Alfie Flits fetches £95,000 at DBS
Alan Swinbank was busy buying and selling horses at Doncaster on the last day of the HIT salePICTURE: Ed Whitaker
THE versatile Alfie Flits topped yesterday's final session of the October Horses In Training Sale at Doncaster when knocked down to Staffordshire trainer Jennie Candlish for £95,000.
Following three bumper successes, the six-year-old went on to score twice in Listed company on the Flat and has recently been tried over hurdles before being offered to dissolve his ownership partnership yesterday.
Lincolnshire-based Ian Bloomfield made a bold play for the gelding but it was ex premiership footballer Garry Flitcroft, Alfie Flits' part-owner, that ended up as underbidder.
"He's been bought for some different footballers," stated Candlish, who stood with Alfie Flits' trainer Alan Swinbank as she bid. "I'm relieved and pleased to get the horse. He'll continue hurdling and then hopefully go back on the Flat next year."
Little Lu, who boasts six wins in bumpers and over hurdles for Swinbank for the same owners as Alfie Flits, preceded her stablemate into the ring.
Flitcroft was also underbidder for her with Bloomfield having the successful £40,000 bid this time. "I won't comment on plans for her at the moment," said Bloomfield.
Aga Khan draft creates jumping interest
The Aga Khan-bred Mourad, a dual winner for John Oxx this season, is set to go hurdling after Bobby O'Ryancame out best at £80,000 in duel with Evan Williams for the three-year-old.
"He's been bought to join Willie Mullins and will be gelded and then run over hurdles." said O'Ryan. "Ballyhaunis, who Willie trains, finished third to him at Down Royal last month, and I've been keeping an eye on him for a while. If he takes to jumping he could be very good."
Williams bought the Down Royal nursery winner Barizan for £26,000 from the same draft as a longer-term jumping prospect.
"We had a winner at Cheltenham last week with an Aga Khan-bred horse in Simarian and Mr Oxx is always very forthcoming and honest about his horses and a good man to deal with," said the Glamorgan-based trainer. "We'll cut this fellow, turn him away and send him hurdling next season."
Indian Art heads to Swinbank
Swinbank was buying as well as selling and paid £37,000 on spec to outbid Dandy Nicholls for this season's Woodcote Stakes runner-up Indian Art, offered from Richard Hannon's yard.
Bee bought by Bobby
Meanwhile, Walter Swinburn'sNewmarket handicap winner Bee Sting is set to join Cheshire handler Lisa Williamson after being bought for £25,000 by Bobby O'Ryan. "The last horse I bought from Walter was Beau Michael so I hope this one's aslucky," said O'Ryan.
The Doncaster auctioneers should be commended for rattling through the lots this week at a rate of over 30 an hour but in common with most sales this autumn, the Horses In Training figures did not keep up with last year. The £1.2 million turnover dropped by 14.8 per cent, the £5,084 average fell by 13.4 per cent and the £2,400 was down 29.4 per cent. The 65 per cent clearancerate compared with 73 per cent last year.
Post-sales statement: Henry Beeby
"Realism. In the current climate that is the watchword and it is fair to say that vendors this week have taken a realistic view of the market resulting in a reasonable trade in the circumstances," said DBS managing director Henry Beeby.
"Recent weeks have shown that the bloodstock market is, understandably, far from immune from the ongoing world financial crisis and so we have seen an inevitable drop in this week's figures.
"That said there have been a number of positives including the involvement of buyers from the Middle East, Scandinavia, Denmark, Greece and Italy as a result of continuing DBS promotional visits. DBS have always been willing to explore new markets and that will only increase in the immediate future as we seek out new buyers whilst also ensuring that existing clients keep on coming."