National Hunt Horse Smashes World Record

The Tattersalls Ireland Andy and Gemma Brown Dispersal Sale lived up to its pre-sale billing as a once in a lifetime opportunity for National Hunt buyers and owners, and after a fantastic afternoon’s trade. 

The 29 lots sold have produced a world record price for a National Hunt horse in training sold at public auction of €740,000, while four horses sold for over €500,000 and ten for €200,000 or more.

The session turnover of €5,290,000 is a record-breaking aggregate for a one-day boutique National Hunt sale at Tattersalls Ireland. The average price for the session was €182,414.

As was widely expected, December’s Grade 1 Future Champions Novice Hurdle winner Caldwell Potter (Lot 5) was the session top lot, while Gordon Elliott was a determined underbidder and did his best to ensure the horse returned to Cullentra House Stables. Anthony Bromley of Highflyer Bloodstock proved to have the greater firepower for the six-year-old son of Martaline, who's a leading fancy for the Grade 1 Supreme Novices Hurdle and the Grade 1 Baring Bingham Novices Hurdle. 

Bromley took a deep breath after the purchase in front of a packed Fairyhouse sale ring and said: "You just don't get these rare commodities come on the market. My heart was skyrocketing when I was watching El Fabiolo jumping at Leopardstown yesterday, but this was far more nerve wracking! 

“I have bought him for great clients John Hales, Ged Mason, Sir Alex Ferguson and Peter Done, who have a lovely horse in Kalif Du Berlais and this horse will join him at Paul Nicholls.”

Of the individual, Bromley continued: "He is standout, a lovely horse, I loved him as a youngster as a store. I have watched his career closely – he has only been running over 2m yet he looks a stayer. He may potentially be a Gold Cup horse, long term. 

"I can't say what plans Paul will have for the horse and we will see how it all works out, obviously there are the Cheltenham entries and Aintree would be a consideration, but he has been bought really as a chaser of the future.” 

Mags O’Toole purchased the six-year-old Fil Dor (Lot 10) for €620,000, the son of Doctor Dino a five-time winner, including at Grade 2 and Grade 3 level over hurdles. He was recently a good second in December’s Grade 2 Hilly Way Chase to El Fabiolo.

"He is a lovely sort and will be going back to Gordon's and has been bought for a client," said O'Toole. 

The top-class dual-purpose Pied Piper (Lot 21), who finished second on the Flat in the Cesarewitch Handicap at Newmarket in the autumn and is a Grade 2 winner over hurdles, is another who will be returning to Cullentra House Stables under new ownership, purchased by Windgates Stud on behalf of a new syndicate. 

Timmy Hillman was with the purchasing group, which went head-to-head and outbattled Eddie O’Leary for the son of New Approach, and he said: “This is a gorgeous horse and will be one for the staying races on the Flat and top class hurdle races. He is going back to Gordon's, who has been so successful with him. It is for a new syndicate who were keen to have a real decent dual-purpose type." 

The most expensive purchase of the four bought by Gordon Elliott Racing was Staffordshire Knot, son of Shantou, winner of two of his three career starts and last time successful in his maiden hurdle by 21 lengths. From the top-class family of The Tullow Tank and Many Clouds, the six-year-old was offered with entries at Cheltenham in the Grade 1 2m Supreme Novices' Hurdle and the Grade 1 Baring Bingham Novices' Hurdle. 

After the gelding’s purchase Elliott reflected on the dispersal sale: "I was disappointed to lose the big horse, but that is the way it is – hopefully he will be lucky for the new owners. Pied Piper is coming back and we have got all the ones we wanted apart from Caldwell Potter. 

"Staffordshire Knot is an exciting six-year-old and we are delighted we have bought him. The horses all looked great – we only had a week's notice for this sale and it is a credit to the staff.

Commenting on the Andy and Gemma Dispersal Sale, Simon Kerins CEO of Tattersalls Ireland said; 

“First and foremost, I extend my sincere gratitude to Andy and Gemma Brown, as well as Joey Logan, for entrusting us with their dispersal sale, it has been an honour.

“I would like to express my appreciation to Gordon Elliott and his team – every single horse in this draft has been produced looking in superb order and, finally, the Tattersalls Ireland team for turning this sale around at such speed. It is testament to the team’s professionalism and hard work, proof of the flexibility that we have and ability to act as the industry requires. 

“The sale has been a phenomenal success and the figures paid have been mind blowing. We knew these horses would be in high demand given their proven level of form, and all the big players were here today. 

“We look forward to watching today’s sales horses going on to achieve great things on the racecourse, and we hope to see the Browns return to the racing scene in the near future. 

“We now look ahead to the National Hunt Store season and inspections, which, of course, will be highlighted by the 50th year of the industry-leading Derby Sale on June 26-27th.”