Brown On The Search For Next Perfect Power At Goffs UK

Top bloodstock agent Richard Brown has done his bit to alleviate any stresses vendors may have been feeling on the eve of the Doncaster Breeze Up Sale by explaining that he will be using a raft of metrics other than just times in an effort to find the next Perfect Power (Ire) (Ardad {Ire}) at this year’s sale. 

Monday’s breeze took place on testing ground, with some two-year-olds handling it better than most, which will all be taken into account by the buying bench, according to Blandford Bloodstock’s ace scout. 

As if to remind the strike-rate Blandford Bloodstock has enjoyed at this sale in recent years, posters of previous purchases Bradsell (GB) (Tasleet {GB}), last year’s Coventry S. hero, and the multiple Group 1-winning sprinter Perfect Power, hang proud either side of the rostrum. 

Describing what that sight meant to the team of international bloodstock agents upon arriving at the sale ground, Brown said, “It was epic. We left Newmarket at five o’clock on Sunday morning for the practice breeze and, when we walked into the ring, it was very cool to see Bradsell and Perfect Power either side of the rostrum. They are two really good horses who have come out of this ring. This place has been very lucky for us in the past. I watched Perfect Power’s breeze over the weekend just to refresh the memory for what we are looking for so fingers crossed we can find another one.”

Perfect Power | Scoop Dyga

He added on the conditions, “It’s very soft ground. I actually thought that times came into it less than ever at the Craven Sale. The fastest horses in the breeze are very often not the best horses to come out of the sale. There are so many different things that go into the melting pot.

“The great thing about the breeze-up sales is that lots of people use different methods to buy horses out of these sales. There are so many purchasers using different methods that it provides a great spread to the buying bench and that bore out last week. There were plenty of horses who did very little in terms of time at the Craven and they still made plenty of money.”

In searching for the next star, Brown explained that the Blandford team marries up many strands of information and evidence before playing on certain horses. 

He said, “If you went to the breeze-up sales and just went by the timesheet and bought the fastest horses, you really would spend a lot of money and do very badly. 

“Time is a factor but there are a lot of other factors to it as well–the style of the breeze, the horse’s action and its attitude. The horse’s attitude is something we place a huge amount of emphasis on as the whole process is a massive test.”

He added, “On top of all that, you’ve still got to like the horse physically. There are plenty of horses who breeze well and, if I don’t like the look of them, I won’t buy them. I’m not just going to buy an ugly horse who does a fast time. 

“But it usually adds up. When a horse breezes well, moves well and shows some speed at some point in the breeze, you usually look at the horse and say, ‘yea, I get it.’”

Brown, who was crowned Bloodstock Agent Of The Year for the second year running in 2022, bought four horses at last week’s Craven Sale at Tattersalls from 65,000gns to 350,000gns and a total spend of just under 1 million gns. 

He labelled himself as pleasantly surprised by the buoyancy of the first domestic breeze-up sale of the year, especially in terms of the clearance rate, and predicted the top end to remain strong this week at Goffs UK.

Brown said, “I have some clients who want colts, some people looking for fillies only, others looking to get going–in terms of that they are looking for sharp two-year-olds–and I also have orders for back-end horses as well. I wouldn’t say the brief changes from sale to sale, because different types can come from any sale, and actually, Light Infantry (Fr) (Fast Company {Ire}), who came from this sale and got as close to Inspiral (GB) (Frankel {GB}) as anything in the Jacques le Marois, can do something big up here this year before going back to Australia. He wasn’t in any way a whizz bang horse and, in actual fact, is getting better with every run.

“Obviously Donny has set its stall out to be a good source of two-year-olds and we expect to see those but that doesn’t mean that if a nice big and backward horse comes up there, that we don’t have orders for those types as well.”

He added, “The top is very strong and I imagine that will continue to be the same. I actually thought that the clearance rates were better than I was expecting them to be at the Craven and that the market was pretty buoyant. I bought four horses but got beaten on more than that in the middle market and at the top end as well.”

One consignor facing into the Goffs UK Breeze Up Sale off the back of a productive Craven Sale is Cormac Farrell. Consigning under the banner of C.F. Bloodstock for the first year, Farrell sold three horses for just over 500,000gns at Tattersalls and is hoping to keep the momentum going this week. 

“The Craven was amazing,” Farrell started. “They were all very professional and it was a great sale. I have to say, the results were down to a team effort and everyone plays a role. Rory Cleary is a huge help to us, in fairness. He’s a top-class judge and a great horseman. Rory broke most of our horses and rode them all work so it wouldn’t have been possible without him.”

Farrell’s Footstepsinthesand (GB) colt [lot 80] clocked particularly well given the conditions and makes up a three-pronged draft for the Curragh handler who has also achieved some notable success selling point-to-point horses. 

He said, “The Footstepsinthesand colt cost 20,000gns here at the Premier Yearling Sale and, from day one, he has been very straightforward. We were expecting him to breeze well so we are delighted. Visually, it looked very good and I have since heard that it is up there with some of the fastest times. Regardless of the time, though, I have no doubt that he is going to go on and be a good horse. Hopefully we have a good sale and get them all sold and to good homes. That’s important because you need to get a name for selling nice horses.”

The sale kicks off at 10am on Tuesday where 191 horses will go under the hammer at a sale that has produced seven Royal Ascot winners in as many years. 


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