Derby Sale 2019 got off to a flying start with notably strong trade throughout a first session that produced a turnover of €9,003,000, a satisfactory increase of two per cent compared with day one in 2018. The session's average price of €52,343 and median of €45,000 were closely comparable to that of last year.
Thirteen horses sold for €100,000 or more, the same figure as in 2018, and of the 208 horses offered, 172 found new homes producing a healthy clearance rate of 83 per cent.
The day’s top lot (Lot 73) fetched €190,000 and was described by auctioneer Alastair Pim as a "Gold Cup horse of the future".
A son of Al Namix, he is already named Gigolo’ Dai Dai and was bought by Kevin Ross Bloodstock on behalf of owner Chris Jones.
"He is a gorgeous individual, we had to push the boat out a bit, but he is our pick of the sale," said Ross of the Sluggara Farm-consigned three-year-old. "I have not had much to do with progeny by Al Namix before but he obviously gets class horses. The first runner out of the mare is useful, which gives a lot of confidence, too.”
Of Pim’s predictions, Ross said: “When you are buying a store horse for this sort of money, you are hoping that they will get to the top. He will go to Chris's farm to be broken in and pre-trained, I don't know what the plan will be then."
The bidding kicked off for Lot 57 at €100,000, slightly taking onlookers by surprise, but after a small delay the price rolled on to €180,000. Bidders for the son of Milan included Tom Malone and Tessa Greatrex, but it was Mags O’Toole who was the successful purchaser.
It was a profitable pinhooking result for consignor Roxborough Stud – the April-born bay gelding, who is the third foal out of a half-sister to the Grade 3-winning chaser Oiseau De Nuit, was bought as a foal at the November Sale for just €26,000.
Consignor Barry Fitzgerald said: “It is always exciting when bidding starts off at such a figure! He has been busy throughout his time here, there has been loads and loads of interest. We bought him as a foal from Ballincurrig House and he was highly recommended by the farm.
“He is by Milan and Henry de Bromhead, who trains Monalee, one of the best sons of Milan, told us that this horse is very similar.”
O’Toole added: “I have been thinking about this horse for two days! We are thrilled to get him, and he goes into training with Henry De Bromhead.”
Aiden Murphy and son Olly spent €170,000 on an Oak Tree Farm-consigned Kayf Tara gelding out of the Listed winner Whops A Daisy (Lot 91), and €165,000 on Lakefield Farm’s gelding by Fame And Glory (Lot 146). The February-born three-year-old is out of Bolly (Jolly Jake), a half-sister to the dam of Birchdale, a Grade 2 novice hurdle winner at Cheltenham last season.
A filly by Walk In The Park (Lot 117) offered by Peter Nolan Bloodstock was the session’s top-priced filly. She was bought by Bobby O’Ryan with trainer Gordon Elliott for €80,000.