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Houghton Sales: Grabbing the limelight; Sadler's Wells sired over an eighth of the lots. Whatever happened to rarity value?

SADLER'S WELLS is all things to all men. He is an owner-breeder's sire, a commercial breeder's sire, a broodmare sire-even a jumps sire.

A total of 26 yearlings in the catalogue means there is no scarcity value for his progeny. That is generally the case at this auction, but despite that he has been responsible for the

top-priced Houghton lot in 1993, 1995 (joint) and 1997, and the second top-priced lot in 1993, 1994 (though this one ended up back with her vendor), 1996 (joint), 1997 (joint) and 1999. In other words, only once in the last seven years has he failed to make the first two places on the Houghton scoreboard-and that was in 1998, when he finished third with his 1,000,000gns son Columbus. Unfortunately, that colt depreciated to 38,000gns at the Tattersalls July Sales 21 months later.

Sadler's Wells also managed to top the 1999 Keeneland November Sale foals with a $1,400,000 half-brother to Prix de Diane runner-up Mousse Glacee (by Mtoto) and Group 3 Prix Corrida winner Majoune (by Take Risks) out of Madame Est Sortie (Prix Penelope-Gr3). Now offered by agent Ted Voute, this lot (119) can hardly be said to come from an ultra-fashionable family, but it is one that has produced its

high-class performers out of relatively unfashionable sires, and Sadler's Wells is by some way the most successful sire the dam has visited. Even so, the current exchange rate of around $1.43 to the pounds means this colt has to hit the 1,000,000gns mark just to recoup his foal bid, let alone the various taxes, travel, keep and veterinary expenses he will have incurred in the meantime.

Another Sadler's Wells colt who should be in the running for a big price is the son of Group 1 Prix Vermeille heroine Darara (54). This colt is a brother to 1999 Prix du Jockey-Club third Rhagaas and Darazari, a Group 1 winner in Australia after landing the Group 2 Prix Maurice de Nieuil in France, and is also a half-brother to Group 1-placed Dariyoun and closely related to this year's Coronation Cup winner Daliapour. This lot is bred on the same cross (Sadler's Wells x Top Ville mare) as Montjeu.

Another stallion who links particularly well with Sadler's Wells is Shirley Heights, and plenty of breeders have followed the cross, judging by this year's Houghton catalogue. Four of his yearling are out of mares by Shirley Heights, while two others are out of the 1977 Derby winner's sons High Estate and Darshaan. In addition, the

grand-dam of a seventh yearling is by Shirley Heights.

THAT collection includes a colt (61) and filly (92) tracing to Sunbittern, whose female descendants have linked so well with Sadler's Wells-producing In The Wings, Hawker's News and Hunting Hawk, among others. The colt is closely related to current smart French sprinter Seltitude, while the filly is out of top-class Infamy, who has produced Group 3 winner Barafamy to Sadler's Wells's son Barathea and also smart Innuendo (by Caerleon).

Others out of Shirley Heights mares are lot 68, a half-brother to a Listed-placed performer out of a half-sister to high-class Free Guest; lot 83, a grandson of smart Gay Hellene from the family of Pilsudski; and lot 200, a grandson of Favoridge.

Darshaan is the broodmare sire of lot 100, who is therefore bred on the same cross as Ebadiyla, Greek Dance and Crimson Tide. among others. This colt is a grandson of Kozana, who was third to Rainbow Quest and Sagace in the 1985 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe.

Heading the remaining colts by Sadler's Wells are half-brothers to top-class Grand Lodge and current smart three-year-old Papabile (105); to high-class trio Cloud Castle (by Sadler's Wells's son In The Wings), Luso and Needle Gun (114); and to high-class middle-distance performer Wagon Master from the family of Millenary, Petrushka and Spectrum (195). A Sadler's Wells filly, lot 86, is out of a half-sister to Wagon Master.

Lot 89 is a colt out of a half-sister to Pilsudski and is inbred 2x3 to Northern Dancer. Lot 148 is very closely related to Listed-winning sprinter Immovable Option and closely related to Irish Oaks heroine Dance Design. Lot 161 is a brother to a winner out of a half-sister to Truly A Dream (EP Taylor S-Gr2) and to the dam of Cerulean Sky (Prix Saint-Alary-Gr1). Lot 38 is a half-brother to a Grade 2-placed performer out of a half-sister to Lomond, Seattle Dancer and Seattle Slew. And Lot 11 is out of Cheshire Oaks heroine Abury.

Not surprisingly, all his nine fillies come from fine families. Besides the ones already mentioned, there is the first foal of a winning sister to Myself, with Pushy as grand-dam (133).

There are also two fillies from families partly taken over by Michael Poland after the death of Jim Joel, who had nurtured their families. Lot 164 is a half-sister to a Listed-placed performer out of a half-sister to King's Theatre

(by Sadler's Wells) and High Estate. And lot 192 is a sister to current three-year-old filly True Crystal and is also closely related to 1999 Irish Derby third Tchaikovsky out of high-class State Crystal.
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Title Annotation:Sports
Author:Hickman, Janet
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Sep 21, 2000
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