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Shades of Laurens as Dance taps into Acclamation filly at £240,000

James Thomas rounds up all the action from the second session at Doncaster

Lot 267: Acclamation filly ex Swiss Kiss topped the second day of the Premier Yearling Sale
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There was no messing about from John Dance's buying team during day two of the Goffs UK Premier Sale in Doncaster on Wednesday, as Daniel Creighton was on hand to buy the very first lot on offer for £240,000, a price that was not bettered for the remainder of the session.

Despite bringing the curtain up on day two, Creighton wasn't alone as the daughter of Acclamation entered the ring, with Richard Hannon and Joseph O'Brien showing an interest before Angus Gold joined in to provide the sternest resistance.

"She was a fabulous mover and has a fantastic pedigree, so she was the star of the day for me," said Creighton. "We had to outbid Angus Gold again, which is what we did when we bought Laurens, so hopefully that's a good omen."

View full Goffs UK Premier Sale results

The filly was offered by Highclere Stud on behalf of breeder Lordship Stud, who have enjoyed success at the Premier Sale before, having sold 2016's sale-topper - Hackwood Stakes winner Yafta - to Peter and Ross Doyle for £280,000.

The filly is the second foal out of the winning Dansili mare Swiss Kiss, a daughter of Lordship's famed producer Swiss Lake, whose nine winners include Group 3 scorers Swiss Diva and Swiss Spirit.

 Swiss Lake's two-year-old Swiss Air looks capable of bringing yet more black type to the page, having broken her maiden in taking style at Lingfield earlier in the month.

"From a breeding perspective the pedigree is so alive, so if she's any good or manages to get black type she'll be a lovely broodmare," added Creighton.

"Fillies with pedigrees are a big thing for John because they'll always have a value after racing. It's too early to say who'll train this filly, but she'll probably do what Laurens did; have a few weeks off before being broken in and then we'll take it from there.

"Let's hope lightning can strike twice."

A Dark day

The progeny of Dark Angel were among the most in demand during a day of solid trade on Wednesday, with Cheveley Park Stud among the buyers keen to secure one of the more choice offers having gone to £150,000 for a filly offered by the sire's custodians Yeomanstown Stud.

The filly is the third foal out of the winning Wiltshire Life, a daughter of another Yeomanstown stallion in Camacho, who has already produced a pair of winners in Queen Celeste and Mecca's Spirit. Dark Angel has already clicked to great effect with this family, as Wiltshire Life is a half-sister to the stallion's July Stakes winner Alhebayeb.

Cheveley Park's Chris Richardson signed the docket for lot 301 - A Dark Angel filly

"She's a gorgeous-looking filly," said Cheveley Park's managing director Chris Richardson. "She's very athletic and obviously she's very interesting from our perspective as she's bred on the same cross as Juliet Capulet, who won the Rockfel Stakes.

"We've been very lucky in the past with Dark Angel with horses like Persuasive and Angel's Hideaway, and it's interesting that he's crossed well with the family before. Mrs Thompson [Patricia, Cheveley Park Stud owner] was very keen on this pedigree."

Shortly afterwards Ross Doyle snapped up a son of Dark Angel when going to £170,000. The colt was offered by Highclere Stud and was bred by Rockcliffe Stud out of the Ballyogan Stakes winner Age Of Chivalry, a daughter of Invincible Spirit from the further family of Just The Judge.

"He was a bit of a standout physically," said Doyle. "Obviously he's by a very good stallion who we've had a lot of luck with thanks to horses like Estidhkaar. The mare was decent as well so he's a horse that made a lot of sense."

Shadwell in business

Shadwell atoned for missing out on the £240,000 Acclamation filly with numerous purchases throughout the session, and as trade drew to a close the operation had signed for 13 yearlings for a Premier Sale expenditure of £1,435,000.

The priciest of those was a Showcasing colt offered by Croom House Stud who fetched £190,000 mid-way through Wednesday's session, with the Hong Kong Jockey Club buying team and Alastair Donald among the underbidders.

"I thought he was a smashing horse and is one of the most straightforward I've seen this week," said Sheikh Hamdan's racing manager Angus Gold. "Everyone seemed to love him. He had such a bonny attitude and comes from a fantastic farm who we've had success buying from before.

"He looks a proper two-year-old and is by a good stallion. I'm very happy to get him as I thought we'd struggle with the number of people who were in on him."

The colt is the third foal out of the Listed Empress Stakes winner City Image, a daughter of Elusive City and therefore a close relation to Poule d'Essai des Pouliches heroine Elusive Wave.

Lot 388: A Showcasing Colt ex City Image goes the way of Angus Gold for £190,000

Five lots later Gold was back in action when going to £150,000 for a son of Highclere Stud's first-crop sire Cable Bay.

"He showed himself in the walking ring, he had a lovely way of going and a really relaxed attitude," said Gold. "It was a lot to spend but he was a horse with very obvious appeal and plenty of people wanted him. He looked like a horse who'll run and I’m sure he'll make a two-year-old. Everyone has liked the Cable Bays as foals, including me. I saw one or two others that I really liked at the sale and I was delighted to be able to buy one."

The colt is the first foal out of the Dubawi mare Coin A Phrase, a daughter of Australian Group 2 winner French Bid. He was offered by Tally-Ho Stud, who pinhooked the youngster as a foal for €75,000.

Starspangledbanners hoisted high

Coolmore shuttler Starspangledbanner had eight lots on offer during Wednesday's session and all eight sold for gross receipts of £577,000 and an average of £72,125 - punchy numbers for yearlings bred at a fee of €15,000.

Two of those fetched £140,000 apiece, including the Tally-Ho Stud-consigned colt out of Three Decades who was knocked down to Armando Duarte. The colt, bred by Matt Coleman and his father Roger, is a half-brother to Listed Bosra Sham Stakes winner Melbourne Memories.

"It was a little more than we wanted to pay but I told my client that this is the horse I wanted to buy, and sometimes you have to pay a little bit more for the nice ones," said Duarte.

"Sometimes you get a feeling about a horse and he was the one I really wanted - he has a lot of class and I love the stallion. He's an absolutely beautiful horse. We're not sure yet who'll train him. He'll go into the field now and we'll decide later on when we make our list of trainers for the year."

The second Starspangledbanner to fetch £140,000, a colt out of Glowing Star offered by Coulonces Sales, went the way of Cormac McCormack.


Despite a record-breaking top lot and a steady flow of six-figure yearlings across the two days of selling, figures could not quite keep pace with those achieved in 2017.

The aggregate finished at £19,084,500 - down three per cent on the corresponding figure 12 months ago; the average took the biggest slide, down 11 per cent to £45,330; while the median was down five points to £35,000.

The clearance rate did improve, however, with 421 of 473 offered lots finding a buyer at a clip of 89 per cent - up from 88 per cent last year.

At the close of trade Goffs UK managing director Tony Williams said: "We came into this sale determined to break the £300,000 mark and to do so is a huge achievement as we smashed the previous record by £100,000, setting a new high of £380,000.

"That’s a real statement for this sale and the type of yearling it now attracts and, along with the Classic winner Laurens, encapsulates the evolution this sale has undergone.

"This sale has undergone six consecutive years of growth and to match last year’s record-breaking figures was always going to be tough. However, we have achieved the second highest figures in this sale's history for which we are delighted and to finish with a clearance rate of 89 per cent demonstrates the strength of the market here at Doncaster.

"We have received overwhelming praise from our vendors and buyers alike on what has been a very strong sale and it will be interesting to reflect on the figures as the sale season continues. I would like to thank our vendors and buyers who came from around the world and wish them all the very best." 

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We had to outbid Angus Gold again, which is what we did when we bought Laurens, so hopefully that's a good omen
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