Horse Racing

Angel Shines At Inaugural Tattersalls Sceptre Session

By Brian Sheerin and Emma Berry

NEWMARKET, UK-With the participants at Tattersalls braced for an even livelier Sceptre Session on the traditionally strong Tuesday evening of the December Mares Sale, the first of the two elite sessions eventually sprang into action once darkness had descended on Monday evening. 

A packed ring witnessed the sale of 22 of the 25 Sceptre mares and fillies for a combined 8, 270,000gns on a day when the figures overall showed a significant uplift on last year’s prices.

This is of course a trend that has been evident throughout the major sales at Park Paddocks throughout the year, and follows on from a record-breaking foal sale, and a new high for annual turnover already recorded even before the tills have stopped ringing from four days of mare trade. 

The overall aggregate, bolstered by that bumper first Sceptre Session, rose 45% to 22,090,500gns and the average rising a further 52% to 99,957gns. The median was up 38% to 55,000gns while the clearance rate was 82%.

Angel On High

Archangel Gabriel (Arch), the dam of G3 Pride S. winner Ville De Grace (GB) (Le Havre {Ire}), took the top spot for the day as Stephen Smith’s Hunscote Stud bought out partner Chris Humber at 800,000gns.

The nine-year-old mare, consigned on their behalf by Norris Bloodstock, is in foal to the Coolmore newcomer St Mark’s Basilica (Fr) and already has two winners to her name plus two youngsters by Saxon Warrior (Jpn) to run for her. 

Unraced herself, she is a sister to the Grade I winner Prince Arch and a half-sister to G1 National S winner Kingsfort (War Chant).

Her daughter Ville De Grace, who also won the Listed John Musker S., was narrowly beaten by subsequent Group 1 winner Dreamloper (Ire) (Lope De Vega {Ire}) when second in the G2 Dahlia S. She sells on Tuesday as lot 1893.

Hunscote Stud manager Andy Lloyd said of Archangel Gabriel, “Every one of her foals has made six figures plus. They’ve been correct and she is a delight to deal with. These outcross mares come along very rarely and we are very happy to take her home. So she’ll come back to Hunscote and then we’ll see. I didn’t think it was right that we made any mating plans until we knew, and sadly we can’t go back to Le Havre.”

He added, “Ville De Grace is a sensational horse in her own right. We also own her with Chris and we look forward to her going round tomorrow.”

Sir Evelyn de Rothschild Remembered

The breeding empire of Sir Evelyn de Rothschild, who died earlier this month, played a poignantly significant role in the first Sceptre Session, when three members of the same family from the partial dispersal of the stock of Southcourt Stud sold for a collective 1,655,000gns.

In quick succession a  daughter, grand-daughter and great-grand-daughter of Crystal Cavern (Be My Guest) passed through the ring, all representing the family which has become synonymous with the late owner-breeder and includes the former joint-top-rates horse in the world, Crystal Ocean (Ire) (Sea The Stars {Ire}).

Leading the way on price was the 10-year-old Dubawi (Ire) mare Crystal Zvezda (GB), a half-sister to Crystal Ocean and out of the Listed Radley S winner Crystal Star (GB) (Mark Of Esteem {Ire}). Already proving her worth as the dam of promising three-year-old Crystal Caprice (Ire) (Frankel {GB}), she was bought by Eugene Daly of Longview Stud for 775,000gns. Crystal Zvezda’s Sea The Moon (Ger) colt foal sold for 210,000gns last week, while Crystal Caprice is set to sell on Tuesday. 

Immediately prior to the sale of Crystal Zvezda her dam’s half-sister Waila (GB) was knocked down for 550,000gns to Adrian Nicoll. The 12-year-old mare by Sir Evelyn’s homebred stallion Notnowcato (GB) won the Listed Aphrodite S at Newmarket and was sold in foal to Pinatubo (Ire).

Nicoll said, “I think I bought her cheaply in this market. She is a lovely mare and is definitely one of the picks of the day.

“Her Sea The Stars foal made 400,000gns last week, the two-year-old Infinite Cosmos (GB)  is supposed to be very good, she’s a lovely-looking mare, and she’s a stakes winner.”

He added, “She is going to Ireland and has been bought for a partnership. She is a lovely mare and a great reflection of Sir Evelyn de Rothschild’s breeding programme.”

Completing the trio was the Listed-placed winner Crystal Hope (GB) (Nathaniel {Ire}), whose dam Crystal Etoile (GB) (Dansili {GB}) is another half-sister to Crystal Ocean. Sold in foal to Sea The Stars, the seven-year-old was bought by Luke Lillingston for 330,000gns. 

Sir Evelyn’s longtime friend Peter Stanley of New England Stud, who consigned the foals and breeding stock for Southcourt Stud, said, “They are lovely mares from Southcourt. I am so sad that these lovely ladies leave us, they are gorgeous mares, each one is a queen. It is not often that you see such a beautiful group of mares together, each one athletic, every one with depth and substance and bone, just gorgeous.

“I think the testament was the four foals who sold so well last week, they showed the type of horses that they are breeding. You can’t complain at the prices, but it is terribly sad that it is not to be any longer.

He added, “Evelyn and [his late sister] Renee loved it, they talked about it. They would be both very proud of what has happened. They will look down and smile. The children are not racing fanatics, but they do have a sense of the history for their father and I think they have been very moved by the whole thing.”

Not part of the dispersal but from the same family is Crystal Starlet (GB), the four-year-old daughter of Frankel and Crystal Zvezda who was offered by New England on behalf of the Natalma syndicate, who bought her last year for 150,000gns. Switched from Sir Michael Stoute to James Ferguson, she won at Wolverhampton in April and was covered by Palace Pier (GB) in his first season at Dalham Hall Stud. Reoffered with that March 29 cover she returned to the ring to make 425,000gns and was signed for by Sam Haggas of Hurworth Bloodstock. 

Ottoman Fleet’s Dam to Newsells

Innevera (FR) (Motivator {GB}), the dam of this season’s dual Listed winner Ottoman Fleet (GB) (Sea The Stars {Ire}), will join the Newsells Park Stud broodmare band after being bought for 750,000gns by Jill Lamb on behalf of the stud’s owner Graham Smith-Bernal.

The eight-year-old mare’s first three foals have all sold for six-figure sums, with Ottoman Fleet, who has also been group-placed, leading the way when bought by Godolphin for 425,000gns at Book 1 of the October Yearling Sale. 

Innevera, herself a dual winner in France and a half-sister to the Group 1-winning miler Keltos (Fr) (Kendor {Fr}) and offered in foal to the Aga Khan Studs resident Zarak (Fr), was sold by Fittocks Stud.

Lamb said, “We’re really pleased to get her as we were targeting her,” said Lamb after signing the docket. “She ticks every box; she’s a lovely individual, she’s bred a stakes winner with her first foal, who’s very highly rated, and I loved her Le Havre yearling [filly, bought by David Redvers for 350,000gns at Book 1], she’s a beauty and I think she’s going to Ralph Beckett so she’s in safe hands. 

She added, “I like the cover, too, as we have a mare in foal to Zarak. We don’t have a mating plan in mind at the moment but that’s the nice thing about her, she’s a nice outcross so you can go almost anywhere. We’re delighted.”

Seisai Set For Stateside Move

Seisai (Ire) (Gleneagles {Ire}), one of the smartest runners Simon Munir & Isaac Souede have been associated with in their short but successful ownership venture on the level, has danced her last dance in Europe after being snapped up Charlie Gordon Watson and Lanes End Farm in America. 

Seisai was bought for just £78,000 by Anthony Bromley of Highflyer Bloodstock on behalf of Munir and Souede at the Orby Sale when it was held at Doncaster in 2020. 

She has proved herself a rock-solid filly for Joseph O’Brien, highlighted by her Listed success at Tipperary as a juvenile and a narrow runner-up effort in a Group 2 at the Curragh as a three-year-old this term. 

The sale represents another big payday for the high-profile owners, best known for owning top-notch National Hunt horses, who also sold Hamaki (Ire) (Churchill {Ire}) for 260,000gns to Wathnan Racing at the horses-in-training sale here in October. 

Bromley said, “She has been a grand filly for the owners and I am pleased that Mr Farish has bought her to go breeding, although there is the option for her to continue on racing in America. She is going to go to one of his good stallions at Lanes End which is very exciting.”

He added, “We bought her at the Goffs Orby Sale [for £78,000] when it was held at Doncaster. She has made 300,000gns profit on that price so it’s a great result. We’re thrilled.”

Bromley went on to reveal that Munir and Souede doubled down on the forays on the Flat by buying more yearlings than ever before this autumn but insisted that the men who have the Willie Mullins-trained Impulsive Dancer (Ire) (Dragon Pulse {Ire}), Blue Lord (Fr) (Blue Bresil {Fr}) and Bronn (Ire) (Notnowcato {GB}) to look forward to over jumps this season remain committed to National Hunt racing over the Flat.

He explained, “We bought 11 yearlings, which is more than we have ever bought for them, and is actually double the amount that we bought last year. Things like selling this filly today–and we sold Hamaki for 260,000gns at the horses-in-training sale here in October–advertises that there is a good second hand market for horses, which you don’t get over the jumps. We are exploring racing on the Flat more and more but the jumps is still obviously a big part of our operation.”

Pennine Hills (Ire) (Kodiac {GB}), who began her career with O’Brien before scoring at Listed level and placing in a Group 3 under the care of Jerome Reynier, also played a big part of the Sceptre Session when selling to Alex Elliott for 375,000gns. 

Elliott said, “She has been bought to join Jack Sisterson in Gulfstream. Jack is a long-time friend and old ally of mine so it was nice to be able to buy one for him. He is doing really well in America and has actually just moved to Florida having been based in Kentucky. She looks likely to be a good filly to join his squad given she is a Listed winner. Hopefully she can add some Graded Stakes races to her resume in America. Jack picked her out and I am delighted to get her.”

Mendoza Makes It Pay

Teresa Mendoza (Ire), one of the highest-rated daughters of Territories (Ire), commanded 280,000gns to Badgers Bloodstock.

The Ken Condon-trained sprinter deservedly broke her duck at Listed level this season when landing the Dubai Duty Free Dash S. at the Curragh  after multiple placed efforts in Group races.

All told, Teresa Mendoza, who carried the colours of Ecurie Ama Zingteam, won twice and placed eight times from 20 starts, amassing over €120,000 in prize-money en route to reaching a rating of 105. She was consigned by Baroda Stud.

The similarly likeable, Roman Mist (Ire) (Holy Roman Emperor {Ire}), a five time winner who reached a mark of 102 in her pomp for Tom Ward and the Hot To Trot Racing Syndicate, was sold to David Redvers for 360,000gns.

The best horse Ward has trained, Roman Mist recorded a career highlight when landing the Snowdrop Fillies’ S. at Kempton in April. 

BBA Team Support Lucky Again

We saw plenty of action from Yuesheng Zhang and Michael Donohoe at the Goffs November Sale and the Yulong Investments team returned to the fray on Monday, again in support of their Irish National Stud-based stallion Lucky Vega (Ire).

The regally bred Violante (Kingmambo), a half-sister to Classic winner Anabaa Blue (GB) (Anabaa) and dam of the G3 Prix Messidor winner Impulsif (GB) (New Approach {Ire}), was added to the list at 330,000gns from the draft of Godolphin.

Ulster Blackwater (Ire), the young, winning daughter of Camelot (GB) in foal for the first time to Siyouni (Fr), was later added to the team during the Sceptre Session, with Donohoe paying 470,000gns for the Joseph O’Brien-trained filly. 

Speaking about Violante, Donohoe said, “It is a great family and there are not many young Kingmambo mares left.”

He added on the daughter of Urban Sea’s half-sister Allez Les Trois (Riverman), whose own branch of the illustrious family includes Group 1 winners Tamayuz (GB), Santiago (Ire) and Eshaada (GB), “I believe the Kingman [yearling colt] and the Frankel [colt foal] out of her are nice and she should physically suit Lucky Vega – we think the nick of Mr Prospector will work on Lucky Vega.”

Bidding online, Donohoe went on to secure Divine Herald (GB), an unraced daughter of Frankel (GB) and G3 Dahlia S winner Heaven Sent (GB) (Pivotal {GB}) in foal to No Nay Never, for 380,000gns from the draft of John Troy. He also successfully recruited Juddmonte’s well-bred Star Snap (GB) (Galileo {Ire}) for 300,000gns. Also unraced, she is out of Hot Snap (GB), a Pivotal (GB) half-sister to the outstanding Midday (GB) (Oasis Dream {GB}) from the packed black-type family of Oaks winner Reams Of Verse and dual Group 1 winner Elmaamul. The four-year-old mare is in foal to Bated Breath (GB).

Godolphin also offered dual Classic winner Blue Bunting (Dynaformer), in foal to Derby winner Masar (Ire), with the Guineas and Irish Oaks heroine selling to Bill Gredley for 70,000gns. 

Blue Bunting also bagged the G1 Yorkshire Oaks in a glittering career on the track, however, she has been a rather disappointing broodmare, with just three of her six runners managing to win a race 

Ballylinch’s Royal Approval

The first batch of mares to be offered by The Royal Studs attracted plenty of interest with John O’Connor of Ballylinch Stud signing for the 170,000gns Fiery Sunset (GB) (Galileo {Ire}), who has already produced a black-type performer in Evening Sun (GB) (Muhaarar {GB}).

The page could shine brighter this time next year as her two-year-old winner Circle Of Fire (GB) (Almanzor {Fr}) is reported to be held in good regard by Sir Michael Stoute and holds a Derby entry. 

Ballylinch also paid 190,000gns for Royal Applause (GB) mare Royal Ffanci (GB), who has produced two black-type horses by Cityscape (GB), Dan’s Dream (GB) and Caernarfon (GB), from Furnace Mill Stud.

Eight of the 18 horses The Royal Studs are due to sell at Tattersalls this week went through the ring on Monday for 780,000gns at an average of 97,500gns.

Speedy Mares Bought To Support State Of Rest

Two speedy mares were purchased in support of Rathbarry Stud and Newgate Stud’s new stallion, the four-time Group 1 winner State Of Rest (Ire), whose fee has been set at €25,000 for his debut season at stud in Ireland.

Howson & Houldsworth Bloodstock signed for both mares, headlined by the classy juvenile Maria Branwell (Ire) (James Garfield {Ire) for 180,00gns from The Castlebridge Consignment. 

Maria Barnwell won twice for David O’Meara this season, including at Listed level at Sandown, before placing third in the G2 Queen Mary S. at Royal Ascot in June. 

She, along with the speedy Country Carnival (Ire) (Mayson {GB}), will visit State Of Rest in the new year.

American Buyer Reid Makes A Splash

There was a real international feel to Tattersalls on Monday and American buyer David Reid got some business done early when securing Magical Fire (Ire) (Dragon Pulse {Ire}) and Nazuna (Ire) (Kodiac {GB}) to visit No Nay Never.

Speaking after buying Magical fire for 200,000gns under PE Equine Management from Baroda Stud, Reid said, “We’re over here looking for mares to cross with No Nay Never. We’re trying to find something under the marketplace because we think it’s going to get hotter before it gets colder, for sure.”

Asked if Magical Fire being in foal to Sea The Moon (Ger) was a draw, he replied, “More so that she fit the profile to go to No Nay Never. But it didn’t hurt to be in foal to that sire.”

He added, “There is everyone here from all around the globe and I think the marketplace is going to be very healthy from what I can see. Hopefully we can land a few more but it’s going to be a challenging week. There are a lot of beautiful horses so we will see what happens. I anticipate that the sale will be very good and I like what they did with the mares’ section [Sceptre Sessions].”

Just as Reid predicted, things did heat up in the ring later in the day, and he was forced to go to 280,000gns to secure the Group 2-placed Nazuna from Elite Sales in the Sceptre Session. 


Lot 1455: ON HER WAY (GB) (Medicean {GB}) 

Consignor: Barton Sales

Buyer: Mickley Stud, 18,000gns

At 15, On Her Way is getting to the age that puts off some buyers but the dam of Headway (GB), who was beaten a head in the G2 Coventry S., is now back in foal to that smart juvenile’s sire Havana Gold (Ire) and has produced three other multiple winners to bolster her record. She will have a colt from the first crop of Blue Point (Ire) to run for her next year, who is already cantering away on Newmarket Heath for trainer Tom Clover. 

For Richard Kent of Mickley Stud, this is a low-risk purchase: he has the land, a range of stallions for future matings and, as the breeder of Havana Gold’s best horse Havana Grey (GB), he’s fully entitled to have a soft spot for the Tweenhills stallion, whose fee this year was two-thirds of the cost of the mare.



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