Diverse buyers fuel strong day at Goffs Orby

The Galileo sister to Together Forever who was bought by MV Magnier

PICTURE: Patrick McCann (racingpost.com/photos Diverse buyers fuel strong opening day at Goffs Orby
By Martin Stevens at Goffs 9:05PM 27 SEP 2016

A DIVERSE buying bench fighting over some impeccably bred offerings ensured the average and median prices at Tuesday's opening session of the Goffs Orby Yearling Sale both increased by eight per cent from last year.

Transactions included the first purchase at a European yearling auction of 2016 in the name of Godolphin chief executive John Ferguson, usually a prolific feature on buyers' lists but notable by its absence in recent weeks.

Ferguson struck at €500,000 for an Invincible Spirit brother to last month's Prestige Stakes second Promising, bred and consigned by the Irish National Stud.

Godolphin has been pruning its bloodstock interests this year, although Ferguson did sign for five yearlings worth $2,245,000 at Keeneland this month.

In most demand on the day was a Galileo sister to Fillies' Mile heroine Together Forever and half-sister to Prix Jean Prat winner Lord Shanakill, offered by Ballylinch Stud on behalf of breeders Vimal and Gillian Khosla, who have mined gold with the dam, the 14-year-old Theatrical mare Green Room.

Two bidders who had previously dug deep for offspring of the mare at the Orby Sale crossed swords for the filly.

Amanda Skiffington – standing with Fiona Carmichael and Ian Jennings, the team that bought Green Room's as-yet unraced three-year-old Sea The Stars filly Signe for €1.1 million two years ago – tried hard to get the filly but she was unable to resist a determined MV Magnier of Coolmore, who signed for Together Forever at €680,000 in 2013 before campaigning her to Group 1 victory.

Magnier had to go to €900,000 to have the final say, and took the chance after signing the docket to sing the praises of Coolmore's superstar stallion.

"It seems that with anything regarding Galileo, you can't go wrong," he said. "Whether it's seven-furlong horses or Derby types, two-year-olds, three-year-olds or older horses, he gets them all. And as a broodmare sire he seems to work with anything."

Big money for blueblood

Pedigree was paramount for the joint-second highest priced lot of the day, too. Indeed, few better-bred lots will go under the hammer at the yearling sales this year than the Frankel half-brother to Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe hero Bago and dual Group 1 winner Maxios from Camas Park Stud.

The Niarchos family-bred colt is out of Moonlight's Box, a daughter of Nureyev and champion two-year-old filly and blue hen Coup De Genie.

As befitting his regal lineage, he sold for a king's ransom with Adrian Nicoll of BBA Ireland having the winning bid at €750,000.

Nicoll reported his purchase was on behalf of "an international racing partnership".

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Shadwell shopping

Hamdan Al Maktoum was at Goffs to oversee the intake of new stock for his Shadwell racing operation, which came out best of a frenzied round of bidding at €750,000 for an Invincible Spirit brother to Group 2 Challenge Stakes winner and young Highclere Stud sire Cable Bay who graced the ring late in the evening.

The colt was another success story for vendor the Irish National Stud, which bred him out of the placed mare Rose De France, a daughter of Diktat and Haydock Sprint Cup heroine Cherokee Rose.

This was the third time that a yearling out of Rose De France had made six figures at the Orby Sale, with BBA Ireland having bought Cable Bay for €130,000 in 2012 and Tony Nerses having bought their Lawman three-parts sister May Rose for €520,000 in 2014.

Shadwell's Stephen Collins said: "I thought he was a gorgeous horse. Obviously he's a brother to Cable Bay but at the same time he had everything – quality, presence, demeanour, a great page.

"Sheikh Hamdan loved him when he saw him and it's a stallion's pedigree, so if he's good enough, he could come back and be a stallion for us in the future.

""There were some strong underbidders, which is always a good sign."

Sheikh Hamdan also went to €600,000 for an Acclamation brother to Richmond Stakes winner and first-season sire Harbour Watch. The third dam is influential producer Fall Aspen.

Sheikh Hamdan has enjoyed plenty of success with the family, as the operation's Stephen Collins remarked.

"We had Hamas [the 1993 July Cup winner] out of Fall Aspen and [Prix d'Astarte winner] Elle Seule, who bred Elnadim and Mehthaaf for us," he said. "So it's a family we know very well.

"Fall Aspen was one the best broodmares since the war – if this colt is any good, he also has a stallion's pedigree. He's also a brother to a horse who was a very good two-year-old and he's a racy looking colt. We're very happy to have got him."

Shadwell also bought the Shamardal half-brother to Harbour Watch from breeder and vendor Riversfield Stud for 100,000gns at last year's Tattersalls December Yearling Sale.

Daddy dearest

A colt who was the sole yearling in the catalogue from the penultimate crop of the late Scat Daddy – the sire of this year's standout two-year-olds Caravaggio and Lady Aurelia – was the subject of an international bidding duel, with Form Bloodstock's Jehan Malherbe, acting on behalf of South African Mary Slack, seeing off US agent Justin Casse, standing with Justin Zayat of American Pharoah fame, with a bid of €480,000.

"He's a very good-looking colt by a very good sire," reported Malerbe. "We like Scat Daddy a lot as a stallion. He'll go to Mike De Kock."

The colt, out of the Listed-placed Exceed And Excel mare Excelente, played his part in a good day at the office for vendor Camas Park Stud.

Zayat later came away with a High Chaparral half-sister to US Grade 2 winner Noble Stella and Cheltenham Festival scorer Noble Prince from Whitehall Stud, who cost €340,000.

Two lots made €470,000. A Shamardal half-sister to this season's Irish Derby third Stellar Mass from Tinnakill House made that amount when sold to Roger Varian.

"She's a lovely Shamardal filly from a good stakes family," said the trainer. "Hopefully she'll be a good race filly for Sheikh Obaid and then, who knows, perhaps later on she'll be one to go to Dubawi."

Juno Marlowe is the dam of seven winners, including Grade 1 Santa Maria Handicap second Marzelline and Listed-placed Fairmile as well as Stellar Mass.

Further back it is a family nurtured by Peter Harris, which includes the classy Leporello and Poppy Carew.

The price was matched by a Lawman colt out of Group 2 Blandford Stakes winner Manieree, consigned by Ballylinch Stud on behalf of Max and Lynn Morris.

Blandford Bloodstock's Richard Brown had the final say on behalf of an exisiting client and he reported: "I thought he was an outstanding colt,.

"The mare was a good filly and it's a solid pedigree. Really it's all about the individual – he's a lovely colt – but the pedigree stacks up too."

The clearance rate in the opening session stood at a healthy 84 per cent, while turnover of €20,547,000 represented a year-on-year increase of five per cent.

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