Sales reports

'He's just superb, every show was the same' - Diamond days for Brook Lodge at the Goffs Arkle Sale

First foal out of Cap Soleil goes for €150,000 to give Tom Howley and Caoimhe Doherty their best result yet

Tom Howley and the Diamond Boy gelding he sold to Mags O'Toole for €150,000 at Goffs Arkle
Tom Howley and the Diamond Boy gelding he sold to Mags O'Toole for €150,000 at Goffs ArkleCredit: SARAH FARNSWORTH

A Diamond Boy gelding dazzled for Brook Lodge Farm on the opening day at Goffs on Tuesday, with Tom Howley's early faith in the stallion paying off with a sparkling pinhooking result, and the best price the Galway farm has achieved in its existence.

Mags O'Toole went to €150,000 for the first foal out of Cap Soleil, who won two Listed bumpers and the Listed Abram Mares' Novices' Hurdle for Fergal O'Brien and Sally Noott, breeder of Constitution Hill and this gelding.

Howley had purchased the bay for £35,000 from Throckmorton Court Stud at the Goffs January Sale back in 2022 as the best performers by Kilbarry Lodge Stud's sire were about to emerge, and Howley explained the budgetary constraints. 

"I am looking forward to following him," he said. "I bought him as a foal in Doncaster and at the time, trying to buy a nice foal with a pedigree by some of the more fancied sires was out of budget. 

"I had to stretch to get him but he was a Diamond Boy with a pedigree, I took a chance on the sire but I liked him and I knew a bit about Venetia's horse [L'Homme Presse] and then Willie's horse [Impaire Et Passe] came along so everything aligned."

That pedigree has also benefited from an update or two on the dam's side as well as the sireline in the intervening couple of years. Cap Soleil is a Kapgarde full-sister to Miss Bailly, the dam of this year's Champion Bumper runner-up Romeo Coolio and of Lot 316 at Goffs on Wednesday, a Crystal Ocean filly consigned by Islandavanna Bloodstock.

Blood Destiny, who won last season's Grade 3 Flyingbolt Novice Chase and was third to Spillane Tower in the Grade 1 Gold Cup at Fairyhouse for Willie Mullins, is also on the page.

It was the April-foaled gelding himself who shone brightly and there was a sense of nervous anticipation for Howley and his partner Caoimhe Doherty as sale day drew nearer.

Howley said: "He is the most expensive store we have sold; over the last three years we've had a couple of €125,000 horses. There was a bit of nervousness going into the sale with the way the market is at the moment, but we knew that we were bringing a nice horse to the sale.

"I didn't say much about it, I let him do the talking and he has done that all week. He is just superb, every show was the same. He is one of those horses who loves to please you and I am delighted for the horse that he made the price and he is gone to a good home."

Howley and Doherty have a select draft of four in this year's Arkle Sale and enjoyed a successful opening on Tuesday as their other offering, a filly from the final crop of Muhtathir, made €50,000 to Ballyboy Stables.

"We've been at this for the last six or seven years, trying to build up the business and have nicer horses. We have a good group of horses this year and we try to buy eight to ten foals every year and keep the quality levels up," said Howley of the business which is based outside Athenry.

Brook Lodge Farm offers two more stores at Goffs on Wednesday; first through the ring is Lot 288, who is a Shirocco half-sister to A Great View, winner of two renewals of the Ballymore Eustace Handicap Hurdle at the Punchestow festival. Out of a half-sister to the multiple Grade 1 winner Liss A Paoraigh, she was a €26,000 purchase from Five Naughts Stud at the 2021 December National Hunt Sale.

Howley's eye for a bargain is evident in all the Brook Lodge draft at the Goffs Arkle Sale and their final offering is a gelding from the first Boardsmill Stud crop of Poet's Word. Lot 337 is the fourth foal of the winning Milan mare Myblueeyedgirl, who has already produced a winner with her first runner; the Califet mare Notkeepinyagoing, who won a Leopardstown maiden hurdle for John McConnell in March.

Goffs London Sale
Goffs London Sale

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