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Demi O'Byrne - Keeneland September Yearling Sales

Demi O'Byrne: purchased the immaculately bred 400,000gns son of Galileo


Blue-blooded Galileo colt stars at Tattersalls

Day 3 Tattersalls Foal Sale comparative figures (gns)

 Year  Cat  Off  Sold  % sold  Aggregate  Average  Median
 2009  239  201  161  80  9,951,900  61,813  40,000
 2008  267  182  126  69  6,414,600  50,910  35,000

A WELL-GROWN and blue-blooded Galileo colt starred at Tattersalls tonight on the penultimate session of the December Foal Sale in Newmarket when selling for 400,000gns to Demi O'Byrne.

The son of Prix Saint-Alary winner Ask For The Moon was bought as a racing prospect for the Coolmore partners after O'Byrne prevailed in a battle with pinhooker Eugene McDermott of Kennycourt Stud.

"He was very mature and you could almost put a saddle on him now. He was a lovely strong horse out of a good mare. He'll come back home and go into training when the time comes," said O'Byrne.

The sale price was not a total surprise to Jacqueline Norris of Jockey Hall Stud, who prepared the foal for James Hanly's Ballyhimikin Stud.

"In my 15 years doing this job, he was the most impressive foal I have prepped. He probably had 200 shows before going through the ring and just had everything," said Norris.

Galileo stallion library image half width portrait

Galileo: sired the 400,000gns colt

  PICTURE: Edward Whitaker 

A pair of the best-bred fillies in the catalogue were bought as long-term breeding prospects. Heading the duo was a Medicean half-sister to 2006 Derby runner-up Dragon Dancer and smart juvenile Rigidity who - perhaps more significantly - is a great grand-daughter of Kirsten Rausing's foundation mare Alruccaba.

Patrick Cooper of BBA Ireland signalled an opening offer of 200,000gns to auctioneer Philip Myerscough and it was his brother Alan, racing manager to the Niarchos family, who was signing the buyer's slip shortly afterwards after his 320,000gns bid had silenced Tom Goff of Blandford Bloodstock, the only other party to get involved.

"She's a lovely filly and the Machiavellian (Medicean's sire) on a Hernando mare is our blood," said Cooper. We have the three-parts brother Ajaan with Henry Cecil and we hope he goes on next year. This 'A' family of Kirsten's is extraordinary and let's hope the filly can run."

Rausing, who has sent the filly's Galileo yearling half-sister to Jim Bolger, was happy with the sale in the present economic climate.

"I'm obviously pleased and I bought the granddam as a two-year-old and everything on the catalogue page has appeared in my time," said the Lanwades Stud owner.

"I'm thrilled my friend Maria Niarchos-Gouaze bought her and I hope she's lucky. It's a sign of the times but two years ago she'd have made a different price but this is the market now."

Lady Darshaan - Jimmy Fortune - Newmarket

A sister to Fillies' Mile second Lady Darshaan sold for 300,000gns

  PICTURE: Mark Cranham 

Another bought for her potential on both the racecourse and in the paddocks was a full-sister to Fillies' Mile runner-up Lady Darshaan, who changed hands for 300,000gns.

Offered by breeders Seamus Kennedy and Michael Woodlock from Shanaville Stables, she is also a half-sister to the Hong Kong-bound Prix de l'Abbaye winner Total Gallery.

She was bought for Anthony Oppenheimer after his advisor Hugo Lascelles won a duel with Eddie O'Leary for the High Chaparral filly.

"She was an absolute queen and I thought she was the best filly in the sale. There's a lot to look forward to with Lady Darshaan, so you've got a lot of chances with something like her," said Lascelles.

"She's for Mr Oppenheimer to keep and race and is one for the long haul that will come to the stud eventually. We try and upgrade the stock when we can."

Co Kilkenny-based Kennedy, a farmer who began thoroughbred breeding six years ago, and Woodlock - who owns a stud in Co Tipperary - bought the foal's dam, a three-time winner in Greece, for just 11,000gns at the 2005 Tattersalls February Sale.

"I came into the game with very little money and started buying mares for £500 that I tried to resell for £5,000 but have always been into pedigrees and it was both Diary's family and the individual that appealed to me. I just got that crazy feeling when I saw her," recalled Kennedy, who still owns Total Gallery and Lady Darshaan with Woodlock.

The dearest lot destined for resale was another offering from Rausing's St Simon Stud, an Oasis Dream colt bred by the Ptarmigan Bloodstock investment syndicate, for whom Eugene McDermott - who was later underbidder on the 400,000gns Galileo colt - went to 240,000gns to see off John Ferguson.

"He'll come back to Kennycourtand then be reoffered and we hope to make a profit," said McDermott. "We tend to trade at the high end of the market and I thought this colt was the pick of the day. I think that everything about Oasis Dreams is the tops.

"We got eight foals at Goffs and this was the fourth one we have got here. We hope to get four or five more by the end of the sale and I'm definitely optimistic about the yearling market next year."




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