Potensis draft in hot demand at Doncaster
THE Potensis dispersal was the undoubted highlight of the revived Goffs UK August Sale which took place in Doncaster on Wednesday, and it was one from that draft – Jessber's Dream – who headed a bustling day of trade at £190,000.
The winning bid was struck by Tom Malone on behalf of Ditcheat Thoroughbreds, a new syndicate that now has eight horses in training with reigning champion trainer Paul Nicholls. The syndicate is run by Ian Fogg, who enjoyed a notable success earlier in the year when Vicente, who he owns in partnership with John Hales, landed the Scottish Grand National.
"There's plenty of shares available," said Fogg of his new venture. "There's some exciting young horses, some form horses, a couple of three-year-olds and now Jessber's Dream, who we could aim at the mares' hurdle at Cheltenham in March. They've all got potential so it's exciting.
- View sale results
Nicholls not to be denied
Paul Nicholls had made his presence felt just a handful of lots earlier, when going to £120,000 to secure the day's second-top lot Crin Au Vent, a four-year-old son of Laveron.
"I had him last year and only ran him once," said Nicholls. "He probably shouldn't have run because he hadn't acclimatised after coming over from France but he's twice the horse now. He's been bought for an existing owner within the yard."
The other noteworthy transactions from the Potensis dispersal saw Neil Mulholland going to £80,000 for Activial, a six-year-old son of Lord Du Sud who won the Adonis Hurdle as a juvenile and finished runner-up in the Grade 2 Berkshire Chase on his debut over the larger obstacles.
Later Fergal O'Brien parted with £72,000 for Global Stage. The five-year-old son of Multiplex, a brother to smart hurdler and chaser Out Sam, had yet to carry the familiar colours of Potensis, but had won a Ballinaboola maiden on the most recent of his four starts in Irish points-to-points.
Martin on a mission
Tony Martin was active throughout the day, and his priciest purchase came in the shape of Long Call from the Godolphin draft, with the County Meath handler going to £60,000 for the strapping three-year-old son of Authorized.
"A few lads asked me to buy them a nice horse and he fits the bill," said Martin. "We'll get him home and see what he can do before making any plans."
Long Call was bred by Rabbah Bloodstock out of an unraced Ride The Rails sister to Argentinian Grade 1 winner Good Report.
Authorized, a Derby-winning son of Montjeu, is developing a reputation as a source of jumping talent, with the likes of Zubayr, Tiger Roll and Nichols Canyon all flying the flag for the Haras du Logis resident in the National Hunt sphere.
The sale played host to a truly international buying bench, with the US, Australia, Greece and Bahrain among the list of places the sold lots are now destined for.
US-based jumps trainer Ricky Hendricks, accompanied by one of his owners George P Mahoney and Irish agent Shane Flavin, was one of those to have made the long journey to Doncaster.
"We usually come in September but the Beeby's called George and they wanted us to come as they had a lot of horses," said Hendricks. "We were a little sceptical at first but when we saw the catalogue we said 'oh my gosh, we're going!'
"This is my third time at Doncaster but my owner has been coming for over thirty years," he added. "Our races have changed at Saratoga where we're running, they've taken the last fence out so we need a faster horse for the finish, that's why we've bought Flat horses."
The Pennsylvania-based trainer also said the weakness of sterling against the dollar was an added incentive to target the auction. "With the exchange rate we can bid two or three more times and it's okay," said Hendricks. "That's a real bonus."
Among the US-bound haul are two purchases from the Godolphin draft, the priciest of which was Newmarket maiden winner Winter House, a four-year-old son of Cape Cross, with Mahoney signing the docket at £34,000. Another of Hendricks' acquisitions came from the Seven Barrows draft, with the winning hurdler Red Hammer, a four-year-old son of Falco, realising £13,500.
Hendricks also had an update on Byrne Group Plate winner Carrickboy, whom he purchased for £4,000 in May last year.
"I bought Carrickboy for my son as a timber horse," said the trainer. "He's had a good season, he's had a first, a second and a third. He's a great foxhunter, we're aiming to run him in the Maryland Hunt Cup next year."
Dormello Mo, a six-time winner for Nicholls, was another horse set to continue his career on the other side of the globe, with Australian trainer Alexander McGregor going to £40,000 to secure the six-year-old son of Conillon.
At the close of trade Henry Beeby, Goffs group chief executive, said: "The Doncaster August Sale was a key part of the DBS offering for many years and we are delighted with the reaction to its reintroduction.
"We have always said that will we match any sales ring when we have the horses and drafts from the likes of Potensis, Godolphin, Shadwell and the Aga Khan and many others make the case quite graphically.
"There has been a real buzz from start to finish with a packed sales ring and palpable activity in the yards leading to a vibrant trade that will certainly ensure the August Sale is once again a permanent fixture in the Doncaster sales calendar."
Of the 291 lots offered 233 – 80 per cent – sold for a turnover of £2,624,000, an average of £11,262 and a median of £6,000.