Adam Houghton profiles the five horses who fetched the most money at the Tattersalls Autumn Horses-in-Training Sale.
Sold to McKeever Bloodstock, Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott for 575,000 guineas
A three-year-old gelding by Lope de Vega, Balance Play achieved a useful level of form in eight starts for Ralph Beckett and his final run for the stable was a career best as he defied a BHA mark of 95 to win a valuable handicap at Newbury last month.
Well on top at the finish, beating another improving three-year-old by a length and three-quarters, Balance Play seemed well suited by the testing conditions at Newbury and that victory was his third from as many starts in handicaps when Timeform described the going as good or softer.
A straightforward type with relatively few miles on the clock, Balance Play is set to go into training in Australia with Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott and it will be no surprise if he develops into a smart performer over middle-distances (unproven beyond 11 furlongs).
Sold to Blandford Bloodstock for 500,000 guineas
Dark Trooper won no fewer than six handicaps for the Ed Walker team in 2023, including four in a row between July and September. Successful from a BHA mark of 97 when completing the four-timer at Ascot, he won by just half a length but looked value for extra having been the only one to make an impression from off the pace.
Though only sixth in the Group 3 Bengough Stakes back at Ascot last time, Dark Trooper did well under the circumstances to be beaten just a length and three-quarters, simply being caught further back than ideal in a race run at just an ordinary gallop.
Effective at both six and seven furlongs, the three-year-old Dark Trooper is yet another smart sprinter by Dark Angel and there should be more good races to be won with him when he joins Alban de Mieulle in Qatar having been bought on behalf of Wathnan Racing.
Sold to Blandford Bloodstock for 450,000 guineas
He’s A Monster is also set to continue his racing career in Qatar for Wathnan Racing having proved himself a progressive sort in nine starts for Archie Watson, notably coming out on top all four times he ran on the all-weather.
Raced almost exclusively at seven furlongs, He’s A Monster saved his best performance for last when running out a dominant winner of a good-quality handicap at Chelmsford a few weeks ago, making all to land the spoils by a length and a half.
That was a smart effort to defy a BHA mark of 99, though it remains to be seen whether this son of No Nay Never can reproduce that form away from the all-weather. It was reported that he’s likely to have races on both turf and dirt on his agenda in Qatar.
Sold to Mubarak Al-Ruwis for 425,000 guineas
Sea The Casper also saved his very best form for the all-weather in his time with Simon and Ed Crisford, his four starts on that surface yielding two wins and two runner-up finishes, culminating with a narrow defeat in a Listed race at Dundalk when last seen in competitive action.
That performance was on a par with the one he produced when gaining the most recent of his four wins in a handicap at Lingfield in June, forging clear in the final furlong to prove himself much better than a BHA mark of 97 with a four-and-three-quarter-length success.
A four-year-old gelding by Sea The Stars, Sea The Casper had bits and pieces of useful form to his name on turf, too, and he’s a horse who should give his new Saudi Arabian owner plenty of fun when tackling middle-distance events (stays 11 furlongs) in the Middle East.
Sold to Ciaron Maher Bloodstock for 360,000 guineas
Amleto was limited to just four starts for William Haggas, but he came a long way in a short space of time, notably winning a maiden at Chester’s May Festival which has worked out well with a pair of now-useful performers completing the frame.
Runner-up on his only subsequent start in a handicap at Goodwood in August, Amleto went through that race as if ahead of his mark on his first run over a mile and a half, making a smooth move into contention before his effort flattened out in very testing conditions.
By Sea The Stars and a full brother to the dual Group 1 winner Sea of Class, Amleto retains plenty of untapped potential and was described as “a perfect fit for Australia” by Will Bourne, who struck the winning bid on behalf of trainer Ciaron Maher.
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