Dark Angel dominates day one at Doncaster

The Dark Angel colt bought by Angus Gold for £250,000 on Tuesday

Dark Angel dominates day one at Doncaster By James Thomas at Doncaster 7:43PM 23 AUG 2016

THE OLYMPICS may well have drawn to a close but if they were giving out medals during a vibrant opening session of the Goffs UK Premier Sale in Doncaster on Tuesday Dark Angel would have undoubtedly scooped gold.

The son of Acclamation supplied the day's three most expensive lots, with Shadwell's Angus Gold outpointing Hong Kong Jockey Club's Mark Richards at £250,000 for a bay colt from Manister House Stud to claim top-lot honours.

"I thought he was a very nice horse," said Gold. "Interestingly he wasn't the most fluent walker but he trotted beautifully. A lot of trainers liked him very much and Sheikh Hamdan wants me to buy for the trainers.

"We've had a bit of luck with Dark Angel before with the likes of Heeraat, Estidhkaar and Markaz. I wasn't going to go that high but when you see that people like Hong Kong [Jockey Club] are in there strong you've got to step up to the plate.

"He's bred to be decent, in terms of sire and damsire, although it's not a pedigree we know terrible well. But if he runs like he trots we'll be ok," concluded Gold.

The colt is the first foal produced by the Oasis Dream mare Diva, a half-sister to German Listed winners Deauville and Dominante. He was pinhooked by Finn Bloodstock for 105,000gns from the Tattersalls December Foals Sale.

Manister House's Luke Barry added: "A partnership that took a punt on a nice foal brought him to Doncaster because it's been a very lucky sale for us. The sire speaks for himself and let's hope he's a racehorse."

The stud has previously offered Group 1 winners La Collina and Law Enforcement in the Doncaster sales ring.

By the close of trade Shadwell had purchased 12 horses for a total of £1,151,000 and an average of £95,917.

Yeomanstown double up

Yeomanstown Stud, who stand Dark Angel, also struck a couple of notable blows with the progeny of its resident, with BBA Ireland's Eamonn O'Reilly going to £210,000 for a grey filly out of Cover Girl.

The Common Grounds mare has served the stud well over the years, producing Listed winner Mister Manannan and Group 3-placed Shermeen. The filly's further family includes the likes of sharp sprinters Dandy Man and Anthem Alexander.

"She'll go back to Castle Farm Stud in Ireland and a trainer will be decided on at a later date," said O'Reilly.

Just a few lots later Ed Sackville parted with £165,000 for a speedily bred colt out of Cut No Ice, a winning Verglas half-sister to champion racemare Pipalong and Listed winner Out Of Africa.

"He'll go into training with Tom Dascombe," said Sackville. "He's been bought for Michael Owen and Steve Mound, who's a partner in Kachy.

"He's by a very good stallion from an exceptional female family. He's a lovely two-year-old type who's bred to be fast. He had a great walk and everyone liked him. Fingers crossed."

Dascombe will be hoping his latest acquisition can add to his strike-rate with Premier Sale graduates, having claimed a Listed race at York's Ebor festival with Big Time Baby, a son of Dandy Man whom he sourced from the 2015 renewal of the sale.

Coleman swans in

Late in the day Matt Coleman got involved in the Dark Angel action, spending £205,000 on one of his daughters consigned by Mountarmstrong Stud.

The filly is the first foal out of the Listed-place Jadanna, a Mujadil mare Coleman already knows plenty about.

"I bought her for Peter Swann who owned Jadanna," explained Coleman. "I bought Jadanna for him as a yearling and he sold her to Noel [O'Callaghan of Mountarmstrong Stud] to be a broodmare. She's produced a very good first foal by Dark Angel.

"It's a very fast, precocious pedigree, obviously Dark Angel does what it says on the tin so we were keen to get her. The plan'll be Royal Ascot!"

Coleman's plan may sound ambitious, but he has already sourced one Royal Ascot winner from the Doncaster sales ring this year in Prince Of Lir – who carried the colours of Swann's Cool Silk Partnership to success in the Norfolk Stakes – from the breeze-up sale back in April.

So Farhh so good

First-crop sires often prove a big draw at the yearling auctions and the very first yearling to be offered by Dalham Hall resident Farhh sparked a protracted duel between Shadwell's Gold and Jill Lamb.

The latter eventually emerged victorious with a bid of £170,000, although not before auctioneer Henry Beeby had offered Gold his advice of "You'd be a fool not to!" as Sheikh Hamdan's racing manager considered one final bid.

The scopey colt is due to go into training with Charlie Hills and will carry the silks of Julie and David Martin, whose colours have been well represented under both codes by the likes of Group 2-winning Cable Bay and Cheltenham Festival winner Darna.

"He's lovely, I just had to have him," said Julie Martin. "Having Cable Bay, who we sold on to Highclere, has really spurred us on to buy nice horses. Jill's bought us some lovely National Hunt horses so fingers crossed this proves to be a good one as well."

The colt was consigned by Newsells Park Stud.

Farhh's first crop was conceived at a fee of £17,500 and contains 38 yearlings. He stood the 2016 breeding season at a fee of £8,000.

Doyle dips in

Doncaster regular Ross Doyle signed at £145,000 for a son of Acclamation out of the Night Shift mare Carpet Lady, a pedigree which makes the colt a brother to Listed-winning Cake, whom Doyle bought at the 2006 St Leger Yearling Sale.

This wasn't the first time Doyle had struck the winning bid on this individual, having snapped him up on behalf of Pier House Stud for €98,000 at the Goffs November Foals sale.

"He reminded us of Mehmas," said Doyle. "And obviously we bought Cake as a yearling from Acclamation's first crop. That was a long time ago now but he's been a great stallion over the years and has had some very good horses.

"We bought this horse as a foal for Pier House so it's nice to be able to buy it off them as a yearling. He looks like he could be quite an early sort."

As with so many of Doyle's purchases, the colt will go into training with Richard Hannnon.

Gold's statement of intent

The front runner among the morning lots was a colt from the last crop of Bahamian Bounty consigned by Redpender Stud, with Gold going to £140,000 to secure the colt.

"He's a lovely horse, I thought he was one of the stars of the sale," said Gold. "We've had a bit of luck with the stallion, we've done alright with him over the years. We had Ouqba who appears under the second dam, we bought him in Doncaster, he was a very tough horse. Let's hope lightning can strike twice.

"We haven't decided about a trainer yet, although they all liked him. We'll get them all back and let Sheikh Hamdan look at them and then we'll decide about trainers."

The first foal out of the unraced Mount Nelson mare Avenbury was showing a healthy return on the 45,000gns Jim Murphy's Redpender Stud spent on acquiring the colt at the Tattersalls December Foals Sale.

"He's very like the sire. A great mover who took his work well," said Murphy. "He had a lovely shape to him as a foal, great length and power. And he's a well-bred horse – Ouqba was a very good horse. He's gone to a good home.

"We were worried about how the sale would work out after voting day [Brexit] but this is a great result. We're very pleased."

Early bird catches the worm

The six-figure mark was first breeched when Michael O'Callaghan went to £100,000 for a Dandy Man colt consigned by Ballyhane Stud.

"I'm a big fan of the sire," said O'Callaghan. "De Boss Man, who won at the Curragh at the weekend, is a Dandy Man as was State Of Emergency, the best two-year-old I've trained. He won his first two races but was killed after. I loved this colt. We'll worry about owners when I get back."

The colt is a brother to Scarborough, a five-time winner, and out of the Sri Pekan mare Alchimie, a half-sister to Grade 3-winning two-year-old Polar Bird.

Strength in numbers

At the conclusion of trade 200 lots had sold for a total of £8,739,000 – a five per cent increase on 2015's opening day, an average of £43,695 – a 12 per cent increase, and a median of £35,000 – a 17 per cent gain.

A total of 15 lots realised £100,000 or more.

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