Editor's note: A previous version of this story included an incorrect yearling price for the Exchange Rate--Valid Lilly colt. The colt sold for $60,000.
Colts by Central Kentucky sires Exchange Rate, Quality Road , and Blame brought three of the four highest prices at the Tattersalls Guineas breeze-up sale May 1 in Newmarket.
The Exchange Rate colt sold for the overall top price of 230,000 guineas (US$365,539) to London-based agent Charlie Gordon-Watson. The Quality Road colt was knocked down to agent Oliver St. Lawrence for 115,000 guineas ($182,769), the sale's third-highest price, while the son of Blame sold for 92,000 guineas ($146,215), the fourth-highest price, to Blandford Bloodstock/SackvilleDonald.
The breeze-up sale saw total receipts increase 16% to a record 4,600,100 guineas ($7,310,780) and the median rise 13% to 18,000 guineas ($28,607). Average was down slightly at 26,745 guineas ($42,505) and the clearance rate was 79%.
Offered by Jim McCarten's Gaybrook Lodge Stud, the sale-topping Exchange Rate colt is out of the Texas-bred Valid Expectations mare Valid Lilly, a three-time stakes winner in restricted company. She has produced one winner from two starters. The bay colt was bred in Kentucky by Timothy O'Toole, who consigned him at Keeneland September via Trackside Farm's agency, and sold him for $60,000 to Anna Philip.
Gordon-Watson outlasted James Delahooke, Richard Hannon, Peter Doyle, Dick O'Gorman, David Redvers, and Sheikh Isa Bin Salman Al Khalifa to secure the sale topper.
"He is a lovely individual. He has a great walk, has great strength, did a great breeze, and is by Exchange Rate, who is a very useful sire. It was worth the wait," Gordon-Watson said.
Norman Williamson's Oak Tree Farm consigned the Quality Road colt, who was pinhooked as a yearling for $85,000 at Keeneland September, where Hidden Brook, agent, consigned. His dam is Canadian stakes winner Masada, a daughter of Pleasant Tap whose six starters are all winners.
"He's a quality Quality Road," St. Lawrence said of the bay colt, bred in Kentucky by Dennis Rowan and Cecilia Rowan "He's for (owner) Fawzi Nass and goes to (trainer) George Peckham.
"He did a good breeze—he caught the eye and did a fast time."
Williamson's Oak Tree Farm also sold the Blame colt, a Claiborne Farm-bred son of their resident sire.
The Kentucky-bred colt, from the extended family of Besilu Stables Florida Derby (gr. I) winner and Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) contender Materiality, is out of the winning Golden Missile mare For Spacious Skies, a half sister to grade I winner and sire Afleet Express. Williamson snagged him for $50,000 at Keeneland September.
Friday's proceedings also included a horses in training session, topped by recent debut winner Castlelyons. The 3-year-old son of Papal Bull—Summercove (by Cape Cross), who was an impressive winner on his April 20 debut at Cork, was knocked down to agent Alex Elliot for 170,000 guineas ($270,181). He was consigned by Highfort Stables.
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