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Best Mate (above): the dam of the triple Gold Cup winner Katday is
still producing correct, good-looking, sales' topping foals

  PICTURE: Edward Whitaker  


Best Mate's half-brother tops Tattersalls NH Sale

A PRESENTING half-brother to the great Best Mate was the star turn on the sixth day of the Tattersalls Ireland November National Hunt Sale when selling to Aiden Murphy for €140,000 as demand for the best foals showed no signs of relenting.

The strength of yesterday’s sale surprised many and the final figures for the session made for encouraging reading. The turnover of just over €2m and the median of €8,000 were down by six and 11 per cent, however, astonishingly given the economic climate,  the average improved by nine per cent to €15,650. In addition, the clearance rate of 61 per cent (it was 66 on the comparable day last year) was the best of this year's sale so far.

Consigned by Sunnyhill Stud, the colt was widely expected to play a starring role as a half-brother to the triple Gold Cup winner and hailing from a family that produced foals who made €210,000 and €170,000 at this sale last year. In addition to Best Mate, the colt's dam Katday also bred the dual Grade 3 winner Inexorable as well as the Challow Hurdle winner Cornish Rebel.  The colt will eventually carry the colours of Graham Roach who owned the last-named.

After seeing off the challenge of John Tyrrell, Murphy commented:  "I've bought him for Graham Roach, who has been a big supporter of the family. He raced Cornish Rebel and he also has this foal's yearling half-brother who made €170,000 here last year. This horse had the page, he's by a top sire and he's a good individual with plenty of scope."

Connors and Byrne active buyers
During a particularly busy period the six-figure barrier had been breached just several minutes earlier as Walter Connors forked out €100,000 for a coltby the Breeders' Cup Turf hero Shirocco. From The Elms Stud he is a half-brother to the Fighting Fifth and Christmas Hurdle hero Straw Bear.

The very next lot into the ring also came Connors' way when he gave €70,000 for a colt by Kalanisi whose dam is a bumper-winning sister to Tom Taaffe's 2005 Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Kicking King.

 "They have both been bought by Johnny Byrne and I would imagine that they will be kept to race, said Connors. "Obviously they are two very good foals and they were the ones we settled on. We were looking to buy two and one is a half-brother to a top hurdler, while the other is out of a sister to a Gold Cup winner. Hopefully they'll be lucky."

Westerner colt bought as a pin-hook
Not long after these Goldford Stud supplied a popular colt from the second crop of Westerner who cost Ben Case €90,000. He is a half-brother to the smart Ring The Boss and a Aintree Champion bumper winner in Diamond Sal.

 "He's a gorgeous foal and comes from an excellent pedigree," reflected Case. "I've bought him for a client of mine, Lady Jane Grosvenor, who buys several foals here every year and he will be resold in several years' time."

Old Vic filly livens up morning's trade
A portent of later came in the shape of an Old Vic filly who lit up the morning's proceedings when she was bought by John Noel McGivney for €75,000. The filly, who was consigned by Fergus and Sarah Cumiskey's Candlefort Stud on behalf of owner Paschal Keenan, is a sister to the Grade 1-winning chasers In Compliance and One Cool Cookie out of Lady Bellingham.

 "I didn't she'd make quite as much but I suppose to be able to buy fillies like this you have to pay," commented McGivney, who paid €170,000 for Really Royale at the mares' sale here last year. "Fillies like her don't come along often and she has been bought as a long term broodmare prospect."




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