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Riverside Theatre helped make it a Champion year for his sire King's Theatre

Bloodstock Bites

Mon, 30 April 2012
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Last week we said goodbye to the jumps season, and hello to a new Champion sire.

  • Saturday officially brought to a close the 2011/12 National Hunt season, and with it, a new Champion Sire. Glenview Stud’s Presenting has dominated the top of the table in recent years, claiming the title consecutively from 2005/06 to 2010/11, but despite China Rock’s Gold Cup win on day 366 at Punchestown, this year’s Champion King’s Theatre could not be caught. The likes of Cheltenham winners Riverside Theatre and Brindisi Breeze, outstanding mare Voler La Vedette and Aintree hero Menorah have all contributed handsomely to their sire’s total prize pot, which finished well clear of the £1.5m mark. Runner-up Oscar missed out on the top spot by just a few thousand pounds, compared to the £300,000 or so by which he tailed Presenting last year; Big Zeb, Oscar Whisky and Rock On Ruby all earned their sire Grade 1 wins during the season, as did Benefficient for third-placed Beneficial.
  • All three at the top of the table were represented by winners at the Punchestown Festival. Twenty four individual stallions sired winning progeny, with Pistolet Bleu, Definite Article, Presenting and Robin Des Champs all posting doubles.
  • Tuesday’s bumper winner at the Festival, Grand Jesture, made the news again just two days later when fetching the second highest price at Goffs’ April National Hunt Sale. Sold by his owner/trainer Don Cantillon, the four-year-old hit the €200,000 mark, one of five to command six figure sums. Winning bidder Alan Potts was also responsible for the day’s highest lot, Grey Monk, an Alderbrook gelding knocked down for €210,000. The sale boasted a 100% clearance rate, with the 16 lots on offer all selling for a total of over €1.4m; both median and average improved on last year’s figures by 60% and 22% to €80,000 and €88,313 respectively.
  • A single session Horses in Training Sale at DBS took place two days before, at which German trainer Christian von der Recke purchased the top lot when bidding £14,000 for Chester Vase third Chink Of Light. The Dr Fong gelding made his debut over hurdles in November for owner/trainer Anna Bramall, and looks likely to continue in a dual-purpose role for his new connections. An 81% clearance rate was much improved on last year’s figure of 58%, especially considering the number on offer was almost double. Unsurprisingly therefore the aggregate jumped from £182,500 to £939,200, with the £8696 average up 50% and the median up 20% to £4,500.
  • The sale followed on immediately from a Breeze-Up event at the venue, in which less than a week after an offering from Tally Ho Stud broke records at Tattersalls, another resident racked up a new high when selling for £300,000. It was Tweenhills’ David Redvers who made the record bid for a DBS Breezer, beating Richard O’Gorman to the son of Exceed And Excel. The colt was one of three lots to break the six-figure barrier, aiding a 13% rise in turnover to £3,601,500, from a 77% clearance rate. With the average rising 1% to £29,520, it was the median which returned the most improved results, jumping 20% to £24,000.
  • Pour Moi, outstanding winner of last year’s Derby, is to stand the southern hemisphere season at New Zealand’s Windsor Park Stud. Currently based at Coolmore’s Tipperary base for €20,000, the son of Montjeu will be available later this year for NZ$20,000, roughly €12,000.
  • Seven-time Group 1 winner So You Think will be joining Pour Moi on the Coolmore roster, after it was revealed the dual Cox Plate winner will be retired from the track mid-season to join Coolmore Australia. His sire Fastnet Rock already shuttles between Ireland and Australia for the bloodstock powerhouse; currently based in County Tipperary with Champion Sire Galileo et al., Fastnet Rock is on course for a first Championship title of his own Down Under.