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Some improvement on day two of Million

WITH a €1m daughter of Danehill Dancer heading proceedings, trade at the top end of the market at the Goffs Million Sale improved on Monday's opening session but it was still some way adrift of recent renewals.

THe session took place after another day of grim economic news and it got off to a subdued start.

Trade did pick up at the top of the market following a flurry of big prices in the early afternoon, but turnover for the day of nearly €13m was down on last year's figure of over €20m.

The median dropped from €80,000 to €40,000 - indicating a very polarised market - while the average dropped from nearly €118,000 to €84,197.

While the top yearlings were selling away on a relatively comparable level to previous years it was very tough going in the middle market,as evidenced by the median figure, and it was another hard day for vendors and pinhookers looking to recoup what they paid for horses last November.

Centre stage went to the first seven-figure lot at this year's sale and, before she ever entered the ring, the Ashtown House Stud-consigned filly was expected to play a starring role given the exploits of her own-brother Mastercraftsman.

The Aidan O'Brien-trained colt has carried all before him in the juvenile division this season and since the publication of the catalogue the colt had added the Group 1 Irish National Stakes to his unbeaten four-race record.

Auctioneer Nick Nugent received an opening bid of €100,000 and it took little time for the stakes to rise, with O'Byrne facing opposition from, among others, Howard Johnson, before he eventually carried the day with his sale topping bid.

"She was an obvious one being an own-sister to such a good two-year-old," commented O'Byrne. "She's also a very good-looking filly and her sire is just going from strength to strength."

Once again O'Byrne was particularly active throughout the day and picked up a number of other high-profile lots. Among these was a €500,000 son of Galileo who also hailed from Ashtown. He comes from the family of the top-drawer Park Appeal.

"He was a standout too. He was just a very nice colt by a world classsire and we liked him a lot," remarked O'Byrne.

He also picked up Castlemartin Stud's son of Montjeu from the immediate family of Urban Sea for €420,000 and aGalileo filly from Croom House Stud for whom he had to go to €300,000.

Fresh from a memorable afternoon at the Curragh on Sunday owner Patrick Fahey was again to the fore when he went to €400,000 for a daughter of Galileo.

Fahey's colours were carried to victory in the colts' Million by Soul City and, acting through Simon Christian, he promptly reinvested some of his winnings in one of the most-sought fillies in the sale. A Roundhill Stud offering, she is out of a winning own-sister tothe Group 2 Flying Childers Stakes heroine Land Of Dreams.

"She was just a lovely, sweet filly from a fine fillies' family and it's a fast family too," remarked Christian.

"She's a great walking, athletic sort and, althoughshe's a first foal, we liked her an awful lot."

Danehill Dancer's involvement in proceedings was not restricted to the sale topper, as he supplied a colt from Marlhill House Stud who was knocked downto Jane Allison for €380,000.

He is a three-parts brother to the Classic-placed Luas Line whose finest hour came when she struck Grade 1 gold in New York several years ago.

Allison said: "We felt thathe was one of the standouts here at the sale and he has the pedigree to match. He was bought on behalf of Paul Roy and a partner and will be going into training with Jeremy Noseda."

Meanwhile agent Tom Goff, who was standing withDermot Weld, went to €320,000 for a a Montjeu colt from Barronstown Stud. His dam is a half-sister to the high-class juvenile Emmson.

"He's a cracking colt, a very well made sort from an excellent family and he comes from a very attractive cross, being out of a Shirley Heights mare," stated Goff.

Shadwell Estates once again struck for a representative of IndianRidge's final crop when going to €300,000 for a colt from Hawthorn Villa who cost 90,000gns as a foal last November.

"Again he's another from the final crop of a top sire," said Shadwell's Stephen Collins.

"He's a lovely athletic individual out amare whose dam Filia Ardross wasa champion in Germany. Filia Ardoss herself produced a champion two-year-old in Sunspangled - it's a good family."

Shadwell was also on hand to give €300,000 for a Marju colt from Yeomanstown Stud who made €105,000 here last November.

Paul Cole, who won last year's colts' Million with Lucky Money secured a son of first-crop sire Oratorio for €300,000.

He is a half-brother to a former Orby Sale topper in the Group 2 winner Echo Of Light and comes from a hugely successful family of Pat O'Kelly's Kilcarn Stud.





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