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Monsun filly helps
clear bad debt account

Comparative figures: tattersalls foal sale day four
2008 267 182 126 69 6,414,600 50,910 35,000
2007 274 236 176 75 12,455,500 70,770 51,000

AN eight-month-old Monsun filly who came into bloodstock agent Charlie Gordon-Watson's ownership due to a non-paying client, lit up a lively penultimate session of the Tattersalls December Foal Sale when selling for 440,000gns to Sheikh Mohammed.

Gordon-Watson hadbought the filly ‘in utero' inside his Prix Vermeille-winning mother Sweet Stream for 1.1 million gns at last year's December Sale only for his client, Kent-based Michael Baker, to offer no payment for either that purchase and other mares in transactions totalling more than £2 million. Baker was jailed for three years in September for fraud.

"This is a legacy from the unfortunate thing and I can tell you that being a vendor is a lot more stressful than buying," said Gordon-Watson. "But this is a big improvement in the general situation. As a result of everything I now own this filly's dam Sweet Stream outright.

"This was a very good first foal and the mare is now in foal to Galileo. She was in the sale next week but I have taken her out, partly on the strength of the first foal and also due to the fact that it is better to keep her in this diamond market.

"I tried to be realistic and would have been happy with 200,000gns and I'm so grateful to everybody who bid for her and to Ted Voute for doing such a good job preparing her."

The filly was officially bred by Tattersalls, who had legal ownership of the mares while discussions between parties continued, while Gordon-Watson also owns a half-share in Leto, a half-sister to Light Shift for whom he bid 900,000gns at last year's sale on Baker's behalf.

Bidding for the filly, Monsun's only representative in the sale, kicked off at 50,000gns as pinhookers Gerard Burke and Seamus Burns made early offers but the final exchanges were fought out by Sheikh Mohammed's representative John Ferguson and underbidder Eddie O'Leary, hidden on a back staircase.

"She was a standout this week,"said Ferguson. "She was by a great sire out of a top race mare and was a great individual as well. She'll go to Ireland now and we'll decide where she goes intotraining next year. We're delighted to have her, not only for her potential on the racetrack but also because she should have value for years to come."

Looking at the week's foal trade, he added: "The market is understandably and predictably difficult for many but demand for the good individual by a proper stallion with a page is still strong.

"I believe the underbidder on the Monsun was also looking for a long-term prospect but in most cases this week it has been the pinhookers who have been trying to buy the best foals and they have been looking for quality, which is understandable."

Despite yesterday’s stronger trade, the figures were again well short of their 2007 equivalents. The 6,414,600gns turnover dropped by 48 per cent, the 50,910gns average by 28 per cent and the 35,000gns median by 31 per cent. The clearance rate was 69 per cent.

Kennycourt continues to play at the top end
Eugene McDermott of County Kildare-based Kennycourt Stud was one of those high-end pinhookers and he spent 200,000gns early into the day for a Galileo brother to 2006 St Leger second The Last Drop, out of Epping. He wasbred by the Tsui family's Sunderland Holdings and consigned from Brian and Sheila Grassick's Newtown Stud.

"The plan is to resell him back here in Book 1 of the October Sale next year; we got away well with selling the Galileos this year," said McDermott. "The plan is to try and compete at the top-end and I got one foal at Goffs last week and this is the fourth I've bought this week so far."

The  colt has a 460,000gns yearling brother in training with Jeremy Noseda who was bought by Sir Robert Ogden at the October Yearling Sale.

Gold supports Oasis Dream
Like Sheikh Mohammed, his brother Hamdan Al Maktoum was also shopping for racing prospects via racing manager Angus Gold and among them was a James Wigan-bred Oasis Dream colt out of Merle, a half-sister to Solo Mio. He realised 200,000gns by the time underbidder Oliver St Lawrence had dropped out.

Also on Gold's blue-blooded shopping list were a beautifully-connected 180,000gns Oasis Dream colt out of Alexandrine, a half-sister to Last Second bred by Kirsten Rausing and Sonia Rogers; a 160,000gns Nayef filly out of 1996 French Oaks winner Sil Sila sold by Ballylinch Stud and a 150,000gns three-parts brother to Soviet Song out of Kazatzka offered by breeders Seamus Kennedy and Michael Woodlock from Castlefield Stud.

Shanahan pinhooks Galileo filly
The second foal out of Nightime's Listed-placed half-sister Mermaid Island, a Galileo filly consigned by Harry McCalmont's Norelands Stud, looks set to make another sale ring appearance.

Paul Shanahan, standing with his pinhooking partner Timmy Hyde, saw off Patrick Cooper of BBA Ireland at 190,000gns for the April-born filly, who was bred by Dean Fleming of Tyreel Stud in Australia. Mermaid Island had been bought for Fleming for 260,000gns at the 2006 Tattersalls July Sale.

The December Foal Sale finishes on Saturday with a session starting at 10.30am.




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