THE Goffs UK Aintree Sale returned to the sale calendar after a forced absence due to Covid, and in the process set new highs for both average and turnover.

While most of the catalogue comprised young prospects from the point-to-point sphere, topped by the £400,000 sale of Croke Park, the large crowd in attendance were first faced with the sale of a well-known performer from the track, the Henry de Bromhead-trained Put The Kettle On.

The dual Grade 1 winning daughter of Stowaway sold for £380,000 to the bid of Highflyer Bloodstock’s Anthony Bromley. The only mare to win the Queen Mother Champion Chase, having previously annexed the Arkle Chase at the same venue, she was purchased on behalf of Simon Davies to visit his stallion Planteur who is standing at Chapel Stud.

A total of 13 lots, almost half of all those traded, sold for six-figure sums and it was Denis Murphy’s Dromahane point-to-point winner Croke Park who topped the sale following an impressive performance last week, building on a second placed finish on his debut at Lingstown. The four-year-old son of Walk In The Park had cost a tasty €150,000 as store but when the hammer dropped in favour of Eddie O’Leary’s £400,000 bid, that bold investment was well rewarded. Gordon Elliott Racing was returned as the buyer.

Ciaran Murphy’s debut winner at Belclare, Deep Cave, was another to feature when selling to Henry de Bromhead for £235,000, and this was a great result for owner-breeder Susan Allen who retained the son of Court Cave at the Derby Sale when there were no takers for him at just €15,000. Murphy saddles Enjoy D’Allen for owner JP McManus in the Grand National.

Motherway’s best

Another debut winner, this time at Ballynoe, was Colin Motherway’s Encanto Bruno, a four-year-old son of Mahler. Purchased by his handler, who is based at Yellowford Stud, for just €20,000 at the Tattersalls Ireland August Sale last year, he played a starring role this time when purchased by John McConnell Racing for £210,000. Derek O’Connor was acting for the trainer who sent out last weekend’s Scottish Champion Hurdle winner.

Coolmeen Stables’ Ellmarie Holden had a good evening when she sold two lots for a total of £350,000. She was acting for her father Paul and Michael Shefflin when selling the easy Lisronagh debut winner Act Of Authority to bloodstock agent Alex Elliott, who sourced the Gold Cup winner A Plus Tard, for £200,000. The four-year-old Authorized gelding was a €145,000 pinhook from the Land Rover Sale. The gelding will be trained in England.

Holden also sold the Walk In The Park five-year-old Winchmore Hill, runner-up when beaten a neck on his debut at Loughrea and with the rest some 16 lengths and more in arrears. This €68,000 store purchase was knocked down to Donald McCain for £150,000.

Best filly

Moonbeg Stables’ Cormac Doyle sold the best priced female among the pointers, the four-year-old Champs Elysees filly Fancy Girl falling to Harold Kirk and Willie Mullins for £200,000. She had cost €48,000 at the Derby Sale last year and went on to record a debut victory at Ballyragget last month.

Sean Doyle sold Cato Capone, runner-up to Encanto Bruno at Ballynoe, to Gordon Elliott for £180,000. This was a tidy reward for the €48,000 investment made in the four-year-old son of Notnowcato.

Rob James, fresh from victory in the weekend’s Scottish Grand National, had another big win, this time in the sales ring. He sold the Monksgrange debut winner Classic Anthem, a four-year-old son of Affinisea, to Ross Doyle on behalf of the Tizzard team for £200,000. This grandson of the Grand Annual Chase winner Snitton Lane was bought last year for €36,000.

What a return Barry Fitzgerald got for his €9,000 investment at last year’s Land Rover Sale. He bought a daughter of Shantou and sent her out to land a Cork bumper two weeks ago on her first run, resulting in her sale to Alex Elliott for £140,000.

Sale comment

Goffs UK managing director Tim Kent said after the sale: “It’s great to be back! That was how we marketed this sale in the build-up as we have missed it over the last two years, and to see it produce new records on what was a very important return this year is a wonderful feeling. Of the 13 six-figure lots, seven made £200,000 or more, clearly demonstrating the quality that was on offer and the demand for these top-class horses.

“We are in debt to our vendors for their support once again. Aintree is a proven world-class venue and the sale’s two-year absence had no impact on their desire to send their best. We would also like to extend our thanks to the Aintree Racecourse executive.”