Warren keeps it simple as Intricately tops day one at December Mares Sale
Group 1-winning daughter of Fastnet Rock fetched 1,700,000gns
A packed Park Paddocks ring played host to Moyglare Stud Stakes winner Intricately during Monday's opening session of the Tattersalls December Mares Sale, and the crowd was treated to a punchy round of bidding as Jake Warren secured the Group 1 heroine for 1,700,000gns.
The filly's price raced from an opening bid of 300,000gns into seven-figure territory as a cross-section of global bloodstock, including the likes of New Zealand agent Dean Hawthorne, US agent Justin Casse and a representative of Katsumi Yoshida's Northern Farm made increasingly expensive plays.
Proceedings eventually rested between Warren, sitting high to auctioneer Edmond Mahony's left, and John O'Connor of Ballylinch Stud, with the former delivering the winning bid with a confident nod.
"She was the star of the show for us," said Warren. "We rated her incredibly highly, not only on account of her being an absolute beauty but also being a Group 1-winning two-year-old from a fantastic female family. They are so hard to come by and when you have a chance like we have, of putting together a foundation broodmare band for a private client, she's the kind of animal that will hopefully set us up for many years to come."
The three-year-old daughter of Fastnet Rock, out of a Galileo half-sister to Rock Of Gibraltar, was offered by The Castlebridge Consignment on behalf of John Murrell and his wife Chantal Regalado-Gonzalez, who sold Oaks winner Qualify through the same vendor at the 2015 December Sale, where she went the way of John Ferguson for 1,600,000gns.
"We've bought our client some yearlings this year and we've had some success on the racecourse with some of the ones we've bought previously," continued Warren.
"Now we've stepped up the breeding side of things to advance the production line. We don't know whether there'll be a commercial angle to what we're doing at the moment as we're just in the process of acquiring what we consider to be high-class stock."
Warren said that no covering sire had been decided upon as yet, but remarked: "There's a lot of doors at the top end we'll be knocking on, but at this point we'll just sit down with the new owner and make an approach in the next few days."
This is the second slice of history Intricately has secured, having provided Joseph O'Brien with his first Group 1 win as a trainer.
A high achiever was added to the first book of mares due to visit Coolmore's dual Guineas winner Churchill during Monday's session, with David Nagle's 775,000gns acquisition Prize Exhibit set to be covered by the son of Galileo.
"What can I say, she's an absolute beauty," said the master of Barronstown Stud after outbidding James Cassidy, Northern Farm, Oiwake Farm and finally John McCormack for the five-year-old daughter of Showcasing. "She was a very good racehorse and she's an outcross. And the two-year-old [Harbour Master] has been stakes-placed."
Prize Exhibit, a 28,000gns Book 2 yearling back in 2013 and sibling to six winners, won two races at two while with Jamie Osborne, before moving to the US, where she added a brace of Grade 2s to her CV.
Second time lucky
McCormack may have been underbidder for Prize Exhibit, but the agent had better luck a few lots later when securing the Castlebridge-consigned Tourny, the first mare through the ring this week in foal to Frankel, with a bid of 400,000gns.
"She's a lovely mare; neat and very pretty," said McCormack. "She's a good racemare too and she had good physical attributes. She's carrying a Frankel colt, and was covered in May so she'll be able to foal down in Japan. She's been bought for Taihei Stud, who are very good breeders."
The daughter of Country Reel won two races including the Group 3 Prix de Cabourg and was also third in the Group 1 Prix Morny.
The four-year-old filly was preceded into the ring by the Listed-placed Madernia. Mick Flanagan signed on behalf of the China Horse Club having gone to 340,000gns for the daughter of Duke Of Marmalade, who was sold in foal to Dark Angel.
Not all of the day's big-priced lots were bought with breeding in mind, with Adbullatif Saad Al-Muslamani parting with 320,000gns for the smart juvenile filly Darkanna with a campaign in Qatar in mind.
The daughter of Dark Angel, a £205,000 Doncaster yearling buy by Matt Coleman and the Cool Silk Partnership, won two of her nine starts for Richard Fahey, and achieved a Racing Post Rating of 102 when finishing fifth to Clemmie in the Cheveley Park Stakes.
"She'll go to race in Qatar and depending on how she gets on there, she may come back here, although her winter campaign in Qatar is the priority for the time being," said Hilal Kobeissi.
"We bought Bronze Maquette, another Dark Angel filly, here three years ago, and she's won a lot of races in Qatar and we hope this filly will do the same. She's a similar model, she's a small speedy type, and they tend to do well in Qatar."
Fittocks stock up
Luca and Sara Cumani came out on top in the battle for Baltic Best, a daughter of King's Best, with a bid of 380,000gns. Henri Bozo was among the underbidders for the Ronald Rauscher-consigned mare, who was offered in foal to Grosser Preis von Bayern winner Ito.
"When you look into what the sisters have at foot the appeal is pretty obvious," Sara Cumani said of the half-sister to Prix Vermeille heroine Baltic Baroness.
"She's a winner from a serious Group 1 family and her female relatives are all going to amazing stallions next year. She's very attractive herself, she's a great walker, she just ticks every box.
"We've had a good year this year, but to stay in there you have to keep investing in quality. It's more than we wanted to spend but I think it's the way it's going to be this week, it's frightening when you look at who else is here, everybody you could possibly think of is here so competition is going to very tough."
The sale continues on Tuesday when many of the blockbuster lots, including Albany Stakes winner Different League and top sprinters Marsha and Quiet Reflection, are set to come under the hammer.
The strong first session saw sizeable gains in a number of key areas, with the 193 lots generating turnover of 15,474,700gns - a 35 per cent year-on-year gain, an average of 80,180gns - a 44 per cent jump, although the median dropped by ten per cent to 36,000gns. The clearance rate stood at 85 per cent.