Tattersalls, Hong Kong Owner Settle Lawsuit

By Richard Griffiths
A long-running dispute between Tattersalls, the Newmarket, England, sales company, and Ivan Allan, a leading Hong Kong-based trainer and owner, finally ended with an out-of-court settlement. The case was due to have been heard in London High Court on March 18.

Tattersalls had sought payment of 450,000 guineas (about $691,627) plus interest for a Darshaan colt Allan bought through agent Anthony Stroud at the October sale in 2000. The two sides were understood to be keen to draw a line under what has been an acrimonious episode.

Soon after his purchase, Allan refused to pay for the colt. He insisted he had been the subject of a sting‚ because the yearling had been bought privately for 1.8 million French francs ($128,571) the night before the auction, and the identity of the new owner wasn't revealed. Allan claimed the new owner, aware of his interest in buying the colt, arranged for a third party to bid up the price.

The colt at the center of the dispute has been returned to his mystery purchaser.

In June 2001, Tattersalls lost an application for Allan to pay the money they alleged he owed pending the full hearing. Allan, the trainer of leading Hong Kong sprinter Fairy King Prawn, has been bitterly critical of Tattersalls during the procedure, and at one point wrote to well-known owners and bloodstock agents urging them to boycott the company's auctions.

Tattersalls insisted it was unaware the colt had been purchased privately before it went through its sales ring.