Strong opening day for Day 1 of the Derby Sale

Strong bidding both on site and online produced consistent trade throughout the Day 1 session of the Derby Sale, resulting in 11 horses selling for €100,000 or more.

The day’s top lot honours of €160,000 went to a Westerner full-brother to the talented Grade 1 Weatherbys Champion Bumper winner Ferny Hollow (Lot 131). The April-born three-year-old, from the Castletown Quarry Stud family of the Champion Hurdler's Morley Street and Granville Again, was bought by the day’s leading buying combination of Michael Shefflin and Paul Holden, one of five lots purchased by the pair for a spend of €583,000.

"He was a stand-out today, definitely," said Shefflin. "He is a full-brother to Ferny Hollow and I just thought he is a very good-looking horse, he fits the bill. He is a great-moving horse, a great walker, and stands up very well. I just feel he is a very nice horse.” Shefflin added: "He is from a great Ken Parkhill family that is steeped in tradition."

The new owners will be sending the gelding into the point-to-point field as a resale prospect hoping to repeat the feat they achieved with a previous Derby Sale purchase. Named Jonbon, the full-brother to Douvan was bought by Shefflin and Holden for €140,000 in 2019.

An outing in a point-to-point is also planned for the day’s second top-priced lot. Already named Ercin Vert he was bought by Joey Logan for €155,000 (Lot 93). By the good French sire Doctor Dino, Ecrin Vert was initially purchased as yearling by Oak Tree Farm for €100,000 at the 2019 November NH Sale.

"I tried to buy him as a yearling, I was underbidder for Alan Harte," said Logan. "He was a lovely horse then and I have seen him this week and he is smashing now. He is a big scopey horse with a beautiful pedigree, and by a good sire, a very good sire.

"He is going point-to-pointing for me. He will come home to be broken in, and then will go to Denis Murphy and be resold."

By Doctor Dino, he is a French-bred half-brother to the French Grade 2 winner Dream Wish (Dream Well). His second dam Ladies View was a Listed winner and dam of five winners, including the Grade 3 winner Ladies Choice, dam of Grade 3 Grand National Trial winner Lord Du Mesnil, and Ladytown, dam of the Grade 3 winner, Ladyville.

The Presenting gelding out of Kneeland Lass (Lot 87), a full-sister to the Grade 2 winner and Grade 1-placed Mount Mews is heading to the UK having been bought by agent Tom Malone and Paul Nicholls for €145,000.

“He will go to Paul’s, settle into the system and hopefully we will see him on a racecourse in around 18 months’ time,” reported Malone.

“He is a gorgeous horse with a lovely pedigree and from a very good farm. I thought there was such an array of beautiful horses catalogued this week, real chasing types, there is a chance for everyone to buy a lovely horse.”

The session produced an average price of €51,332, a median of €40,000 and a turnover of €7,648,500. The clearance rate was a superb 84 per cent with 149 lots sold from 177 offered.

Commenting on Day 1 of the Derby Sale, Tattersalls Ireland CEO Simon Kerins said:

"Day 1 of the Derby Sale has produced fantastic results with an average just shy of record breaking figures seen in 2017. It is a huge positive to see that UK buyers contributed to 33% of today's turnover and fueled many bidding wars with those on the ground.

We would like to acknowledge the overwhelming positivity, understanding and support from our UK purchasers, our loyal vendors and the wider industry in light of the 11th hour changes in requirements for those UK purchasers intending to be at the 2021 Derby sale. We take our responsibility for public health very seriously as already illustrated by the disruption to the 2021 Sales Calendar thus far, and the decision to run this year’s Derby Sale on its traditional date was taken in good faith with all of the information made available to us and in comprehensive consultation with all relevant stakeholders, including Government agencies.

In order to minimise the movement of people while accommodating the need for purchasers to be on hand to inspect potential purchases, in consultation with all relevant parties we had developed a set of protocols for the safe attendance of a small number of UK based buyers at the sales in Ireland.

While cognisant of the significant public health issues faced by us all at this time we are acutely disappointed that having welcomed back our loyal and supportive UK purchasers, we were compelled to communicate the change in requirements for these purchasers at such a late stage. As you would expect every effort was made to find a remedy but due to the escalating Delta variant of Covid 19 this was just not possible. 

In light of this development we will now take time to review the remaining sales programme for 2021, with key stakeholders and the relevant state agencies, and advise of any updates as required."