Williamson among the vendors celebrating big results at Derby Sale
Former jockey excels with store trades; Doyen also in demand
Having sold the most expensive lot on day one of the Tattersalls Ireland Derby Sale on Wednesday - a French-bred Kapgarde gelding already named Kap Ocean at €220,000 - one could be forgiven for thinking Norman Williamson had brought a battalion of stores to the Tattersalls Ireland Derby Sale from his Oak Tree Farm.
But, in a case of quality over quantity, his draft comprised just two lots.
Williamson's other store was another French-bred, the Al Namix gelding Email Rose, sold for €150,000.
Kap Ocean, out of the Listed-winning chaser Line Salsa, was sold to Tom Malone, while Email Rose was picked up by Henry de Bromhead, who also trains Al Namix's star performer Petit Mouchoir.
"They were lucky," said Williamson. "We bought them last year out of a field in France. They were nice to begin with and have developed well since and were well liked.
"The Al Namix received a nice pedigree update last Friday when her sister Daring Rose was second in a Grade 3 hurdle at Auteuil."
Recounting an excellent year for Oak Tree at the store sales, Williamson said: "You need the right article, the right model and the right pedigree - and they are not always easy to get a hold of.
"We'd offer one or two here each season, and the trade seems strong this year."
Bleahen blowing hot
Hugh Bleahen of Clifton Farm will be eagerly anticipating the sale of a Yorgunnabelucky half-brother to Punchestown Champion Bumper scorer The Liquidator on Thursday (lot 292).
"He's a lovely, athletic horse," said Bleahen. "He's a good-walking half-brother to a Grade 1 winner. His dam was proven on the racetrack and as a producer.
"Yorgunnabelucky's first crop are now three-year-olds. I've seen a few of his stock and they look like racehorses."
Clifton Farm has already sold Snowpiercer - an Astarabad gelding out of a sister to the high-class chaser The Nightingale - who was knocked down for €40,000 to Monbeg Stables on Wednesday.
"We've brought a good bunch of horses. The Astarabad sold well today, and hopefully the good trade will carry on."
Clifton Farm also offer a Milan three-parts brother to the Grade 3-placed Kilkishen (369) on the second day.
Bleahen is linked with the top-class two-mile chaser Sizing Europe, having picked him as a foal for €9,000 at the 2002 Tattersalls Ireland November Sale. The son of Pistolet Bleu subsequently won 22 races in the colours of Ann and Alan Potts, including the 2011 Champion Chase at the Cheltenham Festival.
Doyen does it for Hickey
"We're absolutely delighted," said Michael Hickey when Gordon Elliott went to €150,000 to secure a son of Doyen, who he stands at his Sunnyhill Stud.
"Doyen stood in Germany as a Flat sire, and was the third leading sire there in 2015, when he had the Oaks and St Leger winner.
"He's a fantastic looker and has size, fantastic limbs and is a good model. His first four-year-olds created a big impression.
"He covered 180 mares in the latest season - his largest book to date - and there are 22 by him in this sale."
Of his first four-year-olds, Battleoverdoyen, Rapid Escape and Victoria Bay all won in the pointing field in the latest season.
The Elliott-trained Rapid Escape won his maiden at Tinahely and then finished a creditable fifth to Vision Des Flos in the Goffs Land Rover Bumper in April, while the Jerry Cosgrave-handled Battleoverdoyen fetched a winning bid £235,000 from Gordon Elliott at the Tattersalls Ireland Cheltenham April Sale after winning his maiden at Loughanmore five days beforehand.
Founded in 1978, Sunnyhill Stud has bred and sold a who's who of jumps talent including Kicking King, Balthazar King and Road To Riches, and sold the Grand National-winning pair of Hedgehunter and Don't Push It.
Progeny of Doyen proved popular on day one of the Derby Sale with four lots selling for €246,000 and an average of €61,500 - more than 20 times his stud fee of €3,000.
Sunnyhill offer a Doyen gelding (450) of their own during the second part of the sale on Friday. He is out of a Grade 3-placed sister to dual Grade 2 Novice Hurdle winner Real Steel, both by former Sunnyhill flagbearer Old Vic.
Gerard Lowry of the family-run Oneliner Stables in Holycross in County Tipperary was satisfied with the six-figure sum received for their Kapgarde gelding Palixandre, He is a half-brother to Palinodie, a Listed winner on the Flat in France.
"We couldn't be more delighted," said Lowry. "We bought him as a yearling for €22,000 at the Arqana Autumn Sale, and have kept him the last two years. He had all the right people on him.
"In this game, you need to be selling winners, which is what we are trying to do."
Among the former graduates of Oneliner Stables are Christmas In April, a French-bred bumper winner for Nicky Henderson, and Better Getalong, a dual bumper winner for Nicky Richards.