Tattersalls graduates mop up Grade Ones

  • By: Chris Hill
  • Last Updated: February 11 2013, 12:41 GMT

Tattersalls opened their sales season on Thursday where a half-sister to Breeder's Cup Juvenile Turf winner Wrote took the honours of being top lot.

Sir Des Champs holds off Flemenstar in the Irish Hennessy
Sir Des Champs holds off Flemenstar in the Irish Hennessy

Diara Angel (Hawk Wing) who was sold in foal to High Chaparral, the sire of her half-brother, went to John Deer's Oakgrove Stud for 100,000 guineas.

It reflected an amazing turn-around for owner Sean Conway on whose behalf Voute Sales Ltd consigned the mare, as the six-year-old was led out of the Tattersalls December Sale unsold at 150,000 guineas just a couple of months earlier.

The two-time winner was expected to be a contender for priciest lot and just looking at her pedigree you can see why as further back in the family were a couple of champion sires in Sadler's Wells and Nureyev as well as another Breeder's Cup winner, Blame, the conqueror of Zenyatta in the 2010 Classic.

In all, the 2013 Tattersalls February Sale ended up on the previous year with total sales grossing £1,747,600 with the same number of lots being offered hence an increase in average and median price.

On the other side of the Irish Sea, Tattersalls Ireland held their first sale of 2013 where a Robin Des Champs colt made €60,000 at the February N.H. Yearling Sale when selling to Juliet Minton of Highflyer Bloodstock.

Consigned by Ashwood Stud and out of the two-time winning mare John's Eliza (Dr Massini), the colt has been bought to race for Dai Walters, owner of Oscar Whisky, and is a close relation to the 2012 Reynoldstown Chase winner, Invictus, who also happened to be bought by Highflyer Bloodstock though this time at the Brightwells Cheltenham April Sale in 2010 where he made £162,000.

The sale ended with a gross deficit of €163,100 on the 2012 version with the aggregate only being €720,850, as well as there being a decrease in average.

However the median was greater and when the majority of the sums are compared to the 2009-2011 February sales, the 2013 renewal could be seen as being very respectable.

There was better news for Tattersalls Ireland when racing took place at Leopardstown on Saturday where three of the four Grade Ones were won by graduates from their sales with the elusive fourth also having a link with the Fairyhouse-based sales company.

If siring the top lot at the Tattersalls Ireland February Sale wasn't enough, Robin Des Champs also had success on the racecourse when his son Sir Des Champs got the better of Flemenstar (Flemensfirth) on his third attempt in the Grade One Hennessy Gold Cup and in so doing thwarted a Tattersalls Ireland clean sweep of Grade Ones.

Flemenstar, who had beaten Sir Des Champs in the John Durkan Memorial Chase at Punchestown and finished ahead of him in the Lexus Chase at Leopardstown over Christmas, was bought by Stephen Curran for €40,000 at the Tattersalls Ireland November Sale in 2006 but couldn't quite catch the Willie Mullins-trained runner after the last fence on Saturday.

The winner, who made €28,000 at the Arqana Summer Mixed Sale back in 2009, formed the third leg of a four-timer for Mullins and will now head to Cheltenham, where his record is a perfect 2-2, for the Gold Cup.

His sire, whose first Irish crop will be three-year-olds in 2013, looks to have a good chance of siring at least one winner at this year's Festival with Quevega and Un Atout also due to represent the Glenview Stud stallion in March.

Willie Mullins tasted success in two of the other the Grade Ones with Boston Bob (Bob Back) and Champagne Fever (Stowaway) both getting back to winning ways when landing the Dr PJ Moriarty Novice Chase and Deloitte Novice Hurdle respectively.

Boston Bob had passed through the Tattersalls Ireland sales ring as a foal in 2005 when bought by Killadoon Stud for €20,000 before changing hands again for £150,000 when selling to current owners, Graham and Andrea Wylie at the DBS National Hunt Festival Sale in 2011.

His preferred Festival target seems to be the RSA Chase which was won last year by another son of Bob Back and the current Gold Cup favourite, Bobs Worth. The RSA Chase could also be the destination for the same connections' Back In Focus, the winner of the Grade One Topaz Novice Chase at Leopardstown in 2012 but he does also hold entries in the National Hunt Chase and World Hurdle should connections wish to keep their novices apart.

Champagne Fever recorded his first Grade One win since doing the Cheltenham-Punchestown Festival Champion Bumper double in 2012 where he beat Tolworth Hurdle victor and impressive winner at Exeter on Sunday, Melodic Rendezvous (Where Or When).

Both could meet again at Cheltenham as they share entries in the Supreme Novices' and Baring Bingham Novice Hurdles. Owned by Mrs Susan Ricci, for whom Mullins has had great success, Champagne Fever made his contribution to the Tattersalls Ireland aggregate when selling for €17,500 at the 2010 Derby Sale and to date is Stowaway's only Grade One winner.

Hidden Cyclone and Champagne James could add to their sire's tally though should they win either the Ryanair Chase or Weatherbys Champion Bumper for which they're entered at Prestbury Park next month.

The sole Grade One at Leopardstown that didn't go to Mullins was the Spring Juvenile Hurdle which was easily landed by the Dessie Hughes-trained Our Conor (Jeremy) who changed hands for €4,500 at the Tattersalls Ireland September Yearling Sale in 2010 and maintained his unbeaten record over hurdles at the expense of the Mullins-trained Diakali (Sinndar).

Jersey Stakes winner Jeremy, who stands at Garryrichard Stud in County Wexford, was probably best known for siring the Group Three Concorde Stakes and Derrinstown Stud 1000 Guineas Trial winner Yellow Rosebud prior to having runners over obstacles.

However, with Our Conor, who after Saturday's performance is vying for favouritism in the Triumph Hurdle, and Fisher responsible for five of his jumps progeny's six wins from just seven runners, he is definitely starting to make a name for himself as a sire in both codes.

Finally, the week wouldn't be complete without an update on Frankel. This coming Valentine's Day sees the superstar commence his stallion career, a week after a full-brother was born at Banstead Manor Stud. In addition to Frankel, his dam Kind has produced Group Three winner Noble Mission from the mating with Galileo and is booked to visit the super-sire again this season.

Goldikova (Anabaa), the Champion Older Mare in Europe from 2009 to 2011 gave birth to her first foal last Sunday when a colt by Galileo was born at Coolmore Stud. The 14-times Group/Grade One winner retired from racing after an unsuccessful bid to win an unprecedented four Breeders' Cup races (she already held the record with three Breeder's Cup Mile wins) for owners the Wertheimer brothers.

Her half-sister Galikova (Galileo) was a Group One winner so the cross of Galileo and Blushing Groom, the sire of their dam, Born Gold is already proven and Goldikova is reported to be revisiting Galileo later this season.

All Too Hard (Casino Prince), Australia's top three-year-old and Black Caviar's little brother, made a winning 2013 debut when taking the Group 1 CF Orr Stakes at Caulfield, a race that his sister took in 2012 along the way to amassing a perfect 22 straight wins.

Her narrow success in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot, coincidentally a venue that has been mooted for her three-year-younger brother's final race, raised talk of her being retired but the enormously popular mare by Bel Esprit is due to reappear for the first time since June in the Lightning Stakes at Flemington next Saturday, a race she has won for the last two years.

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