While focus remains firmly on a thrilling Flat season, with the likes of Golden Horn, Gleneagles and Treve putting in dazzling displays, the world of National Hunt continues to turn and as such the Derby Sale at Tattersalls Ireland attracted plenty of attention last week.
Trade was certainly enthusiastic with day one seeing bloodstock agent Bobby O’Ryan purchasing the most expensive lot when stumping-up €170,000 for a son of Big Bad Bob. The three-year-old is a half-brother to Jonjo’s successful jumper Johns Spirit, and O’Ryan is clearly hoping for big things from him, saying: “He is a cracking horse, a lovely horse. He looks a real bumper type, which would be a bonus, and the sire is doing very well. He stays in Ireland.”
The sales attracted the usual suspects with cheque books at the ready, including Highflyer Bloodstock, Monbeg Stables, Noel Meade and a very active purchaser, Venetia Williams. She spent a cool €235,000 on five lots including €62,000 for a son of Beneficial out of the successful broodmare Roseallain. The stout looking dam’s side of the family includes Roselier and Le Moss, and has produced classy jumpers such as She Ranks Me and Cooldine.
Kevin Ross was another productive agent scooping two valuable lots. Famed for sourcing such stars as Imperial Commander, Macs Joy and more recently Shaneshill and Ballynagour, a gelding by the popular sire Stowaway was his most expensive purchase at €160,000. Out of a Supreme Leader mare, the youngster looks an exciting prospect. Anna Ross seemed pretty pleased with the day’s business, saying: “He is for an existing client and will stay in Ireland. I thought he was the nicest horse in the sale, a beautiful horse, very athletic and he has a good pedigree.”
A son of Yeats was a bargain in comparison at just €125,000. From another Supreme Leader mare, the classy sire is set to make quite an impact in the National Hunt sphere over the coming years. In all, Kevin Ross Bloodstock took nine lots totalling €715,000.
Aiden Murphy was another spending big at the sales. €1,212,000 for 15 lots saw him top the purchasers table. Known for his association with leading trainers such as Philip Hobbs, Murphy also picked up a Yeats gelding, this one selling for €160,000, with the agent commenting: “He is a fabulous walker and the nicest Yeats in the sale.”
Top honours went to agent Harold Kirk when purchasing a son of Robin Des Champs for the highest price at the sales since 2011. A whopping €320,000 sealed the deal after a prolonged bidding war saw him go toe to toe with David Minton, Eddie O’Leary and Henry de Bromhead. Known as a successful buyer for Willie Mullins, Kirk appeared thrilled with his latest acquisition, saying: “He is a lovely horse, a proper model, the most similar horse I've seen to Sir Des Champs. Let's hope he has an engine to go with it.”
As temperatures soar and the dust settles after the thrills of Royal Ascot, thoughts of Cheltenham, Punchestown and Aintree are rightly far from our minds. However, for those at the business end there is no time to rest. Future stars of the sport are out there and the likes of Willie Mullins, Paul Nicholls and Nicky Henderson will be hoping to get their hands on them in the not too distant future.
For more details of the sales, head to the Tattersalls Ireland website at www.tattersalls.ie