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Bloodstock desk: Lady O'Reilly goes to EUR160,000 for half-sister to Kinnaird; Michael Clower sees the final day of Goffs almost reach last year's heights.

Byline: Michael Clower

LADY O'REILLY proved much too strong for the opposition when it came to the top lot at Goffs Challenge Sale yesterday and she had no hesitation in going to EUR160,000 for a lovely filly by the Queen Anne Stakes winner Intikhab.

The bay was sent up from Tom and Cathy Burns's Victor Stud at Golden in County Tipperary and, while there is no shortage of black type in the pedigree, her price owed a lot to the recent May Hill Stakes win of her half-sister Kinnaird.

Lady O'Reilly said: "We thought she was very attractive and she has a good pedigree. She'll go to Nicholas Clement in France."

The price was EUR30,000 below that paid for last year's top lot, but the general level of prices was a little more on a par with 12 months ago than at the Orby Sale on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The average was seven per cent down on last year and earlier suspicions that it is the top end of the market that could be vulnerable seemed to be confirmed.

Managing director Matt Mitchell said: "Last year's average was 29 per cent up, so any figure near it is a good one. Our view is that the market is good up to a certain level, but above EUR100,000 or EUR150,000 it is very selective."

However, the old final-day factor also played a part.

It was noticeable how many British-based buyers left halfway through the 257-lot session to catch their planes home.

The second-top price was also for a filly and Peter Reynolds, bidding from the top of the stairs, went to EUR110,000 for Janet O'Connor's daughter of 1998 Prix Morny winner Orpen from the immediate family of Luca Cumani's Irish Guineas winners Barathea and Gossamer.

The Ballymacoll Stud manager put his purchase down to Oliver Cooper Bloodstock, saying: "She is for a pal of mine in England, who loves the pedigree. I can't say any more than that."

The Cape Cross colt from Edward Flannery's County Cork Egmont Stud out of French Listed winner Reine Maid showed a decent profit on the $8,480 he was bought for at Keeneland last November because he made EUR75,000 to the bid of Gill Richardson.

The agent said: "He's a nice, strong horse. We've had a lot of luck with Cape Cross this year and the colt goes to Mick Channon."

Another successful pinhook was the filly from the first crop of the 1998 Dewhurst winner Mujahid out of a half-sister to Mark Johnston's Heinz 57 Phoenix Stakes winner Pricely Heir.

This filly, from Liam Cashman's Rathbarry Stud, was bought for 10,000gns at the Newmarket December Sales and was bought by Shadwell Estates for EUR67,000.

Peter Doyle paid EUR3,000 more for a Spinning World colt from Cathal Ryan's Swordlestown Stud with a strong American pedigree, and was delighted with his purchase.

He said: "He's for Richard Hannon and he's a smasher. We thought he was one of the nicest horses in the whole sale and we hope we'll see him back here for the race next June."

The race Doyle was referring to is the EUR130,000 Goffs Challenge, confined to horses bought yesterday and one of several such events high on the Hannon agenda every year.

Another EUR70,000 purchase was Amanda Skiffington's Bob Back full-sister to the 1993 St Leger winner Bob's Return from the Ballylinch Stud.

Skiffington said: "She goes to Luca Cumani and she's a beautiful filly. She reminds me a lot of Wren, another I bought by the same sire."

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The Intikhab filly who fetched EUR160,000 and was top lot on the final day
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Sep 26, 2003
Words:617
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