Walk In The Park tops the table at the February National Hunt Sale

Lot 109, Walk In The Park (IRE) / Be Mine Tonight (IRE) 2022 B.C. (IRE)
Lot 109, Walk In The Park (IRE) / Be Mine Tonight (IRE) 2022 B.C. (IRE)

The Tattersalls Ireland 2023 sales season swung into action at Fairyhouse today with the one-day February National Hunt Sale.

The top lot of the session was a son of the popular Walk In The Park sold by Walshtown Stables on behalf of breeder Liam Flavin (Lot 109) and bought by pinhooker Dick Frisby for €49,000.

"I bought a number of foals by the sire in the autumn and this colt, a good-walking horse, is fairly typical of one by the stallion, he will be for resale," said Frisby.

Consignor Donie Murphy reported: "We always thought he was a nice sort, this is the right sale for him as he was a June foal. The mare is three from three and there are a few more from her to run. We had plenty of interest yesterday and were very busy. We are very happy."

Progeny by the Glenview Stud-based stallion Blue Bresil continue to go from strength to strength on the racecourse and, unsurprisingly, his yearlings were hot property today.

Lot 208, Blue Bresil (FR) / La Reine de Riogh (IRE) 2022 B.C. (IRE)

Kieran Shields purchased the Ballincurrig House Stud-offered colt out of the Presenting mare La Reine De Riogh (Lot 208) for €45,000 and the County Down-based pinhooker said of his acquisition: “He will be for resale, hopefully we can come back here in two years’ time for the Derby Sale. He is a good walking sort, by a good sire and I already have two more by the sire at home.”

The colt is a half-brother to Robin De Carlow, winner of the Shannon Spray Novice Hurdle (G3) and the Like A Butterfly Novice Chase (G3), and his second dam is the Finale Junior Hurdle (G1) winner Nas Na Riogh.

Kevin Ross Bloodstock spent €44,000 on the Borris House-offered Blue Bresil colt out of the Listed-placed King’s Theatre mare I’m All You Need (Lot 193). It is a family that boasts top class Festival form – the colt’s grand-dam Jolie Landaise is a half-sister to the Champion Hurdle (G1) third-placed Bilboa.

Lot 193, Blue Bresil (FR) / I'm All You Need (IRE) 2022 B.C. (IRE)

Plans for the colt’s future are fluid and Ross said: “He has been bought for a client, options are open and he could be kept to race or be resold. He is a smart sort and is bred on the proven Constitution Hill cross.”

The day’s session finished on a similar level to the 2022 record breaking sale – the median of €8,500 and the average of €12,451 saw a marginal drop, and the turnover of €1,624,500, from a 21-lot smaller catalogue than in 2022, was a fall of 25 per cent.

Commenting on the February National Hunt Sale, Tattersalls Ireland CEO Simon Kerins said:

"The focus today was clearly on quality with strong competition for the better yearlings from a large group of pinhookers who turned out in force at the first sale of the year at Tattersalls Ireland. The trade was somewhat unforgiving for those yearlings that don’t match the exacting criteria of our buyers who intend to resell them as stores and that was reflected in the clearance rate of 53%.

"However, figures held up well with the average dropping ever so slightly to €12,451 and a median of €8,500. The top of the market was strong with thirteen yearlings selling for €30,000 or more and those with sought after individuals were well rewarded.

"We have much to look forward to in the coming months with inspections underway for the record-breaking Derby Sale as well as the May and July Store Sales. But first we turn our attention to the Dublin Racing Festival this weekend where we have the opportunity to host our loyal vendors and purchasers in the Legacy Wine Bar and sponsoring the Tattersalls Ireland Novice Hurdle (Grade 1)."