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Houghton Sales: Major stakes the name of the game; Big spending has been the US pattern this year.

FIGURES often make startling comparisons. Take the 1999 Tattersalls Houghton Sale aggregate of 34,665,000gns. At the current exchange rate of about $1.43 to the pounds , that amounts to $52 million-less than the reported valuation of 2000 Kentucky Derby winner Fusaichi Pegasus as a stallion prospect. We're talking here about the most elite sale in Europe, the most concentrated source of high-class pedigrees and individuals on offer.

There have been very few negative pointers this year in the US yearling market to events in the sale-rings of Europe this autumn. At Keeneland in July, there was a new record average of $621,015 (around pounds 434,300), topping the mark that had stood since 1984. Fasig-Tipton Saratoga also hit a record average of $305,847 (pounds 213,900), and its top price of $4.2 million (pounds 2,937,100) was the second highest in the sale's history. The Keeneland September Sale is still going on, but there have been 27 seven-figure lots, led by a $6.8 million (pounds 4,755,200) Storm Cat colt closely related to Storm Song and bought by Coolmore, the organisation which is to stand Fusaichi Pegasus at its Ashford Stud in Kentucky next year.

The Houghton will have to break its auction record of 3,000,000gns-paid in 1998 for the Nureyev-Go Solo colt named Abshurr-to beat that figure. It will have to sail way past Deauville's top price of 2000, Ff9 million (pounds 833,300) for a Diesis half-sister to Urban Sea and King's Best, a pedigree difficult to beat in terms of both quality and current fashion.

However, Tattersalls has compiled a 206-lot catalogue featuring some pedigrees that have the potential to attract huge money if the physical reality allows it. Interestingly, this is by some way the smallest catalogue since 1991, when 210 lots were catalogued and 184 were offered. In theory, fewer lots should mean a greater concentration of quality.

The yearlings are offered in three sessions. After racing on the Rowley Mile next Tuesday, 55 lots are scheduled to be offered at Park Paddocks, starting at 5.30pm. Wednesday is rest day for racing but not for the sales, with 101 yearlings earmarked for auction. Thursday copies Tuesday's pattern, this time with 50 individuals.

These lots form the possible contenders for the pounds 400,000 Tattersalls Houghton Sales Stakes over seven furlongs. This year's edition is run next Tuesday, a few hours before lot 1 enters the ring at Park Paddocks.

Graduates of the sale to have made a major impact this year include two juvenile Group 1 winners in the past week-Saturday's Prix de la Salamandre winner Tobougg (230,000gns) and Sunday's National Stakes hero Beckett (1,700,000gns). They join top-level scorers Kayf Tara (210,000gns) and Prix du Moulin winner Indian Lodge, who went through the ring for 40,000gns in 1997, though he is part owned by Sir Eric Parker, whose Crimbourne Stud consigned the colt.

OTHERS to have struck at Group/Graded level include Alrassaam (265,000gns), Barrow Creek (135,000gns), Cassandra Go (200,000gns), First Magnitude (115,000gns), Josr Algarhoud (160,000gns), Kutub (220,000gns), Mutamam (185,000gns), Orchestra Stall (20,000gns), Pacino (50,000gns) and Performing Magic (300,000gns). It is not just the expensive ones who have shone; Shakespeare (2.2 million guineas) is a Listed winner, but so are Hot Tin Roof and Watching, both 16,000gns.

This year's auction is not far off being a showcase for Coolmore stallions and those based at Maktoum studs. A total of 18 Coolmore stallions-based in Ireland and at Ashford-are responsible for 87 lots, or 42.2 per cent of the catalogue. And 10 stallions at Maktoum studs have supplied 53 lots (25.7 per cent). Together, they account for 68 per cent of the entire sale.

To be really specific, the sale is a Sadler's Wells showcase. He has 26 yearlings in the catalogue- over an eighth of the lots-and they come from a crop of a remarkable 153 reported foals. No stallion comes near to his representation-a distant second is stud-mate Danehill with 15 lots.

Danehill's total of 13 colts and two fillies is symptomatic of the catalogue. Colts outnumber fillies by 136 to 70, or 66 per cent to 34 per cent, reflecting the policy pursued by many commercial breeders of selling all the colts and retaining nearly all of the fillies. Most of the fillies are offered by breeders who already have retained daughters of the dam.

As for the quality of the lots, only the physical specimens will tell. A total of 58 dams (28.2 per cent) were black-type winners, and 71 (34.5 per cent) have produced black-type winners. Virtually all the best sires in Europe have representatives, along with Diesis, Gone West, Kingmambo, Nureyev, Silver Hawk, Storm Cat and Woodman among the Kentucky contingent.

Besides the Sadler's Wells 26, who are dealt with on page H7, there are six first-crop stallions represented-Benny The Dip, Danehill Dancer, Desert King, Entrepreneur, Singspiel and Spinning World. More about them on pages H10 and H11.

There are 47 other stallions represented in the catalogue, responsible for 147 lots.

Two of them are by Nureyev, who is sire of the Houghton record-holder at three million guineas, the unraced Abshurr. He will do well to match that figure again, but his colts-both out of Riverman mares, and therefore bred on the same cross as Spinning World-topped the $500,000 mark as foals at the Keeneland November Sale.

Lot 169, who made $525,000, is a grandson of Call The Queen, whose descendants include North American champion older mare Jewel Princess. Third dam of this one is champion American two-year-old filly and influential broodmare Queen Empress. The second Nureyev (lot 196) made $550,000 last year and is out of a sister to River Deep (Jersey S-Gr3) from the family of Zoman.

Sitting second in the record books is Listed winner Shakespeare, a 2.2 million guinea son of Rainbow Quest and Silver Lane. It is a tall order for any stallion to top that 1998 total, but Rainbow Quest has to be considered one of the few candidates with the ammunition to do so. Pride of place in what is, on paper, an exceptional bunch is Bosra Sham's first foal (32), a colt born on January 30.

BOSRA SHAM'S credentials are not far from faultless. She was a fine-looking yearling, for she topped the 1994 Houghton Sales at 530,000gns. She has a fine pedigree-she is a sister to Hector Protector and closely related to Shanghai, both winners of the Poule d'Essai des Poulains, and is also closely related to this year's Prix Lupin and Secretariat Stakes winner Ciro. And she was one of the best fillies of the 1990s,

nContinued, page H4winning the Fillies' Mile, 1,000 Guineas and Champion Stakes.

Everyone with a deep pocket will take a look at this colt. If at least two love what they see, then be prepared for a major bidding war on this one.

There are other potential candidates for a big price among Rainbow Quest's progeny. Among the colts, lot 171 is very closely related to Gold Splash (by Nashwan), winner of the Prix Marcel Boussac and Coronation Stakes. Both are out of Prix Saint-Alary winner Riviere d'Or, a daughter of Arc heroine Gold River.

There are also lot 72, a half-brother to Group/Graded winners Crockadore and Flowing; and lot 87, a half-brother

to Amfortas (King Edward VII S-Gr2), Legend Maker (Prix de Royaumont-Gr3) and current smart

three-year-old filly Dollar Bird. Grand-dam of this last-named colt is Sunbittern, who has several descendants in the catalogue; more of them later.

The Rainbow Quest fillies include two out of Classic winners. Classic Park, winner of the 1997 Irish 1,000 Guineas and a half-sister to Grade 2 scorer Rumpipumpy, is dam of lot 42. Melodist, who dead-heated with Diminuendo for the 1988 Irish Oaks but is yet to produce anything in her own league, is dam of lot 124.

THE Rainbow Quest filly out of Grade 2-placed Key Flyer (101) is from a marvellous family. She shares her grand-dam Key Partner with top Japanese filly Dance Partner, and her third dam is Native Partner, whose descendants include Ajdal, Arazi, and now Group 2 Champagne Stakes winner Noverre. Rainbow Quest's three other fillies (lots 156, 163 and 165) are also from nice families.

Rainbow Quest's son Spectrum, who has made an encouraging start with his first runners this year, has two colts on offer. One is out of Ballad Rock's Listed-winning half-sister Pirouette (151). The other is offered from Bloomsbury Stud on behalf of Plantation Stud, representing an alteration in policy in the wake of Lord Howard de Walden's death. Lot 109, he is out of a Listed-winning half-sister to Yorkshire Oaks heroine Catchascatchcan, whose sire Pursuit Of Love is, like Spectrum, a grandson of Blushing Groom.

Spectrum's half-sister Ballet Shoes is dam of outstanding filly Petrushka, whose exploits will ensure interest in her half-brother by Alzao (22). This is also the family of St Leger winner Millenary, Saddlers' Hall and Sun Princess.

Another current

high-class filly is Ela Athena, who was second to Fantastic Light in the Grade 1 Man o' War Stakes at Belmont Park on September 9. Her half-brother, lot 49, is by Night Shift, also sire of a brother to top-class sprinter Eveningperformance (40).

Border Arrow, a close third in this year's Coronation Cup, is a

half-brother to lot 135, a colt by Polish Precedent.

The Dalham Hall stallion has a very well-bred collection, conceived in the wake of Pilsudski's fine 1997 campaign. The team includes a colt bred on similar lines to Pilsudski (77) and a brother to Riyadian out of Irish Oaks heroine Knight's Baroness (102). Lots 35 and 37, both out of Listed-placed mares, are respectively grandsons of Time Charter and Dancing Rocks, while the three fillies (16, 73, 145) are half-sisters to stakes winners and/or are out of stakes winners. And starting off day two is lot 56, a half-brother to Courteous (Grand Prix de Deauville-Gr2) out of a sister to Darshaan.

The Aga Khan's stallion, recovered after a bout of colic this spring, continues to reinforce his standing as a broodmare sire, with

Best Of The Bests, Enzeli, Greek Dance, Sendawar, Sobieski and Tagshira his Pattern-winning representatives this year. Two of his fillies make it to the catalogue-a half-sister to Listed winner Inchacooley (30) and a daughter of Listed-placed Rithab (168).

Two of the six Darshaan colts are brothers to smart performers. Lot 65 is a brother to Ebaziya, the dam of Group 1-winning trio Ebadiyla, Edabiya and Enzeli, while lot 189 is a brother to Listed winner and Group 3-placed Puce. In addition, lot 193 is closely related to 1998 Prix du Jockey-Club third Sestino (by Darshaan's sire Shirley Heights), while lot 103 is out of a half-sister to

top-class pair Loup Solitaire and Loup Sauvage.

Darshaan's top miling son Mark Of Esteem has a team of six, including a half-sister to high-class trio Azzilfi, Khamaseen and Tamnia (198). Joining her are a colt (41) closely related to Oaks runner-up Game Plan, whose half-sister Shahtoush went one better in the Classic. Game Plan's foals include the aforementioned Sobieski (Prix Eugene Adam-Gr2). Another colt, lot 76, has stakes winners as dam (Gai Bulga), grand-dam (Dancing Rocks) and third dam (Croda Rossa).

Mark Of Esteem also has colts out of the remarkable Reprocolor (166) and her grand-daughter Warning Belle (7). There are seven members of this family in the catalogue, all from Meon Valley Stud. Reprocolor's colt, her 18th foal, is a half-brother to Bella Colora, Cezanne (by Alzao, broodmare sire of Mark Of Esteem), Colorspin (dam of Opera House and Kayf Tara) and Rappa Tap Tap. The last-named has a Machiavellian colt (162) while her Group 2-placed daughter Pick Of The Pops has an Indian Ridge colt (150). Pick Of The Pops has been responsible for a 750,000gns filly and 480,000gns colt-both by Polish Precedent-in the last four Houghton Sales.

Bella Colora is not represented, but her daughters Bella Ballerina (Diesis colt, 25), Hyabella (Green Desert colt, 90) and Warning Belle are. Another daughter of Reprocolor, Colorsnap, has the one filly from the family-a Nashwan half-sister to this year's Group 2 Falmouth Stakes runner-up Croeso Cariad, plus Listed winner Photogenic (45).

FROM Meon Valley, there are also three grandchildren of Milligram, who beat Miesque and Sonic Lady in the 1987 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes. Lot 18 is a Halling

half-sister to Kissogram (Sun Chariot S-Gr2), lot 125 is a Saddlers' Hall

half-brother to current three-year-old Tolstoy, and lot 74 is a Machiavellian half-brother to current useful juvenile filly Fantasy Ridge.

Another Meon Valley family, that of Odeon, is the source of Lady Carla, who was sold as a yearling to Wafic Said and won the 1996 Oaks. Her first foal (106) is a son of Gone West. The same sire also has a colt closely related to very smart juvenile The West (129).

Gone West's son Zafonic has four in the sale, notably a brother to both this year's Group 2

Mehl-Mulhens-Rennen winner Pacino and high-class Japanese performer Zachariah (95), plus daughters of Group 3 winners Dust Dancer (62) and One Way Street (144). The last-named mare is dam of a Listed-placed performer to Zafonic and also Pattern winners Grape Tree Road (Grand Prix de Paris-Gr1), Red Route and Windsor Castle.

Staying with the Mr Prospector sire line, Machiavellian is responsible for brothers to two of his best colts. Lot 147 shares his parents with high-class sprinter Titus Livius plus 2000 French Listed-placed filly Bahama Dream. Lot 194 is a brother to Best Of The Bests, whose most recent performance was a third in the Irish Champion Stakes, out of high-class Sueboog.

Woodman's quartet includes a colt (43) bred on similar lines to Bosra Sham. His dam Cloelia- who has produced 1999 Group 2 Prix Robert Papin third Finnan to Woodman's sire Mr Prospector-is a half-sister to Korveya, dam of Bosra Sham and Hector Protector. This family goes well with Mr Prospector in general and Woodman in particular.

The Woodman fillies are out of smart Jumilla (94) and top-class two-year-old Lyric Fantasy (117). The latter filly went through the ring for a relatively modest $100,000 as a foal last November; if she has grown up into a good-looking filly, she should make a lot more than that.

Also potentially well bought is lot 128, a Royal Academy half-brother to four stakes winners headed by Alphabatim (Doncaster Futurity-Gr1). This colt, nFrom page H5

from the first US crop of his sire, was a $120,000 foal.

Another by Royal Academy is a colt out of a Storm Cat half-sister to 1999 Prix Vermeille runner-up Etizaaz and current smart juvenile Santolina (143), with Swain's half-sister Alamosa as grand-dam. Etizaaz was the top-priced filly here in 1997 at 500,000gns, and her Deputy Minister half-brother was purchased by Demi O'Byrne for $1 million at Keeneland last week.

Lot 143 is inbred 2x4 to Crimson Saint, the dam of Royal Academy and grand-dam of Storm Cat, who was responsible for the $6.8m yearling at the Keeneland September Sale. It will be fascinating to see how the market assesses his filly out of juvenile Grade 1 winner Oath (141).

THE Keeneland second top lot was a $5.3m Kingmambo colt, purchased by John Ferguson. Kingmambo has the rare distinction among youngish sires of Classic winners both in the US (Lemon Drop Kid) and Britain (King's Best), and his reputation is big and growing. In the fortunate position of offering colts by him are Watership Down Stud (as agent), which has the first foal of Grade 3 winner Cymbala (lot 51, inbred 4x4x4 to Northern Dancer), and Voute Sales, which has a half-brother to smart 1999 juvenile Ma Yoram out of a daughter of Ancient Regime (158).

Theatrical had his portion of the limelight with a $4m sister to Humbel and half-sister to Escena. His two chances to make a big impact at the Houghton are lot 46, a half-brother to Tipsy Creek and current smart filly May Contessa, and lot 167, a grand-daughter of Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies' runner-up Sweet Roberta.

Offspring of Kingmambo and Theatrical may be in short supply, but that is far from the case for Danehill, with 15 lots. The 13 colts feature half-brothers to Group 1 winners Matiya (155), Queen Maud (127) and Tarascon (33), plus high-class pair Cunning (4) and Bold Russian (174). There are also a half-brother to three stakes winners out of Grade 3 winner Tycoon's Drama (210), and a colt closely related to Johan Cruyff (132).

Danehill's sire Danzig is also well represented through Green Desert, with 10. Pick of them on paper is the son of Group 2 Preis der Diana winner Centaine (36). Another interesting lot by Green Desert is 108, out of a Listed-placed half-sister to Oaks heroine Love Divine.

Green Desert is generally a good source of Houghton Sales Stakes contenders-his son Tamarisk was second in 1997-and so is Cadeaux Genereux. Two likely juvenile fillies by him are lots 27 and 47. The former is out of Moyglare Stud Stakes winner Bianca Nera, whose half-sister Hotelgenie Dot Com was second in this year's edition of the Group 1 race. The latter is a half-sister to Crazee Mental.

Celtic Swing's sole filly (185) is a sister to Chesham Stakes winner Celtic Silence, already snapped up by Godolphin, out of Grade 2 scorer Smart 'n Noble. Another of their buys was 1999 Houghton winner Inchlonaig, whose sire Nashwan and Listed-winning half-sister Ingozi are the parents of lot 93. This colt, a half-brother to smart Tissifer, has Inchmurrin as grand-dam.

Nashwan also has a half-brother to 1998 Irish Derby third Desert Fox plus Grade 3 scorers Home Of The Free and Poolesta (160).

Others with distinguished siblings are lot 88, a Vettori half-brother to High-Rise, and lot 152, a King's Theatre half-sister to Sil Sila. Lot 136, a colt by Indian Ridge, has a distinguished dam in 1993 Irish 1,000 Guineas winner Nicer.

INDIAN RIDGE'S team also features a son (209) of EP Taylor Stakes heroine Truly A Dream from a fine family and a filly (84), out of Old Vic's

high-class half-sister Green Lucia, with considerable broodmare potential. Green Lucia is dam of Luchiroverte and grand-dam of King O' The Mana, Tadwiga and Bartok, sire of one of the best US two-year-olds this year.

Two more fillies with distinct broodmare potential are lots 139 and 207. The former, by Grand Lodge, is out of smart Noble Tiara, dam or grand-dam of several talented runners including Give The Slip and Stowaway. The latter yearling, by Halling, is a half-sister to recent Group 3 Prix de Meautry winner Three Points out of a grand-daughter of Triple First. This family, which has formed the core of Hesmonds Stud's operation in the last 20 years, also includes lot 202, a filly by Hector Protector out of a daughter of Triple First.

Halling's team also features a half-brother to Grade 3 scorer Jumrom (70), while fellow first-season sire Ashkalani has a half-brother to smart pair Solar Bound (in US) and Bintalreef bred on similar lines to Soviet Line (187), while his contemporary Anabaa has a half-sister to French stakes winners Shigeru Summit (Prix du Calvados-Gr3) and Okabango (170).

Kaldoun, recently put down at the age of 25, has an interesting colt out of Park Hill Stakes winner Coigach from a strong middle-distance family (44), while Lear Fan has a colt closely related to his high-class sons Fanmore and Labeeb (120).

The US-sired team also includes a Dynaformer

half-brother to current juvenile Londoner out of a Grade 1-placed half-sister to Zoman (113), and two by Silver Hawk. The first is a colt out of a Grade

3-winning daughter of Poule d'Essai des Pouliches heroine Pearl Bracelet (71), and the second is a half-brother to two stakes winners out of a half-sister to Caracolero plus the dam of Secreto (153).

Marju has a brother to Grade 2 winner Sapphire Ring (123) and a filly (66) out of a half-sister to Fruits Of Love and Mujadil. And there has been a big boost to lot 99 from recent Group 3 May Hill Stakes winner Karasta, whose Listed-placed dam Karliyfa is a half-sister to this son of Barathea. The sire of last Saturday's Prix de la Salamandre winner Tobougg is also responsible for lot 110, a colt bred on similar lines to Saffron Walden and Insight, while fellow Sadler's Wells stallion King's Theatre has a colt closely related to Centre Stalls (112).

Finally, Selkirk has a brother to 1999 Prix de la Foret winner Field Of Hope (75) and a colt out of a half-sister to One So Wonderful, Alnasr Alwasheek and Relatively Special (190).
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Title Annotation:Sports
Author:Hickman, Janet
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Sep 21, 2000
Words:3477
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