Rohan rides in again as Kapgarde colt tops final foal session
Aisling Crowe reports from day five of the November National Hunt Sale
A son of Kapgarde was the headline act of the fifth and final session of foals at the Tattersalls Ireland November National Hunt Sale in Fairyhouse on Thursday. The intensity of the sale may have dropped a few notches from the frenzied action of previous days, but the best foals were still the catalyst for fierce competition.
That demand helped the foal section of the sale return its best set of figures in a decade as turnover leaped to €11,683,700 - a gain of 17 per cent on 2016 and a record for the shorter format of the November National Hunt Sale.
A total of 18 lots made €60,000 or more during the four days of foal trade, returns that contributed to record-breaking average and median figures. The average of €16,595 showed a year-on-year improvement of 14 per cent, while the median of €12,500 also increased by 14 per cent.
Such strength of trade was also reflected in an improved clearance rate, up seven points from 2016 to 76 per cent.
Kapgarde colt caps the lot
Richard Rohan and Fiona Magee, who purchased of the sale's most expensive foal – an €80,000 Shantou colt – were the buyers of the only Kapgarde foal catalogued on Thursday, having outbid Gerard Lowry of Oneliner Stables at €54,000.
The chestnut is the first foal of his dam Mazaryne, a half-sister to the dam of The New One - winner of 15 starts, including the Grade 1 Neptune investments Novices Hurdle and Aintree Hurdles and who runs in Sunday's Greatwood Hurdle at Cheltenham.
"He is unbelievable for a first foal, I couldn't leave him behind," said Rohan. "The New One is a serious black-type horse to have on the page and the foal is by an excellent sire. I'm looking forward to bringing him back for sale as a three-year-old."
Three foals by Kapgarde were sold this week at Tattersalls for an average price of €46,000 with Rohan's €54,000 purchase the most expensive of the trio. On Sunday a yearling by the stallion, who stood for €8,500 at Haras de la Hetraie in 2017, sold to Ian Ferguson for €44,000.
Rohan and Magee have been engaged bidders on a number of the choice lots this week and entered the fray again on Thursday for a Flemensfirth colt consigned by Glenbeg House. However, they had to give best to Robert Wade of Gatterstown Stud, who won out with a bid of €36,000.
From the family of Grade 2 Bobbyjo Chase winner Afistfullofdollars, the chestnut was bred by Michael and Fiona O'Connor.
"I liked the foal as an individual and he looks forward enough for a May foal. I have bought him for resale at the Derby Sale in 2020. For pinhookers like me it has been a difficult week to buy horses at the right price as the trade has been so strong," said Wade.
Bit of blue
Wade was successful again later in the day with a bid of €41,000 enough to secure a colt from the first British-bred crop of Blue Bresil, who stands at Yorton Farm in Powys. Although born in Britain, the colt has an entirely French pedigree as his dam Polly Doodle is a Fair Mix daughter of Grade 3 Prix La Perichole winner Knock Down.
The sale was a successful one for Yorton Farm's French import with all six foals by Blue Bresil catalogued changing hands for an average price of €29,750 from a covering fee of £2,750 in 2016. Blue Bresil's most expensive offspring this week was the first foal out of Listed-winning hurdler Whoops A Daisy, who was purchased by Rathbarry Stud for €45,000 on Tuesday.
Present and correct
Presenting's place in the annals of racing history was assured long before his recent passing, and foals from the penultimate crop of Rathbarry Stud's outstanding sire sold like hotcakes all week. It was no different on Thursday when bidders were determined to get their hands on the final Presenting foal of the sale, a son of Accordingtoeileen, a winning hurdler by Accordion
Rathbarry Stud's Paul Cashman has enjoyed success with relations of this colt, most recently his three-year-old brother who he sold for €100,000 at the Land Rover Sale, and he reinvested €40,000 of that to secure the foal consigned by Yew Tree Stables for breeder Mary Curran.
"He is a sweet colt and it is a family I know quite well, we also had Present Lodger, a Presenting half-brother to this foal's dam that I sold after winning his point-to-point. I like the Accordion cross and he has quality and a great step to him," Cashman said.
The 15 foals by Presenting that sold during the sale fetched an average price of €32,033.
"What can I say about the sire? They are getting scarce now, about 50 or 60 foals to come in the spring hopefully, but I don't think we will ever see his likes again," reflected Cashman.
Mad about Mahler
Former National Hunt jockey Matt O'Connor has become a successful bloodstock agent and pinhooker and he picked up the day's most expensive foal by Mahler, a colt out of Cooksgrove Lady - a winning hurdler by Anshan, for €31,000.
"He will be back for resale as a three-year-old," O'Connor said. "I thought he was a big, scopey horse and a real athlete with lots of quality."
The colt was bred by Tom Maher from Holycross in Tipperary and is a half-brother to Castlebawn West, a four-year-old Westerner gelding now owned by Rose Boyd, who owned legendary hurdler Hurricane Fly in partnership with George Creighton.
Trade on Thursday was more mixed than the preceding two days and that was reflected in the returns. Although eight foals made at least €30,000 on Thursday, which was up from six on the corresponding day in 2016, all the other main figures showed year-on-year declines.
The session saw 150 lots change hands for a clearance rate of 70 per cent. Turnover stood at €1,437,450 - a four per cent year-on-year decline, the average was €9,585 - down eight per cent, and the median was €6,500 - down 19 per cent.