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Godolphin sets new personal best with sale to Coolmore of $1.3m blueblooded mare

Coolmore pounces on rare opportunity to access Essaouira pedigree at Gold Coast

Godolphin's Tangier sells to Coolmore for A$1.3 million
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Two of the world’s biggest and most successful thoroughbred breeders will share a common interest in one of Australia’s most prolific families after Coolmore purchased the most expensive mare sold on day two of the Magic Millions Gold Coast National Broodmare Sale.

Tangier - a daughter of Godolphin’s blue hen Essaouira, offered in foal to I Am Invincible on a maiden cover - was sold by the Australian arm of Sheikh Mohammed’s racing and breeding empire for A$1.3 million (£732,000/€861,000) and it was Coolmore’s Tom Magnier, in conjunction with Avenue Bloodstock’s Mark McStay, who won the bidding duel.

A sister to Darley’s Golden Rose-winning stallion Astern and a half-sister to three-time Group 1 winner Alizee, as well as Newgate Farm’s young Group 2-placed sire Tassort and the Listed performer Mogador, Tangier presented buyers with a rare opportunity to access the potent family full of black type.

The record price for a horse sold in Australia by Godolphin, Tangier was the sole million dollar mare sold on Wednesday, taking the total seven-figure mares traded on the Gold Coast to nine across the two sessions so far.

Coolmore has backed their young stallions Justify and Wootton Bassett, a high-profile proven acquisition in 2020, to the hilt in recent years with a plethora of elite mares and its latest protege, dual Group 1 winner Home Affairs, will be the this year’s beneficiary.

Tangier will join Coolmore’s A$2.7million Chairman’s purchase Shout The Bar in the book to be served by Home Affairs when the Chris Waller-trained sprinter returns from a hit-and-run Royal Ascot mission aimed at the Platinum Jubilee Stakes on June 18.

“Home Affairs is going very well and Chris is delighted with him and James [McDonald, jockey] is very happy,” Magnier said on Wednesday. 

“We’ve got a real belief in this stallion. I don’t think we’ve ever owned a horse like him down here before, so we really want to get behind him. He deserves to get the best mares, we bought Shout The Bar for him and we’ll be loading all these mares up for him.

“He’s going to get well supported by some of the best looking mares in the country and I’d be hanging my hat on this stallion.”

Tom Magnier: 'Home Affairs deserves to get the best mares'

Godolphin Australia managing director Vin Cox was delighted that Coolmore had invested in the family of Astern and Alizee.

“It’s a family that we’ve developed over the last few years, producing some high-class performers, and we’re well-exposed to the family, so there was an opportunity to put one out there in the market and for her to be purchased by Coolmore is the perfect result for us,” Cox told ANZ Bloodstock News. 

“They’re going to invest in her and the future of the family and we’re partners in the family, if you like.”

The mating to Yarraman Park’s I Am Invincible was a deliberate ploy by Godolphin to add to the already immense appeal of Tangier.

“If you are going to attract the right sort of buyer to invest in your family you want to have the right sort of pregnancy inside her and, no doubt, I Am Invincible is that sort of stallion,” said Cox.

“He’s hugely popular, a very versatile stallion and wildly commercial.”

Godolphin sells a draft of in-foal mares each year unreserved, the majority in support of Darley’s stallions, and the wider market has reaped the rewards.

In 2017, Australian Bloodstock’s Jamie Lovett and Luke Murrell bought Erato from the Godolphin reduction for A$120,000. Two years later, they sold Erato in foal to Russian Revolution to Yulong for A$1.75m.

“It is funny that you touch on Australian Bloodstock because they were underbidders on Tangier here today,” Cox revealed. 

“They’ve bought off us and done extremely well, buying Lyre’s mum a few years ago and then reselling her after Lyre won the Blue Diamond.” 

Australian Bloodstock’s high-stakes albeit failed move for Tangier appears well founded considering the Newcastle syndicator races this season’s Percy Sykes Stakes runner-up Willinga Beast, a Kris Lees-trained filly who is a granddaughter of Group 2 winner Alizes, the A$1.3m mare’s second dam.

Godolphin sold 28 mares for a combined A$6.333m at an average of A$226,179 on Wednesday.

After watching and participating in the market this year, Cox says the industry is in “rare air”.

“I’ve never seen it stronger in my lifetime and the depth of the market right through, whether it’s at the pinnacle at the top of the market right through . . . it’s insatiable whether you’re selling yearlings, weanlings or mares,” he said. 

Vin Cox: 'The market is insatiable, whether you’re selling yearlings, weanlings or mares'

Magnier was the underbidder on A$4m mare Away Game on day one, the highest-priced horse sold at public auction in the southern hemisphere so far this year, and the Coolmore Australia principal was far from disappointed about the strength of his opposition.

He said: “If it’s not Yulong, it’s somebody else. The world is watching what’s happening in Australia at the moment, the prize-money is great and we’re delighted to be part of it - and long may it last. 

“You are very lucky here, you have a lot of young people who go to the races, racing is a big part of your heritage down here and you just don’t see it on the front page [of the paper] anywhere else in the world.

“You can own a horse with ten of your friends and be running in races for $150,000 to millions of dollars, so you can actually run it as a business and you can’t do that anywhere else in the world.”

Magic Millions managing director Barry Bowditch described Wednesday’s session as a “very genuine day’s trade”, which achieved increases of seven per cent by average and aggregate compared to the same time of last year’s sale. The figures do not take into account the Shadwell dispersal, which contributed more than $25m in turnover. 

He said: “We are still clearing well over 85 per cent and a very strong average of A$220,000 and the median’s held the whole way through [at $120,000]. I don’t think it’s moved for some 300 lots.

“All in all, the Godolphin mares being unreserved and the Spendthrift mares being unreserved, there’s some genuine competition and many pleasing results that exceeded our expectations. 

“The buyers were getting their turn and the vendors are being quite realistic in putting them on the market and getting them sold.”

He added: "We’ve got an outstanding racing product in Australia, the stallion’s market’s sensational here and our yearling market’s been off the charts, as good as it’s been. 

“So, for breeders of Australia, this is the best offering [available] in Australia, so they should be playing a part in this quality catalogue. There’s a day to go and I am really excited by the offering.” 

The National Broodmare Sale concludes on Thursday, when Madam Rouge, who is in foal to I Am Invincible; Nettoyer, who is in foal to Capitalist; and Group 3-placed New Zealand mare Key, carrying a positive test to Frankel, are expected to be among the highlight lots on offer.


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The record price for a horse sold in Australia by Godolphin, Tangier was the sole million dollar mare sold on Wednesday
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