Bloodstock Bites: A done deal
With the traditional Easter weekend featuring the final National of the jumps season as well as another informative set of Classic trials from earlier in the week along with record breaking figures at the Tattersalls Craven Breeze-Up Sale, it was certainly another exciting week in horse racing.
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Rebel Fitz (Agent Bleu) secured his first Grade One victory when capitalising on the fall of favourite Ballycasey (Presenting) at the penultimate fence to land the Powers Gold Cup at Fairyhouse under Barry Geraghty for trainer Michael Winters.
Purchased for €32,000 as a yearling by T A O’Brien at the 2006 Tattersalls Ireland November Sale, Rebel Fitz is a half-brother to Ubak (Kapgarde), the Gary Moore-trained winner of last season’s Grade Two Mersey Novices’ Hurdle at Aintree and runner-up in the Grade One Tattersalls Ireland Champion Novice Hurdle at Punchestown. They make up two of the five winners produced to date by their dam, the unraced French mare Gesse Parade (Dress Parade), a half-sister to the dam of the 2000 King George VI Chase winner First Gold.
Just twenty fours after his victory aboard Rebel Fitz, Barry Geraghty proved once again what an able deputy for A P McCoy he is when steering home the J P McManus-owned Shutthefrontdoor (Accordion) to record his maiden victory in the Grade Three Irish Grand National.
Out of Hurricane Girl (Strong Gale), the Jonjo O’Neill-trained seven year-old gelding is a half-brother to the Listed Phil Sweeney Memorial Chase winner and six-time Grade Two-placed Strong Project (Project Manager) and was purchased by John O’Byrne for €30,000 at the 2010 Tattersalls Ireland Derby Sale. Interestingly, O’Neill purchased a 2010 Turtle Island half-brother to Shutthefrontdoor - subsequently named Shutthebackdoor - for £30,000 at last year’s Brightwells Cheltenham November Sale and when he makes it to the racecourse he will carry the same McManus colours as his elder sibling.
"Interestingly, O’Neill purchased a 2010 Turtle Island half-brother to Shutthefrontdoor - subsequently named Shutthebackdoor - at last year’s Brightwells Cheltenham November Sale and he will carry the same McManus colours as his sibling."
At Newmarket’s Craven meeting, Ryan Moore guided last season’s Champion European Two Year-Old Colt, Toormore (Arakan), to victory in Thursday’s showpiece Group Three Craven Stakes, ensuring that the Richard Hannon-trained three year-old maintained his unbeaten record and remains firmly on course for a crack at next weekend’s 2000 Guineas.
A £36,000 purchase by Peter and Ross Doyle Bloodstock at the 2012 Doncaster Premier Yearlings Sale, Toormore is the second winner produced by Danetime Out (Danetime), an unraced half-sister to the Dubai Duty Free Stakes runner-up Easaar (Machiavellian), from the further family of Group Three winners Peace Girl and Hawridge Prince.
On Wednesday, the Richard Fahey-trained Sandiva (Footstepsinthesand) landed her second Group Three when taking the Nell Gwyn Stakes under Frankie Dettori. Having been purchased privately last season from Middleham Park Racing following a win in the Listed Naas Sprint Stakes, the then two year-old filly went on to win the Group Three Prix du Calvados at Deauville for her new owner Sheikh Joann Al Thani.
Out of Miss Corinne (Mark of Esteem), an Italian six-time winning mare, Sandiva is a half-sister to Irish Cliff (Marju), a four-time winner in France and Italy and runner-up in the Listed Prix La Sorellina, as well as to the talented triple winner Wentworth (Acclamation), with the further family being that of Classic winners Sir Percy, Favoletta, Rule of Law and Teenoso as well as last year’s Joint Champion European Three Year-Old Miler Olympic Glory.
Once the action on the track had concluded, attention in Newmarket switched to the Tattersalls sales ring where the Craven Breeze-Up Sale saw record prices on consecutive days.
Wednesday’s trade was headed by a High Chaparral colt out of the three-time winner Abunai (Pivotal) - a half-sister to the Grade One winner Miss Keller (Montjeu) - who made 800,000 guineas when Peter and Ross Doyle Bloodstock saw off interest from Coolmore to secure the two year old on behalf of Sheikh Joaan Al Thani’s Al Shaqab Racing. For consigner Jim McCartan of Gaybrook Lodge Stud, the sale represented a phenomenal pinhooking success as he originally purchased Wednesday’s top lot for just 41,000 guineas at last year’s Tattersalls December Yearlings Sale.
"Last year’s Champion European Three Year-Old Sprinter, Reckless Abandon (Exchange Rate), has been retired from stud duties at Darley’s Kildangan Stud due to fertility problems and will re-enter training with Godolphin trainer Charlie Appleby."
Twenty four hours later, Coolmore broke the previous day’s record when Jamie McCalmont claimed a War Front colt on their behalf with a bid of 1.15 million guineas, the most expensive price for a breeze up purchase anywhere in the world this year. Out of the one-time winning mare Julie From Dixie (Dixie Union) and from the family of U.S. Listed winners Merry Mary and Next Millennium, the two year old was another pinhooking triumph for leading consigners Mocklershill having been purchased privately by Willie Browne at last year’s Keeneland September Yearling Sale for $250,000.
At the close of the record breaking sale that saw thirty-two lots change hands for six figures or more, trade had totalled 10,459,000 guineas, an increase of 14% on the 2013 sale, with the average of 112,785 guineas and median of 70,000 guineas being improvements of 26% and 27% respectively.
In breeding news, last year’s Champion European Three Year-Old Sprinter, Reckless Abandon (Exchange Rate), has been retired from stud duties at Darley’s Kildangan Stud due to fertility problems and will re-enter training with Godolphin trainer Charlie Appleby. The four year-old son of Exchange Rate was formerly trained by Clive Cox to Group One success in the Middle Park Stakes and Prix Morny and finished the 2012 season Joint Champion Two Year Old Colt in France.
Going in the opposite direction and being retired to stud is last weekend’s Randwick Queen Elizabeth Stakes winner It’s A Dundeel (High Chaparral). The six-time Australian Group One winner will stand at Arrowfield Stud in New South Wales for A$27,500 under his New Zealand registered name Dundeel.
Chris is a Pedigree Researcher for Weatherbys Ltd, the company that provides the majority of pedigrees for thoroughbreds sold at public auction in Britain and Ireland and who offer a range of products and services to suit your Bloodstock needs.
For further information please visit http://www.weatherbys.co.uk/bloodstock