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Puyol - Leopardstown 28.12.08

Puyol: will race in the colours of Amberleigh House's owner John Halewood

  PICTURE: Caroline Norris  

Six-figure pair star in selective Spring opener

Year Cat Off Sold % sold Agg Ave Med
2010 260 186 118 63 1,546,200 13,103 7,650
2009 244 176 137 77
1,989,250 14,520 7,750

A TIMELY debut second at Aintree on Friday night helped the Henry Daly-trained Morgan’s Bay sell for £100,000 in Doncaster today at an opening instalment of the Spring horses in training sale that lacked some of the fireworks of past years.

Former trainer John Edwards, now an agent based in County Tipperary, fought off Venetia Williams to get the five-year-old on behalf of an owner with his son-in-law Tom George.

"The jockeys said that it rode like a very good race and his owner Joss Hanbury is a good friend who sellseverything he can and he told me the horse was decent," said Edwards. "He’s a big, strong horse who should make an outstanding chaser but he could win his bumper and over hurdles first. I thought he was good value."

Five-year-old Mediolanum, who was trained by Charlie Swan to win a Killarney bumper last week in the colours of Timmy Hyde’s wife Trish, also made £100,000. Gearoid Costelloe, partner of trainer Rebecca Curtis, fought off David Minton and Nicky Henderson to get the Milan gelding.

"We’ve had a few horses from Timmy and been lucky with them," said Curtis. "Dai Walters is going to own half of this horse and then Gearoid and Joey Logan, an owner from Ireland, are going to have a quarter each.

"We were impressed when we watched his win in Ireland and he should become a big, old fashioned chaser but he’ll be going hurdling in the autumn."

Amberleigh House’s owner John Halewood, bidding through Bobby O’Ryan, paid £80,000 to secure Puyol, who was the final major winner for trainer John Mulhern when landing the valuable MCR Hurdle at Leopardstown in January.

Halewood’s sister-in-law Lisa Williamson is set to train the eight-year-old, who will go novice chasing next season.
Andrew Parker rounded off the last jump season in style when Merigo won the Scottish National and he has an exciting prospect for the new campaign after fighting off first Richard Kent and then Anthony Bromley to get Rudemeister for £75,000.

The four-year-old had landed a point-to-point at Necarne in Northern Ireland on Friday night for trainer Sean Doyle and is set to race for an existing patron with Parker, although not Merigo’s owner Ray Green.

"I got a phone call from someone who’d seen him win his point-to-point and raved about him and I liked him, he looked a real athlete," said Parker. "He’s for someone that wanted a horse that can you dream about in years to come. Hopefully he will give us a lot of fun."

Evan Williams, buying for State Of Play’s owners William and Angela Rucker, paid £72,000 for Di Kaprio, who won the DBS Spring Bumper for trainer Chris Bealby.

"He’s an attractive horse and has done nothing wrong. He’ll go out to grass and then hopefully can win a couple of novice chases in the autumn," said Williams.

Otage De Brion, who won a novice chase at Bangor impressively on Saturday,is leaving Charlie Longsdon’s stable to join Nigel Twiston-Davies when selling for £66,000 to David Minton in Sir Robert’s Ogden's annual dispersal.

"He's been bought for a new owner with Nigel Twiston-Davies and is likely to be aimed at the Summer Plate at Market Rasen and then the Old Roan Chase at Aintree," said Minton.

But there was no shortage of horses failing to find a new home including Mags Mullins’ Punchestown bumper winner Backspin, who was unsold at £220,000, and Galant Nuit, who was a £120,000 not sold.

Choice lots in demand, everything else struggles
The good news for sellers of National Hunt form horses is that there is still a trade for them but, as today testified, it is a far cry from the marketplace for much of the past decade.

Only 63 per cent of those offered yesterdaychanged hands (compared to 77 per cent on the same day 12 months ago) and anybody with either an over optimistic reserve or uncommercial animal found this is a very different market from a couple of years ago.

But there is still a good trade for decent horses and there should be no shortage of interest in some of the choice lots on offer at today's concluding session.




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