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The clearance rate on day one of the Tatts December foal sale was 69%

  PICTURE: Edward Whitaker  

Pinhookers out in force at Tatts foal opener

Year  Cat  Off  Sold  % sold  Aggregate  Average  Median
 2009  268  232  159  69  1,154,100  7,258  3,700
 2008  259  199  110  55  746,100  6,783  4,000

*Figures compare with last year's Wednesday session, though the 2009 sale is five days long rather than four in 2008.

TATTERSALLS' December Foal Sale, which this year is one day and 311 lots smaller than its 2008 counterpart, began in Newmarket today with the weakest of its four sessions, but finished with a respectable 69 per cent clearance rate.

Pinhookers accounted for most of the dearest lots and two veterans of the resale business fought out the new ownership of a seven-month old Royal Applause colt offered in a huge draft from Paul and Sara Thorman's Trickledown Stud.

Gay O'Callaghan hid on a back staircase as he tried to land the bay but finally relented to his rival Flash Conroy's bid of 41,000gns.

"He was a great mover, a nice individual and willcome back here for October book 2," said Conroy, owner of Glenvale Stud in County Tipperary.

"The stallion gets plenty of winners and has been lucky for me. I was happy overall with how we got on at the yearling sales this year and the market held up very well considering the world economy."

The colt was led up by his 26-year-old owner-breeder James Read, who trades as Selwood Bloodstock and had worked at Trickledown Stud since July before finishing yesterday.

"I'm in shock," said Read. "I bought his dam Three Gifts for 10,000gns at the 2006 December Sale with Sam Hoskins [winner of last year's Racing Post Ten To Follow competition], then bought him out when he went to work in London. I only have one other mare, who I bought for 800gns in July, but will be looking for another next week."

While most of yesterday's dearer lots will be making another sale ring appearance next year, a Singspiel colt bred by former trainer Charles Cyzer and offered by Ted Voute changed hands for 40,000gns as a racing prospect.

Jose Hormaeche, manager of Felipe Hinojosa's 800-acre Yeguada de Milagro in Spain, saw off pinhooker Paula Flannery for the son of Listed-placed performer Ribbons And Bows.

"I like his sire, he was a very classy individual and moved very well," said Hormaeche. "It's most likely that he'll be kept to race inSpain. Racing has been through a tough time with us, but prize money is steadily increasing and the government is still behind us."

Hinojosa, who owned a chain of clothing shops and also has Chevington and Loughtown Studs in Britain and Ireland, started building Yeguada de Milagro four years ago and it is now home to 120 mares, 80 foals and three stallions – Caradak, Delfos and Leadership – with Keltos also shortly due to join the line-up.

A January-born Bahamian Bounty colt consigned through Houghton Bloodstock was another bought for resale. Paul McCartan, who owns Ballyphilip Stud in Co Limerick with his wife Marie, paid 35,000gns for the colt.

"He's by a stallionthat everybody likes and he should be nice and early. There are plenty of two-year-old winners on the page," said McCartan.

The highest price for a first-crop sire was the 32,000gns paid by John Troy for a Three Valleys colt out of the Listed-placed Fanny's Fancy offered by Genesis Green Stud. "He was a grand colt out of a stakes-placed mare and was bought for resale next year. I remember his Oasis Dream yearling half-sister as a foal," said Troy.

Peter Kelly of Emerald Bloodstock paid 31,000gns for an Elusive City colt out of a half-sister to last season's Newbury Listed winner Kalahari Gold.

"He's going to Rathasker Stud to be prepared for resale next year," said Kelly. "It's a good family, he's a good mover and hopefully he can go to October Book 2."

The sale continues tomorrow with a session, starting at 10am.




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