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End of an era as Swire horses are dispersed


A fresh lick of racing green paint added a splash of colour to the Ascot auction ring as a low-key Brightwells April Sale gradually picked up pace to produce an aggregate of £114,820 and an average price of £1,633.

While the aggregate was up slightly on last year’s £104,820, there was a much greater number of sales – 90 horses from 98 offered yesterday compared to 60 from 70 in 2009. The average price was slightly down on last year’s £1,747.

Yesterday’s top lot is heading to Wales after Ebbw Vale permit holder John Price successfully saw off all-comers to secure Ask The Oracle, from the family of the 2007 champion sprinter Sakhee’s Secret, for £8,000. The gelding’s acquisition saw Price, who has held a permit since 1959, double the size of his string.

The four-year-old Where Or When gelding was one of 10 horses among a dispersal of stock offered by the executors of the late Bridget Swire, long associated with Toby Balding’s Kimpton Down Stables, who died last December.

Ask The Oracle sported Miss Swire’s famous mauve and pink colours to victory in a one mile, three furlong Southwell maiden on January 14, when trained by Hughie Morrison. His dam, Delphic Way, is out of the late owner/breeder’s tremendous mare Palace Street. 

The Swire involvement in racing officially ended at around 2.40pm when the gavel dropped at£2,500 for the six-time winner King’s Caprice a half-brother by Pursuit Of Love to Sakhee’s Secret, Palace Affair and Palace Moon.




Galileo £11,596,660
Dark Angel £3,699,044
Dubawi £3,194,697
Frankel £2,707,058
Kodiac £2,229,292
Acclamation £2,089,105
Iffraaj £2,067,853
Sea The Stars £1,923,734
Nathaniel £1,880,694
Invincible Spirit £1,699,882