FRESH from paying €550,000 for the top-priced foal at Goffs last week, German breeder and pinhooker Philipp von Stauffenberg bought the top lot on day two of the Tattersalls December Foal Sale in Newmarket.

Von Stauffenberg concentrates on the top end of the market and in recent years has seen some of his foal purchases multiply in value when reoffered as yearlings.

He will be hoping to profit again from his latest purchase, a 250,000gns Havana Grey half-brother to talented sprinter Dragon Symbol, the horse demoted from first place in the 2021 Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot.

The February-born colt was bred and sold by Whitsbury Manor Stud, where Havana Grey stands.

"He is a fine looking horse, he is a brother to a horse who should be a Group 1 winner," said the buyer. "I just loved him, he was the one I wanted today, that is why I bought him! I liked Havana Grey's first crop, I did not buy one from that crop, but the stallion has proved that he is capable of producing a good horse. Hopefully he will go on now."

Ghaiyyath foals

Irish pinhooker John Cullinan paid 240,000gns for a colt from the first crop of champion racehorse Ghaiyyath. The colt out of School Run (dam of stakes placed Harrow) was bred by John Dwan's Ballyreddin Stud in Co Kilkenny and consigned by Dermot and Catherine Dwan's Kellsgrange Stud in the same county.

"I saw the horse yesterday and loved him," said Cullinan. "We were keen to buy a Ghaiyyath. He is one of the stallions who has been on our mind as a first-crop sire. He looks to have very good stock. He was a brilliant racehorse and was the highest-rated racehorse in the world for a time and is by a sire of sires.

"This is a lovely individual. He vetted very well, and we were at full stretch at that price, but nice horses are always hard to come by, and have to pay a bit more for the ones you want.

"We will try and keep him safe and keep him out of trouble and come back to one of the premier sales back here, but we will worry about that in a few months' time."

Of the pressure of buying top quality foals, he said: "You are up against the smartest people in the world at this job. There are not many jobs that you can be doing that when you get out of bed in the morning you are taking on the best in the world. The first thing is to find the horses and the second is to buy them. That is a big throw for us, the biggest we have ever given for a foal."

Earlier in the day Tally-Ho Stud spent 130,000gns on a Ghaiyyath filly foal from Ringfort Stud, and Peter and Ross Doyle went to 110,000gns for a Ghaiyyath colt from the Motherways' Yellowford Farm.

Rossenarra touch

It was Kilkenny's day, however, as John McEnery of Rossenarra Stud in Kells sold his Mehmas colt out of Heavenly River for 240,000gns. McEnery bought the mar for just 5,000gns in 2015.

Purchaser Ross Doyle: “As always it’s the physical and it’s a huge bonus that he’s by Mehmas. He’s from a very good nursery in Rossenarra and is closely related to a very good filly [Quattroelle]. I thought he was an absolute standout.

“He had a lot of strength for his age; he’s naturally very strong with a good, deep girth and he was a real pro for every show. That’s his dad’s influence coming through. He might come back [for resale] but I’d say long-term they’ll race him."

McEnery sold the very next lot into the ring, a colt by Dark Angel out of the winner-producing Charlotte Rua (by Redback), to Yeomanstown Stud for 85,000gns. The breeder said: "He is a fair colt. He got a little overshadowed by the Mehmas as there was so much interest in him. There is plenty more to come from his dam."

Norelands Stud

Three of the top five lots on Thursday came from Kilkenny studs, including the 150,000gns colt by New Bay sold by Harry McCalmont's Norelands Stud. This colt out of Moorside (Champs Elysees) was bought by Joe Foley as a racing prospect for Clipper Logistics.

"I have always been a fan of New Bay and we got in at the right time!"said McCalmont, adding: "He is going to be very expensive now."

Foley said: "We were very keen to buy him. He is by an exciting and emerging sire. We've have a very nice two-year-old by him who won well for Karl Burke, named Overrule.

Of the mare's previous foals, Foley said: "The first Invincible Spirit was bought by Mick Kinane for Hong Kong and they tell me he is really highly regarded, and David Bowe bought the foal last year for for Jeff Smith for 100,000gns and he was nice also. The mare's first two foals look very promising for their two owners so we were keen and she could be an interesting mare."

The sale continues on Friday and concludes on Saturday.