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'I wanted him all day' - Murphy bags son of Blue Bresil at sale-topping €115,000

Aisling Crowe reports from a busy Tattersalls Ireland May Store Sale

Rathbarry Stud’s Blue Bresil gelding, who topped the Tattersalls Ireland May Store Sale at €115,000
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If your name was Murphy, chances are you were one of the busiest people at the delayed Tattersalls Ireland May Store Sale on Tuesday, with those bearing that surname signing for many of the most expensive three-year-olds on offer.

Agent Aiden bought the most expensive horse so far hammered down in the four editions of the May Store Sale, while trainer John Joseph was a prolific purchaser, through his Highfort Stud, with the wildcards proving particularly attractive to both of them.

One of those was Rathbarry Stud’s gelding by their exciting sire Blue Bresil, catalogued as Lot 121B. 

James Doyle of Ballycrystal Stables pushed Murphy all the way but was forced to concede defeat when Murphy upped his bid to €115,000 for the imposing bay, who is a half-brother to last season’s Welsh Grand National second The Two Amigos, by Midnight Legend. He is one of three winners from five runners out of As Was, an unraced Epalo half-sister to Auteuil Listed winner Line As, who is the dam of Sizing Pottsie.

Aiden Murphy: "He has a pedigree and is a great advertisement for the sire."

The most expensive May Store sale graduate was recording an impressive return on his £26,000 purchase price as a yearling, when he was bought by agent Hamish Macauley on behalf of the Cashman family.

He has a pedigree that traces back to David Nicholson’s Martell Cup winner Escartefigue, who was second to Florida Pearl in both the Irish Gold Cup and the Royal & Sun Alliance Chase.

Aiden Murphy was also impressed by Liss House’s gelding by Kayf Tara, Overbury’s retired National Hunt stalwart who is responsible for the likes of Special Tiara, Thistlecrack, Edwulf and Identity Thief.

Lot 82A, the Kayf Tara in question, was another member of the deep wildcard selection and elicited a winning bid of €48,000 from Murphy, again named on the docket with trainer-son Olly.

"He’s a typical Kayf Tara, and I love him as a sire," said Murphy. "The mare has proven she can get winners, and at the moment the horse has been bought on spec by myself and Olly."

The gelding is out of the Polish Precedent mare Silent Waters, who is the dam of six winners from ten runners to date. She is a half-sister to the Group 3 Dubai City of Gold Stakes winner Gower Song and the Listed Pretty Polly Stakes second Faraway Waters, dam of Oaks runner-up Something Exciting.

Murphy was into the fray early, getting the better of leading owner Trevor Hemmings, who had flown in, for Lot 4, Crohane Stud’s daughter of Walk In The Park, for whom he paid €40,000.

It was the filly’s third turn in the Tattersalls Ireland ring, having made €13,000 in February 2019 when sold by Eileen Ryan to JR Weston. She is out of the winning Oscar mare Kalico Kalista, a sister to the Grade 2-placed pair of Coverholder and Not Many Left. They are out of a Jurado half-sister to Harbour Pilot, who won the Grade 1 Drinmore Novice Chase and Dr PJ Moriarty Novice Chase and was third to Best Mate in successive Cheltenham Gold Cups.

In the Al Namix

John Joseph Murphy, based in Upton, County Cork, pounced for the only Al Namix in the sale, another member of the very strong wildcard selection. snapping him up for €46,000. Lot 97A, already named Syracus Du Houx, was offered by Moanmore Stables and is the second foal out of Theza Bere, a High Yield half-sister to the Deauville Listed-winning juvenile Happy Bere.

Earlier in proceedings he purchased geldings by Coolmore sires Yeats and Soldier Of Fortune. Lot 64A from Greenhall Stables is by Soldier Of Fortune, the Irish Derby and Coronation Cup-winning son of Galileo, and out of the Presenting mare Recession Lass, from the family of Champion Bumper winners Wither Or Which and Alexander Banquet, and Grand National hero Silver Birch. 

He cost Murphy €45,000, while Lot 50, from Cabragh Lodge, was €40,000 and is a son of the four-time Gold Cup winner Yeats and from the family of Grade 1-winning chasers Yorkhill, The Listener and Offshore Account.

The dual-purpose trainer who guided the career of Champion Chase winner Newmill and most recently saddled last week’s Ballyhane Stud Silver Stakes 1-2 Cavalry Charge and Arges, said: “They’re two lovely horses and we’ve options for both of them – they could be types to go point-to-pointing with next year or might start off on the track. We’ve had success in the past with pointers and produced some nice horses that way.”

Collins on point

One who will definitely be going down the point-to-point route is the Mahler half-brother to the Grade 2 winners Mala Beach and Bonny Kate, both by Beneficial. Pat Collins of Dower House Stables bought Peppardstown Stud’s homebred gelding out of the eponymous unraced Old Vic mare Peppardstown, a half-sister to Grade 1 Scilly Isles Novices’ Chase runner-up Aztec Warrior.

Collins said of Lot 51A: “We’ve had a bit of luck with Mahler in the past and he’s a really lovely horse with a nice pedigree, we liked him a lot. Hopefully this fella will go on and win his point.” 

Worth the wait

Tom Malone made just a single purchase and he had to wait almost ten hours to get his hands on Lot 204A, the very last lot through the ring at just gone 8pm, a gelding with a pedigree that would not be out of place in a top-class Flat sale.

Consigned by Louise Kemble’s Elms Bloodstock on behalf of Nick Brown, the gelding was a rare offering by the late German champion sire Alderflug at Tattersalls Ireland.

He is also related to two of the best offspring by the son of Soldier Hollow in Group 1 Grosser Preis von Bayern winner Iota and In Swoop, hero of last year’s Group 1 Deutsches Derby and second in the Arc who was sadly retired this week.

Malone was determined to land the free-moving bay and his patience was rewarded, seeing off Harold Kirk at €72,000.

Tom Malone: delighted to secure the final offering of the sale in conjunction with Paul Nicholls

Malone, whose name appeared on the docket with trainer Paul Nicholls, said: “He is a lovely horse and I have been waiting all day to buy him. He is by Alderflug and just a fabulous horse with a wonderful pedigree."

Some you win...

Kirk had enjoyed better luck, working on behalf of Peter and Ross Doyle, earlier in the session.

Seamus McKeogh has enjoyed success on the track and in the sales ring with Ouro Preto, a Definite Article mare he purchased at this venue almost 15 years ago and that run continued on Tuesday with the sale of her Soldier Of Fortune granddaughter through Peter Nolan’s consignment for €50,000.

Ouro Preto is a half-sister to Topham Chase winner Rajdhani Express and Shatabdi, winner of the Dovecote Novices’ Hurdle, and McKeogh bred Nicky Henderson’s Listed Silver Cup Handicap Chase winner out of her. He also bred and raced the winning Flemensfirth mare Ballycorrigan and it was her three-year-old Soldier Of Fortune filly who made €50,000 to Kirk.

It was the highest price recorded by a filly at the May Sale, and Kirk revealed that the granddaughter of Flemensfirth may go into training with Willie Mullins.

“She is for a new client of the Doyles, but may well end up in training with Willie," he said. "She has size and scope and is the nicest filly here today."

Stats and reflections

Not only was there a record price for the sale in its short history, but the clearance rate was the highest it has been too.

Overall, 164 lots sold from 211 lots offered, for a 78 per cent clearance rate. The median of €15,000 was an improvement of 67 per cent on 2020, the average increased by 43 per cent to €17,385, while turnover improved by 137 per cent to €2,851,200. The figures returned were on a par with the results of 2019, when the sale was last held on its scheduled May date.

Tattersalls Ireland CEO Simon Kerins reflected: “Only in its fourth year, the May Store Sale has already become recognised as a leading source of winners and today’s impressive set of figures have confirmed its importance within the store sale calendar.

"Although delayed until August for a second year in a row, this year’s sale has produced an excellent trade that surpasses pre-Covid times and has achieved a record clearance rate.

"We extend our thanks to our vendors, who remained patient throughout the disruption to the sales calendar and provided quality stores, as well as every purchaser who engaged as they sought to find their next May Store Sale winner."

He added: "We were delighted to welcome UK buyers back to Fairyhouse following the easing of travel restrictions into Ireland.”


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He has a pedigree and is a great advertisement for the sire
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