A sale of young racehorses at Cheltenham yesterday evening saw more than £3.7m turned over in two hours, highlighted when trainer David Pipe bid £380,000 for the top lot.
Racegoers who attended day one of The November Meeting flocked into the Tattersalls Ireland sales ring after racing for the annual November Sale, at which 41 horses were sold at an average price of £90,537.
Pipe’s pick was Know The Score, a four-year-old son of Flemensfirth, and bought by Irish point-to-point trainer Sean Doyle at an auction in June last year for €55,000 when the horse was an unnamed, unbroken three-year-old. Doyle’s aim was to train his new recruit to win a point-to-point in order to advertise the horse’s ability to gallop and jump before taking him back to market. When he won on debut and in good style at Ballinaboola on Sunday he was booked on a transporter bound for Cheltenham.
Yesterday evening, bloodstock agent Tom Malone, who bought Finian’s Oscar at the sale 12 months ago, joined forces with trainer Paul Nicholls to buy the gelding, but their efforts failed when Pipe offered the sum of £380,000. The buyer said Know The Score would race in the colours of the Angove Family, who own Poker Play, a runner in today’s Martin & Co Jewellers Handicap Hurdle at Cheltenham.
Doyle said: “That’s my biggest sale, but he’s by far the best horse I’ve ever put a saddle on. He had size, scope, pedigree and an unbelievable attitude.”
Another Irish pointer, Good Man Jim, was prepared in similar fashion but by County Wexford’s Michael Goff, who saddled him to win at Dowth last month. The grey scored impressively that day, and yesterday made £360,000 to a bid from racehorse owner Roger Brookhouse, who said the horse’s next trainer had yet to be decided.
Other buyers included J P McManus, who gained a French three-year-old called Unexcepted – a recent winner at Auteuil – for £200,000, while bloodstock agent Anthony Bromley bought several choice lots, including four-year-old pointer Lust For Glory (£240,000) and five-year-old point and bumper winner Gallaher’s Cross (£260,000). Both will join Nicky Henderson to run for owners Mike Grech and Stuart Parkin.
After being involved in creating record turnover at Cheltenham’s November Sale, Bromley described the event as a ‘wow’ sale, adding: “Performances on the track count, and this is the first proper sale of the Jumps season – and the first since May. There were a lot of people here for the best horses, and it was a vibrant market.”