Ballyburn a Class Apart in Grade 1 Win

Tattersalls Ireland graduate Ballyburn produced the performance of the weekend at the Dublin Racing Festival, and announced himself as a live Cheltenham Festival candidate.

A graduate of the November National Hunt Sale, Ballyburn ran out an impressive winner of the Grade 1 Tattersalls Ireland 50th Derby Sale Novice Hurdle. He was sold in 2018 by The Beeches Stud as a foal to Ian Ferguson for €80,000. The six-year-old is a brother to the five-time winner Noble Endeavour, and holds entries in the Supreme and Baring Bingham Novices' Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.

The imposing son of Flemensfirth galloped his rivals into submission and ran out an easy seven length winner. It was a second win over hurdles for Ballyburn, who was adding to his 25 length maiden hurdle victory on his previous start.

The six-year-old is owned in partnership by Ronnie Bartlett and David Manasseh, while trainer Willie Mullins was winning the race for the sixth year in succession. Former Closutton inmates to have won the Tattersalls Ireland sponsored Grade 1 include Derby Sale graduates Asterion Forlonge and Appreciate It. The successful rider Paul Townend was winning the race for the third time in four years.

Another Grade 1 Tattersalls Ireland graduate winner was Nickle Back who claimed the Scilly Isles Novice Chase at Sandown. The eight-year-old was runner up in each of his last two starts in Grade 2 company, and despite racing with real exuberance throughout came home with seven lengths to spare over his closest rival.

It proved a memorable success for trainer Sarah Humphrey and jockey James Best, as both were tasting Grade 1 success for the first time with Nickle Back, who was purchased in August 2019 from Peter Nolan Bloodstock by PJ Cosgrave.

Another graded Store sale winner was Derby Sale graduate Jeroboam Machin. The five-year-old son of Joshua Tree quickened in impressive style to come home with four-and-a-half lengths to spare over dual bumper winner You Oughta Know.

It was a deeply impressive performance from Jeroboam Machin who was purchased at the 2019 Derby Sale from Cliften Farm by Monbeg Stables for €20,000. Just nine months after going through the Tattersalls Ireland sales ring, he won his point-to-point at Durrow for trainer Cormac Doyle.

November National Hunt Sale graduate Heart Wood provided trainer Henry de Bromhead with his first winner at this years’ Dublin Racing Festival. The six-year-old French bred came home with fourteen lengths to spare over his closest rival, and looks to be on an upward curve based on this performance. He was purchased from Tildarg Stables by Societe d'entrainement Peltier for €10,000.

The card at Sandown on Saturday produced fine performances from more Store sale graduates. Saint Davy made it four career wins when winning a handicap hurdle, and the lightly raced seven-year-old is beginning to fulfil his early potential. He was purchased at the 2020 Derby Sale from Moanmore Stables by Monbeg Stables, and has the profile of a rapidly improving handicapper.

Entries are now being taken for the 2024 Store sales.