Single-session Part II at Fairyhouse outstrips two-day sale last year
Aisling Crowe sees another day of hectic trade
Maintaining the momentum from a record-breaking Part I at the Tattersalls Ireland September Sale, a slimmed-down Part II recorded its own best results on Thursday – albeit measured against the much shorter span of four years.
Every index registered a new peak, with even a total aggregate of €2,093,800 exceeding that of €1,868,400 over last year's two-day sale. There were corresponding year-on-year gains in an average of €10,115 and median of €8,000, up from €6,998 and €5,000 respectively. The clearance rate also advanced to 86 per cent, from 65 per cent.
The day's top lot, meanwhile, matched the Part II high of €60,000 paid for a Cockney Rebel filly two years ago. This time that sum secured a son of Rock Of Gibraltar from Knockatrina House Stud, sold to Pat Moyles of EP Racing. A half-brother to a pair of winners out of a Marju mare, the colt is from the great Aga Khan family of dual Derby winner Shahrastani.
"He is for an existing client to go racing," revealed Moyles. "We liked him a lot, he is a fine, big scopey colt with a good step to him. But we didn't expect to have to pay so much to get him!"
Xtension colt set for breeze-ups
Willie Browne of Mocklershill Stables could have put Moyles straight on that account, after purchasing a colt from the first crop of Hong Kong champion miler Xtension for €58,000. "The ones you want are always expensive!" he said. "He is a beautiful horse, a great athlete and I really liked him."
Needless to say, the colt will next be seen at a breeze-up sale next spring. A half-brother to four winners, he was sold by Rathbarry Stud - home to his sire, winner of the Group 1 BMW Champions' Mile and Hong Kong Cup after his export from England. Xtension's original trainer, Clive Cox, was among those vying for his son.
Paul Cashman of Rathbarry Stud was delighted by the sale. "We are very happy with that, he is a fine model of a horse and Xtension has really stamped him," he said. "The mare has been a good producer too, and it was great to see such good judges bidding for him."
"What's in a name?" asked Shakespeare. "A rose by any other name would smell as sweet." But a colt named Lucky proved to be just that for his young vendor.
A son of Casamento, he was purchased earlier this year from breeders Middlelane Farm by Cathal White with his entire life savings of €1500 – a not inconsiderable sum, when you're only 11 years old.
Cathal brought Lucky home and turned him out in the field with his sister Eimear's pony, Freddie. On Thursday, Lucky was sold to Alduino Botti for the princely sum of €26,000 – an impressive dividend over seven short months.
"Lucky was really easy to look after and loved being out in the field with Freddie," said a delighted Cathal. "Two months ago we started bringing him in to the stable at night, feeding him nuts and Carron oil."
Cathal already has his next move planned. "I am going to buy another horse to pinhook, but I think I will wait till the February sales before I get another one," he said.
Just Dandy for Kodama
Curragh trainer Takashi Kodama gave €50,000 for the day's most expensive filly, a daughter of Dandy Man. Consigned by Baroda and Colbinstown Studs, her sale was a successful pinhook for Amy Burke and her brother, National Hunt jockey Jonathan, who purchased her as a foal for €5,500.
The filly is a half-sister to juvenile filly The Pantry by Zebedee, who has won twice this season in France. Their dam Break Bread is a full-sister to Berg Bahn, who won the Group 3 Brownstown Stakes at Fairyhouse.
"For me she was the best filly here," Kodama said. "I look at the individual, not pedigrees. Also I like to buy Dandy Man horses when I can: when I worked for Con Collins first we had Lady Alexander [dam of Dandy Man] and then Dandy Man in the yard so I feel a connection to him."
Team player rewarded
Nurturing young horses from birth and preparing them for sales is usually the work of a team – something easily forgotten when the front men for many stables are so well known. But Bansha House Stables owner Con Marnane is one such who knows the importance of those working for the brand: the likes of Aidan Fogarty.
Fogarty, described by Marnane as "a major part of the operation" is the breeder of a Kodiac filly bought by his boss for €33,000. She is the second foal of an Encosta de Lago half-sister to Group 1 Hong Kong Sprint winner Peniaphobia and Listed winner Rapacity Alexander, both also bred by Fogarty.
"I am delighted to be able to buy this filly from Aidan," Marnane said. "He has been a huge part of our team for a long time now. He is a very good breeder as he only has a small number of mares but has bred a Group 1 winner. This filly looks a very, very athletic type and will be one for the breeze-ups next year."
There was heartache amid the satisfaction of a successful pinhook for Mark Byrne after Katie Walsh spent €35,000 for a War Command filly consigned by Ballylinch Stud's marketing and nominations manager. The young executive should have been celebrating the return on the €9,000 foal purchase, made with his good friend Jonathan Fitzpatrick from Keatingstown Stud in Co Kilkenny. Tragically, however, Fitzpatrick passed away early last month at just 23 years old.
"It's a very strange feeling, in a way saying goodbye to the filly is like saying goodbye to Jonathan again," Byrne reflected. "Jonathan bred Coeur d'Amour who won the fillies' maiden at Galway for Madeleine Tylicki on Tuesday, in the colours of his family. So it has been a very poignant few days for them."
There were also mixed emotions this week for the Irish National Stud where Big Bad Bob resided before his untimely death last year. His two-year-old son Brick By Brick won the Listed Blenheim Stakes at Fairyhouse on Wednesday, and two yearlings from his final full crop were among the top ten lots at Fairyhouse on Thursday.
A filly out of Analysis, an unraced daughter of Dubai Destination from the family of Dancing Brave and Jolypha, sold for €28,000 to BBA Ireland from the Castlebridge Consignment. Harrowgate Bloodstock, meanwhile, purchased a colt from Milltown House Stud for €25,000.