Frankel ready for new career
As Britain continues to take on an increasingly 'wintery' look, the golden hue of autumn quickly turning to a muddy brown covering, the British Flat turf season officially wrapped up on Saturday.
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Nevertheless, European action, worldwide sales, and the Breeders' Cup fallout provided a plentiful supply of headlines.
• Morandi earned his sire Holy Roman Emperor a second top-flight victory when running out the commanding winner of Saturday's Group 1 Criterium de Saint-Cloud. Leaving the British-trained duo of Willie The Whipper and Miss You Too seven and three lengths adrift in second and third respectively, the colt was eased before the line to land Europe's final Group 1 of the season, another of which, the English 1,000 Guineas, was claimed by his paternal sibling Homecoming Queen back in May. Not only is the result an excellent advert for the pair's dual Group 1-winning sire, but also gave breeder Eric Puerari a third triumph at the highest level following a Breeders' Cup double, courtesy of Flotilla (Mizzen Mast) and Zagora (Green Tune), both of whom were bred in partnership with Oceanic Bloodstock.
• Frankel, winner of five of this season's Group 1 races and ten during his three seasons on the track, left Warren Place in Newmarket for the last time as he returned to Banstead Manor, his birthplace, to embark on a new career. The highest rated racehorse in the world at three and four years old, Frankel will join the stellar line-up of stallions at Juddmonte's European base, standing alongside the likes of Oasis Dream, Dansili and fellow new recruit Bated Breath. The day proved an emotional one for Sir Henry Cecil's team as their stable star of the last three seasons moved to pastures new, but with Banstead Manor located just a few miles away in Cheveley, visiting the son of Galileo will be but a short drive for the master trainer.
• Tapizar, winner of the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile, will stand alongside his sire Tapit at Gainesway Farm from 2013. The Steve Asmussen-trained four-year-old got his career off to an inauspicious start when unseating his jockey Elvis Trujillo on his debut, but went on to land three black-type contests, culminating in the Santa Anita victory. Tapizar is also closely related to the top-flight winners Paddy O'Prado, Olympio and Pyro on the tail female line, his dam being the Deputy Minister mare Winning Call.
Also joining Tapizar will be multiple Grade 1 winner To Honor And Serve. While the son of Bernardini may have failed to add to his tally at Santa Anita when tenth in the Breeder's Cup Classic, he has beaten runner-up Mucho Macho Man on several occasions, often by a bigger margin than that which the latter trailed Fort Larned.
• Meanwhile, another son of Tapit, Hansen, has been bought by Coolmore to stand at their North American base, Ashford Stud. Capping an unbeaten two-year-old campaign when landing the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Juvenile, Hansen's Classic campaign added wins in the Grade 3 Gotham Stakes and the Iowa Derby.
• The select 180 offerings at Fasig-Tipton's November Sale in Lexington resulted in soaring figures for the company, headed by the $10m commanded by reigning Horse of the Year Havre De Grace (Saint Liam). The three-time Grade 1-winning mare, originally bought for $380,000 as a yearling, was knocked down for the princely sum to breeder Mandy Pope, with her eight-figure price tag contributing handsomely to the $60,220,000 aggregate, up 83.9% compared to the 2011 renewal. Likewise, the $692,184 average represented a 67% rise on last year, though this was not reflected by the median, which dropped 5% to $190,000.
In total, 17 offerings broke the $1m mark, including recent Breeders' Cup winner Zagora, who was snapped up by Mandore International for $2.5m.
• Zagora's sire Green Tune was in the news again the following day, not only as a result of his pricey produce, but also as the damsire of Group 1 Melbourne Cup winner Green Moon (Montjeu). The result was a fantastic one for Ireland, with the first seven past the post donning the IRE suffix. Green Moon landed his first Group 1 in October's Turnbull Stakes, before going on to double that tally on Tuesday in the world's richest handicap.
• Keeneland's November Breeding Stock Sale has now passed the halfway mark, the event lasting ten days in total. Whilst full analysis and comparisons can't yet be made, the sale not concluding until Friday 16th, daily figures suggest healthy trade, including seven lots to have already passed the $1m mark. Dual Grade 1 winner Pure Clan (Pure Prize) currently heads the list having changed hands for a cool $4.5m, while last year's Kentucky Oaks heroine Plum Pretty (Medaglia D'Oro) and frequent top-flight performer Changing Skies (Sadler's Wells) currently share second place after fetching $4.2m.
• The DBS Autumn Horses in Training and Yearling Sale is often a fairly low-key affair, but it has certainly not been without success in recent years, most notably one of the most exciting novice chasers for this season, Overturn (Barathea). The Donald McCain -trained gelding made an easy transition to fences at Sandown on Saturday, and could prove one of the most versatile horses for a generation following his Grade 1 Fighting Fifth Hurdle victory last season and previous valuable handicap wins, including the Northumberland Plate.
The 2012 renewal saw four horses surpass last year's top price of £32,000, but couldn't prevent a drop in aggregate from £1,661,600 to £1,502,600, a reflection on the drop in clearance from 71% to 67%. Neverthless median held sway over the two days at £3,500, with a barely perceptible drop in average resulting in a figure of £5,405.
• The Thoroughbred Breeders' Association (TBA) will be hosting its annual National Hunt Stallion Parade at Cheltenham Racecourse on Friday, 16th November. Stallions on parade include Galileo's full brother Black Sam Bellamy, Dunraven Stud's new recruit Brian Boru, and Sakhee, who is stopping off on route from his home of ten years, Shadwell, to his new residence, Yorton Farm. Each stallion will be shown individually in the winners' enclosure, starting at 11am.