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Cheltenham Centaur Centre

The Centaur at Cheltenham played host to the Brightwells sale

  PICTURE: Edward Whitaker  

Selective Brightwells sale headed by Milan gelding

Year  Off  Sold  % sold  Aggregate  Average  Median
 2009  71  43  61  1,147,200  26,679  17,000
 2008  87  57  66  1,617,000  28,368  23,000

TRAINER Howard Johnson, bidding by telephone through agent Bobby O'Ryan, paid £100,000 for a Milan gelding who headed a selective trade at Brightwells' National Hunt Breeze-Up Sale at Cheltenham racecourse on Friday night.

The three-year-old, who was offered from Ger Hourigan's Whitehall Stud, had worked through the fog when breezing in the morning and was the subject of a duel between O'Ryan and underbidder Aiden Murphy.

"He's been bought for Andrea and Graham Wylie to go to Howard Johnson," said O'Ryan. "I went down to see him three weeks ago and he did a nice piece of work. I think the sire is going places and I just loved this fellow. He's come out of a very good place and looks like one they will be able to crack on with."

O'Ryan later bid £80,000 for a son of Presenting who showed a solid profit for vendor Mark Dwyer, who had bought the three-year-old for €33,000 at Goffs in June.

"He's been bought for a new client to go into training in Ireland but I'm not sure who he will be going to," said O'Ryan. "He's going to take a bit of time but he looks the type of horse that will be a chaser eventually."

Nicky Richards

Nicky Richards: bought a Nayef half-brother to Arcalis

  PICTURE: Edward Whitaker  

Also heading to Ireland is a No Excuse Needed three-year-old out of a half-sister to Midnight Legend who made £90,000 when sold from John Collins' Brown Island Stables to agent Mags O'Toole.

"He's been bought for an Irish client to go to Noel Meade and I thought he did one of the best breezes. Hopefully he'll be ready to run by the turn of the year," said O'Toole.

A Nayef half-brotherto Supreme Novices' Hurdle winner Arcalis offered from Richard and Sally Aston's Goldford Stud for Richard Haggas brought £80,000 when knocked down to trainer Nicky Richards.

"He was just a nice horse and I've got a couple of people in mind to have him," said the Greystoke handler. The three-year-old had been bought for 50,000gns as a yearling at Tattersalls.

Aiden Murphy snapped up another of the Goldford Stud offerings, a £52,000 Cachet Noir gelding out of a half-sister to Galant Moss and Iris Royal who had been bought for 10,500gns as a yearling at Doncaster by Michael Lysaght.

"I hope I've got an owner but he's coming back to me at the moment," said Murphy. "Hopefully he could run in a bumper in the spring."

Graham Bradley, who trades as Berkshire Bloodstock, paid £50,000 for a three-year-old by Key Of Luck offered by Michael Fitzpatrick from Kilminfoyle House Stud that will join Richard Phillips.

"He was a beautiful walker, a real athlete and to me he was the pick of the sale," said Bradley. "It is a great family the whole way down his page and the mare has bred three winners from three runners including Australia Day, who could be a Royal Ascot horse next year. I bought Dark ‘N Sharp for Richard so it would great if this fellow could be somewhere near as good."

After an evening where 61 per cent of the lots officially changed hands, the figures all fell short of their 2008 equivalents.

"As the last sale of the year, this event reflected the overall market from a National Hunt perspective, namely a selective trade withquality selling well," said Brightwells' head of bloodstock Matt Mitchell.

"There was a good presence of purchasers at the sale but clearly we're in times of limited budget which reflects the buyers' market.

"There's no doubt that now is the time to buy because the dictates of supply and demand will in a short period become the norm with a reduced number of horses being on the market.

"The industry is not immune to the overall economic situation but compared to last year a definite plateau in the market has been reached. We look forward to demand coming back into the marketplace in 2010."




King's Theatre £1,143,037
Presenting £1,059,143
Beneficial £986,639
Oscar £896,303
Milan £863,940
Westerner £839,346
Flemensfirth £755,621
Kayf Tara £657,982
Midnight Legend £595,809
Stowaway £503,470