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Lovelace: Group 2 winner will join Dandy Nicholls after selling for £34,000



Figures up at DBS Lincoln Handicap Sale

DBS Lincoln Handicap Sale comparative figures (£)
 Year  Cat  Off  Sold  % sold  Aggregate  Average  Median
 2010  155  126  96  76  656,200  6,834  4,000
 2009  125  77  62  80.5  469,200  7,567  3,000

A BUMPER crowd, starved of a sale in Britain or Ireland for a month, headed to Doncaster yesterday for the one-day Lincoln Handicap auction on Wednesday, with a 43-strong draft from Sheikh Mohammed's Darley operation containing most of the day's highlights.

There were no obvious superstars on show during a session that posted advances in turnover and median on 2009 but Ibn Hiyyan could have hardly advertised his wellbeing more blatantly than with a runaway success at Southwell less than 24 hours before he appeared yesterday.

Like much of the Darley draft, he was offered from Mark Johnston's stable having raced for Sheikh Mohammed's son Hamdan, and he will be returning to within a couple of miles of his former base after being snapped up by trainer Ferdy Murphy for £40,000.

The East Witton handler fought off agent Tom Malone, with trainer Tim Vaughan for the gelded El Prado three-year-old, who had originally cost $400,000 when bought as a yearling at Keeneland.

"He pulled out of his stable very athletically today, which for a horse as big as him shows how sound he is a day after racing," said Murphy. "We'll put him in a field for three or four months and I'm sure with his size that he'll keep improving. He'll be going juvenile hurdling and I haven't got an owner for him, I just liked him and bought him on spec."

Another of Johnston's recent winners, Manxman, will also be going hurdling with Murphy after making £24,000 while Parhelion, who broke his duck in a Wolverhampton maiden last month, will head to Wales after being knocked down to Vaughan for £35,000.

"He's been bought for Ron and Mark Williams to go juvenile hurdling," said Vaughan, after outbidding Steve Gollings. "We'll probably geld him and then look to run him towards the end of the summer and then hopefully he can come back during the winter. He's a nice, big scopey type and has got the form in the book."

Johnston's stable stalwart Lovelace, whose CV includes wins in a German Group 2 and the Supreme Stakes at Goodwood, always looked destined to remain in Yorkshire.

Although Newmarket agent Matt Coleman threw in a couple of bids for the six-year-old the main protagonists were Johnston himself, David Barron's daughter Nicola and finally David Nicholls' wife Alex Greaves, who won the battle at £34,000.

"He's got the right sort of profile for us and I guess his rating will decide where he goes to a certain extent. He's been bought for Dab Hand Racing, who have Regal Parade with us, and we'll discuss what we do with him when we get him home. He's fit and ready to go and time well tell if he was good value," said Greaves.

Reverend Green won both a bumper and mile Flat maiden at Southwell in January for Kevin Ryan and now looks destined for a National Hunt career after selling for £22,500 to Devon handler Chris Down.

"I loved him as soon as I saw him and hope that he takes to jumping, he's certainly got the scope. I'd think we'd keep him going and run over hurdles in early summer but I wouldn't to run him on too firm ground," said Down.

Reverend Green was bred by Rathbarry Stud and yesterday's sale was preceded by a minute's silence in memory of its driving force Liam Cashman, who died last month. Cashman was a mentor to many in the industry and a regular at Doncaster sales, where he sold the 185,000gns St Leger Sale topper Jumeirah City in 2007.

Darley dominate
It has been a busy few days for Darley's sales supremo Marie Sullivan, who oversaw nearly half of those on offer yesterday, but she could look on a job well done as she headed to Old Trafford last night after finding new homes for all 43 lots offered. The Darley team realised £372,400, 57 per cent of the day's turnover.

Aussie feel
Onajet's journey from Australia with trainer Anthony Cosgriff to run at Cheltenham didn't quite come to fruition and - after an Ayr novice hurdle fourth on his only British start last month - he ended up at Doncaster sales yesterday.

But his travels are not yet over after being bought by German trainer Christian von der Recke for £5,500.

"He's for Bernd Raber, who has been champion jumps owner in Germany, and is celebrating his 50th birthday today," said von der Recke. "The horse has not run very much, which gives us more options, and could go flat or jumping."

New surface
The white chalky surface in the showing yards has not proved popular with buyers or sellers since DBS's new complex was opened in 2008 and a darker substance used at Goffs was trialed in one yard yesterday.

"As with all new builds, there were always going to be a number of snagging issues and the only one of real note is the showing surface in the yards," said DBS managing director Henry Beeby.

"We have endured a torrid time in this connection as, quite simply, what was put down is not fit for purpose in the long term. We trialed a totally different surface in one yard today that received a universal thumbs up and will replace the remainder of the yards with the same as soon as possible. That will return the DBS sales complex to its rightful and deserved position alongside the Goffs complex in Ireland as the two best sales facilities in Europe, if not the world."

What they were saying:
Henry Beeby, DBS managing director: "The Lincoln Handicap Sale may be the smallest of the DBS year but today showed that it fulfils an important role for middle market horses in training.


Henry Beeby: 'DBS Lincoln Sale fulfils an important role'


We are naturally pleased with the 40 per cent leap in turnover and the median that has advanced by a third, clearly illustrating the strength and depth of the sale. We welcomed a large and diverse crowd to Doncaster from homeand abroad."

Harvey Smith, trainer's husband: "I got two or three but they have been very hard to buy. Everybody is looking for horses that are ready to run now, they don't want to wait for stores, and anything with recent form is making a premium. Look at the top lot, he was probably only worth £800 a couple of weeks ago when the catalogue came out, but made £40,000 after winning the day before the sale."

Oliver St Lawrence, agent: "The market was solid without being overhyped and I was surprised by the number of people there. I was happy with what I got."




King's Theatre £1,143,037
Presenting £1,059,143
Beneficial £986,639
Oscar £896,303
Milan £863,940
Westerner £839,346
Flemensfirth £755,621
Kayf Tara £657,982
Midnight Legend £595,809
Stowaway £503,470