Invincible Spirit Colt Tops Craven Opener

By James Thomas
Courtesy of Racing Post 

It was a low-key start to the first session of the Tattersalls Craven Breeze-up sale the evening of April 12, but trade soon picked up and by the time the hammer had fallen on the last lot, 10 six-figure 2-year-olds had made their way through the ring.

Top lot honours fell to a 360,000gns (US$539,670) for a son of Invincible Spirit bought by Jamie McCalmont, bidding on behalf of Coolmore.

The colt, who was consigned by Oaks Farm Stables, is out of the Belong To Me mare Loch Jipp, who won the listed Hilary Needler Trophy Stakes at 2. The colt was pinhooked by the vendor for 150,000gns ($224,863) from Book 1 of the Tattersalls October Yearling Sale.

McCalmont said: "He's been bought for Coolmore but I'm not sure who will train him yet. He's such a big powerful horse but he walked around there very calmly, nothing fazed him. He's a lovely colt."

Good day gets better for Ryan and Rahman

The first major splash was made by Stephen Hillen, who went to 320,000gns ($479,707) for a son of last year's champion first-season sire Zoffany from Grove Stud.

The colt, who is out of the Entrepreneur mare Flying Flag and is a half-brother to dual Italian listed winner Laguna Salada, was picked up for 175,000gns ($262,340) at Book 2 of the October Yearling Sale by the vendor.

The colt will go into training with Kevin Ryan, who said: "He's a horse with a lovely action and a great mind—every time we went to see him he was laid back."

With the hammer coming down in favour of Hillen, the new purchase added to what had already been a good for the colt's new owner Tengku Abdul Rahman, whose Teruntum Star was successful on the Rowley Mile earlier in the day.

"Mr Rahman has a number of horses with me and doesn't pressure you to do anything quickly," said Ryan."Hopefully he'll have a couple of runs this year but he's been bought with a three-year-old career in mind."

Family ties for Craven regular Araci

The spoils for second-top lot were shared, with the hammer coming down again at 320,000gns, this time in favour of Ibrahim Araci for a colt by Invincible Spirit out of the listed-winning Kingmambo mare Mambo Light.

The colt was picked up privately from the Arqana August Yearling sale for €140,000 ($159,432) and shares his page with the likes of U.S. group I winner Denon and listed winner Aloft.

Araci's bloodstock adviser Rob Speers said: "This has been a lucky sale for Mr Araci. Native Khan, who ran third in the Two Thousand Guineas (Eng-I), came out of this sale as did [group III winner] Chigun—two proper group horses.

"This colt has size and strength and did a very professional breeze. We were underbidder on his winning three-year-old half-brother [Le Juge], so it's a family we know well.

"He has been bought with the longer term in mind and it's a stallion's page. We hope he will develop into a Classic prospect."

Crisford at the ready

Simon Crisford got the better of Alex Elliott, who was stood with George Scott, having gone to 220,000gns ($329,833) for a son of More Than Ready . The colt is out of the listed-winning Street Cry mare Limonar, and shares his page with Irish Two Thousand Guineas (Ire-I) winner Bachelor Duke.

The colt was consigned by Willie Browne's Mocklershill, which was responsible for last year's Craven top lot.

On his new acquisition Crisford said: "He's been bought for Shadwell and hopefully he can take us to some fancy places. He breezed very well and looked to have a very good mind. The mare was very good and it's a young family. More Than Ready over Street Cry—it was all looking good."

Crisford will be hoping for further success with his breeze-up purchases, having picked up stable flagbearer First Selection from Ascot last year.

Elliott and Scott were out of luck just a few lots earlier, having been outpointed by John Ferguson for a Helmet colt out of the listed winner Kathy's Rocket.

Ferguson said: "He's a very nice horse who breezed very well, by a stallion who's had two winners already and I'm delighted to have him. We'll decide at the end of the week where he'll go."

The colt was consigned by Bansha House Stables, whose Con Marnane bought the colt for just 15,000gns ($21,418) from Book 3 of the Tattersalls Yearling Sale.

The leading vendor for the opening session was Bansha House Stables, which sold seven lots for a total of 580,000gns ($869,560). The race to be leading buyer ended in a dead-heat, with Jamie McCalmont's sole purchase for 360,000gns equalled by the pair bought by Rob Speers.

The stats proved to be a mixed bag, with the aggregate up 7% to 3,547,500gns ($5,318,563), and the average rising by 19% to 95,878gns ($136,900). However, the median, 60,000gns ($85,671), was also down 8% on last year's return.

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