A bountiful Easter weekend headed up by two graded race successes and five debut bumper winners

Brewin'upastorm: the Tattersalls Cheltenham April Sale graduate jumping his way to success in the Grade 2 Rathbarry and Glenview Stud Hurdle at Fairyhouse on Easter Monday
Brewin'upastorm: the Tattersalls Cheltenham April Sale graduate jumping his way to success in the Grade 2 Rathbarry and Glenview Stud Hurdle at Fairyhouse on Easter Monday

The Easter weekend saw a 16-winner flurry over two days for the Tattersalls Cheltenham sales – eight graduates successful on Easter Sunday, with that feat repeated on Easter Monday, and five of the younger generation of runners getting off the mark on Rules debuts.

Quality-wise the results were headed up by the Grade 2 Rathbarry & Glenview Stud Hurdle winner Brewin’upastorm, trained by Olly Murphy. A rare British-trained traveller to race in Ireland, the Tattersalls Cheltenham April Sale graduate took on the Willie Mullins-trained Zarak The Brave, and came home the half-length winner outstaying the challenger with a strong run to the line. He is Murphy’s first winner in Ireland. 

Although it was reported in the post-race analysis that the 11-year-old gelding “isn’t as good as he once was” that judgement is perhaps a little harsh – in nine starts since November 2022, the gelding has won two Grade 2 hurdles, finished second in the Grade 2 Coral Hurdle at Ascot to Goshen and third to Bob Olinger in the Grade 2 Relkeel Hurdle. He has only finished out of the first three placings twice in his completed starts. 

Over the course of his whole career he has collected earnings just shy of £320,000, won ten races, and finished second or third six times from 29 starts. 

And his season might not be finished just yet – the son of Milan might well go next to Sandown’s April meeting.

The Willie Mullins-trained Asterion Forlonge’s also enjoyed a graded race victory with success in the Grade 3 Bar One Racing Chase. Although it was a match race, the striking grey, who has been Grade 1-placed over fences, put in a fine effort to win his first graded chase taking his career prize-money earnings to £311,414.

Tattersalls December Sale graduate Potters Charm was impressive on his Rules debut at Ffos Las

Despite the efforts of the older horses, it was, though, the younger generation who really shone over Easter with five graduates getting off the mark on their debut bumper outings, four of whom are graduates of the 2023 Tattersalls Cheltenham December Sale. 

Visually the most impressive was Potters Charm, who was successful on Easter Sunday winning a Ffos Las bumper in a hand canter. Trained by Nigel Twiston-Davies, the five-year-old was ridden by Sam Twiston-Davies having been bought by his brother Willie from Michael Mangan Racing for £105,000 in December (Lot 44). The five-year-old gelding by Valirann, now in El Rincon ownership, had finished second in his point-to-point at Boulta last November. 

Potters Charm was an 11-length winner from King Of Thieves, who is trained by Evan Williams and is a graduate of the recent Tattersalls Cheltenham February Sale.

The performance led the Racing Post to report that Potters Charm, “made an impressive stable/bumper debut, travelling strongly and pulling effortlessly clear in the later stages. With plenty of stamina in his pedigree, he looks an exciting prospect.”

Backmersackme (above) was sold as Lot 9 at the December Sale, Star Walking, below, followed him into the ring as Lot 10 – the pair repeated on the racecourse and won their debut bumpers within an hour of each other

Backmersackme and Star Walking were sold as consecutive lots at the Tattersalls Cheltenham December Sale, Lot 9 and Lot 10, and the pair got off the mark under Rules within an hour of each other on Easter Monday – Star Walking scoring at Fakenham in the 4.16pm for trainer Harry Fry and owner Noel Fehily Racing before Backmersackme won at Cork at 5.18pm for trainer Emmet Mullins. 

Also on Easter Monday, Country Mile, who finished second in the Tattersalls Cheltenham-sponsored four-year-olds’ maiden at Chaddesley Corbett point-to-point on December 3, won his bumper at Huntingdon – he was sold as Lot 39 at last year’s Tattersalls Cheltenham December Sale. 

The Racing Post wrote after the Huntingdon victory hat the son of Ocovango ran green but went clear in the final furlong and was eased toward the finish, looked promising and that the race "was the perfect introduction for him". 

Country Mile is trained by Dan Skelton, the trainer obviously and understandably quite taken with progeny Ocovango as he stands the stallion at the family’s Alne Park Stud and his dual Festival winner Langer Dan is by the sire. Skelton purchased Country Mile alongside agent Ryan Mahon for £80,000 from the Poste’s Station Yard draft, the gelding also a Tattersalls Derby Sale graduate having been bought by the Postes as a three-year-old store in 2022 from Brandon View Stud for €26,000.

The British-produced point-to-pointer Country Mile got off the mark under Rules at the first time of asking

While that quartet won their bumpers over Easter, a further five horses sold at the 2023 Tattersalls Cheltenham December Sale ring have already registered success under Rules for their new connections.

Two of those were bought by Gerry Hogan – Majestic Force, now trained by Henry De Bromhead and the winner of a hurdle, and the Emma Lavelle-trained Huntingdon bumper winner Ma Shantou.

Lavelle and Hogan have also recently achieved an quicker result with a Cheltenham Sale-sold graduate – on Easter Monday the five-year-old mare Bluey, who was sold just two months ago at the Tattersalls Cheltenham January Sale by the Codd family’s Churchlands Stables, won her bumper at Plumpton. She had been purchased by Hogan for £27,000 after winning her January point-to-point at Carrigarostig by an impressive 11 lengths.

Port Joulain, a five-year-old son of Cokoriko, looked a smart performer when winning his bumper at Gowran Park in early March

Maybe one of the best performances this spring came just before Easter courtesy of the Tattersalls Cheltenham December Sale £300,000 purchase Port Joulain.

The five-year-old gelding won his bumper at Gowran Park on March 9 in the colours of Susannah Ricci, looking like a very good horse. He was a two and a half length winner from the Henry de Bromhead-trained Good N’Kind with a long 19 lengths back to the third.

Winner of a Borris House point-to-point in December, the five-year-old son of Cokoriko is likely to appear next in one of this spring's major bumper races.