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Ginger buyers shell out 775,000gns.

A MULTITUDE of buyers from every corner of the globe packed Tattersalls yesterday for the first day of one of the greatest and longest-established institutions in the thoroughbred auction calendar-the breeding-stock session of the December Sales.

Trade in the very best foals and yearlings has been running sky-high over the last couple of years and, not altogether surprisingly, the mares deemed capable of producing such animals were in heavy demand yesterday.

A partnership including breeders from three different continents won the day's most sought-after offering, the four-year-old Woodman mare Shell Ginger (lot 1,412), sold in foal to Sadler's Wells.

Consigned by Glenvale Stud as agent, Shell Ginger, who was trained by Aidan O'Brien for Sue Magnier, finished the 1996 season as Ireland's equal second-highest-rated two-year-old filly after efforts that included a victory in the Group 3 Killavullan Stakes at Leopardstown.

Furthermore, she comes from a high-quality family as a daughter of the US Grade 1-placed and dual Grade 2 winner Truly Bound.

This aspect of the pedigree no doubt appealed to American breeder Bob Greenbaum, who made much of the early running, along with Charlie Gordon- Watson, the eventual underbidder, but neither could match Adrian Nicoll of the BBA (Ireland), who signed the ticket after his successful bid of 775,000gns.

Nicoll said: "She was bought for a four-man partnership of an Australian, American, Englishman and Irishman.

"She's the best mare in the sale by far and, if she could produce a good- looking Sadler's Wells foal, we would get a lot of the money back. She will be bred to the best next year and could quite well return to Sadler's Wells."

The best price for a horse-in-training was realised by Glorosia (lot 1,502), the 1997 Ascot Fillies' Mile winner. Offered from Luca Cumani's Bedford House stables, the daughter of Bering caught the eye of several parties, including Belinda Strudwick of Ballygallon Stud, but it was Fiona Needham, acting for German International Bloodstock, who secured the filly with her bid of 650,000gns.

This was some 18 times more than the FF280,000 she had cost when bought by Hugo Lascelles as a yearling at Deauville in 1996.

The Far East is the destination for Fanjica (lot 1,382), winner of the 1995 Lancashire Oaks for John Dunlop but since then second to Ryafan in the Grade 1 Yellow Ribbon Handicap at Santa Anita on November 2, 1997.

Offered by Egerton Stud as agent, the six-year-old daughter of Law Society, who was covered by the Breeders' Cup Mile winner Spinning World at Ashford in February, was bought for 330,000gns by the Shadai Farm of Teruya Yoshida, Japan's largest breeder.

Later in the day, Yoshida ended up second best in bidding for the two most expensive mares from the Niarchos Family's Course Investment Corporation.

First up was Party Doll (lot 1,492), the 12-year-old dam of Titus Livius, winner of two Group 2 sprints in the Niarchos colours.

The mare will be joining Andrew and Madeleine Lloyd-Webber's Watership Down Stud after selling for 300,000gns to Charlie Gordon-Watson and Simon Marsh, the stud manager.

The Shadai team was again underbidder for the three-year-old Common Grounds filly Encens (lot 1,495), a half-sister to nine winners including Scenic and the Group 1-placed two-year-old Cupid.

It was Demi O'Byrne, standing with the Coolmore team, who came off best at 305,000gns for this filly, who won at Fontainbleu as a juvenile.

But shortly afterwards the Shadai team made two successful forays into the market for a pair of three-year-old fillies-Careful Timing (lot 1,498), a 210,000gns daughter of Caerleon who had gained a Listed place since the publication of the catalogue, and Wren (lot 1,510), a 240,000gns purchase who finished second in the Group 2 Falmouth Stakes at Newmarket in July for Lord Huntingdon.

Heading to stud in West Sussex is Dundel (lot 1,415), the winner of a seven-furlong maiden at Ayr last year in the colours of her breeder Sheikh Mohammed, when trained by Barry Hills.

The Machiavellian mare, who is now in foal to Sadler's Wells, was the subject of a duel between Michel Henochsberg, former president of the French Thoroughbred Breeders' Association, and Joss Collins of the BBA.

At 285,000gns, it was the Newmarket based-agent who had the final say, acting on behalf of Sir Eric Parker's Crimbourne Stud.

Dundel is out of the Shirley Heights mare Dunoof, a half-sister to the dams of In The Wings and High-Rise, among others, in a family heavily- laden with some of the very best black type.

Collins said: "She deserves to go to a decent stallion, although it is hard to get a nomination to some of the best ones at this time of year."

Reilly Macdonald, of leading American vendors Eaton Sales, bought two of the Darley Stud draft, likely to be re-offered by their partnership in the States.

The pair were Sonata (lot 1,433), an unraced daughter of Polish Precedent in foal to Halling, who cost 190,000gns, and Marozia described by Macdonald as being "as pretty a mare as I have seen."

The 210,000gns daughter of Storm Bird who won on the all-weather at Lingfield for John Gosden.
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Title Annotation:Sports
Author:Prosser, Edward
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Dec 8, 1998
Previous Article:Betting Bureau: Coulthard in top gear.
Next Article:Success at long last; Last month's Japan Cup hero is descended from a line of well-bred flops.

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