Declines on first day of November NH sale
THE dual Grade 3-winning chaser Coolgreaney held sway on the opening day of the Tattersalls IrelandNovember National Hunt Sale yesterday when selling to John Crean for €55,000, a highlight on a day of mainly withdrawn and not sold horses.
Offered on the only day of selling for older horses, the seven-year-old was a five-time winner during her time with Sean Treacy and hit a particularly rich of vein of form last autumn when she reeled off three straight victories that culminated in the Polar Square Chase at Naas. Crean was involved in the bidding from the very outset and he eventually carried the day for the daughter of Bob Back.
"I might well race her for a little while longer but she has been bought as a breeding prospect," said Crean. "I was delighted to get her and I suppose she would have made a good deal more had she came up for sale last year. I also have Escrea, who was a Grade 2 winning novice chaser for my neighbour Paul Nolan last season, and this mare will eventually go to stud with her."
The resulting figures made for difficult reading with 36 horses sold at a clearance rate of only 33 per cent (53 per cent in 2007), alongside an associated fall in average from €6,353 to €4,117, which is a decline of 35 per cent, and a drop in aggregate from €597,150 to €148,200 - a fall of 75 per cent.
Dessie Hughes: bought the top-priced breeze-up horsePICTURE: Mark Cranham
The company's inaugural National Hunt breeze-up sale fared better with horses achieving an average of €13,812 and a median of €13,000 with just under half finding new homes.
The pick of these that were in action at Fairyhouse racecourse on Monday was a Presenting gelding from Weirside Farm who cost Dessie Hughes €46,000.
"I thought that he was an especially nice horse and he breezed very well yesterday," commented Hughes of the relation to the Grade 2-winning novice hurdlers Kopeck and Rouble. "He's by the right sire from a good family and he's been bought for an existing owner in the yard."
Jim Mernagh,whose colours have been carried with such distinction this season by Paul Nolan's classy staying hurdler Alpha Ridge, picked up a Karinga Bay gelding from Hayfield Stables for €24,000.
"He breezed well and he's a really good bodied horse. Let's hope he's as good as he looks," commented the Coolamurry Stud man.
Reflecting on the breeze-up sale Tattersalls Ireland Managing Director George Mernagh commented: "It goes without saying at this stage that we are all trying to sell horses at a difficult time. Trainers and agents would like to be able to participate, but that can't happen without orders."
"We would have liked to have sold more, and of course it is disappointing for both vendors and us, all of whom have worked so hard to get this new section going, and it was also unfortunate that a number of the higher-profile entries had to be withdrawn. However it was good to see a strong supporter of our sales, Dessie Hughes, buying the top lot for €46,000."
Among the busiest purchasers in attendance was trainer Robert Tyner whose acquisitions were headed by a €15,000 son of Bob Back from Rectory Stables.
"This particular day has been very lucky for me in the past," commented Tyner. "We bought a Paddy Power Chase winner in I Can Imagine here and we also bought a very good mare named Callherwhatulike, who was grade 1-placed over fences last season, and a decent horse called Rock Street. Hopefully the ones we bought today are as lucky."
Tyner also picked up a €10,000 son of the Group 3 winner Tamayaz from Rathmore Stud, who was the pick of the untried older horses on offer, and shortly afterwards he gave €6,200 for a Swordlestown Stud-owned Definite Article two-year-old out of a half-sister to the Grade 2-winning Colonel Yeager.
"The Tamayaz stood out," reported Tyner. "I've bought him for a client and, as he's only three, we'll break him in the springand then bring him back in the autumn when he will tell us whether to go the bumper or point-to-point route. I was delighted to get the Definite Article and he looked good value. I actually trained his dam to win a bumper at Tipperary in 1995."