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King's Theatre colt tops resilient first session of DBS January Sales

Year Catalogued Offered Sold Aggregate Average Median
2008 93 80 62 397,000 6,403 3,800
2007 215 182 117 817,425 6,986 4,515

AN eight-month-old King’s Theatre colt headed a session of jump-bred yearlings that kicked off Doncaster’s year on a positive note today on the opening day of the January Sale.

Bred by Sean Gorman’s Cleaboy Stud and consigned by Trickledown Stud, the son of French Listed hurdles winner Georgia On My Mind walked out ofthe rain into a ring full of would-be purchasers.

Trainer Ben Case, who often buys pinhook prospects for Lady Jane Grosvenor, had a spirited try for the colt but he was eventually bought for £47,000 by Brendan Boyle, manager of Ashbrittle Stud in Somerset, with agent Aiden Murphy the underbidder.

"He’s been bought for a long-established client of the stud and he’ll possibly be reoffered as store – hopefully in three years’ time the credit crunch will be behind us," said Boyle.

"We’d seen him before the sale and I came here just to get him. He’s by a proven sire out of a very good mare and was the real standout in the sale. We’re largely a Flat stud, and will hopefully be selling three or four yearlings back here in August at the St Leger Sale. We just raise a few National Hunt horses for clients."

There were less than half the number of lots catalogued today than on the equivalent day 12 months ago, but a bumper crowd helped produce a clearance rate of 78 per cent – an impressive figure in the current climate.

Although the £397,000 turnover was less than half last year’s figure, the £6,403 average was down by only eight per cent and the £3,800 median by 15.8 per cent.

Aiden Murphy buys top-priced filly
The top-priced filly was a daughter of Old Vic bred to be a star staying chaser, bought for £24,000 by Gaye Hartley through Aiden Murphy. The bay is out of No More Money, a half-sister to Grand National winnerRed Marauder and Red Striker.

"Mrs Hartley was looking for a filly she could race that would have broodmare potential and this was the only one that really fitted the bill today," said Murphy, whose rival bidders included John O’Byrne. "I think she proves that whenever there is a quality horse on offer, everyone still wants it."

Offered by breeder David Jenks from Wickfield Stud, Murphy’s purchase had won the pre-sale fillies’ foal show class judged by Tommy Wade and Michael Browne.

Best in show brings £23,000
There was also good demand for the colts’ class winner, a King’s Theatre colt out of French Flat scorer Temptation, consigned for breeder Patrick Burling by Richard and Aston’s Goldford Stud.
He was bought for £23,000 for Michael Haggas, acting for his father Richard, and the March-born colt is likely to reappear as a store in the summer of 2011.

"My father has had great success in the past buying foals at Doncaster to pinhook – this place has been very lucky for him," said Haggas. "My father couldn’t be here today but he’ll resell this colt as a three-year-old somewhere and I thought he was a cracking horse, as was his year-older full-brother."

That colt had sold for €70,000 at the 2007 Tattersalls Ireland November Sale, recouping much of the €120,000 he had cost inside his dam at the same venue a year earlier.

Teeton Mill relative bids to repeat history
An Alflora colt sold early into proceedings could end up in the same yard once inhabited by his illustrious cousin Teeton Mill.
The 1998 King George VI Chase winner was initially a star hunter chaser with Caroline Bailey and the Northamptonshire trainer’s husband Gerald picked up his relative for £22,000 on behalf of Graham and Susan Carsberg.

"The intention at the moment is that he’ll go into training with Caroline, which would be great given the Teeton Mill connection. He’ll come back to our place now and we have plenty of time to decide," said Graham Carsberg, who is based near Oundle in Northamptonshire.

Bailey added: "Graham and Susan have two horses with us including Killard Point, who has been a great servant but won’t go on forever and hopefully this might be a replacement. But if the market picks up in a couple of years time he could easily be resold as a store. We’ll see what happens."

A stallion parade at 10am precedes tomorrow’s concluding January Sale session, which starts an hour later.




King's Theatre £948,417
Presenting £889,316
Oscar £772,014
Beneficial £757,104
Milan £711,606
Westerner £562,432
Flemensfirth £516,588
Kayf Tara £470,195
Stowaway £400,859
Midnight Legend £396,669