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Dai Walters lands £170k Brightwells sale-topper

LEOPARDSTOWN maiden winner Highly Efficient changed hands for £170,000 at a lively but selective post-racing Brightwells sale at Cheltenham on Friday night with Ffos Las racecourse's owner Dai Walters landing the three-year-old.

Walters came in with just one late bid to see off the likes of Tom Malone and David Minton for the three-year-old, who was saddled by Ger Lyons to his victory in July in the colours of vendor Eugene McDermott.

Dai Walters and Barry Geraghty with Oscar whisky Aintree 9/04/2011

Dai Walters: dug deep for top lot

  PICTURE: John Grossick ( 

"He's going to Nigel Twiston-Davies and I just liked his form and the horse," said Walters, who has a string of 40 in training and was buying in conjunction with David Minton of Highflyer Bloodstock. "I waited to bid but I was going to buy him anyway."

Meister Eckhart, who has won both his bumper starts for Charlie Swan in Ireland, was another to hit six figures after a battle between Rebecca Curtis's partner Gearoid Costelloe and Jonjo O'Neill in which the former came out best at £130,000.

"He's for a new owner and is an exciting horse for Rebecca to have. His bumper form is excellent and he's done nothing wrong so far," sais Costelloe.

Dawn Commander headed to the sale 12 days after winning a Wexford maiden hurdle and he is set to join Charlie Longsdon after selling for £80,000 to agent Anthony Bromley.

"He has been bought for Alan Halsall," said Bromley. "Alan owns Songe with Charlie but he ran on Sunday and doesn't seem in love with the game and may be retired so this horse could be a replacement.

"He's a really athletic horse and I liked the fact that he had shown form in points, not just under Rules. Trade has been good for the nice horses and we've been paying 20 per cent over what we were expecting."

Master Of The Game, a winner at Loughrea at last month, was bought for £78,000 by Richard Kelvin Hughes, a strong supporter of Cheltenham's sales. "Barry Geraghty fell in love with the horse and he's going to Nicky Henderson," said Kelvin Hughes.

J P McManus was at the sale and stood with Jonjo O'Neill as the trainer paid £70,000 for four-year-old Holywell, winner of a Kinsale point-to-point last month for trainer Sean Doyle.

Five-year-old Netherby finished second between the flags at Dromahane on October 23 and he could be set for a quick debut under Rules after being knocked down to David Phelan for £62,000.

"He's going to Gary Moore and hopefully he can go for a bumper soon," said Phelan. "He was a lovely looking horse with decent pointing form and they tell me he wants good ground."




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