“TATTERSALLS Park Paddocks in Newmarket has already established itself as a proven venue for selling high quality point-to-pointers and National Hunt horses in training. Those sales produced record prices as well as numerous top quality racecourse performers, all of which encouraged us to host today’s inaugural May National Hunt Sale in Newmarket.

“That decision was borne out with a sale that has achieved turnover of just shy of three million guineas, as well as five point-to-pointers selling for 150,000gns or more and a top price of 310,000gns. We also took the decision to sell a number of store horses for the first time in Newmarket and, whilst a top price of 35,000gns and an average of 13,368gns are respectable, the clearance rate was less than we would have hoped for.

“We are very appreciative of the support shown to us by store consignors and will reassess whether combining point-to-pointers and store horses is the optimal format for this fixture.”

This was the honest appraisal by Tattersalls’ head of sales. Matthew Prior, following the inaugural May National Hunt Sale at the Newmarket venue. With a growing number of outlets for store horses in recent years, the company managed to attract just 50 or so stores.

When it came to horses with form and those with racecourse potential, the story was very different. Three of the first 10 lots in the sale realised six-figure sums, and trade in this section, comprising for the most part of wild cards, was strong.

Matthew Flynn O’Connor has enjoyed a memorable year with his point-to-point sales, the best result coming when he topped the Tattersalls Cheltenham December Sale with Deeply Superficial selling for £385,000. On Thursday he sold his final four-year-old of the year, Ittack Blue who won this month at Punchestown, for 310,000gns. The son of Coastal Path was bought by Ryan Mahon.

“He is a lovely horse, looks to have an enormous engine and goes to an existing client with Dan Skelton,” said Mahon. “The vibes from Matty were good and the horse came highly recommended.” Flynn O’Connor added: “That is it, they are all sold now! We have to restock now, that is the next thing. We’ve had a great season, thank God. We have had eight or nine four-year-old winners; it is nice to keep the ball rolling and finish strong.”

O’Connor bought the gelding for €30,000 at the Tattersalls Ireland May Sale, held last August, from Hugh Bleahen’s Clifton Farm.

Nicholls adds plenty of new firepower

BLOODSTOCK agent Tom Malone and champion trainer Paul Nicholls combined for two purchases, and in the process spent 480,000gns of their client’s money.

Marginally the more expensive was Divilskin, sold by Colin Bowe’s Milestone Stables for 245,000gns. He was the best of 10 lots sold by Bowe that aggregated 886,000gns. Malone was delighted with his purchase, and said: “I have bought a couple of pointers this year by Doyen, and this horse was impressive in his run.”

That run was an impressive debut win at Largy in an exceptional time, 10 seconds faster than the average time on the day. Divilskin is a half-brother to Pumped Up For Kicks, a listed chase winner at Cheltenham, and his dam is a half-sister to the Galway Hurdle winner Tiger Cry. Divilskin was bought by Bowe for €28,000 at the Goffs Land Rover Sale.

Earlier in the session Malone and Nicholls combined to spend 235,000gns on the standout filly in the sale. This was for Telescope’s four-year-old daughter Seeyouimydreams, and she won her mares’ maiden point-to-point at Largy too. She had been purchased for £10,500 at the Tattersalls Ascot December Sale and was sold by Andrew Pierce of Blackhall Stables.

Malone said: “Andrew said he gave her two bits of work and the gears she showed then was ‘frightening’. It is a proper pedigree and she was so impressive in her point. To me she is a ‘gelding-type’ filly.” The filly is a half-sister to Songe, winner of the Grade 2 Champion Hurdle Trial at Haydock and finished fourth in the Grade 1 Triumph Hurdle.