One of the strengths, we believe, of Middleham Park Racing is that we leave no stone unturned in our relentless pursuit of winners. In the pouring rain of a dank November day in Doncaster, we inspected the 110 lots that were presented for sale. It's fair to say that the standard of horse was not fantastic on the whole, but we like to think we gave every horse a chance to show itself off to us in its best possible light, albeit a dank one on the day!
We've had quite a bit of success from this sale in the past, including paying just £2000 for the Brocklesby runner up FOL HOLLOW; he went on to be a very classy 2yo for us being rated 95 at the end of his juvenile career. He stayed with us for a few seasons winning 10 races earning a top RPR of 103 and running well in top class handicaps. He finished 8th in the £75,000 Epsom Dash for example. We also purchased for £4500, from this sale, a lovely horse called MAGIC CASEMENT, a son of Proclamation who won his only two races at Ripon and Chester for us as juvenile, earned an official rating of 104 and was subsequently sold to Hong Kong for £165,000. So, whether it's on the track longevity or a quick fix turnaround, the Doncaster (Goffs Uk) November Sale can provide MPR owners with what we are looking for here i.e. a source of winners and indeed a source of high class winners.
We have to say that the purchase of this filly for Richard Fahey to train, is one of our proudest purchases of the season. If you've read a few of our biographies regarding our yearlings, it will be apparent that we have a number of filters that horses have to pass before we allow ourselves to bid on them; without giving any secrets away the filters are based around physique, pedigree and soundness. This filly ticks all three boxes, even the nuances within each box, that we look for. Richard and Robin O'Ryan were in attendance at the sale and they particularly liked her. The sale was poorly attended in actual fact; we saw less than half a dozen trainers present and less than half a dozen bloodstock agents too. Perhaps people have not had the success we have from this sale and have decided to shun it, or perhaps the elements discouraged people from attending? We're proud to have purchased her, she passes all our filters, and we're proud that we have been able to secure her for a very reasonable £4500, the same price as Magic Casement ironically.
She goes into training with the Musley Bank maestro and she's just the sort of filly Richard has excelled with for us, namely LILY'S ANGEL £8000, SANDIVA £18,000, LATENIGHTREQUEST €7000 and REALTRA €10,000, to name but 4. All these fillies were rated in excess of 90 and three of them were rated over 100.
We love Piccolo, as a sire, he produces tough as teak 2yo's. Take our current Richard Fahey trained 2yo INDOMENEO, he's by Piccolo. He has raced 9 times in 2017 for us, wining 4 races, being placed 2nd on four occasions and was unplaced on just the one occasion. Indomeneo is one of only eight 2yo's in GB and Ireland to have won 4 races in 2017, none has scored 5 times. Three of these 8 four-time winning horses are MPR owned, INDOMENEO, LEXINGTON GRACE and VENTURA KNIGHT.
MPR "the best source of 2yo syndicate winners."
This daughter of Piccolo is a 3 parts sister to the Group 2 Duke Of York Stakes winner TIDDLIWINKS, 3 parts means that three of this filly's grandparents are the same as Tiddliwinks or presented slightly differently that fact means that our dam CARDS is out of the mother of TIDDLIWINKS. So, the genes very much look in place for this filly to potentially be a very classy performer. Each of the last three generations of this family have produced a very smart Group horse and we believe this filly affords her dam, the opportunity to produce and very smart horse herself. Tobougg is establishing himself, rather surprisingly as it happens, as a very very decent broodmare sire with plenty of classy winners coming through. He's a bit like Common Grounds, Compton Place and Danetime in that he wasn't a huge success as a sire in his time, but his female progeny are proving excellent broodmares.
Our filly is a super individual who moves really well as you can see from the photos and videos. She is Plus 10 registered and qualifies for novice auctions (2yo races limited to horses sold at public auction for a certain price or below, usually £36,000, £28,000, £20,000 or £18,000 depending on the grade and prize money allocated to them). Suffice to say she qualifies for them all. With her low-price tag and given the fact that she is a speedily bred filly (Piccolo was a sprinter and generally produces sprinters), Richard Fahey feels she could be the perfect horse for the £250,000 Weatherbys Super Sprint held at Newbury in July. He could be onto something with this idea, he should know after all, he's won the race 3 times in the last 5 years. Fillies have a great record in the race too; our own filly Clem Fandango finished 3rd to Mrs Danvers in 2016 and our filly Lily's Angel (mentioned above) was just touched off by a head into 2nd place in the race by Charles The Great in 2011. It's a race MPR have never won, but we'd love to!
We believe that should we have been trying to purchase this horse at the Doncaster Premier Yearling Sale, where the market proved much stronger and deeper, we would have had to pay between £20,000 and £30,000 for her. We're convinced she's very well bought and affords us every chance of having a Super Sprint winner or just a thoroughly decent filly to race for us in 2018. We're very proud of having bought her for such a reasonable price. Let's hope she's lucky for us.