Supply exceeds demand as Tamayuz filly tops Guineas Breeze-Up Sale
James Thomas reports from Park Paddocks
The fragility of the 2018 breeze-up market was again in evidence at the Tattersalls Guineas Sale in Newmarket on Friday, as demand struggled to keep pace with an increased supply of two-year-olds.
A total of 194 juveniles came under the hammer - 15 more than in 2017 - but only 141 found a buyer, meaning the clearance rate dropped from 86 per cent to 73 per cent, although even that figure may have made for more positive reading than many had feared.
"The recurring theme running through the 2018 European breeze-up season has been the increased selectivity, especially in comparison with last year’s record-breaking sales, and it would be fair to say that today’s Guineas Breeze-Up has not been immune," said Tattersalls' chairman Edmond Mahony.
Trade was topped by a daughter of Tamayuz consigned by Lynn Lodge Stud. BBA Ireland's Eamonn Reilly and trainer David O'Meara both played strong hands, but it was Alastair Donald, bidding from behind the partition by the exit, that had the final say at 200,000gns.
The filly is out of Ziria, a Group 3-winning daughter of Danehill Dancer whose six winners include five black-type performers, notably the Listed-winning Fadhayyil, who is also by Tamayuz.
"She's a lovely filly with a great attitude, she moved very well, put her head down and has a lovely action," said Donald.
"Obviously she's got a very good pedigree for this sale, the own sister was very decent so she'll make a nice breeding prospect at the end of the day as well. She'll go to Andrew Balding, he's done well with Tamayuz before, as he trained Blond Me."
The filly, who was bred by Dubois Holdings Ltd, rewarded the patience of her vendor, having been retained at €140,000 at last year's Goffs Orby Sale.
Donald was among those to express anxiety at the state of trade, saying: "It's all about the top ten lots and the rest are struggling. There's been about an extra 400 breeze-up horses this year and I think we need a bit more demand."
Perseverance pays off
Most people had left by the time the fourth-last lot made her way into the ring, but Matt Coleman's perseverance paid off when landing the sole offering by Shamardal in the catalogue for 155,000gns.
"There aren't too many Shamardal fillies left to buy," said Coleman, who secured the filly on behalf of an undisclosed client.
"Not only is he a great sire but he's a wonderful broodmare sire as well. This filly breezed in a good time and was well recommended by the vendor, and I think she'll make a wonderful broodmare after her racing career."
The May foal, offered by Houghton Bloodstock having been retained at 70,000gns as a yearling, is out of the Listed-winning Mount Elbrus, and is a half-sister to the Listed scorer Lava Flow and the Group 1-placed Strobilus.
Further back this is the family of Rafha and her illustrious offspring Invincible Spirit, Kodiac and Massarra, whose son Gustav Klimt could provide the page with an immediate update should he land Saturday's Qipco 2,000 Guineas.
Happy hunting ground for Hillen
Stephen Hillen and Kevin Ryan have enjoyed some notable successes with their breeze-up purchases down the years, with The Grey Gatsby, Brando and Astaire all having been sourced from the two-year-old sales.
And the duo have high hopes for their latest acquisition, having parted with 145,000gns for a son of Lope De Vega offered by Grove Stud.
"We thought he was the best horse here," said Hillen. "I've seen him a couple of times this spring and he's a lovely horse with a nice pedigree. You won't see him for another two or three months, he'll need a bit of time, but he could be one for York in August."
The colt, a half-brother to the Group 3 Sceptre Stakes winner Nargys, was pinhooked by Brendan Holland's Grove Stud for €66,000.
Ascot ambition for Kelleway
Agent Charlie Gordon-Watson got his name on the scoresheet late in the piece when going to 130,000gns for a son of Dutch Art offered by Church Farm and Horse Park Stud.
"He's been bought for Dr Johnny Hon to race under his Global banner," said Gordon-Watson. "The mare's started very well, he's a quality horse with a nice pedigree, and he'll be trained by Gay Kelleway."
"So Ascot here we come!" added Kelleway. "It's exciting, I've known Johnny Hon for a long time he wants me to get some nice horses and dine at the top table. It's great for a small trainer."
The colt, who went unsold at €75,000 as a yearling, is a half-brother to the Listed-winning Let's Go and is out of Lady Darshaan, who finished second to Hibaayeb in the 2009 Fillies' Mile while in training with Stan Moore.
Daddy in demand
Having been responsible for the top three lots at last month's Craven Sale, the sole offering by Scat Daddy in the Guineas Sale catalogue duly proved popular, with Michael Donohoe of BBA Ireland going to 120,000gns on behalf of Zhang Yuesheng to land the March-born foal.
The colt, who went unsold at $75,000 as a yearling, is out of a winning half-sister to the Grade 1-placed Riveting Reason, and is bred on a variation of the cross behind crack sprinter Caravaggio.
"He'll come back to Ireland," said Donohoe. "Mr Zhang was keen to get a Scat Daddy. He has horses in training all over the world, including in Singapore and Dubai - Scat Daddys seem to go on any surface, he's a very international sire. He might need a bit of time but we don't mind waiting for him."
The colt was sold by Church Farm and Horse Park Stud.
Going for Gold
Tweenhills Stud's Havana Gold has made an impressive start to his second career, with 29 winners on the board already and having the distinction of being the only sire to be doubly represented in the 2,000 Guineas.
Among those to have been impressed by the stallion's exploits is Ross Doyle, who went to 105,000gns for the colt out of Reyamour offered by Norman Williamson's Oak Tree Farm. A March foal, the colt is a half-brother to stakes performers Fizzy Friday and Tata Pila, and is from the further family of Exit To Nowhere and Denebola.
"He's a very nice horse, a good individual that did a nice breeze," said Doyle after signing the docket. "He's obviously by a very good stallion and has a nice pedigree backed up by the dam's side. He's come from a good home and will go into training with Jim Boyle."
Doyle went on to explain that this was not strictly his first involvement with the horse, saying: "We actually do the matings for the man that owns the mare, Denis Barry, so it's good result for him too. We thought he was a bit of a stand out physically, he's a gorgeous horse."
The two-year-old was having his second turn in the Tattersalls ring, having been pinhooked by Mags O'Toole for 42,000gns at Book 3 of last year's October Yearling Sale.
Apple of Thornton's eye
One of the session's more noteworthy pinhook successes came when Federico Barberini and Apple Tree Stud went to 90,000gns for a son of freshman sire Ruler Of The World offered by Ger Kennedy's Sherbourne Lodge Stud, who snapped the colt up at just €7,000 as a yearling.
"He's going to Archie Watson, although he doesn't know it yet," said Apple Tree Stud's manager Robert 'Choc' Thornton. "We loved everything about him, he did a sharp breeze and looks ready to go, and that's what we want. We currently have seven or eight in training at the moment but would like to push that up to around ten."
Despite his modest yearling price, the colt boasts a page rich in black type, with his dam being a half-sister to St Leger hero Harbour Law. The likes of Miss Keller, Hatta Fort and Inchmurrin also appear further down the page.
"He only cost seven grand but he doesn't know that!" said a delighted Kennedy. "He's been unbelievable, just a pleasure to do anything with. I'm delighted with who bought him. He was supposed to go to Ascot but got cast in his box so we came here instead.
"He actually has a very good pedigree. Picking him out was simple because Ruler Of The World was a super racehorse, and this colt is out of an Exceed And Excel mare who's out of a Pivotal mare."
Middleham back for more
Among those rumoured to have clocked a quick time during Thursday's breeze was a son of Raven's Pass offered by Knockanglass Stables. Agent Aidan O'Ryan and the Middleham Park Racing team were suitably impressed as they went to 85,000gns to secure the February Foal.
"We watched the breeze at home on TV and were impressed," said Middleham Park's Tom Palin, who revealed that the colt would be trained by Richard Fahey. "The second we pulled him out we loved him. We checked the times and he went very well, Richard loved him and Aidan [O'Ryan] loved him, so all the stars aligned.
"We bought the horse who clocked the fastest time here last year too. He's called Militia and is due to run at Thirsk next week, we think quite a bit of him. We've had a lot of success buying breezers before, Donjuan Triumphant being a case in point."
The colt was pinhooked by Thomond O'Mara through Howson and Houldsworth for just 8,000gns.
A Giant result for Rea
Another pinhooker to enjoy a good result was Justin Rea of Fairgreen Stables, as a colt by the late Giant's Causeway bought for just $15,000 fetched 90,000gns from Rabbah Bloodstock.
Bred on the fruitful Giant's Causeway - Kingmambo cross, the colt is out an unraced daughter of Golden Rod Stakes winner My Boston Gal and from the further family of Air Force Blue.
"I loved him when I bought him and I'm delighted, he's been a straightforward horse all the way through and has a great temperament," said Rea. "He has a great pedigree, the cross has been responsible for a few Group or Grade 1 winners."
A total of 266 lots were offered during the breeze-up and horses-in-training sessions of the Guineas Sale, with 204 changing hands for a clearance rate of 77 per cent.
The aggregate stood at 5,241,000gns - down 15 per cent year-on-year despite an increased offering, the average was 25,690gns - down 14 per cent, and the median dropped from 18,000gns to 15,000gns.
"The turnover for the Guineas Breeze-Up has only been bettered once by last year's extraordinary sale and the average and median have both held up well, with a diverse crowd of overseas buyers contributing at all levels of the market for the breeze-up two-year-olds and for the horses in training," concluded Mahony.
"Nevertheless, the balance between supply and demand is a delicate one and it is apparent that, looking ahead, this is an area we must all concentrate on."