Flemensfirth fever at Tatts Ireland foal sale

Lot 1127: sale-topping Flemensfirth colt brought €55,000

PICTURE: Healy Racing Flemensfirth fever at Tatts Ireland foal sale
By Aisling Crowe at Fairyhouse 7:44PM 10 NOV 2016

FIVE DAYS of foals at the Tattersalls Ireland November National Hunt Sale finished with a flourish thanks to a buoyant day of trade in Fairyhouse on Thursday.

Final figures reflected the strength of trade, with the aggregate leaping a massive 64 percent on last year's session to €1,498,350 and the median – of €8,000 – and average – of €10,405 – showing increases of 45 per cent and 33 per cent respectively.

The top lot of €55,000 had a very familiar feel about it. By Flemensfirth, who is currently leading sire at the sale with Friday's mares session still to come, the colt is a close relation to the Flemensfirth foal out of Keep Face that sold to Len Walker for €60,000 the previous day.


A February-born colt, he is the first foal of the winning Poliglote mare Hotline, who is a half-sister to the sublime dual Champion Chase hero Master Minded and to Keep Face.

The sale capped a fantastic foal session for Ballincurrig House Stud who consigned both foals and are the leading consignors so far this week.

"I just got here," smiled a flushed Patrick McCann, who will bring the foal home to his Brooklands Farm in County Armagh to join a close relation after McCann had dug deep 12 months earlier for a Flemensfirth colt out of Keep Face, paying €110,000 for the sale-topper.

"Last year was a one-off!" McCann said. "I saw this foal in August at Ballincurrig and I was determined to buy but him I almost missed out. I was driving through Ratoath and Bill [Ronayne] rang me to say the foal was going through the ring and did I want him? Bill bid for me thank God. I'm delighted he was able to get the foal, he's a gorgeous colt."

McCann also had an update on last year's sale-topper: "He's doing well and coming along nicely at the moment. He will be back here for the Derby Sale when he's three and this foal will hopefully follow him the year after."

A vision of Vadette

A strong challenge for the top price came from a strapping son of Presenting, the second foal out of Grade 1-winning hurdler Voler La Vedette. Her finest hour on the track came just across the road from the sales complex when she won the Hatton's Grace Hurdle at Fairyhouse.

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Spirited bidding in the packed ring pushed the price up to €50,000 and Nelius O'Keeffe was the man with his name on the docket. The Corkman breeds thoroughbreds and showjumpers and he was accompanied by his daughter who had earlier led up their own Yeats colt that sold for €10,000.

"He's a fine colt and the dam was brilliant. He has a great pedigree and I'll be keeping him to race," O'Keeffe said of his plans for the colt.

One lot earlier a close relation to the second-top lot was knocked down to Mark Pendarves for €10,500 with Trevor Hemmings as underbidder.

The daughter of Fame And Glory is out of the unraced Presenting mare Stay At Home Mum, a sister to Hennessy and a half-sister to Voler La Vedette.

Two years' ago Voler La Vedette's first foal, a colt by Robin Des Champs, was sold to Paul Cashman here for €40,000.

Gatterstown Stud wade in

Presenting was in demand all week and three of the top five lots on the final day of foal sales were by the Glenview Stud resident.

The showjumping connections continued through the top lots with legendary Irish international showjumper Tommy Wade and his sons Robert and Ronan buying two of the top five lots.

Wade, who is most famous for his partnership with the diminutive but fantastic Dundrum, paid €45,000 for a Presenting colt out of an unraced sister to The Grade 1-winning hurdler and chaser Oscar Whisky.

The striking colt is the first foal of Annabaloo and he impressed a few judges before his entrance into the sales ring. The Wade family, under the banner Gatterstown Stud also bought Thursday's highest-priced colt by Martaline, going to €37,000 for a half-brother to Brindisi Breeze consigned by Baroda and Colbinstown Studs.

The Wades had bought the ill-fated Cheltenham Festival winner as a foal here for €28,000.

"We had to buy him, we had an emotional connection because of Brindisi Breeze. This foal is a nice individual but quite different from his half-brother, he's a more racy type than Brindisi Breeze was. Both him and the Presenting colt will come back for the Derby Sale as three-year-olds – hopefully," said Robert Wade.

Cashman scoops a Champs

Thursday's most expensive filly was a daughter of Robin Des Champs out of Cailin Eireann, an unraced sister to Gallant Oscar and a half-sister to Enterprise Park. Their dam, Park Wave, is a half-sister to the legendary banks king Risk Of Thunder and it is also the family of Grade 1-winning grey The Listener and Graded winners Offshore Account, Distant Thunder, Fork Lightning and Dooneys Gate.

Paul Cashman, of Rathbarry Stud, paid €30,000 for Cailin Eireann's May-born filly and it was that black type-laden pedigree which attracted him.

"Her pedigree speaks for itself," Cashman said. "The sire keeps producing them and a filly like that has value for racing and breeding. She will probably come back here as a three-year-old. If not, we will go to war with her."

After five days of foal sales the final figures showed marginal gains in both the aggregate and average values. Over five days 967 foals were offered for sale with 687 changing hands for a clearance rate of 71 per cent, a slight drop on the 2015 rate of 74 per cent.

The total sales increased by five percent to €9,995,600 with the average up by six percent to €14,550 while the median remained unchanged at €11,000.

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