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A son of Definite Article topped the DBS Spring Store Sale at £90,000

  PICTURE: Tim Kent 


Definite Article gelding tops challenging DBS Store Sale


 Year  Cat  Off  Sold  % sold  Aggregate  Average  Median
 2009  306  249  171  69  2,469,000  14,438  10,000
 2008  350  286  207  72  3,745,650  18,095  14,000

A LIVELIER concluding session bolstered Doncaster's Spring Sale of unraced jumping store horses yesterday but the fixture still showed a marked downturn on previous renewals as buyers seemingly continue to show a preference for animals with some degree of proven form.

The two-day sale's turnover of £2,469,000, average of £14,438 and £10,000 median were the lowest since 2000 but unfortunately for many vendors, the stores they were offering were either bought or bred when the market was at its peak.

But it was not all doom and gloom - there was a solid 69 per cent clearance rate and a few consignors had a smile after successful pinhooks.

Among them was Richard Haggas, who sold the £90,000 sale-topping Definite Article three-year-old through Richard and Sally Aston's Goldford Stud having originally bought him at Doncaster for 43,000gns when eight months old.

Mags O'Toole outbid first Aiden Murphy and finally Peria Stud's Pat Connell for the gelding.

"In years gone by I thought he would have made double that money - as a physical specimen he was superb and he had the best pagein the catalogue. He's been bought for a new English client," said O'Toole.

The gelding is out of Fortune's Girl, dam of black-type performers Diamond Sal, Ring The Boss, Conflictofinterest and Theatre Girl.

McCain busy

Donald McCain snapped up another well-connected Goldford Stud offering, a £46,000 Bob Back half-sister to Nicky Henderson's smart novice hurdler Riverside Theatre.

"Richard and Sally are only a mile away from me and I'd seen this filly, who was already broken and cantering, at their place," said McCain. "She's for Tim Leslie, who is getting a nice bunch of horses together and was particularly looking for a filly. She's got a lovely page but it hasn't even been discussed whether Tim might breed from her one day.

"The nice ones are still relatively strong but lower down you could yourself in a lot oftrouble, there are so many going cheaply in the £5,000-£10,000 bracket that you could be going home with a hell of a lot of horses - that's why I'm leaving now before I get any more!

"I've bought six and thereare owners for the dearer ones but I took a punt on a couple of cheaper horses but don't expect to have too much trouble selling them on."

Boychuk half-brother heads to Tizzard

Colin Tizzard will take charge of a half-brother to the high-class Boychuk after bidding £54,000 for the Tikkanen gelding, who was consigned from Eugene McDermott's Kennycourt Stud.

"As well as being a brother to Boychuk, he's a good-looking horse and is a four-year-old that's ready to go on with - he just ticked every box you could want," said Tizzard. "He's for an existing owner of mine and of the dearer horses, he is the one we've waited for over the two days. I thought he might have made quite a bit more than he did."

Highflyer remains prolific

David Minton and Anthony Bromley's Highflyer Bloodstock agency was again the most prolific buyer. Minton saw off Tony Mullins to buy a French-bred three-year-old that he knew well for £48,000.

The son of Martaline, named Carabinier, was offered from Minton's wife Juliet's Mill House Stud on behalf of former trainer Charlie Brooks' mother Caroline.

"Nicky Henderson came and saw him at home two weeks ago and he was determined to buy the horse," said Minton. "He's for one of Nicky's long-established owners."

Bromley - acting for Paul Nicholls - struck early for another Mill House Stud offering, a £48,000 three-year-old Turgeon gelding named Pique Euros who had been bought for 30,000 euros as a yearling at Deauville.

"Paul's hada lot of success with Turgeon via Turko and Chapoturgeon and, although he is not here, he likes to support this sale. This was a lovely scopey horse and the type Paul will love."

"Horses much cheaper than last year"

Four two-year-olds were offered at the close of play and Aiden Murphy saw off Tony Dobbin for the pick of them, a £46,000 Laveron gelding named Amalric who made 13,000 euros at Deauville five months ago.

"He was the best-looking horse in the sale and will be resold next year," said Murphy, who also spent £40,000 on a Kayf Tara four-year-old for John Hales.

"The horses are much cheaper than last year, something true as much at the upper end as elsewhere," said Murphy. "I'd say that quality horses are at the most affordable price they have been for 10 years and hopefully it will encourage people to come into ownership who have previously been priced out of the market."

Henry Beeby's statement

DBS managing director Henry Beeby was in philosophical mood as he reflected on the sale.

"What did we expect? In the current economic climate and given the long term nature of the business of buying a National Hunt store this was always going to be one of the trickier categories of bloodstock to sell this year," said Beeby.

"Following last week's buoyant horses in training trade these two days have been altogether more selective although it is fair to say that the better lots have been hard enough to buy with plenty of competition.

"However we expected the inevitable contraction of the market and I think this will be reflected at similar sales next month. That said we have sold a good proportion of the horses offered and the market is certainly in a better place than last autumn as vendors are taking a pragmatic approach when setting their targets.

"The figures may be down but we remain supremely confident that we will see plenty of these DBS Stores winning at the highest level in the coming seasons and would thank our loyal band of vendors for their tremendous support whilst wishing every buyer the very best of luck."




King's Theatre £947,392
Presenting £887,432
Oscar £771,633
Beneficial £757,104
Milan £707,790
Westerner £558,887
Flemensfirth £500,575
Kayf Tara £464,883
Stowaway £400,620
Midnight Legend £391,209