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Home » Archive » Europe » Tattersalls Poised for Blockbuster Finale 
Updated: November 19, 2022 at 1:07 pm
A pot of gold won’t be far away at Tattersalls over the next fortnight | Laura Green
By
NEWMARKET, UK–There is no doubt that the mares’ section of the Tattersalls December Sale will create much of the hoopla at Park Paddocks over the next fortnight. Blockbuster names such as Saffron Beach (Ire), Alcohol Free (Ire), Pearls Galore (GB), and La Petite Coco (Ire) and are set to come under the hammer, not to mention Desert Berry (GB), the dam of this year’s G1 Derby winner Desert Crown (GB) back in foal to his sire Nathaniel (Ire).
The Monday and particularly the Tuesday evening sessions of the mares’ sale are always frenetic and this year Tattersalls has branded a portion of those days as the Sceptre Sessions, for which an elite collections of fillies and mares have been gathered. That star-studded focus aside, there is still strength in depth to be found across the four days of that catalogue, not to mention two significant warm-up acts in the December Yearling Sale which kickstarts the December-in-November action this Monday, followed by four days of foal action from Wednesday to Saturday.
 

A last chance to buy a yearling at auction in Europe is provided when around 160 youngsters take to the ring for Monday’s solo session. Britain’s leading sires Dubawi (Ire) and Frankel (GB) hogged the limelight during Book 1 of the October Sale, and while they are sparsely represented here, there are still yearlings to note, including lot 31, the Dubawi daughter of the Wildenstein-bred G1 1000 Guineas winner Miss France (Ire) (Dansili {GB}), and lot 154, Shadwell’s colt out of the listed winner and G2 Rockwell S. runner-up Fadhayyil (Ire) (Tamayuz {GB}) who has already produced Australian Group 2 winner Turaath (GB) (Oasis Dream {GB}). Frankel meanwhile features towards the end of the session as the sire of lot 178, from Glenvale Stud, the half-brother to Group 3 winners Peace Envoy (Fr) (Power {GB}) and Our Last Summer (Ire) (Zamindar).
A quartet of yearlings by Invincible Spirit (Ire) features the Voute Sales-consigned half-sister to recent juvenile winner Bedazzling (Ire) (Exceed And Excel {Aus}). Offered as lot 43, she is inbred 3×3 to Invincible Spirit’s granddam Eljazzi (GB) (Artaius), while Norris Bloodstock offers lot 112, an Invincible Spirit colt out of the young Frankel mare Aspirer (GB), a Juddmonte-bred daughter of the G1 Prix de Diane winner Nebraska Tornado (Storm Cat) from the family of this year’s G1 Irish Derby winner Westover (GB) (Frankel {GB}).
 
Tuesday may be considered a dark day at Tattersalls, but it is only in the ring itself that the lights will be out. Around the grounds prospective foal buyers will be hard at it before daylight has even appeared as they assess those on offer during the four sessions of weanlings, with the strongest pedigrees slated for Friday.
Many opinions will already have been formed during a strong opener to the foal sales season at Goffs last week, and this is especially so when it comes to the first glimpses of the stock of the new sires.
Among those already finding favour with buyers at Goffs was the Darley duo of Ghaiyyath (Ire) and Earthlight (Ire), sons of the operation’s flagship sires Dubawi and Shamardal, respectively. Former Horse of the Year Ghaiyyath has another 14 on offer at Tattersalls, including lot 685 from Yellowford Farm who is interestingly inbred to Dubai Millennium’s dam Colorado Dancer (GB) (Shareef Dancer).
Last year’s December Foal Sale was responsible for the highest price for a European weanling for the last 20 years when Genesis Green Stud’s Dubawi colt out of Madonna Dell’Orto (GB) was sold for 1.8 million gns. The year prior to that Dubawi had featured as the sire of three of the four top lots but in among them was a Frankel colt from the Dutch Art (GB) mare Suelita (GB) offered by his breeder Whitsbury Manor Stud. Back then he was already a half-brother to juvenile Group 2 winner Alkumait (GB) (Showcasing {GB}), but boy look at him now. Bought for 550,000gns by Juddmonte, named Chaldean (GB), and sent into training with Andrew Balding, the colt is now one of the best in his generation in Europe as the winner of four of his five starts this year including the G1 Dewhurst, G2 Champagne and G3 Acomb S.
This year Whitsbury Manor returns with his half-brother, slated as lot 1025 and by Kingman (GB), who provided the top three lots at the Goffs November Foal Sale, but he is far from the only weanling with enticing updates this year as there are also half-siblings to two of this season’s British Classic winners on offer. Kirsten Rausing’s St Simon Stud offers a Lope De Vega (Ire) half-brother to G1 St Leger winner Eldar Eldarov (GB) (Dubawi {Ire}) as lot 1027, while breeder John Bourke of Hyde Park Stud brings a Mehmas (Ire) half-brother to the G1 1000 Guineas winner Cachet (Ire) (Aclaim {Ire}) who has been catalogued as lot 1033 in what is bound to be a hectic Friday session.
“Obviously the foal sale is the primary target of the pinhookers, but it’s a sale that has had a huge amount of success on the racecourse this year with the likes of Chaldean, Saffron Beach (Ire) and Blackbeard (Ire),” said Tattersalls’ marketing director Jimmy George. “And I think, again, it reflects how lucky we are to have the stallions that we have at our disposal at the moment, and I don’t think that goes unnoticed. I think with the way the yearling market has gone, the strength of the October yearling sales, which defied gravity to a degree, that gives a great backdrop with which to go into the December Foal Sale.”
 
As if the aforementioned mares weren’t enough to whet the appetite for four days of trade for breeding prospects, since the catalogue was published some extra big names have been added, including Group 1 winners The Platinum Queen (Ire) and Princess Zoe (Ger). Five years ago the crack sprinter Marsha (Ire) set a new European thoroughbred auction record when selling from Heath House Stables for 6 million gns. Whether that record will be bettered next Monday or Tuesday remains to be seen, but it seems likely, during a run of strong sales around the world, that at least one mare or filly will come close.
“We’ve got six Group 1-winning race fillies in what is a very strong December Mares catalogue,” George said. “We announced the Sceptre Sessions back in the summer this year. It’s clearly struck a chord, the support has been fantastic, and it’s great to see the quality of the fillies and mares that have been earmarked for the Sceptre Sessions by the consignors.
“But they’re not alone in terms of quality offerings, because there’s a plethora of Group 2, Group 3, and stakes-winning fillies as well, and of course a huge number of well-covered, very well-bred mares. It’s fantastic to have this sort of quality when we are launching something like the Sceptre Sessions, which are named in tribute to one of the most remarkable race fillies ever, who also had a rich Tattersalls history herself, as a record-breaking yearling way back in the mists of time.”
Among the mares in foal to be offered during the Sceptre Sessions, which collectively number around 90 individuals, is High Heels (Ire), a young stakes-placed daughter of Galileo (Ire) who is in foal for the first time to Siyouni (Fr), representing a cross that has been utilised with notable success in recent years. The 4-year-old is slated as lot 1868 from the Castlebridge Consignment.
In the same Tuesday evening session, Tweenhills Stud, which is selling a bumper draft of 44 mares, offers Qatar Racing’s G1 St Leger and G1 QIPCO Champion Fillies and Mares S. winner Simple Verse (Ire) (Duke Of Marmalade {Ire}), who is in foal to Too Darn Hot (GB) on a May 3 cover and is in the book as lot 1886. There is also a decent draft of 18 fillies and mares from The Royal Studs, and while it is not an uncommon name to find on the list of consignors, there is extra poignancy to their presence in the months immediately following the death of Queen Elizabeth II.
George continued, “I think we’ve got some real collectors’ items in the catalogue this year and there’s been a huge amount of interest from throughout the world ever since we released details of some of the stars that were coming to the sale. It’s for a good reason, because the Tattersalls December Mares Sale is widely regarded as the most international sale of its type in the world, and you’d expect a very international crew to descend upon Newmarket in the coming days.”
Dispersals are fairly regular features of the December Sale and this year Philippa Cooper will disperse the stock of her successful Normandie Stud through Newsells Park Stud, with six mares forming part of the second Sceptre Session, including the G3 Prix de Flore winner Loving Things (GB) (Pivotal {GB}), who is offered as lot 1899 in foal to Sea The Stars (Ire).
Poignantly, a partial dispersal is being conducted through New England Stud and Freemason Lodge on behalf of Sir Evelyn de Rothschild’s Southcourt Stud. Sir Evelyn, the breeder of a host of good horses topped by Horse of the Year Crystal Ocean (GB) (Sea The Stars {Ire}), died on Nov. 7 at the age of 91.
“We’ve got two smallish, but nonetheless very good dispersals,” George noted. “It is with sadness that we offer the dispersal from Southcourt Stud, Sir Evelyn de Rothschild’s famous nursery. Dispersals are always tinged with sadness, and obviously, with his recent death, it is now even more so. But these families pay a tribute to decades of breeding top-class horses. The great Crystal Ocean, arguably the best horse Sir Evelyn ever bred, will be fresh in everybody’s minds as some of these wonderful fillies and mares from his family go through the ring.”
A number of chances to buy into Southcourt’s successful ‘Crystal’ family are presented through the sale, including through an enticing in-training prospect, Crystal Caprice (Ire), a daughter of Frankel (GB) with three wins, listed black type and a rating of 101 to her name. The 3-year-old is catalogued as lot 1895 by her trainer Sir Michael Stoute’s Freemason Lodge.
In anticipation of nine days of trade at Tattersalls in the coming fortnight, George concluded, “It has been a spectacular year at Park Paddocks so far and in terms of the strength of the respective catalogues–December Yearlings, December Foals and December Mares–I think we’ve got all the ingredients to bring the Tattersalls sale season to a fitting close.”
The December Sale action begins on Monday with the yearlings from 11 a.m.
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