Jeremy's Paxman could hold the answers to Cheltenham May Sale conundrum
Point-to-point master Colin Bowe set to offer a strong draft at Prestbury Park
In many ways horse sales and University Challenge are not that dissimilar. Finding the right answer to one of the BBC quiz show's fiendishly difficult questions can appear an almost impossible task, but more often than not, some budding young boffin comes up with the goods.
In much the same way, spotting a future star among a catalogue of thoroughly unexposed thoroughbreds can appear a thankless task, but, inevitably, someone will unearth a serious equine talent.
And the Tattersalls Ireland Cheltenham May Sale on Thursday is due to take things one step further, with Paxman himself due to take the stage.
Not the acerbic presenter of the teatime quiz show, but the cleverly named four-year-old – a son of Jeremy, of course – who was last seen running out an impressive winner of an Inchydoney maiden on his debut.
The gelding (Lot 72) is one of a six-strong draft from Colin Bowe's Milestone Stables, whose recent graduates include the likes of Samcro, Getabird, Western Warhorse and Monbeg Dude.
"I didn't think he'd get through the ground at Inchydoney as we went there looking for nice ground but when we got there it was probably yielding to soft. He showed a really good attitude on the day, though.
"All Jeremys are straightforward and he's no different – he's very easy to train."
Paxman is not the only winning four-year-old Bowe is bringing with him to Prestbury Park, with Lock's Corner (25), a 12-length winner in a good time at Dawstown, Oldcastle winner Easyrun De Vassy (18), and the progressive Port Stanley (57A) also catching the eye.
"Barry [O'Neill, jockey] said Port Stanley made a mistake at the third or fourth fence on debut at Loughanmore and he knew his chance was gone so he looked after him. He told me he'd run well the next day though and he did when winning a maiden at Portrush on Saturday."
Bowe will also offer Pogue, a five-year-old son of Stowaway who was an impressive winner of an Oldcastle maiden on his second start.
"He only came to me late in the year," said the leading trainer. "He was second on his first run and then won very easily next time out. He's a nice horse, he's probably about 16.2 hands and is a big staying chaser for the future."
Other leading Irish point-to-point handlers with lots on offer include Monbeg Stables' Donnchadh Doyle, consignor of Buck's Bin's (65), a son of Khalkevi from the immediate family of Big Buck's; Moate Stables' Michael Goff, vendor of Loughanmore scorer Tribesmans Glory (49); and Ballyboy Stables' Denis Murphy, whose five-strong draft include Young Lieutenant (28), a son of Robin Des Champs who shaped with distinct promise when runner-up to Easyrun De Vassy on debut.
Leading stallions with progeny due to come under the hammer include Shantou, Oscar, Presenting, Flemensfirth and Kalanisi, while up-and-comers Fame And Glory, Getaway and Sans Frontieres are also represented.
Where: Cheltenham racecourse sales pavilion
When: Selling begins at 1pm
Sold last year: From 56 offered, 46 lots sold for turnover of £2,281,000 (-29%), an average of £49,590 (-2%) and a median of £41,500 (+4%)
Star graduates: Carefully Selected (bought by Harold Kirk and Willie Mullins for £100,000 from Greenhills Farm); Missed Approach (Highflyer Bloodstock & Warren Greatrex for £27,000 from Joshua Ryan); God's Own (Tom George for £62,000 from Silverfort Stud); Road To Riches (Matzak Holdings for £155,000 from Mount Brown Stables)
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