigh)
(Top price: £300,000 for Madison To Monroe)
(Top price: £120,000 for Kupatana and Western Honour)
(Top price: £220,000 for Speak Easy)
(Top price: £205,000 for On The Blind Side)
He also supplied Chooseyourweapon, a €30,000 purchase at last year's Land Rover Sale by Donnchadh Doyle of Monbeg Stables, a past master in the art of trading pointers, and resold to Evan Williams for £210,000 at Cheltenham in April after winning easily at Inch.
There is plenty of choice of Flemensfirth progeny at Goffs this week – 20 after withdrawals – which is good for traders hunting profits as some are bound to slip through the net of the major spending powers. The gelding out of high-class hurdler and chaser Pomme Tiepy (80) and half-brother to Grade 3-winning hurdler Brave Vic (181) hold particular appeal if their physicals match their pages.
The late reigning champion jumps sire King's Theatre also had five progeny sell for six figures in the last year, but sadly there are no stores by him left. There are still chances to invest in Presenting and Westerner, who also had a quintet on the scoreboard, though.
Madison To Monroe, the most expensive point horse by Presenting to change hands last season, underlines the riches available at the store sales. The spotted roan gelding topped the Goffs UK Aintree Sale when sold to Tom Malone for £300,000 in April, having won at Monksland in the preceding weeks. He was unsold at just €19,000 when offered at Tattersalls Ireland this time last year.
Pinhookers have the pick of 13 lots by Presenting at Goffs and those whose pedigrees leap off the page are two geldings who are first foals - one out of Grade 1-placed bumper performer Oilily (66) and the other out of Grade 1-placed hurdler Reine Angevine, a half-sister to the classy La Bague Au Roi (95).
That Westerner matched the tally of six-figure pointers of Flemensfirth, King's Theatre and Presenting is particularly creditable as the Danehill stallion's covering fee has tracked at around half the price of the others.
Moreover, Westerner's two best-selling pointers last season at £120,000 were both sourced for peanuts at store sales: Kupatana cost Aidan Fitzgerald just €1,700 at Goresbridge and Western Honour was another shrewd acquisition by the Wilson/Crawford team for €18,000 at Goffs.
None of the Westerners at the Land Rover Sale have glitzy pedigrees, so there could be value to be had. Perhaps the gelding out of Foret Noire (492), who has taken her tally to three winners from four runners since publication of the catalogue, could be something of a dark horse.
Looking further down the list of sires who fared well at the jumps horses in training sales in the past 12 months, the less celebrated Doyen deserves honourable mention for his three six-figure transactions.
They included Rapid Escape, a €46,000 Land Rover graduate who won easily at Tinahely and was sold at Cheltenham for £240,000 to Gordon Elliott, for whom he ran an honourable fifth in the Goffs Land Rover Bumper at Punchestown.
A draft of seven Doyen stores are on offer this week, including a half-brother to Grade 2-winning chaser Carthalawn (78).
Doyen reminds us that, for all this scrutiny of stallions, the point-to-point brethren need not worry quite so much about sire power, as the aim is to find an athlete who can excel between the flags. When they come to resell it will be wide margin winning distances and form-lines that are front and centre in the shop window.
Not that a trendy sire might not attract an extra bid or two from fashion-conscious owners and trainers, but the unheralded members of the stallion ranks can also furnish traders with handsome profits.
Besides Doyen, other less expensive sires such as Alkaadhem, Curtain Time, Frozen Fire, September Storm and Well Chosen also featured as sires of six-figure boutique jumps sale lots last season.
When it comes to sires, no stone can go unturned at the store sales.