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Sales reports

Vega magic at Goffs as the November Foal Sale has a Lucky start for the Irish National Stud

Gestut Kussaburg went all in on Lucky Vega and were rewarded with the sale of this colt at Goffs on Monday for €65,000
Gestut Kussaburg went all in on Lucky Vega and were rewarded with the sale of this colt at Goffs on Monday for €65,000Credit: Sophie Webber Photography

Vegas magic was on display over the weekend as the F1 circus performed under the neon glare of the Strip, but it was the razzmatazz of Vega magic that dazzled at Goffs on Monday when the first crop of Group 1 Phoenix Stakes winner Lucky Vega starred on the opening day of the November Foal Sale.

Zhang Yuesheng's son of Lope De Vega, who stands the northern hemisphere at the Irish National Stud, faces the sales ring critics for the first time this week and the reviews were positive for the Classic-placed miler, who sired two of the nine lots to hit at least €50,000 at Kildare Paddocks during the first session.

With an average price of €36,000 and an 80 per cent clearance rate for the sire's stock, which were bred from an advertised fee of €15,000, Cathal Beale, CEO of the Irish National Stud, was very pleased with the reception afforded the sire's first foals.

"We've two Lucky Vegas in the top ten, which is great," he said. "They've sold great and the talk from all of the buyers is very positive. The clearance rate is very good for vendors, which is great, and something we are very conscious about. 

"None of the horses sold have fallen below the stud fee and the top-priced Lucky Vega made €65,000, bought by the Lucky Vega syndicate, and it was great to see that support from within."

Lucky Vega was the leading sire on aggregate and narrowly second to Earthlight to be leading sire on average..

Top billing went to a half-brother of Secret Time, who was second in the Group 3 Prix d'Aumale. Consigned by Irene Scheldt, he was bought by the Lucky Vega team that is here in numbers and offering strong support to their sire.

Their first purchase is a half-brother to a pair of winners and out of Song Of Time, a winning Kheleyf full-sister to Caprella, who was placed in the Group 3 Brownstown Stakes and the Listed Sweet Mimosa Stakes for Paul Deegan. Her Ivawood son Navello was third in the Listed National Stakes at two and won the Dash at Epsom on Derby day back in June; he runs at Chelmsford on Tuesday evening for George Boughey.

Scheldt consigns just two foals this week and both are by Lucky Vega and offered on behalf of the same breeder and client; Gestut Kussaburg. The proprietor, Dr Karlheinz Wurtenberger, was so impressed by Lucky Vega while viewing stallions on the ITM Stallion Trail that he booked in two mares to visit him. 

The resulting foals are both at Goffs this week with a half-sister to the Group 2 Solonaway and Group 3 Ballycorus Stakes winner Real Appeal going under the hammer as lot 572 on Wednesday.

Skara Stud's filly by Mehmas was one of the early pace-setters at Goffs when making €80,000
Skara Stud's filly by Mehmas was one of the early pace-setters at Goffs when making €80,000Credit: Sophie Webber Photography

Jamie Railton purchased two daughters of Lucky Vega during the session, with his most expensive coming from the Irish National Stud's draft. The €55,000 filly is a half-sister to Viadelamore, a winning daughter of Invincible Spirit, and out of Love Street, a Kitten's Joy half-sister to Group 3 winner Bold Union.

Skara Stud leads the way

Railton's other Lucky Vega purchase was from Skara Stud, who consigned a half-sister to four winners headed by Taamol, whose black-type wins included the King Charles II Stakes. Their dam, Supreme Seductress, is a Montjeu half-sister to Oaks d'Italia winner and Moyglare Stakes third Menhoubah.

It was an excellent day for the Skara Stud crew, who also consigned the session's priciest filly. Their daughter of Mehmas was bought by the Tally-Ho team who know a good Mehmas when they see one and went to €80,000 to ensure that the filly was going back to Westmeath.

The April foal is the third out of Kissepal, an unraced Epaulette half-sister to the Lowther and Princess Margaret Stakes winner Besharah, who was third in the Cheveley Park Stakes. Besharah died last year at the age of nine but left behind Perfect News, a Frankel filly who won last season's Group 3 Ballyogan Stakes for William Haggas and Sheikh Rashid Dalmook Al Maktoum.

Mehmas also reached a milestone in his stallion career with the debut at the sales of foals by his son Supremacy, who defeated Lucky Vega when winning the Middle Park Stakes.

Brian McDonald's Supremacy colt is the most expensive by the stallion to sell so far
Brian McDonald's Supremacy colt is the most expensive by the stallion to sell so far Credit: Sophie Webber Photography

Supremacy stands at Yeomanstown Stud and the first offerings by the  Richmond Stakes winner made a splash in the ring with Tom Whelan's Church View Stables consigning his best-seller on the day. The colt was knocked down to Flash Conroy's Glenvale Stud for €54,000 and helped Supremacy to third place in the leading sires' table on aggregate.

The March-born colt is the second foal out of Shorter Skirt, a winning daughter of Showcasing and the Listed Height Of Fashion Stakes second Heading North, by Teofilo. He was bred by Laois footballing legend Brian 'Beano' McDonald, who bought the mare for just €10,000 at the 2020 Goffs November Mares Sale from Oaklawns Stud. Shorter Skirt's first foal is a yearling son of Sands Of Mali who was bought by Richard and Peter Fahey at the Premier Yearling Sale.

Shamardal sire power

The Shamardal sireline was a hot commodity during the day, with the second crop of foals by Darley's Prix Morny and Middle Park Stakes winner Earthlight producing two of the top ten including the day's joint highest-priced foal, and recording the best average, at €36,143, which was a nose ahead of Lucky Vega.

Ridge Manor Stud's second-crop son of Earthlight was the most expensive colt at Goffs on Monday
Ridge Manor Stud's second-crop son of Earthlight was the most expensive colt at Goffs on MondayCredit: Sophie Webber Photography

Ridge Manor Stud offered the colt, who is the third foal out of Gilded Flyer, an unraced Danehill Dancer sister to the Listed Blenheim Stakes third Emperor Hadrian, by Holy Roman Emperor. His second dam, Gilded Edge, is a Cadeaux Genereux half-sister to Halland Park Lass, who is the dam of Dutch Art and Up. 

Akrivi, Halland Park Lass's daughter by Tobougg, is the dam of Shady Lady, who won the Listed Criterium de l'Ouest this year for Nicola Clement and is by Shamardal's multiple Group 1-winning sprinter and leading first-season sire Blue Point.

John Banahan was very satisfied with the €80,000 sale of the March-born chestnut to the renowned nursery of Ballyphilip Stud.

He said: "We sold him for a client and we are very pleased he sold so well. He is a lovely, straightforward foal and was busy from when we started showing. Earthlight is a very popular sire and it is great to get the week off to such a good start."

Paul McCartan, who was multi-tasking by bidding online while busy viewing foals for later in the week, was very impressed with the colt.

"He is a lovely horse with plenty of size, scope and strength about him and he is a very good mover," he said. "He is a very correct foal with an attractive head and he reminded me of the good Earthlights sold at the yearling sales."

It was the second purchase of the day for McCartan of a foal by an unproven stallion, having earlier purchased Oak Leaf Stud's second crop Mohaather colt for €33,000 and the leading pinhooker and breeder acknowledged that taking a leap on a good foal by an unproven sire was a necessary part of the business now.

"You are taking a risk with both sires but that is what you have to do," he said.

Anyone who took a risk on Blue Point over the last couple of years will have surely been rewarded for their boldness as the Royal Ascot winner blitzed his rivals in the race to be crowned champion first-season sire.

Con Marnane tells the media about his strong support for Blue Point
Con Marnane tells the media about his strong support for Blue Point Credit: Sophie Webber Photography

Con Marnane, for one, is a huge supporter of Darley's young star and gave €56,000 for Oaklawn Stud's son of Freezy.

He remarked: "We are big fans of the sire and pound for pound he is one of the best young stallions in Europe. We have a couple to breeze next year and have a mare in foal to him as well. We tried to get another mare into him but he was fully booked.

"This is a very good colt and he comes from a great nursery. This was a lovely colt by him, and he’s been bought for resale as a yearling. We’ll look after him until next autumn and if we don’t manage to sell him then, we’ll breeze him instead."

The colt is out of the Dalakhani mare Freezy, which means he is bred on similar lines to Shamardal's champion two-year-old son Pinatubo, who has his first runners in 2024.

Freezy was fourth in the Listed Premio Baggio and is a half-sister to Group 1 winners Jakkalberry and Crackerjack King, the latter also being by Shamardal. She is also a half-sister to Listed winner and Oaks d'Italia second Joyful Hope, a daughter of Shamardal, and to the Listed winners Awelmarduk and Kidnapping.

Works out for the best

Paddy Kiely, breeder of the Australia filly out of Similu who was bought by Sophie Buckley of Culworth Grounds, admitted after his filly went through the ring that he had misgivings about her place in the catalogue initially. 

"She is a lovely filly and walks really well, she vetted cleanly too," he said. "I had questions about her position on day one but it has worked out as I think she stood out in this session. 

"John Shanahan and Jane Millington foaled her and prepped her for the sale, they deserve an awful lot of credit."

The late-February foaled filly is a full-sister to Swan Bay, who was fourth in the Beresford Stakes two years ago before making the successful transition to racing in Hong Kong. Their dam Similu was a winner at three in America and has a perfect record with her three runners to date.

Sophie Buckley was delighted to secure the Australia filly from Castle Hill Stud
Sophie Buckley was delighted to secure the Australia filly from Castle Hill StudCredit: Goffs

By Danehill Dancer, she is closely-related to the Listed Premio Giovanni Falck third Eudokia, by Duke Of Marmalade, and it is one of Moyglare's most celebrated families. The filly's second dam, Myth And Magic, is a Namid half-sister to Polished Gem, who is the dam of Group 1 winners Kyprios, Search For A Song and Free Eagle and the Group 2 winners Sapphire and Custom Cut. 

Myth And Magic is also a half-sister to Grade 1 Matriarch Stakes winner Dress To Thrill and out of the Irish 1,000 Guineas winner Trusted Partner.

“She’s a queen,” said Buckley. “Just a very elegant, attractive and good-walking filly. She’s a full-sibling to another Australia with a very high rating and the sire is statistically strong – six per cent black-type winners to runners, so he’s solid. She’s been bought to resell next year."

Monday's opening session of the November Foal Sale got the ball rolling on six days of trading at Goffs in a steady fashion. From the 212 foals offered, 158 were sold, which gives a clearance rate of 75 per cent. That generated trade of €3,157,000, with an average price of €19,982 and the median at €16,000.

The sale continues at 10am on Tuesday.

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Published on 20 November 2023inSales reports

Last updated 12:29, 21 November 2023