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Harris Tweed lifted the Group 3 Dubai Duty Free at Newbury

Bloodstock Bites

Mon, 23 April 2012

Welcome to the return of Bloodstock Bites, our weekly round-up of headlines in the bloodstock world.

  • The Tattersalls Craven Breeze-up Sale certainly lived up to its name as wild and windy weather blighted Newmarket Heath, where the juveniles listed within the catalogue pages battled the elements to strut their stuff.

Wednesday’s damp weather was reflected in the ring as Day One of the sale was noticeably subdued; whilst the clearance rate held steady at around 71%, a drop in aggregate to 3,425,000gns equalled a 22% decrease on last year, while the median also dropped 15% to 63,510gns. The day’s top lot, a Danehill Dancer colt consigned by Lynn Lodge Stud, fetched 170,000gns when knocked down to Peter and Ross Doyle, but this and the other handful of six-figure lots were unable to prevent a downturn in figures.

Fortunately for vendors and Tattersalls, Thursday’s sale did just that, with a 500,000gns Shamardal colt topping what proved to be a more than solid day’s trading at the famous auction house. A 43% rise in turnover on Day Two ensured the sale closed with a total aggregate of 8,578,000gs, up 7%, with a 3% rise in average to 73,316gns. Only the median fell, by just 5% to 57,000gns. Lot 138, a close relative of Oratorio, was the subject of a bidding duel between David Marnane and John Ferguson. From 100,000gns the pair battled head to head, with Ferguson making the final, winning bid at the half a million mark. The colt, who had been bought back as a yearling in the same ring last year, helped Tally-Ho Stud to second place in the leading consignor table, beaten only by Mocklershill, who were responsible for the day’s second top, also by Shamardal. The filly, out of a Sri Pekan mare, was bought for 360,000gns by Richard Frisby.

  • Shamardal celebrated further success this week when his son Crackerjack King was crowned Italy’s best three-year-old colt. Out of a Barathea mare, the Stefano Botti-trained runner was beaten just once when disappointing in the Prix du Jockey Club (French Derby), less than a month after winning the Group 2 Derby Italiano.
  • A Tattersalls Ireland graduate proved himself something of a bargain at the Craven meeting itself. Trumpet Major (Arakan), bought for just €20,000 as a yearling, cruised to a five length victory in the meeting’s feature race, the Group 3 Craven Stakes.
  • Brightwells’ April National Hunt Sale, hosted at Cheltenham after the first day of their penultimate fixture, saw the event’s record price beaten twice throughout the evening. Old Kilcash (Urban Ocean) surpassed the previous top figure of £260,000 when knocked down to Boher Bloodstock for £300,000, before this was topped with an extra £10,000 by Fascino Rustico (Milan). Both four-year-olds have wins to their name, further underlining the strong trend at National Hunt sales for horses with form over stores.
  • Moshe, a three-time winning full brother to Australia’s top horse Black Caviar, has been retired to Eliza Park, home of his sire Bel Esprit. Thanks in no small part to Black Caviar’s incredible race record, the family members are hot property – last week a Redoute’s Choice half-sister to the pair sold for Aus$2.6m at Sydney’s Inglis Easter Yearling Sale. 
  • Harris Tweed earned a much-deserved Group title at Newbury on Saturday after several near misses in 2011, including when beaten just a head by Drunken Sailor in Goodwood's Glorious Stakes. Sent off 6/4F, the Hernando gelding made all under Liam Jones in the Group 3 John Porter Stakes to win unchallenged from Allied Powers and Bridge Of Gold in second and third respectively.
  • Earlier on the card, Frankel’s full-brother Noble Mission made light work of his 13 rivals to win Division 1 of the eight furlong Maiden. The three-year-old, not dissimilar in looks from his famous sibling, currently holds entries for the Dante, Epsom Derby and Irish Derby.
  • Infanta Branca became the first winner for Henrythenavigator at the Curragh on Sunday. Ridden by Joseph O’Brien and trained by his father Aidan, the odds-on favourite scored by half a length from Leitir Mor. The filly was also a first runner for her sire when second earlier this month. Henrythenavigator was a top-class miler when trained by O'Brien at Ballydoyle, counting both the English and Irish Guineas amongst his four Group 1 wins in 2008.