Airlie Beach brother sells for €230,000 as Gordon Elliott's owners emerge on top
Aisling Crowe reports from a robust first day of the Goffs Land Rover Sale
The sun shone over Kildare Paddocks on Tuesday as Ireland emerged from the gloom of lockdown in perfect time for the 2021 Goffs Land Rover Sale, restored to its June date but, unusually, the first live sale to take place in Ireland this year.
Loosened from the chains of lockdown, buyers’ appetite for stores was insatiable and the clearance rate for day one was 91 per cent, with 183 of 202 lots offered finding a buyer. The aggregate came to €8,532,500, the average was €46,626 and median €42,000.
Top-lot honours went late in the session to the brother of prolific Grade 1-winning hurdler and Listed Flat winner Airlie Beach, who eventually went the way of Noel and Valerie Moran’s Bective Stud at €230,000.
Consigned by Peter Nolan, the son of Burgage Stud’s retired Shantou, one of the most successful National Hunt stallions of recent years, was spoken of as a potential sale-topper from the moment inspections started at Kildare Paddocks.
Days after he actually turned three, the bright bay lived up to those expectations when he entered the ring. When an opening bid of €100,000 was elicited, the stage was set for an exciting show, and so it proved.
Six months ago at the Goffs’ December National Hunt Sale, Bective Stud set a record for a National Hunt mare sold at public auction when purchasing Apple’s Jade for €530,000, demonstrating their willingness to spend big in order to acquire the highest quality for their new Meath farm, and the Morans showed the same resolve here.
Eddie O’Leary was acting on behalf of the couple and said of their latest acquisition: “He's a wonderful horse from a great farm and a really good family so hopefully he will be as good as he looks.”
He will join the Bective Stud roster trained at Gordon Elliott's Cullentra House, which includes Zanahiyr and Grand Roi.
Nolan has grown his consigning business into one of the largest and most successful, and this sale-topping achievement was the culmination of a plan long in the brewing.
“He's a once-in-a-lifetime horse to breed and we had earmarked him for this sale for a long time, so it’s brilliant that it has all come together,” he smiled.
Airlie Beach’s first planned foal, a gelding by Mount Nelson, is one of the headline lots in Wednesday’s second session of the Land Rover Sale.
Martaline to the fore
There are enormous expectations for Martaline’s final crops, the most expensively bred by Haras de Montaigu’s leading sire, who is responsible for top-class performers including his sire-son Beaumec De Houelle, Dynaste and Kotkikova.
Aide Memoire, from Walter Connors’ Sluggara Farm, is very familiar to Joey Logan and his clients Andrew and Gemma Brown, in whose colours Mighty Potter, the year-older brother to Tuesday’s €200,000 gelding, races for Elliott’s stable.
Mighty Potter was an impressive winner of a Punchestown four-year-old bumper on his debut in March under Jamie Codd, and Aide Memoire will join his sibling at Cullentra House Stables. Offspring of Haras de Montaigu’s late, great sire have already proved very successful in the Browns’ red and white silks for Elliott.
Logan said: “He’s a beautiful horse and what did it for me was the way he moved; he has a really impressive stride. He’s for Andrew and Gemma Brown and the plan would be the same as for Mighty Potter.
"Gordon thinks Mighty Potter is a proper horse, and Gemma and Andrew also have Grade 3 winner Grand Paradis, by Martaline, in training with Gordon, and he’s a nice horse."
Michael Shefflin and Paul Holden were busy restocking, with the most expensive of their purchases a son of Authorized who made €145,000. He is out of Leah Claire, who earned black type on the Flat and over hurdles for her owner-breeder Frank McNulty.
Trained by Willie McCreery, the daughter of Tomba was placed in the Listed Loughbrown Stakes at the Curragh and the Listed Listowel Stakes, and was second in a Grade 2 handicap hurdle at Leopardstown.
Her third foal is this March-born son of the 2007 Derby and Juddmonte International Stakes winner, who was consigned by Johnny Collins’ Brown Island Stables. The sale was a handsome return on the €20,000 he brought when sold as a yearling in France.
Shefflin said: “I love the sire and this horse moves really well, he’s the best looking of the Authorized horses in the sale. He’s a horse that should do well on the track and options are open for him - he could go down the point-to-point route or could go for a bumper.
"He’s out of a black-type mare and is a nice-looking Authorized, which was the main thing."
Willy Twiston-Davies bought the only filly by Authorized offered at this year’s Land Rover Sale. Peter Vaughan’s trips to France have unearthed the likes of last season’s dual Grade 1-winning novice chaser Energumene, and his Moanmore Stables consigned Jasmiwa, a French-bred daughter of Authorized who is a half-sister to the Listed Grand Steeplechase de Deauville third Fahawro. Bought for €25,000 from Jean-Pierre and Guillaume Garcon, she made four times that to Twiston-Davies on Tuesday.
She was one of two members of the Moanmore Stables draft to sell for €100,000, the other being Al Medix, a son of Al Namix bought by Anthony Bromley of Highflyer Bloodstock. He is out of Medicity, a Sagacity half-sister to Grade 2 Long Distance Hurdle winner Medinas.
Once the €100,000 barrier had been breached it didn’t take long for another six-figure sale, and this time it was Garrett Barry’s gelding from the first Boardsmill Stud-bred crop of Mount Nelson. He proved to be one of 11 lots sold for six figures on the day.
He was very popular with members of the ‘British bubble’ and agents Tom Malone and Aiden Murphy fought it out for the third foal out of Letherbelucky, a Luso half-sister to Grade 1 Royal Bond Novice Hurdle winner Muirhead, with Murphy, who bought Letherbelucky’s half-brother Thomas Darby, trained by his son Olly to win the Grade 3 Holloway’s Handicap Hurdle, losing out to Malone at €100,000.
“You don’t often get the chance to buy many horses with pedigrees like this, it’s out of the top drawer,” said a pleased Malone. “He’s a very strong horse and the vendor tells me that he has really matured in the last few months.”
The sale continues from 10am on Wednesday.
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