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From the sales ring: Superpowers share spoils on first night.

Byline: Edward Prosser

ANY fears that a possible impending war and dire economic predictions could impact on the Tattersalls Houghton Yearling Sales proved unfounded as Tuesday night's opening session witnessed a record median and average to accompany two seven-figure lots, writes Edward Prosser.

Competition between Coolmore and the Maktoum family has been as fierce in the world's sales rings as on the racecourse in recent years, and that has fuelled astonishing figures at Europe's premier yearling auction. Even with Sheikh Mohammed absent, it was business as usual on Tuesday night.

The sale was just 13 lots old when an athletic chestnut colt by Queen's Logic's sire Grand Lodge out of the Diesis mare Bonne Etoile was knocked down for one million guineas to Michael Goodbody, manager of Maktoum Al Maktoum's Gainsborough Stud.

The Weinfeld family's Hampshire-based Meon Valley Stud supplied the other seven-figure offering-the night's top lot.

He was a Green Desert colt out of Colorvista, an unraced daughter of the great foundation mare Reprocolor, whose five winners to date include the 1997 Racing Post Trophy runner-up Mudeer.

Coolmore's managing director John Magnier personally bid for the imposing bay, with the opposition coming this time from Godolphin's representative John Ferguson, bidding in the absence of Sheikh Mohammed, who is taking part in an endurance ride.

A brisk exchange between the pair reached its conclusion after Ferguson declined to respond to Magnier's offer of 1.3 million guineas. "He was a lovely horse and will be joining Aidan O'Brien," said Demi O'Byrne, who signed the buyer's ticket.

Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum was at the sale and the purchases for his Shadwell Estate Company were headed by a Hesmonds Stud-bred and consigned Sadler's Wells half-brother to Vision Of Night, who realised 525,000gns.

Another set to race in the colours of Maktoum Al Maktoum was a superbly- related Sadler's Wells colt out of Crystal Spray, a mare who has been a goldmine for Lord and Lady Lloyd-Webber's Watership Down Stud since being bought through Charlie Gordon-Watson for 500,000gns at the 1995 December Sales.

At that sale she was carrying a colt who realised 625,000gns and, named Tchaikovsky, finished third in the Irish Derby, while last season her daughter Crystal Music won the Fillies' Mile in the Lloyd-Webber colours.

This year's yearling added further to the record when bidding reached 750,000gns before Michael Goodbody saw off former British Bloodstock Agency stalwart Joss Collins, who set up Blandford Bloodstock in August.

Gordon-Watson, who bought Queen's Logic as a yearling at Deauville, purchased a 270,000gns Machiavellian daughter of Group 3 winner Dust Dancer from Hesmonds Stud and paid 210,000gns for a Watership Down Stud-consigned Selkirk colt. Both will go into training with Sir Michael Stoute for Saeed Suhail.

Gordon-Watson felt that the market was healthy and said: "There were some who I thought would make more, but I thought the market was very solid and strong."

Just two of the dozen lots to realise more than 200,000gns were not bought by Coolmore or the Maktoum family and their associates.

Adrian Nicoll of BBA Ireland secured a first-crop King Of Kings colt, who had been withdrawn from the Keeneland July Sales, for 400,000gns. The half-brother to two winners, who was consigned through Paul Shanahan's Ashtown House Stud, made $425,000 at Keeneland in November.

"He is for an owner in Hong Kong and will go into training in Britain, but I am not sure where," said Nicoll.

"But I think he will probably end up racing in Hong Kong eventually."

Nicoll was another happy with trading and said: "If you had a nice horse it was very strong and they were selling well, but if you didn't have the right ones they were falling through the cracks."

Heading the list of vendor buy-backs was Bosra Sham's second foal, a Sadler's Wells colt born on February 14 and thus named Bosra's Valentine. He was knocked down to Robert Nataf of Horse France at 500,000gns, but this was not enough to prise her from breeder Wafic Said, as the buyer's slip came back stating vendor purchase.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2001 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Oct 4, 2001
Previous Article:View from the training centres: The North.
Next Article:From the sales ring: Magnier loses out to Maktoum over 2.3million gns son of Desert Prince.

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