Strong Trade at Tattersalls Cheltenham April Sale
The Tattersalls Cheltenham April Sale was topped by OAK GROVE, a son of SOLDER OF FORTUNE bought by local Cotswolds-based trainer Fergal O'Brien for £250,000 (Lot 13).
The winning gelding, who is out of Side Saddle, a King’s Theatre sister to 13-time winner and Grade 1 winner VOLER LA VEDETTE and from the family of Grade 1 winners HENNESSY and SHISHKIN, was fourth on debut at Tinahely before stepping up to score in a maiden at Oldcastle at the beginning of April.
"We have no plans as yet,” reported O’Brien of the Rob James Racing-consigned four-year-old. “He needs bit of time and from here will probably go to Jason Maguire's for some R and R through the summer.
"Sally [Randell] and I watched his video and thought he won a very competitive point-to-point – he was the one we came for and we loved him when we saw him.”
O’Brien added: "He is for Chris and Deborah Giles, who has a half share in CRAMBO, who has done well for us this year. We are very grateful for the opportunity to come and buy a horse such as this. He is the most expensive horse we have bought in the ring – usually we buy four for this sort of money!"
FLORENCETHEMACHINE (Lot 36)
The second-best price of the session was jointly shared by a mare and gelding at £120,000.
FLORENCETHEMACHINE (Lot 36), a five-year-old daughter of MALINAS, was purchased by agent Tom Malone, giving trainer Alan Donoghue’s Treehouse Stables a fine return on the bay’s three-year-old pinhook price of €7,000.
Malone said: "The vendor has been telling me for some time just how good she was, she came highly recommended by him. She won her point-to-point really well, I Iike her and she is going to Ditcheat. I bought her year younger half-brother Siam Park."
GRAND ALBERT (Lot 27)
Anthony Bromley of Highflyer Bloodstock spent the same amount on the Oldcastle winner GRAND ALBERT (Lot 27), a JET AWAY five-year-old sold by consignor Virginia Considine.
He reported: "We bought SHISHKIN from the consignor at the Tattersalls Cheltenham December Sale in 2018, and while it is a huge leap of faith to think this horse could be another like him, we really love this horse. He won his point-to-point well and is by Jet Away, who we like."
He added: "GRAND ALBERT has been bought for a syndicate and will be turned away for the summer before any plans are made."
Highflyer Bloodstock, the session’s leading purchaser, bought five horses through the session, including the promising JASMIN BELLVUE for £110,000 (Lot 15).
"We saw this horse and fell in love with him,” enthused Bromley of the four-year-old. “He is by JEU ST ELOI, who is a young French sire getting a few results and getting noticed. This is a lovely big horse, and we have had luck before with Denis Murphy’s Ballyboy Stables. The horse has been bought for Nicky Henderson and is for sale."
WHISTLE STOP TOUR (Lot 30)
"WHISTLE STOP TOUR (Lot 30) looks exactly our type, a real staying chaser,” confirmed last weekend’s Grand National-winning trainer Lucinda Russell after spending £115,000 on the five-year-old gelding by SADDEX out of the PRESENTING mare FOR A WHILE. “I loved his attitude in his race, and he is an improving horse. We have not got an owner as such but have a few clients in mind."
WHISTLE STOP TOUR, consigned by Tom Keating, had run twice and won last time out when successful at Loughrea at the end of March.
The Tattersalls Cheltenham April Sale has been lucky before for Russell – last year she and Paul McIvor spent £35,000 on APPLE AWAY, winner of last week’s Grade 1 Sefton Novices’ Hurdle.
FORTIFIED FORTUNE (Lot 46), another well-regarded four-year-old gelding by SOLDIER OF FORTUNE, was bought Christian Williams Racing and Chris Trembath for £115,000. He has run once when second at Liscarroll in March for trainer Ellen Doyle.
He is a dual Tattersalls Ireland graduate having been bought as a foal at the 2019 November Sale for €25,000 by Roxborough Stud, a valuation that upgraded to €50,000 at last year’s Derby Sale when bought by Ellen's brother James Doyle.
Matt Prior, Tattersalls’ Head of Sales, said: “The Tattersalls Cheltenham April Sale has enjoyed a fabulous spring season on the racecourse through the exploits of APPLE AWAY, purchased for just £35,000 at the Cheltenham April Sale last year, winner of last week's Sefton Novices’ Hurdle (G1) for trainer Lucinda Russell.
“This year has also seen Tattersalls Cheltenham graduates ENVOI ALLEN, GERRI COLOMBE, SHISHKIN, STAY AWAY FAY, TAHMURAS and INTHEPOCKET all add new Grade 1 wins to their resumes, proving that the Tattersalls Cheltenham sales really are the prime source of top level NH horses in training and point-to-pointers.
“Today’s broad buying bench reflected the demand for the ‘Tattersalls Cheltenham horse’ with 49 lots sold at a healthy 83 per cent clearance rate, eight fetching £100,000 and over, a top price of £250,000 and a turnover just shy of £3 million.
“We have one sale left for this spring sale’s season, the Tattersalls Cheltenham May Sale, scheduled for May 19.”