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Firebeam Carnival-bound after 280k sale

A WIDE array of overseas buyers combined with a number of domestic participants ensured a record-breaking start to proceedings on day one of the Tattersalls Autumn Horses in Training Sale yesterday. Day one turnover of 5,873,600gns was a new high and the average and median surpassed previous records at 23,589gns and 12,500gns respectively.

The session's standout was Firebeam, who finished second on his latest start in the Listed Guisborough Stakes at Redcar for William Haggas. Anthony Stroud fought hard to see off the intentions of Boomer Bloodstock's Craig Rounsefell, before landing the four-year-old son of Cadeaux Genereux with a 280,000gns bid.

"He's been bought for the Dubai Carnival," said Stroud. "He suited the profile we were looking for. It has been slim pickings for these horses this week because you need a horse with a rating of at least 100 to run in Dubai. Why would people sell them, when they can race them over there themselves?"

Unexposed handicapper Offer led proceedings for the majority of the day. The Montjeu colt carried a welter burden of 10st to land a premier handicap at Naas for Aidan O'Brien on his last start.

Auctioneer Todd Watt sought an opening bid of 50,000gns, which he thought had been made by Johnny McKeever, who was standing with Gai Waterhouse's assistant Bruce Slade. 

However, after a number of wrist and finger gestures McKeever indicated his opening bid was not 50,000gns, nor even 100,000gns, but 200,000gns. The figure was a clear indication of the duo's desire for the horse and it wasn't bettered.

At this sale last year Slade and McKeever paid 135,000gns for Glencadam Gold, who went on to Group 1 glory in Australia at the beginning of this month.

"It is a tactic Gai uses quite a lot in Australia," said McKeever of the bidding. "It blows other people out of the water and stops them from bidding.

"This horse looks the part - he is a scopey individual and has good form. He'll have a break now, spend two months over here and then we'll ship him to New Zealand for the next step of his recuperation. He'll be castrated and I think that will help him."

"This was the horse of the sale and one that we didn't want to leave behind," added Slade.

International shoppers were to the fore throughout the day and late on in proceedings Saad Bin Mishraf, racing manager to the Saudi Arabian-based Prince Faisal bin Khalid, landed decisive Wolverhampton maiden Maori Dancer for 170,000gns.

The three-year-old son of Dynaformer is a brother to American Grade 3 winner Haka.

"He has been bought for Prince Faisal and will race in Saudi Arabia," said Mishraf. "We have bought a few today and that will probably be it for the week.

"The horse has a pedigree that should suit the dirt. He is a big horse, with lots of scope and there should be room for improvement."

Jumps trainers were also out in force and the Shadwell-consigned Mashaari will now tackle hurdles. A winner on his latest start at York over 2m2f, the Monsun gelding was knocked down to Brian Ellison for 160,000gns and will carry the colours of Phil Martin.

"He's going jumping and I hope he will be a Cheltenham horse," said Ellison. "He's a strong, athletic type who likes soft ground and stays well."

Craig Rounsefell might have missed out on the session-topper, but made amends when signing at 160,000gns for Saturday's Listed Radley Stakes winner Need You Now. Rounsefell bought subsequent dual Grade 2 winner Obviously at this sale last year and his latest acquisition will run for the same connections in America.




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