Siblings to Golden Horn, Galileo Gold and Elarqam headline on the opening day
As the curtain rose on the first day of the Tattersalls Book 1 sale it would be fair to say that there was an air of cautious anticipation among both vendors and purchasers in the current climate.
The sales season up until this point has been patchy to say the least and as some of the world’s best yearlings prepared to sell the feeling of an uncertain market muted the normally electric atmosphere.
However, spirits were lifted as many of the big players arrived at Park Paddock’s and the presence of Sheikh Mohammad viewing a selection of handpicked lots on the eve of the sale led to a collective sigh of relief from many a vendor.
Once action got underway it was two offerings from the same family who soared through the million guineas marker early on.
First up was Lot 41 who came into the ring as an obvious catalogue highlight, being a son of Frankel and out of the 5-time Group 1 winner Attraction, making the good looking colt a full brother to Elarqam and he didn’t disappoint in the ring, selling to Anthony Stroud on behalf of Godolphin for 1,100,000gns.
This was the start of what was to be an emotional day for consignor’s Floors Castle who a few hours later watched Lot 109 cause a bidding war between two racing power houses as Godolphin went head to head with Coolmore for the son of Dubawi. Out of Cushion, the group placed daughter of the aforementioned Attraction, the colt was hot property and finally went the way of team Godolphin for 2,100,000gns.
Both colts come from the family who the late 10th Duke of Roxburghe had developed and nurtured for years and the sales clearly meant a huge amount to The Duchess of Roxburghe who now runs the stud alongside her son, George.
“I am thrilled for my late husband who did nothing but dream of Attraction and she has really done us proud. They were two really lovely horses, and they have been since they were foals. My husband always thought they were two of the best he had ever produced – and he has been proven right. We wish Anthony Stroud and the team all the success.”
Speaking after signing the docket for the colt on behalf of Sheikh Mohammad’s Godolphin operation, Anthony Stroud said "It is so sad that the Duke is not here because he was a wonderful breeder, a wonderfully good friend, a wonderful enthusiast; he would have loved to have been here, and he's done a fantastic job. He is probably looking down."
There was plenty of action later in the day when the 2 million guineas marker was once again smashed by Anthony Stroud who went to 2,000,000 for a Frankel filly out of Fleche D’Or. The half sister to none other than Golden Horn is yet another huge result for the mare who’s 2018 Frankel colt make 3.1 million guineas– also selling to the Godolphin team – now named Dhahabi.
These fireworks were shortly followed by the sale topping Lot 174, a Kingman colt consigned by Houghton Bloodstock, who went the way of Oliver St Lawrence for 2,700,000gns. The gorgeous looking half brother to the classic winner Galileo Gold has been brought for Fawzi Nass and will be trained in Britain.
Robin Sharpe from Houghton Bloodstock reflected on the remarkable sale: "It is unbelievable, you always approach sales with an amount of trepidation, especially this year. But this is what makes this game – it is like snakes and ladders!"
The colt is out of the Galileo mare Galicux who’s broodmare story is quite remarkable as she was purchased at the December Mares sale in 2013 for a mere 8,000gns. Since then she has produced 5 runners, 5 winners, including a 2000 Guineas winner and has now produced the highest-priced yearling sold in Europe or North American in 2020 from a Kingman stud fee of £55,000 at the time.