The Tattersalls Ireland Cheltenham January Sale saw records smashed as the highest price ever recorded for a point to point horse of £480,000 was achieved along with increases in all the key figures. The aggregate grew by 110% to £2,562,000 along with an increased average of £77,636 (+46%) and growth in the median of 25% to £50,000. The clearance finished on 79%.
Headlining the sale was the hugely impressive four-year-old Oldtown Maiden winner FLEMENSHILL (Lot 20). The Flemensfirth gelding, who made his debut on 5 February under the tutelage of Colin McKeever and who won the contest with ease by a margin of four lengths, justified the keen interest from all the key industry players. Bidding opened at £250,000 and a dual commenced between Kieran McManus and agent Tom Malone standing with trainer Colin Tizzard and his son Joe. The hammer fell on a final bid of £480,000 and the gelding was knocked down to Malone and Tizzard.
After his record-breaking purchase, Tom Malone commented;
"We are delighted to have got him. He is a big, raw horse that was extremely impressive on his debut and ticked every box. It was very hard not to like him. He's been bought for Alan and Ann Potts."
There was also plenty interest for Paul Cashman's Stowaway gelding. ON THE BLINDSIDE (Lot 49) was the winner of the five-year-old Maiden at Kilfeacle in January with three subsequent winners behind him on the day. He was knocked down to Tessa Greatrex of Highflyer Bloodstock for £205,000.
James Doyle selling under Monbeg Stables, sent out the Gold Wellgelding BITINGTHEBULLET (Lot 36) to win the four-year-old Maiden at Punchestown. Today he was handsomely rewarded when trainer Evan Williams purchased the debut winner for £170,000.
Warren Ewing's Bernice Stables was responsible for the next top lot. GETAREASON by the sire Getaway who sired the top lot at the recent Cheltenham December Sale when Cool Getaway made £305,000, was second on his debut run in the four-year-old Maiden at Punchestown. He was knocked down to Harold Kirk and Willie Mullins for £140,000 (Lot 41).
Also under the Bernice Stables banner, SENDING LOVE (Lot 25), who won his four-year-old Maiden at Kirkistown also went the way of Kirk and Mullins when the pair signed for the Scorpion gelding for £130,000.
PLANET NINE (Lot 31) made an impression when winning his Bumper on debut at Thurles just seven days ago. Consigned by Camas Park Stud, the gelding by the much sought after sire in Flemensfirth was knocked down to Gerry Hogan Bloodstock for £135,000.
Boasting an impressive bumper form of first and two seconds, OAKLEY HALL, consigned by Mrs. LM Hannity also fetched the six-figure mark when Matt Coleman of Stroud Coleman Bloodstock signed for the son of Milan for £120,000 (Lot 35).
At the conclusion of the explosive Cheltenham January Sale, Tattersalls Ireland Director of Horses in Training Sales Richard Pugh commented;
"We are delighted with the returns of the rescheduled Cheltenham January Sale. We have sold a four-year-old point to point maiden winner for the highest price on record of £480,000 and concluded the sale with record breaking results which reinforces the widely held sentiment that Tattersalls Ireland Cheltenham is the choice venue to reap rewards for proven and potential performers.
"Our attention now turns to the Cheltenham Festival and the Festival Sale which will be staged after racing on Thursday 16 March and already a collection of high-class horses are committed to the sale."