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O'Callaghan lands 75,000gns Pegasus and reveals return to native Ireland; Edward Prosser reports from day two of the Tattersalls July Sale.

TOP US trainer Niall O'Callaghan revealed at Tattersalls last night that he is set to start training in Ireland after paying 75,000gns to buy the progressive three-yearold Love Pegasus out of Mark Johnston's stable.

O'Callaghan is returning to a stable at Dunmanway in his native County Cork after an 18-year training career at Churchill Downs that saw him saddle more than 60 Graded winners and earn $27 million in prize-money.

"I'm going to be training at a family farm, where there was a gallop already, and we have put in some stables with 10 horses at the moment," said O'Callaghan, after outbidding US owner Jim Treptow.

"I hope to get my licence in ten days and I'm delighted to be returning to Ireland. This horse has a big frame and looks like he might improve, and I have an affinity for his pedigree, especially his dam [Take Charge Lady]."

Love Pegasus's price was surpassed by John Gosden's recent impressive Newmarket maiden winner Time Machine, who caught the imagination of jumps buyers.

The Halling gelding will race in Sublimity's colours after freshman trainer Robbie Hennessy, whose father Bill owns the 2007 Champion Hurdle winner, paid 90,000gns to outbid Anthony Bromley for the three year-old.

"He might run on the Flat straight away, but his future will be going jumping and his form is working out very well," said Hennessy.

Jeff Pearce was hoping to fulfil one of his career ambitions last night after spending 70,000gns on top sprint handicapper Tamagin.

The six-year-old gained his tenth victory in a heritage handi-caat Windsor 12 days ago and will join Pearce's stable after the Newmarket trainer fought off interest from Stephen Hillen, standing with trainer Kevin Ryan, and an online bidder.

"I've always wanted to win the Stewards' Cup and perhaps he could be the horse to do it," said Pearce. "I trained Rotherfield Greys for it in 1988 but he was taken away from me a week before the race, and my old boss Frankie Durr won it with Crews Hill in 1981.

"It's been a while since I've had a good sprinter and, although I know this horse is at the top of the handicap, on a mark of 105, he can run in some serious handicaps this season and then go to Dubai next year. He's been bought for Nigel Hanger, who has had horses for years."

Trainer Tom George, bidding through agent David Redvers, outbid first Lucinda Russell and then French agent Nicolas de Watrigant for another jumping prospect in Jeremy Noseda's smart Brighton maiden winner Rocky's Pride, who realised 67,000gns.

"He should make a nice juvenile hurdler and is a lovely, uncomplicated, straightforward horse," said George.

The morning highlight was Jim Boyle's four-time winner Formation, who was bought by County Down-based agent Bertie Butler for 55,000gns on behalf of Riyadh-based Naif Al Altami.

"I have 45 to 50 horses in training for myself and friends," said Al Altami. "I liked the size and conformation of this horse and he's a dirt horse on pedigree. He'll probably travel out in three weeks' time and, hopefully, be ready to run at the start of our season, which runs from October to April."

Lot-by-lot details, page 25

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The Stewards' Cup is on the agenda for Tamagin (left), who was snapped up by trainer Jeff Pearce for 70,000gns
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Jul 9, 2009
Words:563
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