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Sangster returns to the source of success with Premier Sale spree

Agent who unearthed Barraquero signed for 13 lots in Doncaster

Sam Sangster (left) chats to Gerry O'Sullevan of Cooneen Stud in the Goffs UK parade ring
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The number 13 is supposedly unlucky for some. But having added precisely that number of yearlings to a burgeoning string of purchases during a mightily strong renewal of the Goffs UK Premier Sale in Doncaster last week, bloodstock agent and syndicate director Sam Sangster is unlikely to find the time to indulge in superstition.

Those who made use of Sangster's services at this year's Premier Sale will undoubtedly have been influenced by one of his Doncaster purchases 12 months earlier, as it was his expert eye that spotted Barraquero, a son of Zebedee who has quickly gone from a £30,000 yearling to a Glorious Goodwood Group 2-winning two-year-old.

"The Middle Park is the target," explains Sangster, who splashed a total of £540,000 in the Doncaster sales ring. "It was a tough race at Goodwood with the ground being the way it was, so we took the option to back off him and give him a week off and God he looks fantastic now. He's proven himself to be up there among the best two-year-olds in Europe. The sky's the limit and we're very lucky to own him."

Of course, with success comes the pressure to keep producing the goods. But with a range of types secured for an array of clients, Sangster has plenty of ammunition with which to go to war over the coming seasons.

"Now's the time when the new stock arrive and the dream starts all over again," he says. "We had an open day on Sunday and reviewed all the yearlings we bought and they're a really nice bunch of diverse horses. The Goffs UK yearling sale has seriously improved and I think there's a lot of depth to it now."

For all the diversity on offer in Doncaster, one of his buys bears more than a passing similarity to the Manton Thoroughbreds syndicate's flag-bearer Barraquero, who carried the familiar colours of his purchaser's father - the industry-shaping owner and breeder Robert Sangster - to success in the Richmond Stakes.

"I bought two for the Manton Thoroughbreds syndicate," he explains. "One is a Zebedee colt that cost £40,000. He's out of Strange Magic, which means he's bred on the same cross as Barraquero. He's a bit bigger than Barraquero was but looks very promising.

Barraquero (left) spreadeagles the field in the Group 2 Richmond Stakes at Glorious Goodwood
"We didn't set out to buy yearlings by the same sires as the horses we already have, but we have Soldiers Bay who's by Acclamation - he ran a very promising race on debut and we think he should win next time out - and we also bought an Acclamation colt out of Obsara for Manton Thoroughbreds.

"He looks like he'll take a bit more time but he's an absolute cracker and, to be honest, I was prepared to give a little more than £50,000 for him. I was surprised we managed to get him for the price we did, but that's why you do the due diligence on the catalogue and try and see each horse two or three times if you can."

Sangster also revealed that Barraquero is not the only one of his purchases with top-level aspirations, and that his regard for rather a dark horse - Petrus, a winner at Sandown during the summer - played a part in his spending at Doncaster.

"We also bought two very nice Zoffanys - I think he's still something of underrated sire,” he said. “Petrus could possibly be targeted at the Breeders' Cup. We might go straight to the Royal Lodge with him next. We were really happy to walk away with two by the same sire for his owner Giles Morland."

With progressive Group 3 Bahrain Trophy winner Raheen House also among those horses selected by Sangster, it is no wonder he has found himself receiving a longer list of orders from patrons of Brian Meehan's Manton training establishment.

"I have a new exciting client from Dubai who runs his horses under the name of Araam," Sangster explains. "He'll have around ten in training next year, eight of which will be from the yearling sales, including an Exceed And Excel colt bought for €130,000 from Arqana.

"From Doncaster we got him an Olympic Glory colt for £92,000. We had to go for one or two extra bids for him, as we absolutely loved the horse. He's a diamond buy and I'm over the moon to have got him. We also got [Araam] a Zebedee for £68,000. In addition we bought a couple for Brian, on spec, who will hopefully be our shop-window horses."

Having already secured so many promisingly-bred yearlings to supplement his existing, up-and-coming team, it seems as though that shop window will only be getting bigger and brighter by the year.

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Now's the time when the new stock arrive and the dream starts all over again
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