Korkoran Tops Tattersalls Cheltenham February Sale

The one-day Tattersalls Cheltenham February Sale produced a solid afternoon’s trade which saw 34 horses sold for an aggregate of £2,469,500 with a strong clearance rate of 89 per cent.

Korkoran (Lot 26), a four-year-old by No Risk At All, and a winner on his racing debut at Ballinaboola this month for Colin Bowe, was the session’s top lot when fetching £240,000 to Ed Bailey Bloodstock on behalf of trainer Harry Derham. Tom Malone was the underbidder.

Korkoran’s win came in the same maiden as won in 2018 by the subsequent two-time Festival Grade 1 winner and Tattersalls Cheltenham February graduate Envoi Allen, who is aiming for a repeat victory in next month’s Ryanair Chase (G1).

Now an eight-time Grade 1 winner Envoi Allen was owned as a young horse by NH pinhooker and consignor Walter Connors, producer of Korkoran, and he said: "Seamus Murphy bought Korkoran privately for me as a foal, it is a wonderful family and we have for a long time hoping to get one from that stud farm.

“We have been fond of him all along, and the sire needs no introduction. He is a middle of May foal and we thought he would not run until April, but he has come to hand earlier than expected. Colin has done a great job and we are lucky he keeps a couple of boxes for us each year." 

A thrilled Derham said: "Ed has been following this horse for a long time, he is back and forth to Ireland all the time. The horse is a beautiful model, a good athlete and to have done this so early in his career, the type of horse he is, strikes us that he must be pretty smart – to be performing to that level already would bode pretty well. You look at him and think what a horse you will be in two years' time.” 

Of the horse’s owner, Derham outlined: "He is for Ian Barratt, a new owner to me and who is wanting to develop real high-class team of horses both for the Flat and NH codes – he owns the Jamie Osborne-trained Emaraaty Ana who won in Qatar last weekend. Jamie recommended me, which was very nice of him. Ian and his family are really enthusiastic, let’s hope they are lucky."

Lot 10: Jakar Du Moulin bought by Tom Malone/Paul Nicholls for £175,000

From Donnchadh Doyle's Monbeg Stables, the five-year-old Jakar Du Moulin (Lot 10) did not sell in the ring but was subsequently purchased privately by Tom Malone and Paul Nicholls for £175,000.

A half-brother to the French Listed winner Utopia Dream, Jakar Du Moulin won on debut when justifying favouritism at Bellharbour, a race won by the Monbeg-trained graduate Fact To File, a Grade 1 novice chase earlier this month.

"He is a lovely animal, Paul has done very well with Kapgardes and this horse came very highly recommended by Donnchadh Doyle from whom we bought Bravemansgame,” said Malone, adding: “He looked very game in his point, jumped well, stays, did a lot right, and won! We were waiting for Korkoran but ended up underbidder on him.”

Lot 42: Big Zouk was a Bobby O'Ryan / James Ewart purchase at £160,000 

Big Zouk (Lot 42), a five-year-old by Milan and a winner at Oldtown last weekend for Denis Murphy’s Ballyboy Stables, was purchased by Bobby O’Ryan and trainer James Ewart for £160,000, the horse previously a €55,000 store purchase at the Tattersalls Ireland Derby Sale. 

Out of the Martaline dam Miss Zouk , an own-sister to the Grade 3 winner Viconte Du Noyer, Ewart said: "I think he is an old-fashioned chaser, and I think he is a particularly lovely horse. We liked the way he won, he was headed after the last and he looked as though he was going to get beat but he found again and won going away. 

“He is the sort of horse you dream about having. I have bought him for a new owner to racing, the brief was to find a horse who could be good enough to go south for a spring Festival. Hopefully in maybe in a year or two this horse will be it.”

Matthew Prior, Tattersalls’ Associate Director, said: “It was always going to be difficult to match last year’s record-breaking Tattersalls Cheltenham February Sale, and we must acknowledge that we are facing a more challenging market place compared to recent years. That being said the lots offered today sold at a strong clearance rate with a number of new owners to NH racing making significant investments. 

“We are very much looking forward to returning to Cheltenham, the home of jumps' racing  next month for what promises to be a fabulous four days at The Festival when we hope to watch many Tattersalls graduates do battle for big-race honours. 

“And of course, the Tattersalls Cheltenham Festival Sale is scheduled after racing on Thursday, March 14 for which nominations are open.”