Sober takes the Glory at the Tattersalls Cheltenham May Sale

Sober Glory: the debut four-year-old winner at Bartlemy point-to-point and a son of Mount Nelson bought by Tom Malone for £110,000
Sober Glory: the debut four-year-old winner at Bartlemy point-to-point and a son of Mount Nelson bought by Tom Malone for £110,000

The four-year-old debut-winning point-to-pointer SOBER GLORY topped the Tattersalls Cheltenham May Sale, the son of Mount Nelson fetching £110,000 and one of three lots bought by the session’s leading buyer Tom Malone.

The gelding, related to the Grade 1 Challow Novice Hurdle winner and multiple graded race performer Fingal's Bay, was sold by Cormac Doyle’s Monbeg Stables on behalf of Mount Eaton Stud, who paid €41,000 for the gelding as a foal at the Tattersalls November NH Sale in 2020.

Sober Glory was an impressive winner at Bartlemy on his career debut and Doyle said: “We always liked this horse – his work was very good at home and we were very confident going to Bartlemy. 

"We have had a lot of luck with the May Sale and sold Monkfish here – we like to keep a nice one for it, the timing is good." 

Malone also bought the Donnchadh Doyle Monbeg Stables-offered TIPTOPTIM (Lot 5) for £70,000 and the Grange Stables-consigned FRENCH EMPEROR (Lot 31) for £76,000 and he said of the trio: “Sober Glory is a lovely horse and I have bought him on behalf of Brocade Racing to go to Philip Hobbs. He is by Mount Nelson who is doing very well but sadly not around anymore. 

“Tiptoptim, also by Mount Nelson, was very impressive in his point-to-point and Rob James gave him a good old write up. He was a 7l maiden winner, and he has been bought on spec.

"French Emperor, the son of Clovis du Berlais, was third at Loughanmore. I have already bought the winner of the race, and the form stands up well, Nicky Martin is going to train him."  

Lot 22: American Jukebox, the Jukebox Jury half-brother to the Grade 2 winner and previous Tattersalls Cheltenham Sale top lot American Mike, was bought for £100,00 by Eddie O'Leary and Gordon Elliott

Donnchadh Doyle also sold AMERICAN JUKEBOX (Lot 22) for £100,000 and the four-year-old gelding, who finished second on his debut at Stowlin at the beginning of May, was bought by Eddie O’Leary for trainer Gordon Elliott.

The son of Jukebox Jury is a half-brother to the Grade 2 winner, Cheltenham Festival Champion Bumper (G1) runner-up and 2021 Tattersalls Cheltenham April Sale top lot American Mike also trained by Elliott.

The Cullentra House trainer said: "This is a fine horse, he is not for any owner in particular, we will get him home first. 

“We have the half-brother and this horse is similar, a bit smaller maybe. As a June foal, he is young horse not even four yet – we saw him earlier in the spring and liked him then."

Doyle, on crutches after a schooling incident seven weeks ago, said: "He ran well at Stowlin and he could be a very smart horse after a summer's grass – he will be a lovely horse in time.”

Lot 12: Marlacoo was purchased by Anthony Bromley of Highflyer Bloodstock for £85,000 on behalf of a syndicate

Ross Crawford, consigning with his brother trainer Stuart Crawford of Newlands Farm, made the pinhooking return of the sale selling MARLACOO (Lot 22) for £85,000 having purchased the gelding for just €1,250 at last year's Tattersalls Ireland July Sale. 

The horse, a son of the young sire Wings Of Eagles, has subsequently won a Down Royal bumper and was bought by Highflyer today.

"That is what we are trying to do buy cheap, produce them well and, hopefully, turn a profit – to be fair he was very cheap on that day last July!" smiled Crawford. "He was probably a bit small as a store but he has grown since I have had him, he was also a bit raw, green and backward, and I had a bit of luck then, too.”

Crawford explained the decision to run the gelding in a bumper rather than go down the point-to-point route: "He lost a bit of time in the autumn because of a cold and his jumping was a little bit behind where it needed to be.

"He does jump well but, in those four-year-old spring point-to-points, the horses have to be on the money and he just wasn't streetwise enough – even in his bumper he was probably still a bit green."

A smiling purchaser Anthony Bromley said: "He has been bought for a syndicate, he will have a summer out on grass and a trainer will be decided later. Wings Of Eagles is getting a few winners on the board now and they look to have engines."  

Matt Prior, Tattersalls’ associate director said: “The May Sale has brought the 2023-24 Tattersalls Cheltenham sales year to a satisfactory conclusion.

“As the industry-leading point-to-point venue, the season has performed well and with 195 horses sold from 238 offered over the seven sales, we are delighted with the strong 82 per cent clearance rate.

“In total, 58 horses have fetched £100,000 or more. We are delighted to have sold ECHOING SILENCE at the market-leading Tattersalls Cheltenham Festival Sale for £410,000 and she is the highest-priced point-to-pointer to be sold at public auction this season, and the only horse to have surpassed the £400,000 mark.

“Noticeably, the market has stepped back a level, but, positively, nice horses are being sold as is evidenced by our strong clearance rate.

“On the track we have been well-represented with winners at the Cheltenham and Aintree Festivals, headlined by the impressive Grade 1 Albert Bartlett Novice Hurdle winner STELLAR STORY, and the Aintree Bowl Chase (G1) winner and Boodles Gold Cup (G1) runner-up GERRI COLOMBE. There has also been numerous maiden, novice hurdle and novice chase winners giving plenty of strength in depth for the future.

“We congratulate all our consignors on another successful winter and spring point-to-point season, despite the considerable challenges posed by the wet spring. We wish everyone a good summer, successful restocking at the Tattersalls Ireland store sales, and we look forward to welcoming everyone back to the home of jump racing for the Tattersalls Cheltenham November Sale.”