Wootton Bassett Sired Four-Year-Old Tops May Point-to-Point & Horses-in-Training Sale

The Tattersalls Ireland May Point-to-Point & Horses-in-Training Sale produced a top lot price of €180,000 given by Harold Kirk and trainer Willie Mullins for the Wootton Bassett four-year-old gelding Arslan (Lot 10). 

Today’s sale, arranged in the space of just two weeks after consignors expressed a need for an additional point-to-point sale after the poor weather this spring altered so many training and running plans, achieved a turnover of €718,500 for 16 horses, a clearance rate of 70% and an average price of €44,906. Two four-year-olds sold for over €100,000 and five lots fetched €40,000 or more. 

Arslan, who finished an impressive second at Tralee in a four-year-old maiden on his career debut last weekend, is out of dual Grade 1-winning mare Harmonious and was bred by Al Shaqab Racing. 

He was sold today by County Wexford-based Richard Black of Ballinapark Stables, who had purchased him in France last July as a three-year-old for €28,000. 

After the sale Black said: "He had been in training in France and came recommended, but he had not done much. We built him up slowly and he did a couple of good bits of work lately. He was still green when he ran and there is still a good bit of improvement in him. I am delighted with where he is going, and he is a beautiful animal in every way." 

Black, who reported that he “just trains a handful of horses”, has previous history of selling top lots at point-to-point sales – in 2017 he consigned the subsequent black-type winner Maire Banrig at the Tattersalls Cheltenham Festival Sale for a session-topping £320,000. 

Of this May Sale, Black added: "It has been brilliant this sale has been put on, and we have been so well looked after by a top-class team. This sale has been massive for us." 

Purchaser Harold Kirk, buying as usual with champion and record-breaking trainer Mullins, said: "This is a beautiful horse, by a fantastic sire and with a pedigree. I loved him in his point-to-point – he could be a two miler, could be a 1m4f Flat horse or he could be a good hurdler. He has shown he can jump, but he could do two jobs and we are hoping he will make a good dual-purpose type. He is a beautiful individual by one of the best sires in the world.” 

Of this sale, Kirk added: "If this sale was not here, that horse and that sale wouldn't have happened. It is well done to Tattersalls Ireland for doing this and for always thinking ahead. It has suited everyone, and it got all the horses here in the one place." 

Last weekend’s impressive Inchydoney 40-length debut winner Dippedinmoonlight (Lot 5) was purchased by trainer Emmet Mullins for €130,000. 

By Zarak and out of the Cape Cross mare dam Born Again, a half-sister to the 14-time Group 1 winner Goldikova, she was sold by Daragh Barry's Furziestown Stables having been bought by Danny Hussey / D P O’Dwyer Bloodstock for just €9,500 in February. 

“We are delighted,” said Berry, another Wexford-based man. “It was a quick turnaround, but things happen for luck, and it's great that she is going to Emmet Mullins. 

“We were quietly confident on Sunday but what she did was a bit special so I hope she goes on and proves it for the lads. Darren O’Dwyer, who bought her, does a brilliant job and he will be getting most of the credit.” 

Of the spring season, Berry added: “We had her for less than four months and she has basically done it all herself, we just guided her and she started to shine." 

“There's a good bit more in her and she's only coming to herself, it's only in the last three weeks that the penny dropped with her.” 

Mullins, who did his bidding from the balcony, said: "She has got a brilliant pedigree, it was a brilliant performance when she ran and fingers crossed she can be a nice going forward. 

“She has had a busy spring as she was only bought in February and then came out pointing, so we will give her some time off. She ought to be a nice dual-purpose sort and ownership plans are to be made." 

A five-year-old gelding by Dansant and out a winning Kings Theatre mare, Dance Rule finished a good second on debut at Ballindenisk on May 19. 

Commenting on today's sale, Tattersalls Ireland CEO Simon Kerins said: 

“It has been some time since we held a sale of this type at Tattersalls Ireland, and the final results show that Irish point-to-pointers continue to be in high demand. We attracted a select band of horses, all of which had either won or shown a good level of ability in recent weeks. Irish point-to-points are the source of top-class horses every year, and it’s encouraging to see purchasers retain the confidence in them as being a reliable route to success. We look forward to monitoring the progress of this group of graduates. Store sales and point-to-points are a huge part of the Tattersalls Ireland business model. We recognise the need to support our clients, and that includes sponsoring at all point-to-point fixtures throughout the calendar, and also staging a number of point-to-point meetings on-site.” 

Tomorrow’s one-day Tattersalls Ireland May Store Sale, due to start at 10am, kicks off the Tattersalls Ireland National Hunt Store Sale season, which sees the 50th anniversary of the industry-leading Tattersalls Ireland Derby Sale on June 26- 27th.