Now Or Never Heads Tattersalls February at 250,000gns

NEWMARKET, UK–Stradivarius (Ire) and friends set the scene for the sale which has a little bit of equine everything on offer. Seven stallions in their first or second seasons at stud paraded through the ring at Tattersalls ahead of the official start of trade, led by Caturra (Ire), a son of Mehmas (Ire) who had made 110,000gns when sold at Tattersalls as Book 2 yearling and has now joined the roster at Overbury Stud alongside the popular Ardad (Ire). 

The TBA-organised parade and various open house sessions at local stud farms draw breeders from all over to Newmarket, as does the February Sale, the traditional opening to the Tattersalls sales year. 

We heard a little about the career of Bushranger (Ire) in yesterday’s TDN feature on Tally-Ho Stud and one of his most successful offspring, Now Or Never (Ire), duly took top billing during Thursday’s opening session when sold for 250,000gns to Michael Donohoe of BBA Ireland. The half-sister to Group 1 winner Fairyland (Ire) (Kodiac {GB}) plied her trade on the racecourse with great success in both hemispheres, winning the G2 Rose of Kingston S. in Australia and the G3 Derrinstown Stud 1,000 Guineas Trial in Ireland. Offered by Tweenhills Farm and Stud as lot 130, the 10-year-old was sold in foal to Kameko on a June 3 cover.

“She was obviously a high-class race filly herself and she is from a proper fast family,” said Donohoe, the leading buyer of the day with seven purchases and who noted that the client he was buying for keep mares in Europe and Australia. “Her late cover and the fact that she missed a year might be the reason why she has not made quite what she might have, hopefully she might be a bit of value.”

A bit of value is what most people are after at the winter mixed sales, and a Galileo (Ire) half-brother to Group 1 victrix to Amazing Maria (Ire) (Mastercraftsman {Ire}) 

for 140,000gns certainly looks to be just that. The juvenile colt was offered by Barton Sales as lot 93 on behalf of Lady Ogden, the wife of his late breeder Sir Robert Ogden, in whose colours his dam won the Falmouth S. and Prix Rothschild.   Tattersalls’ own Jason Singh did the bidding on behalf of the colt’s new owners Con and Neil Sands of Bronsan Racing, who plan to send him to Ireland to be trained by Joseph O’Brien.

“They are becoming a rare breed these Galileos, and obviously he has been one of the greatest stallions of the modern era and my father, who is the principal of our team, has had this type of horse as a target for a long time,” said Neil Sands via telephone. “We are really delighted to have been able to close out at the price we did, he could have made double that in Book 1.”

With around 40 horses in training the Bronsan Racing is mostly based in Ireland but the team also has interests in Australia and Britain, predominantly on the Flat but including a few jumpers. 

Sands added, “The dream for this horse is for him to become a top racehorse and then a stallion prospect. You have to have that dream, but sometimes we can all be afraid to dream.”

Queenhope (Fr) (Kendargent {FR}) was initially led out of the ring unsold but a private transaction later in the day led to her being sold for 140,000gns to Imad Al Sagar’s Blue Diamond Stud via Hugo Merry. In foal for the second time and carrying to New Bay (GB), the six-year-old mare has a yearling filly by Galiway (GB). She won twice in France and is a full-sister to the G3 Prix de la Grotte winner Kenhope (Fr) who has already produced a Grade 2 winner in Japan, Pourville (Jpn) (Le Havre {Ire}).

“She is a complete outcross, and will be a very easy mare to mate,” said Merry. We have seen her Galiway yearling at Barton Stud, and she is a very good first foal. Queenhope is a very commercial mare, and I know the family well through my client Dr Poonawalla.

“Blue Diamond was keen to buy into this Grey Sovereign line. It’s so hard to buy interesting pedigrees now and ones that are a complete outcross. This family also goes back to Pat O’Kelly’s wonderful Flame Of Tara line.”

The Shadwell Stud dispersal gave a boost to proceedings at last year’s February Sale, and figures for this year dropped a little, with a clearance rate of 78% leading to 141 horses being sold for a total of 2,265,500gns (-27%) at an average of 16,067gns (-12%) and median 6,500gns (-28%).

Trade focuses solely on horses in training through the second and final session at Tattersalls, which begins at 10am.

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