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Emotional result for Swinburn as Godolphin land 1,800,000gns Dubawi colt

Sibling to I Can Fly becomes joint second-highest priced foal in Europe

Lot 965: David Hegarty leads the 1,800,000gns Dubawi colt out of Madonna Dell'orto
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Not since the days of My Typhoon, the Giant's Causeway half-sister to Galileo who sold in 2002, has the bid board at the Tattersalls December Foal Sale registered a price as lofty as 1,800,000gns.

That was until about 4.50pm on Friday when Godolphin's chief talent scout Anthony Stroud and Coolmore's MV Magnier renewed their sales ring rivalry, with the Dubawi half-brother to I Can Fly the offering in the crosshairs.

Stroud played his hand to bid spotter Shirley Anderson-Jolag on the podium by the parade ring, as Magnier stood with Paul Shanahan and Jamie McCalmont in the second row of the bidders' area.

After a protracted duel it was the Godolphin man who struck the 1,800,000gns bid that made the colt the joint second-highest priced foal in European sales history, behind only the Caerleon brother to Generous who fetched 2,500,000gns from BBA Ireland in 1997.

Michael Swinburn in good spirits at Book 1 of the October Yearling Sale

The colt was bred and sold by Michael Swinburn's Genesis Green Stud from the talented producer Madonna Dell'Orto, a daughter of Montjeu who spent her time in training with the breeder's brother, Walter Swinburn.

"I just wish Walter was here to see that," said an emotional Michael Swinburn. "He trained the mare and I Can Fly was the last one out of her that he knew, and he was absolutely over the moon with her.

"Madonna Dell'Orto was a mare that I'd always thought would suit Dubawi, being by Montjeu and given the shape of her. I've loved the stallion since his early days and when I Can Fly came up I approached Liam O'Rourke [Darley director] and asked if there was a chance of a foal share and he said he'd be delighted. I hope this colt is so lucky for Sheikh Mohammed."

Madonna Dell'Orto has bred four winners, including two at black-type level, with Coolmore's Group 2 Boomerang Stakes scorer I Can Fly joined by the Listed-winning Viscount Barfield. The dam was bred from the Miswaki mare Sabria, who also produced Group 1 winner Landseer and nearly caused a riot in the Swinburn household on the day she was purchased.

"I bought the mare at the September Sale with Oliver St Lawrence years ago," recalled Swinburn. "I went home and mum and dad obviously got wind that I'd bought a mare and they said, 'What the hell have you done that for?! As if we don't have enough money problems!'

"And that was Sabria, the granddam. Walter bailed me out at 25,000gns and we've had the family ever since. This family has probably built Genesis Green. I'm just so happy for everyone at the farm because this is really what dreams are made of. The mare is back in foal to Fastnet Rock and carrying a filly."

Anthony Stroud: Godolphin talent spotter signed for the 1,800,000gns top lot

Dubawi, who will stand his sixth consecutive year at a fee of £250,000 in 2022, recently provided the Godolphin team with a Breeders' Cup to remember as Modern Games, Space Blues and Yibir landed the Juvenile Turf, Mile and Turf events respectively.

The colt is Godolphin's second seven-figure Tattersalls buy in recent weeks, as Stroud also signed for the Book 1 top lot, the Sea The Stars filly out of Best Terms, at 1,500,000gns.

"He's a lovely horse who's well bred and from a great farm," said Stroud. "Dubawi is a very special horse, look what he achieved at the Breeders' Cup, so the boss said go for it. We have huge respect for the people who were underbidders and we're lucky to get the horse. As long as he's a good racehorse, that's all that counts."

Coolmore collect 675,000gns Frankel colt

Earlier in the day a subtle nod of the head from Magnier had profound consequences as Coolmore outbid the Juddmonte team at 675,000gns to secure the Frankel brother to Royal Ascot winner Juan Elcano.

The Park Paddocks gangway filled up as the colt, bred by David and Trish Brown of Furnace Mill Stud, took to the ring, with live bidders joined by a host of onlookers sheltering from the torrential rain.

Several agents and pinhookers chanced their arm as the youngster's price quickly rattled through the lower six figures, but from around the 500,000gns mark matters wrested between Magnier, stood at the back of the gangway with Paul Shanahan, and Juddmonte's Simon Mockridge, sat opposite the rostrum with the operation's Barry Mahon.

With the bid board at 550,000gns Magnier looked in auctioneer Ollie Fowlston's direction and mouthed a silent 'five seventy five'. Mockridge fired back immediately, as he did again at 625,000gns, but when Magnier indicated the final 25,000gns raise the Juddmonte camp cried enough. 

MV Magnier: "David and Trish Brown are very good breeders"

"He's a very nice horse who's very good looking and a brother to a good horse as well," said Magnier. "David and Trish Brown are very good breeders and we've known them a very long time so I'm delighted to be able to buy this horse from them. Sadly David couldn't be here today but hopefully he'll be happy with that result."

The colt is out of Whatami, a placed sister to James Garfield's dam Whazzat who was purchased by Furnace Mill for just 25,000gns in 2010. The daughter of Daylami has bred four successful sons and daughters, with Wolferton Stakes scorer Juan Elcano, himself a 360,000gns yearling, joined by Group 3 Hoppings Fillies' Stakes winner Nkosikazi.

An emotional Trish Brown said: "Fantastic, that's worth all the sleepless nights and trauma! He's been brilliant all the way through. He's a lovely horse with a great temperament and it's lovely to see him make so much money.

Trish Brown: "We've had three horses by Frankel at home over the years and they all have the most wonderful temperaments"

"We bought the mare here as a four-year-old from New England Stud – she's 15 now – and she's been a star. We had a good result with a yearling by Frankel that she bred and so decided to go back to him. We've had three horses by Frankel at home over the years and they all have the most wonderful temperaments.

"She's back in foal to Sea The Moon and we have a lovely two-year-old filly at home by Oasis Dream. David's legs aren't great and he finds it difficult at these busy sales, but he's at home holding the fort, and I'm sure he stopped to watch this one go through. He can just about manage to tune in!"

Champion sire elect Frankel has enjoyed a hugely productive 2021 season, with Derby and King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes hero Adayar heading a roll call of 20 Group/Grade 1 winners that also features the likes of Alpinista, Hurricane Lane, Inspiral and Snow Lantern. The Banstead Manor Stud-based son of Galileo will stand for a career-high £200,000 in 2022.

Sea The Stars fillies in demand

Three daughters of Sea The Stars featured in the sale's top ten, headed by the filly out of Musidora Stakes runner-up Frankellina who was knocked down to Blandford Bloodstock's Tom Goff at 625,000gns.

The filly was offered by Hascombe & Valiant Stud, whose Anthony Oppenheimer confirmed Goff had been acting on his behalf as he bought out his partners in the foal share agreement.

Anthony Oppenheimer watches the December Foal Sale action

The other Sea The Stars fillies in the top ten both fetched 350,000gns, including the daughter of Incharge from Barton Stud who went the way of BBA Ireland's Patrick Cooper.

"She's been bought as a long-term breeding prospect and will eventually be going to trainer Ralph Beckett," said Cooper, who underbid the filly out of Frankellina. "We obviously missed the last one, but this one was coming along right behind – hopefully this one will be the fastest!

"She's for David and Vimy Aykroyd and she will go from here to Copgrove Hall Stud. If you buy a yearling the horse goes straight to the trainer or the breaking yard, so the owner never really gets to know the horse. The Aykroyds live next door to Copgrove so they can spend a year getting to know the horse before she goes into training. They can get to know the individual and they will spoil her rotten!"

The other 350,000gns Sea The Stars filly was sold by Marwell Park and boasts a particularly strong German pedigree, being out of a Monsun sister to Schiaparelli, Salve Regina, Samum and Sea The Moon's dam Sanwa. The docket was signed by Andreas Jacobs' Gestüt Fährhof.

Goff on Point with Blue filly

While Frankel is riding the crest of a sizeable wave, Kildangan Stud's Blue Point is taking his first steps up the stallion ladder as his debut crop of foals hit the market. Among the son of Shamardal's fans is Tom Goff of Blandford Bloodstock, who went to 300,000gns for the filly offered by Ringfort Stud.

The youngster is out of the Listed-winning Sir Percy mare Indigo Lady, making her a sibling to two winners, most notably Group 2 Duke of Cambridge Stakes heroine Indie Angel.

"I can't say who she's been bought for but she's an absolutely gorgeous filly and I fell in love with her as soon as I saw her," said Goff. "She's an absolute belter and she's been bought as a racing prospect.

"Blue Point wasn't just an older sprinter as he won the Gimcrack as a two-year-old. He was the real deal and has to have a fantastic chance as a stallion. I've seen all of his foals here and at Goffs, but this was by far the best."

Tom Goff: "Blue Point was the real deal"

On the other first-crop sires he was keen on, Goff said: "I think the Magna Grecias are very nice, as are the Too Darn Hots, there are some exciting young sires coming along."

The 300,000gns mark was reached for the first time just a few lots earlier when Michael Donohoe of BBA Ireland secured the Lope De Vega colt out of Mayhem consigned by Knocktoran Stud.

The colt's dam is a Group 3-winning Whipper sister to Royal Bench whose two winners are headed by Listed scorer Sky Angel.

"He's been bought for a new client to me who's an end-user," said Donohoe. "He'll go back to Norelands Stud with the No Nay Never colt [100,000gns] I bought earlier. We'll get him broken in next year and then have a think about a trainer. The sire has been lucky for me before and he's a beautiful colt from great breeders.

"We've been following some of these nice foals through and if we think they represent value then we'll have a go. Compared to what some of the Lope De Vega yearlings were making, I thought he made good sense."

Magic cross works the charm for Apple Tree

Appletree Stud enjoyed a big result when Anthony Stroud went to 270,000gns for the Too Darn Hot filly out of Astonishing. The mare is a Listed-winning daughter of Galileo whose first two foals have both gained black type, namely the Group 2-placed Gold Maze and the Listed-placed Surprise Exhibit.

Astonishing, a sister to the Group 3-winning Sub Rose, joined the Apple Tree Stud broodmare band at a cost of 360,000gns when bought through Federico Barberini in 2015.

"I'm delighted as that's very good money for a foal," said stud manager Robert 'Choc' Thornton. "It's fantastic that she's gone to a good home too, that's good for the mare, who's back in foal to Too Darn Hot. We basically went back to him on the strength of this foal. It's the Dubawi - Galileo cross, it's a proven mix. We couldn't get into Dubawi so we went to his best son."

Although this filly's Dark Angel half-sister was retained at 150,000gns at Book 1 earlier this year, the Cheltenham-based operation were able to toast the sale of a 300,000gns Kingman filly to Blandford Bloodstock during Book 2 of the October Yearling Sale.

"We've had one or two miss [in the sales ring] and two really very good sales now, so we've made a bit of money and have a couple of racehorses to keep us all entertained next year," added Thornton.

Champion two-year-old Too Darn Hot covered a 172-strong debut book at a fee of £50,000 in 2020.

WH Bloodstock join Wootton Bassett fan club

Wootton Bassett's high esteem among buyers was in evidence midway through the session when WH Bloodstock snared one of his well-bred daughters at 250,000gns. The youngster was offered by Ballylinch Stud, who bred the late January foal with Ecurie des Charmes from Chrysocolla, a winning Sea The Stars half-sister to Ocovango.

"The plan is to bring her back to Book 1 next year," said WH Bloodstock's Mimi Wadham. "She was our pick of the whole sale. She's an incredible first foal by a stallion who's just getting better and better. She's got a lot of residual value with that pedigree too. She'll come back to us now and we'll wrap her in cotton wool and hope she's as nice a yearling as she is a foal."

WH Bloodstock's Violet Hesketh and Mimi Wadham

Chrysocolla was bred by Watership Down Stud and raced by Ballylinch and Ecurie des Charmes after she was secured through Meridian International at 340,000gns in 2017. She visited Ballylinch resident Make Believe in 2021, while her six-figure daughter comes from the final French-conceived crop of Wootton Bassett, who once stood for as little as €4,000 at Haras d'Etreham but will command a fee of €150,000 at Coolmore in 2022.

The WH Bloodstock team, which is completed by Violet Hesketh, have been busy pinhooking on both sides of the Irish Sea, and reflecting on their recent activities Wadham added: "We bought four in Goffs and three here but it's been really competitive. You've had to push to get the ones you want but then it's a brave man's game - or brave woman's game!"

The premier session of the December Foal Sale saw 183 lots change hands at a clip of 83 per cent, which in turn brought receipts totalling 17,051,000gns, a four per cent year-on-year increase. The average rose by eight per cent to 93,175gns and the median climbed by five per cent to 60,000gns. 

The four-day auction concludes on Saturday with a session starting at 10am. 


More news: 

Sea The Stars filly from a hot family tops December Foals day two at 225,000gns

Time Test colt heads strong December Foal Sale opener at 75,000gns

Sea Of Class sibling tops Tattersalls December Yearling Sale at 240,000gns

He's a very nice horse who's very good looking and a brother to a good horse as well
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