Lope De Vega colt leads the way at 675,000gns as intense Book 2 trade continues
James Thomas reports from a vibrant day two at Park Paddocks
Six-figure bids came thick and fast on Tuesday as Book 2 of the October Yearling Sale continued to buck the market trends seen elsewhere during a sales season that has supplied more than its share of challenges.
A session of selling that was widely considered exceptionally strong, not least given the wider financial circumstances, saw turnover rise by four per cent year-on-year to 17,987,500gns; an average of 84,450gns - up one per cent; and a median of 52,000gns - down 20 per cent on the 65,000gns returned last year.
The clearance rate was a healthy 85 per cent as 213 of 252 offered lots changed hands.
Heading the market was a striking grey son of Lope De Vega offered by Newsells Park Stud. The Park Paddocks ring was as bustling as social distancing measures allowed but it was Anthony Stroud, standing by the parade ring in the driving rain, who went to 675,000gns to see off the frustrated underbidder, Andrew Balding.
The agent was active for a variety of clients throughout the day but confirmed this colt will join the Godolphin ranks. Stroud said: "He's a very nice horse bred on a good cross being by Lope De Vega out of a Galileo mare. He's an attractive horse and has been bought for Godolphin."
The colt is out of Loch Ma Naire, a winning Galileo half-sister to Fillies' Mile heroine Simply Perfect, who in turn is the dam of stakes performers Mekong River and Simply Beautiful. Another sibling, One Moment In Time, is the dam of Bondi Beach and Constantinople.
Loch Ma Naire is a member of the St Albans Bloodstock broodmare band, and Newsells Park's general manager Julian Dollar said breeder Andrew Stone deserved the plaudits for producing the sought after youngster.
"The team did a great job with him but we've only had him for eight or nine weeks so we can't really take much credit, that must go to the breeder, Andrew Stone," said Dollar. "We were allowed to put the polish on but we didn't do much more than that."
Newsells Park topped the consignors' charts during Book 1 when 15 of their lots grossed 6,942,000gns and the Hertfordshire farm was on course to repeat the feat at Book 2. Dollar reflected on the strength of trade seen this week, saying: "In this climate we didn't think it would be easy at all but this sale seems to have taken off in a big way.
"Thanks to all the people who are prepared to take their hands out of their pockets and spend big money on racehorses. Long may it continue."
Godolphin's haul also included the 300,000gns Siyouni colt out of Oh So Sharp Stakes winner Havant offered by Newsells Park Stud and a 400,000gns son of New Bay from Ballylinch Stud.
"New Bay, a son of Dubawi, has started off really well," said Stroud having seen off the challenge of Demi O'Byrne. "I thought this was a very athletic horse. He cost a bit more than we wanted to pay for him but a very astute judge was the underbidder."
The New Bay colt was bred from the Radley Stakes scorer Need You Now, who joined the Ballylinch broodmare band at a cost of 275,000gns.
"He has a good pedigree but I think it's more about the individual with this colt," said Ballylinch's John O'Connor. "He's got an extraordinary action, he's so light on his feet and with a lot of quality and he had a lot of second views down at the barn."
O'Connor also looked back on a productive session of selling for the Ballylinch stallions, saying: "We're delighted with the way the market has received the progeny of our stallions, although I think they deserve it. The reason they're selling so well is because the sires are getting winners at the right tracks and at a high level. That's what it should be about."
Bernick's big ambitions
Just a few lots after the Lope De Vega colt, Hubie de Burgh and Fozzy Stack went to 460,000gns to see off Juddmonte's Simon Mockridge and secure the Frankel filly out of Love Is Blindness offered by Norelands Stud. The dam, an unraced daughter of Sir Percy, is a sibling to three black type winners, namely Group 1 hero Reliable Man, dual Group 3 scorer Imposing and the Listed-winning Gale Force.
"She's been bought for Craig Bernick of Glen Hill Farm and will go into training with Fozzy," said De Burgh. "We tried all last week but couldn't get anything. We've been trying to get a Classic filly and she's by one of the great sires of the modern era and from a great Classic pedigree, so she could be a Guineas or Oaks filly."
De Burgh was returning to familiar territory with the well-related youngster as he partnered with James Harron at €380,000 to secure Love Is Blindness on behalf of John Camilleri's Fairway Thoroughbreds at Goffs in 2016.
Tuesday's transaction was another successful one for Fairway Thoroughbreds, having also bred the 400,000gns Kingman colt who topped day one of Book 2 when bought by Godolphin.
"She's beautiful and comes from a farm that I keep a lot of stock on," continued De Burgh. "I've known about her since she was foaled as I bought the mare for John Camilleri and every time I've seen her she's got better and better. I just hope she's as good as we think she's going to be."
Glen Hill Farm may be based in Florida, but Bernick has enjoyed some notable success in Europe, not least with One Voice, winner of the Group 3 Blue Wind Stakes and runner-up in the Nassau Stakes.
"Craig Bernick is a great lover of the horse industry and he's going to be a very serious breeder as he has some wonderful stock," said De Burgh. "He wants to collect this quality of stock as he's thinking 20 years ahead. Hopefully she'll be a foundation mare."
Punchy pinhook pays off
Nine yearlings fetched 300,000gns or more on Tuesday, including the Camelot filly out of Matorio from Baroda Stud who went the way of Simon Crisford's Gainsborough Thoroughbreds at 340,000gns.
Strong trade also brought with it some notable pinhooking successes and among those toasting a good sale was Gerry Ross after seeing a Showcasing colt pinhooked for 70,000gns go to Demi O'Byrne, acting on behalf of Peter Brant's White Birch Farm, at 310,000gns.
"Me and a couple of mates bought him here last year," said Ross, manager of Kenilworth House Stud. "He had a good walk when we bought him - if they can't walk as a foal, they won't talk as a yearling but he's just been magic. He's been flat to the boards here and every show was as good as the last one; he's been a pro so far and I just hope he can fulfil his potential."
"I would've never dreamt of that sort of money a week ago, but once you've a couple of big players involved you just don't know where it'll end," added Ross. "Monday's trade was the best I've seen all year. There's no vendors going into the ring with their chest puffed out but at least you can have a bit more confidence than at earlier sales."
Pleasant surprise for Horse Trader author
Horse Trader, the story of Robert Sangster's involvement in the boom and bust of the thoroughbred industry, rates as essential reading for bloodstock aficionados.
On Tuesday co-author Patrick Robinson landed a touch that would not have looked entirely out of place on the pages of his classic tale when the Ribchester filly he co-bred with Norelands Stud sold to Peter Brant's White Birch Farm for 300,000gns.
The six-figure filly is out of Hint Of Pink, an unraced Teofilo half-sister to Listed scorer Pelerin, who was acquired through BBA Ireland for 70,000gns in 2016. The page boasted a significant update as the filly's half-brother Parchemin, a Lope De Vega colt bought by Godolphin for 110,000gns, made a winning debut for Andre Fabre earlier in the month.
"We were pleasantly surprised by her," said Norelands' Harry McCalmont. "She's a beautiful filly and the brother having won first time out for Andre Fabre was a big plus - timing is everything in this business. I'm particularly pleased as I owned her in partnership with an old friend of mine, the author Patrick Robinson.
Hint Of Pink produced a colt by Saxon Warrior earlier this year and is back in foal to Ten Sovereigns. On what led to the Ribchester covering, McCalmont said: "We've used quite a few first-season horses and we liked Ribchester; he's a good-looking horse and was a good racehorse. It's nice when a plan comes together, although it doesn't happen very often!"
Ribchester stood his debut season at Darley's Kildangan Stud for a fee of €30,000.
Big result for Baroda's Bated Breath
Another pinhooking outfit to land a handsome profit was David Cox's Baroda Stud, which saw a Bated Breath colt picked up for €95,000 go Stroud Coleman Bloodstock's way at 260,000gns.
The May foal is out of the unraced Dark Angel mare Guana and is a half-brother to two black type performers, namely Molecomb Stakes scorer Rumble Inthejungle and the Group 2-placed Great Prospector.
"During the year I was a bit worried about whether he'd be big enough," said Cox. "Obviously you had to take into account his date of birth, but in the last few months he's just thrived. He's going to continue to improve as well so I think he'll turn out to be a smashing horse. I know Simon Crisford has the two-year-old Twilight Son half-brother [Caribbean Sunset] and they think a lot of him. It's a fast family."
Cox added: "He was bought off Acorn Stud at Goffs last year for €95,000 so he was an expensive pinhook, but it's worked out well. We've had a nervous few months with him trying to figure out which sale to send him to but we picked Book 2 to give him as much time as possible and it's worked out so it's a great result."
Cox also reflected on trade witnessed during the first half of Book 2, saying: "I thought it was strong. I sort of knew from the days of showing that trainers were here looking for horses at all different levels. We were very happy with trade and considering what else is going on in the world, we're very lucky this is going ahead."
Bred by Patrick Gleeson, the colt becomes the most expensive yearling by Bated Breath.
Pier House pinhook sitting pretty
Updates don't come much bigger than the one that Pier House Stud's colt out of Lady Gorgeous boasted, as the son of Shalaa is a half-brother to none other than Pretty Gorgeous, winner of the Group 1 Fillies' Mile on her latest outing.
The colt was pinhooked by Peter and Ross Doyle at 90,000gns at last year's December Foal Sale, when Pretty Gorgeous was simply listed as a 2018 filly by Lawman.
Since then the Joseph O'Brien-trained Group 1 winner has revealed herself to be one of the season's leading lights, which no doubt contributed to Alastair Donald needing to go to 250,000gns to secure her sibling on Tuesday.
"The pedigree went the right way and he's improved all year," said Pier House's Brendan Morrin. "He's a very nice horse; he's got a great temperament and I'd be very hopeful he could be a very good horse."
Book 2 of the October Yearling Sale concludes on Wednesday with a session starting at 10am.
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