Mullins and Kirk secure Top Lot on Day One of 50th Derby Sale

Willie Mullins and Harold Kirk purchased the son of No Risk At All for €175,000.
Willie Mullins and Harold Kirk purchased the son of No Risk At All for €175,000.

The opening day of the Tattersalls Ireland 50th Derby Sale saw ten lots sell for six-figure sums with a top price of €175,000 given for the already-named Boedic (Lot 86).

The bidding for the No Risk At All gelding opened theatrically at €100,000, agent Tom Malone hoping that surprise tactics would seal the deal in his favour. Unluckily for Malone fortune did not favour the brave and it was Harold Kirk, buying for Willie Mullins, who proved to be successful.

"That was a bit of a shock!" said Kirk when referencing Malone’s starting bid, adding: "This horse was my number one for today, he is by one of my favourite sires and the dam was a very good cross-country mare, which we love as we have had some very good horses out of cross-country mares. He is a stunning individual, has fantastic movement and he just ticked every box. Every time I saw him, I loved him more and he is for an owner in Willie's yard.

"He is very athletic and he should not take a load of time – a lot of No Risk At All's can come to hand quickly."

The gelding was sold by second-season consignor Michael O'Brien's Creighmore Stables.

"My first thought was that I hope someone else goes on!" laughed O'Brien when asked of his reaction when the bidding opened at the six-figure price.

O’Brien, who spent three years working with Walter Connors before branching out on his own, explained his association with the gelding. 

"He was bought privately by Seamus Murphy as a foal in France, and was owned by myself and Walter; he has always been a lovely sort,” he said. “I was hoping that he was going to be an important horse today – a lot of people told me that they thought he is the nicest here today. I am delighted that he is going to Willie Mullins."

Norman Williamson’s Oak Tree Farm was the day’s leading consignor with three of its four lots offered selling for €90,000 and above, the top-priced of the trio being the Doctor Dino gelding out of the Kahaysi mare Bournie (Lot 103) sold to Mags O’Toole for €170,000.

Named Bouffon Has, the gelding is a half-brother to the multiple graded-winning hurdler Botox Has and was pinhooked by Williamson in France last year for €95,000. 

"He cost plenty as a two-year-old, but he is a gorgeous horse with a great pedigree,” said Williamson. Thankfully he has turned back in here as a beautiful horse – for a Doctor Dino I thought he was really good mover and good-looker, and everyone seemed to like him.”

Purchaser O’Toole laughed saying: “We should have bought him last year when we saw him in France! We have had to give the icing on the cake to Norman, but at least we have him now."

The bidding for Sunshineway (Lot 169), a gelding by Galiway, a half-brother to the Listed winner and Group-placed Flat runner Styleargent, consigned by Lakefield Farm and one of the expected stars of the day, sped up from its opening €30,000 into six figures, and was concluded by a determined Ross Doyle at €170,000.

"He will go to Sam Curling for pre-training and then to Willie Mullins, he is for an established client," said Doyle when outlining future plans. He was one of the two we had picked today for this specific owner and we were underbidder on the No Risk At All.  We were very keen, and we had to push the boat out but that is what happens with these special horses."

The Baroda Stud-consigned Crystal Ocean gelding out of the Yeats mare Carrowmore (Lot 115) was bought by Harold Kirk, Willie Mullins and MV Magnier for €120,000, a price matched by the Jukebox Jury gelding from Brook Lodge Stud (Lot 177). He is the fourth foal out of the Soldier Of Fortune mare Fortunes Harvest and was pinhooked as a foal at the November NH Sale for €42,000.

The session produced a turnover of €6,656,500, with the 142 horses sold at an average price of €46,877, a median price of €39,000. The clearance rate was 78 per cent.

The second day of the 50th Derby Sale begins at 10:30am tomorrow.