Racing Post: live blog

Tattersalls Autumn Horses in Training Sale - Day One, Monday October 24, 2016

Nancy Sexton brings you all the action live from the first day of the Tattersalls Autumn Horses in Training Sale

    If you're going to usurp a company's traditional design on the front of a catalogue, it might as well be for a Classic winner. The cover of this year's Tattersalls Autumn Horses in Training Sale belongs to one horse only - Jet Setting. Bought by John Kilbride for just 12,000gns at last year's renewal, she beat Minding when successful in the Irish 1,000 Guineas for Adrian Keatley seven months later and was subsequently sold for £1.3 million.
     
    Remarkably, she was the second 'cheap' Classic winner to emerge from the sale in recent years following Makfi, the 2010 2,000 Guineas winner who was bought by HB Bloodstock for 26,000gns in 2009, and the 16th Group 1 winner overall since 2010.
     
    However, it hasn't just all been about Jet Setting this year.
     
    Jallota, who changed hands here in 2013 for 150,000gns to Stephen Hillen, was the recent winner of the Group 3 Prix du Pin for Charlie Hills en route to running second in the Group 1 Premio Vittorio di Capua.
     
    While this sale has been advertised to good effect in recent years by the legions of horses that are sold to race in Qatar, it also continues to have positive exposure in Australasia with Mister Impatience (bought by Paul Moroney for 150,000gns in 2013), Havana Cooler (bought by Anthony Stroud for 425,000gns in 2014), McCreery (bought by Chris Waller Racing for 200,000gns in 2015) each scoring at Group level in the past year alone.
     
    In America, meanwhile, the flag has been flown by Renown (bought by Hyphen Bloodstock for 40,000gns in 2014), the recent winner of the Sycamore Stakes at Keeneland, and classy miler Obviously (bought by Jamie Lloyd and Boomer Bloodstock for 130,000gns in 2011).
     
    Last year's sale was topped by Convergence, who sold for 420,000gns to Debbie Mountain and Hassan Al Abdulmalik.  Overall, 1,038 horses changed hands for a total of 20,344,500gns, average of 19,600gns and median of 10,000gns.
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    Moderate fare here so far with a number of the early lots destined for a low level career overseas. 
     
    So far, top billing belongs to Guiding Star (16), a well connected Lawman filly who was placed on her second start for Henry Candy. Only a two-year-old with surely a promising future in front of her, she was picked up by Richard Knight for 28,000gns. Qatar Racing sold the filly, having paid €110,000 for her as a yearling.
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    Lot 110: SOUTER
     
    Recent Ayr winner is set for a switch to California after selling for 130,000gns to Alastair Donald of SackvilleDonald on behalf of owner Tim Cohen. 
     
    John McCormack and Jassim Al Ghazali were keen to secure the colt but in the end cried enough to Cohen, who signed as Red Baron's Barn & Rancho Tellescal. Together, the pair campaign Si Sage, a French import who won this year's Grade 2 Charles Whittingham Stakes.  They also stand Prix Jean Prat winner Suances, a British-bred son of Most Welcome, at Rancho Temescal in California.
     
    Cohen, who has horses running with four different trainers in the US, has enjoyed success out of this sale from previous visits and is hopeful that Souter will help maintain the tradition.
     
    "He'll ship straight away to California," he said. "It's good to have them out there running. I'm not sure yet who will train him.
     
    "He's a nice horse who has his conditions to race in the US. It's nice he's a two-year-old - it's always good to have a horse with a future."
     
     
    Souter, a Poet's Voice colt from the immediate family of Best Of The Bests, has shown steady progression in three starts for Keith Dalgleish. After running fourth on his debut at Ayr, he ran second at Musselburgh and came into the sale having won his most recent start, a mile novice race at Ayr.
     
     
     
    Given the way the exchange rate has played out in the wake of Brexit, American buyers are operating at an advantage compared to a year ago (and there was duly an uptick in the American participation at the July Sale).
     
    "I was going to come here anyway but it definitely helps," said Cohen. "Obviously we're buying at a discount. Having said that, so are a number of other people. So when you factor that in, is there really a discount?"
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    Lot 114: BELLAJEU
     
    Armed with a profile that would look at home on one of the better days of the Tattersalls December Sale, Bellajeu duly rings a bell when selling for 140,000gns to Richie Fitzsimmons of the BBA Ireland. 
     
    For a start, the four-year-old filly has a good pedigree as a Montjeu daughter of Listed winner Arbella and half-sister to the Listed-placed Lat Hawill. She also boasts good form herself as the winner of two races, including a 1m4f conditions race at Salisbury on her penultimate start for Ralph Beckett. She also ran second in the 2015 Lingfield Oaks Trial and was thought good enough to contest that year's Oaks.
     
    "As a stakes-placed Montjeu, she's a bit of a collectors item," said Fitzsimmons. "She's for a new client to stay in Europe but I'm not sure where she'll go."
     
    Jamie Railton sold Bellajeu on behalf of Qatar Racing.
     
     
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    Lot 193: DICK WHITTINGTON
     
    The 2014 Phoenix Stakes winner will stand for Luke Comer at Palmerston Stud after the owner-breeder-trainer goes to 150,000gns for the son of Rip Van Winkle.
     
    During a marathon bidding battle which opened at just 30,000gns, Comer outbid John McCormack and then Mouse O'Ryan for the colt, the winner of four races and nearly £200,000 for Aidan O'Brien.
     
    "It's 50 - 50 whether he'll race again," said Comer senior, "but he'll eventually stand at Palmerston Stud. Obviously he's a Group 1 winner and is bred on a nice cross."
     
    Comer, who won the 2001 Curragh Cup with another former O'Brien inmate in Chimes At Midnight, has a band of around 150 mares with which to support his other stallions, Melbourne Cup winner Green Moon and the Aga Khan-bred Kargali, who was saddled by Comer to win the 2010 Gladness Stakes. Both now stand in Kildare under the Comer Stallions banner.
     
    A €280,000 yearling purchase by Jamie McCalmont on behalf of the Coolmore partners, Dick Whittington went on to become a leading light of his sire's first crop. He won at the third time of asking and after running third in the Chesham Stakes, swept the Anglesey and Phoenix Stakes. 
     
    He missed most of his three-year-old campaign after running fourth to Muhaarar in the Greenham Stakes but returned this year to win the Ballycorus Stakes.
     
    He is the best of four winners out of Sahara Sky, an unraced Danehill half-sister to the short-lived July Cup winner Owington, who sired several smart performers out of his only small crop.
     
     
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    Lot 234: DOUBLE TOUCH
     
    California trainer Dan Blacker and agent Craig Rounsefell of Boomer Bloodstock join forces to purchase this winning two-year-old for 70,000gns out of Richard Fahey's yard.
     
    His purchase concludes a busy few minutes for the team, who also went to 50,000gns for Crystal Dome, another winning two-year-old.
     
    Double Touch, a son of Dutch art, was the easy winner of his maiden at Chester in August and was last seen running midfield in a 7f nursery at Goodwood. In between, he ran sixth to Souter - bought earlier today for 130,000gns by Californian owner Tim Cohen - in a novice race at Ayr.
     
     
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    Lot 249: YOU'RE A GOAT
     
    Blacker and Boomer strike again, this time when going to 50,000gns for the interestingly named You're A Goat.
     
    The daughter of Notnowcato passed through this ring for just 6,000gns as a yearling. Since then, she has developed into a progressive filly for Gary Moore, winning four races including each of her last three starts.
     
    She also owns a fine female family as a daughter of Listed winner Three Wrens, herself a granddaughter of Arc heroine Three Troikas.
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    Lot 296: ISTAN
     
    Istan, who recently ran third in the Listed Blenheim Stakes, is in line to continue his career in Scandinavia after selling out of Ballydoyle for 60,000gns to trainer Bent Olsen. Californian owner Tim Cohen, sitting with Alastair Donald and trainer Edward Freeman, was among the underbidders.
     
    Istan, by Excelebration out of Oaks runner-up Something Exciting, has won once this year for Aidan O'Brien.
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    Lot 300: THE STATESMAN
     
    Jamie Osborne is set to take charge of this promising two-year-old. The son of Zoffany, a £60,000 yearling, has been third on both his starts for Aidan O'Brien and duly sells for 90,000gns to Richard Knight, acting on behalf of an established client. Marco Botti was among the underbidders.
     
    "He's just a lovely individual," said Knight. "And he came with a good report from Ballydoyle.
     
    "Zoffany is obviously doing well and we liked the fact he's out of a Galileo mare. I wouldn't be surprised if we cracked on with him and tried to win a maiden before giving him a break."
     
    The colt is a half-brother to two winners and out of a placed sister to Listed winner Classic Legend.
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    Lot 361: LIFE LESS ORDINARY
     
    Now rated 92 off the back of an impressive win of his most recent start, a two mile handicap at Ascot, Life Less Ordinary is knocked down for 110,000gns.
     
    He was initially led out unsold but SackvilleDonald later strike a deal to buy the gelding for 100,000gns.
     
    The Jamie Osborne-trained four-year-old, who was bought back for just €5,000 as a yearling, has won four races in all and been placed seven times. He shares his sire Thewayyouare with another memorable Osborne-trained performer in Toast Of New York.
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    Lot 379: AZRAFF
     
    Another high-profile purchase for Anthony Stroud as the agent signs at 100,000gns for Azraff, a classy handicapper for Marco Botti.
     
    Campaigned by Saleh Al Homaizi and Imad Al Sagar, the son of Paco Boy has taken in most of the big festivals this year and ran a fine race at Royal Ascot when fourth in the Royal Hunt Cup. Prior to that, he had scored in good fashion at Newbury.
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    Lot 391: IMPERIAL AVIATOR
     
    Imperial Aviator looked to be one of the most exciting three-year-olds back in the spring when defeating Ulysses in a maiden at Newbury en route to taking a competitive handicap back at the same track for Roger Charlton. Black-type aspirations didn't quite go to plan after that but he's fared well in handicap company in recent months, notably when fourth to What About Carlo at Newbury on Saturday.
     
    Now the son of Paco Boy now has the chance to re-establish himself in Australia after falling to Johnny McKeever, acting on behalf of Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott, at 270,000gns.
     
    Fellow Australian trainer Chris Waller also tried to secure the colt via his representative Guy Mulcaster as did John Kilbride. Roger Charlton also bid hard in an effort to take him back home to Beckhampton.
     
    "He's a gorgeous horse," said McKeever, "the standout of the day. He's an attractive stayer and we couldn't leave him behind. You wouldn't know he'd run just two days ago. It was good to see Roger Charlton bidding hard to keep him too.
     
    "This sale has been a happy hunting ground for us - we bought [Group 1 winners] Glencadam Gold and The Offer here. Let's hope it continues."
     
    Jamie Railton sold the colt on behalf of a partnership that included Qatar Racing, who bought into him back in May. 
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