Old Tom Morris Tops Tattersalls Cheltenham January Sale

Top lot: Old Tom Morris (Lot 5) was purchased by Hamish Macauley for £150,000
Top lot: Old Tom Morris (Lot 5) was purchased by Hamish Macauley for £150,000

The Tattersalls Cheltenham January Sale saw a session of solid trade that produced four horses sold for six-figure sums with a top price of £150,000 given for Old Tom Morris (Lot 5).

The son of Getaway, who was an impressive three-and-a-half-length winner of his maiden at Turtulla on career debut, was purchased by Hamish Macauley Bloodstock.

The five-year-old gelding, who is out of a three-time-winning and dual graded-placed mare Caheronaun (Milan), was sold by Rob James Racing. James rode the horse to his race victory and, with Ger O’Connor, was part-purchaser when spending €75,000 at the 2022 Tattersalls Ireland Derby Sale.

Lot 8: Admiral Stewart bought by Tom Malone and Jamie Snowdon for £130,000

Admiral Stewart (Lot 8), consigned by Colin Bowe’s Milestone Stables, was bought by agent Tom Malone and trainer Jamie Snowden for £130,000.

After showing promise on his career debut as a four-year-old, the son of Soldier Of Fortune went on to win as a five-year-old on January 7 at Tinahely, going away to win by six lengths from Skuna Bay (Lot 11).

Malone said: "Jamie Snowden and I really liked this lad. We had to take him on trust from Colin Bowe – in the video [of his race win] all you can see is about 40 yards of the race because of the fog, but Colin said that he could stand by him.

"I have had a big winner today by the stallion Soldier Of Fortune and this horse is beautiful. Colin has not had to do too much with him to get him to win, and we are the ones who get to find out how good he is.”

He added: "Jamie has had an up and down day today, but he has been enjoying a great season, especially with purchases from here, and winning the Grand Military yesterday was a great training performance."

Admiral Stewart was a €78,000 store purchase by Milestone Bloodstock and is a brother to six winners, including the Grade 3 winner and multiple graded placed The Crafty Butcher.

Lot 15: Melbourne Shamrock sold by Matty Flynn O'Connor's Ballycrystal Stables for £125,000

Trainer Emmet Mullins, who enjoyed a fine day on the track with Grade 2 Cleeve Hurdle success for the 2022 Grand National winner and Tattersalls Cheltenham graduate Noble Yeats, went to £125,000 to purchase Melbourne Shamrock (Lot 15).

By Hillstar and out of Lucy Murphy (Saddlers’ Hall), the five-year-old won his second start in a fast-run five-year-olds’ maiden at Ballycrystal from Colonel Nelson (Lot 17).

Mullins said: "He bounced out and made all, he had one or two horses take him on all the way and he batted them away. Mags [Mullins] had a nice horse who finished second, the two of them quickened up like two smart horses and, hopefully, he can go on to bigger and better things. Plans are open at the moment, and we have not got an owner as yet.”

He added: "It is always exciting coming to Cheltenham, especially when a sale is on and we are able to be competitive to buy these better-quality horses.”

When asked about Nobles Yeats' onward plans he said: "I should imagine it is the Stayers' Hurdle and the Grand National, all being well."

Melbourne Shamrock was sold by Matty Flynn O’Connor’s Ballycrystal Stables and he said: "He is a lovely horse, we bought him as a store and gave him one run last autumn but he was still a big baby and ran green.

“He did it well last weekend – he was tough and hardy, they got racing plenty early enough, but he held the gallop to win in a fast time. Conditions were rough, but we got it done so we are happy."

A €70,000 store sold at the Tattersalls Ireland Derby Sale, Melbourne Shamrock is a half-brother to Barnaviddaun, a Grade 2 winner over hurdles. His dam is a half-sister to the Grade 2 hurdler Mossy Fen and it is the talented family of Sound Man, Master Of The Hall and Pairofbrowneyes.

Of his four-year-old string, O’Connor said: "We should get rolling at the end of February, but we have couple of nice five-year-olds still to run.”

Matthew Prior, Tattersalls’ Associate Director, said: “On the back of a record-breaking sales year in 2023, and continued excellent performances on the racecourse as typified by today’s thrilling Grade 2 Cleeve Hurdle victory for the admirable Noble Yeats, it is great to get our 2024 sales year underway and to be back here at Cheltenham, the home of jumps racing.

“We are looking forward to the first four-year-old maiden point-to-points starting in Ireland and we are accepting entries now for the Tattersalls Cheltenham February Sale to be held on Friday 23rd."