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Sublimity owner strikes for Tattersalls top lot

 Year  Cat  Off  Sold  % sold  Aggregate  Average  Median
 2009  251  149  136  91  1,700,000  12,500  7,500
 2008  250  166  154  93  1,788,200  11,612  7,250

TOP US handler Niall O'Callaghan revealed at Tattersalls on Wednesday that he is set to start training in Ireland after paying 75,000gns to buy the progressive three-year-old Love Pegasus out of Mark Johnston's stable.

O'Callaghan is returning to a stable at Dunmanway in his native County Cork after an 18-year training career at Churchill Downs that saw him saddle over 60 Graded winners and earn $27 million in prize money.

"I'm going to be training at a family farm, where there was a gallop already and we have put in some stables with 10 horses at the moment," said O'Callaghan after outbidding US owner Jim Treptow.

"I hope to get my licence in 10 days and I'm delighted to be returning to Ireland. This horse has a big frame and looks like he might improve, and I have an affinity for his pedigree, especially his dam Take Charge Lady."

Love Pegasus's price was surpassed by John Gosden's recent impressive Newmarket maiden winner Time Machine, who caught the imagination of jumps buyers.

The Halling gelding will race in Sublimity's colours after freshman trainer Robbie Hennessy, whose father Bill owns the former Champion Hurdle winner, paid 90,000gns to outbid Anthony Bromley for the three year-old.

"He might run on the flat straight away but his future will be going jumping and his form is working out very well," said Hennessy.

Stewards' Cup on agenda for Tamagin

Trainer Jeff Pearce was hoping to fulfil one of his career ambitions last night after spending 70,000gns on top sprint handicapper Tamagin.

The six-year-old had his 10th career victory in a heritage handicap at Windsor 12 days ago and will join Pearce's stable after the Newmarket handler fought off interest from Stephen Hillen, standing with trainer Kevin Ryan, and an online bidder.

"I've always wanted to win the Stewards' Cup and perhaps he could be the horse to do it," said Pearce. "I trained Rotherfield Greys for it in 1988 but he was taken away from me a week before the race and my old boss Frankie Durr won it with Crews Hill in 1981.

"It's been a while since I've had a good sprinter and, although I know this horse is at the top of the handicap on a mark of 105, he can run in some serious handicaps this season and then go to Dubai next year. He's been bought for Nigel Hanger, whose had horses for years."

Rocky's Pride set for code switch

Trainer Tom George, bidding through agent David Redvers, outbid first Lucinda Russell and then French agent Nicolas de Watrigant for another jumping prospect in Jeremy Noseda's smart Brighton maiden winner Rocky's Pride, who realised 67,000gns.

"He should hopefully make a nice juvenile hurdler and is a lovely uncomplicated, straightforward horse," said George.

Pivotal half-sister joins Armstrong band

Lancashire-based David Armstrong, who owns King's Stand Stakes third Angelzarke, gained a well-bred addition to the broodmare band at his Highfield Farm when spending 60,000gns on Rivalry, an unraced three-year-old half-sister to Pivotal.

"I can't believe she didn't make more with her pedigree," said Armstrong, who has a dozen mares and the same number in training. "The half-sisters are breeding winners and we have already booked her into Kyllachy so she'll be inbred 3 x 2."

The morning highlight was Jim Boyle's four-time winner Formation, who was bought by County Down-based agent Bertie Butler, for 55,000gns on behalf of Riyadh-based Naif Al Altami.

"I have 45 to 50 horses in training for myself and friends," said Al Altami. "I liked the size and conformation of this horse and he's a dirt horse on pedigree.

"He'll probably travel out in three weeks' time and hopefully be ready to runat the start of our season, that runs from October to April."

A lively evening session helped the day finish with a flourish and produce a 91 per cent clearance rate. There was a 12,500gns average for the session, up eight per cent on last year, while the 7,500gns median rose by three per cent and the 1.7 million gns aggregate dropped by five per cent.




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