Sales reports

'We're going to be concentrating on the stallion ranks' - Mossy Fen Park fetches £235,000 as Clipper Logistics sells off National Hunt string

James Thomas reports from the third and final day of the Goffs UK Spring Sale in Doncaster

Mossy Fen Park in the ring at Goffs UK on Thursday, where he led the way at £235,000
Mossy Fen Park in the ring at Goffs UK on Thursday, where he led the way at £235,000Credit: SARAH FARNSWORTH

A refocusing of Steve Parkin’s racing interests saw a selection of high-class National Hunt prospects offered in Doncaster on Thursday. 

The standout of the Clipper Logistics-owned, Dullingham Park-consigned draft was the Henry de Bromhead-trained Mossy Fen Park, who is set to sport new silks after topping the third and final day of the Goffs Spring Sale at £235,000. 

De Bromhead was determined to take Mossy Fen Park back to his County Waterford base, and duly set his stall out by kicking the bidding off at £100,000. The trainer stood in the entrance to the ring, with his main market rival, Highflyer Bloodstock’s Anthony Bromley, positioned on the bridge directly above. 

The pair traded metronomic increases until De Bromhead nudged the price to £225,000. When Bromley shook his head and hung up the phone it seemed for all money that £5,000 raise had sealed the deal. 

However, just as the gavel was about to fall, Mags O’Toole gesticulated from her position in the bidders’ area. But the agent wasn’t looking to up the ante herself, and instead alerted the rostrum that David Crosse, bidding subtly in the seats to her left, wanted to join the fray. That run proved short lived though, as Crosse, a key part of the Noel Fehily Racing Syndicate, had no response when De Bromhead lodged the final £5,000 increase that took the price to £235,000. 

“I’m delighted to get him back because he’s a horse we think a lot of,” said a relieved De Bromhead, who signed the docket alongside Coolmore's Gerry Aherne.

 “He’s for a syndicate so hopefully we’ll have plenty of fun with him. The plan has always been to go chasing. He’s a real chaser in the making so we’ll give him a nice break now then bring him back in the autumn.” 

The winning pointer has compiled some strong form in three starts for Clipper and De Bromhead. He finished second to Predators Gold on his hurdling debut before he opened his account under rules with victory in a Down Royal maiden. He was last seen chasing home Captain Cody in a Grade 2 novice hurdle at Fairyhouse. 

Mossy Fen Park had been to the sales on two previous occasions. He was first offered by breeder Michael O'Neill at the Goffs December National Hunt Sale in 2019, when Mossy Fen Stables signed the docket at €30,000. He reappeared in March last year after winning a four-year-old maiden at Nenagh for Monbeg Stables’ Sean Doyle. Gerry Hogan secured the youngster from the Tattersalls Cheltenham Festival Sale at a cost of £200,000. 

Henry de Bromhead: relieved to be taking Mossy Fen Park back to County Waterford
Henry de Bromhead: relieved to be taking Mossy Fen Park back to County WaterfordCredit: SARAH FARNSWORTH

The five-year-old son of Walk In The Park is the first foal out of Msmilan, a winning daughter of Milan who shares the further reaches of her page with the Grade 1-winning siblings Viking Flagship and Flagship Uberalles. 

The five Dullingham Park lots generated a combined £462,000. Reflecting on the results of the dispersal, the operation’s managing director Ollie Fowlston said: “We’re delighted with the prices. The horses all came in here in very good nick so we’re grateful to the trainers for the great job they’ve done, and Doncaster have done a great job too. They’ve all gone to good homes and we’d like to wish new connections all the best.” 

Parkin owns a sizeable string of Flat horses, including the likes of Fallen Angel and Flight Plan, as well as Dullingham Park in Newmarket, which is home to up-and-coming stallions Shaquille and Soldier’s Call. 

Expanding on the circumstances around the likes of Mossy Fen Park hitting the market, Fowlston said: “Steve Parkin wants to concentrate on the Flat string. Obviously with the addition of Dullingham Park we’re going to be concentrating on the stallion ranks too. We have six boxes there and two residents at the moment, so we’d like to try to fill the other four boxes in the coming years.” 

Fowlston also reported that Shaquille, last year’s Commonwealth and July Cup winner, has taken well to his new role. 

“Shaquille has 120 mares in foal and we’ll look to cover around 160 by the end of the season,” he said. “For a £15,000 stallion, his book is sensational. I’d say the best he’s covered is Katie’s Diamond, who’s the dam of Dramatised and Andesite, who won at York and most likely goes for the Coventry. 

“Soldier’s Call has gone down well too. He’s covered the dam of Bradsell this year, while his two- and three-year-olds have all been running well this season.” 

The second-top lot on the day also came from the Dullingham Park draft, with the promising Sporting Glory bringing £120,000. Aidan ‘Mouse’ O’Ryan struck the winning bid after a protracted duel with AJ O’Neill, who filled the role of frustrated underbidder for the second time in 24 hours following a near miss with Minella Premier, the £400,000 top lot on Wednesday. 

Sporting Glory sells for £120,000 to Aidan 'Mouse' O'Ryan and Gordon Elliott at Goffs UK
Sporting Glory sells for £120,000 to Aidan 'Mouse' O'Ryan and Gordon Elliott at Goffs UKCredit: SARAH FARNSWORTH

Sporting Glory ran four times for Clipper and trainer Pat Fahy and opened his account at the third time of asking in a Fairyhouse bumper. However, O’Ryan explained it was his second outing, when runner-up to Gordon Elliott’s Champion Bumper runner-up Romeo Coolio, that really caught the eye. 

“He’s had very few runs for his age,” O’Ryan said of the eight-year-old. “He was second to Romeo Coolio second time out. He gave him a real fright, which we didn’t expect, but he proved it was no fluke when he won the next day. It’s no secret the regard we hold Romeo Coolio in, so when this lad came up we were anxious to get him. 

“He was thrown in at the deep end on his hurdling debut and that was a very reasonable run. He’s going to Gordon and there’s no owner yet, but I’d be surprised if I haven’t got him sold by the time I get on the plane home!” 

Sporting Glory was last seen finishing fourth, beaten just under six lengths, in the Grade 2 novice hurdle at Fairyhouse won by Mirazur West. He is by Fame And Glory and out of Las Princess, an Oscar half-sister to dual Grade 1 winner Harbour Pilot.

The Clipper Logistics draft was not the only notable dispersal on the day, with the promising Largy Poet the headline act among the annual offering from the Million In Mind Partnership. The rangy five-year-old is set to return to Paul Nicholls after being knocked down to Tom Malone at £90,000. 

Largy Poet sells at Goffs UK for £90,000 to lead the Million In Mind dispersal
Largy Poet sells at Goffs UK for £90,000 to lead the Million In Mind dispersalCredit: SARAH FARNSWORTH

The son of Malinas has scored twice from four outings over hurdles, winning an Exeter maiden by 12 lengths and a three-runner Wincanton novice. His best effort on the figures came on his latest outing when beaten just a head on his handicap debut at Huntingdon. His official mark was raised to 132 following that run. 

“The plan is he’ll go home to Paul’s,” said Malone. “He was happy to have him back. He’s rated 132 and is going to go novice chasing. He was probably good value, especially considering the same sort of horse last year, Ioupy Collonges, cost £165,000. 

“He’s 17 hands so will improve for fences. A lot of Paul’s do. They can be good in bumpers and hurdles before plateauing a little sometimes, but if they’re kept sound they usually take off again in chases. Paul gets a lot of longevity out of them that way. We’ll get him sold, and he’ll have a summer’s grass.”

Facts and figures

Thursday’s session concluded a solid renewal of the Spring Point-to-Point and Horses-in-Training Sale. After two days of form-horse trade the clearance rate was 81 per cent as 378 lots sold from 464 offered. This is down from 88 per cent in 2023, when an almost identical 379 sold but from a smaller offering of 432.

Turnover also matched the same mark as 12 months ago, with aggregate sales hitting £8,890,200. Last year’s aggregate was £8,923,450. The average price also held steady at £23,520, although the median, so often the most revealing barometer of market health, was back by 14 per cent at £12,000, having been £14,000 in 2023. 

In his end-of-sale statement, Goffs UK’s managing director Tim Kent said: “The time-honoured Spring Sale has long stood as a consistent performer over its 63-year history and it has grown into one of Europe’s most important National Hunt sales. Always well attended, it occupies a unique space in the calendar and in the market as it opens the annual store trade while also acting as the final headline sale of the season for National Hunt horses-in-training and pointers. 

A solid renewal of the Goffs UK Spring Sale produced a steady average price but a median down from 2023
A solid renewal of the Goffs UK Spring Sale produced a steady average price but a median down from 2023Credit: SARAH FARNSWORTH

“Its popularity as a market-leading sale has been made clear by the 180 additional horses-in-training and point-to-point entries taken over the last two-weeks and the three separate catalogues needed to accommodate them. 

“The sale has proven time and again its ability to perform at the top the market, as evidenced yesterday with John Nallen’s pointer Minella Premier, which saw four separate buyers place bids for £300,000 or more, and today with Dullingham Park’s highly promising Mossy Fen Park, who topped the session.

 “As we acknowledged at the end of Tuesday’s Spring Store Sale, it has not all been plain sailing and we have yet to get a proper read on the store market, but the trade witnessed over the last two days for horses-in-training and pointers has been strong, which is a positive note on which to conclude this year’s sale. 

"As ever, we are very grateful to everyone who has bought and sold this week, we can’t do it without your support, and we now look forward to the Goffs Arkle Sale on June 11-13.”

Catch up with reports from Doncaster this week:

Henderson and McGrath see off rival bidders as Minella Premier's wow factor sends price soaring to £400,000 

£135,000 Jukebox Jury relation to Master Minded heads selective Goffs Spring Store Sale trade 

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