Hearts of Fire, a champion in Germany and Italy, brought 550,000 ($905,249 in U.S. funds) to top the opening session of the Tattersalls autumn horses in training sale in England Oct. 25. Qatar-based trainer Ibrahim Saeed Al-Malki purchased the 3-year-old colt from Pat Eddery Racing.
“We were looking for a good horse and he was obviously the best one in the sale,” Al-Malki said. “He’s been bought for Hassan Ali Abdul Malik and will be based in Qatar for now. He might run in Dubai at the Carnival before coming back to race in Europe next year.”
Al-Malki’s competiton included Grove Stud’s Brendan Holland and trainer David Nicholls; agent Dermot Farrington, who was sitting alongside Hong Kong-based owner Richard See and trainer Andreas Schutz; and Anthony Stroud, who was standing with trainer David Loder. Also in the hunt were California-based trainer Ben Cecil, New Zealand agent and trainer Paul Moroney, and Form Bloodstock’s Jeham Malherbe of South Africa. Malherbe offered 500,000 guineas ($822,953) before Al-Malki made his lone bid.
Hearts of Fire, a son of Firebreak and the Mind Games mare Alexander Ballet, has won four of his 13 career races while competing in England, France, Germany, and Italy. He captured the Gran Criterium (Ity-I), Zukunfts-Rennen (Ger-III), and Prix Francois Boutin in 2009 along with finishing second in the Compton Beauchamp Estates Ltd. Rose Bowl Stakes. This year, he was third in the St. James’s Palace Stakes (Eng-I).
Hearts of Fire’s sire topped the autumn horses in training sale in 2001, bringing 525,000 guineas. The price was record for the auction and it wasn’t broken until 2008.
Surrey Star was the session’s second-most-expensive horse, selling for 200,000 guineas ($329,181) to Gordian Troeller Bloodstock. Gordian Troeller was sitting beside California-based trainer Jim Cassidy during the bidding.
“He’s a lovely horse and has been bought for Tom Arndt of Class Racing,” Cassidy said. “He may make his (North American) debut in the Generous Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Hollywood Park (Nov. 27).”
Consigned by trainer Roger Teal’s Thirty Acre Stables, Surrey Star is a 2-year-old son of Dubawi. He has finished second in the Somerville Tattersall Stakes (Eng-III) and third in the Alexis Catchpole Celebration Solario Stakes (Eng-III) and Peter Willett Stardom Stakes this year. Produced from the Fantastic Light mare Turning Light, Surrey Star has won one of his eight career races. His record also includes two runner-up finishes and a pair of thirds.
The results for the opening session included a gross of 4,426,700 guineas ($7,285,940) for the 224 horses that sold. The average price was 19,762 guineas ($32,527) and the median price was 8,750 guineas ($14,402).
Compared to last year, when 231 horses were sold, the gross was up 19.1% from 3,717,300 guineas. The average increased 22.8% from 16,092 guineas. But the median fell 12.5% from 10,000 guineas.
The clearance rate was 76%, down from 82.5% in 2009.