Twist the star at Newbury
Sun, 4th Mar, 2012
The four year old was trained by Denis Murphy for owner Pat Coffey to score at Belharbour in impressive fashion and Dale was forced to see off agent Aiden Murphy and finally Paul Nicholls' assistant Dan Skelton to get the son of Oscar.
The Sir Robert Odgen draft was always expected to be popular and Giorgio Quercus proved the pick of the trio when knocked down for £120,000 to John Haydon, owner of Clarendon Farm in Wiltshire.
The seven-year-old was offered with entries in the Grade 3 Byrne Group Plate and the Grade 3 Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Chase at the Cheltenham Festival and Haydon was forced to outbid Rebecca Curtis's partner Gearoid Costelloe before securing the son of Starborough.
"He's been bought for a client who is a good friend but I've been asked not to say who it is," said Haydon after the sale.
"The horse is almost certain to return to Nicky Henderson. He's a horse with proven form and ability and hopefully will go to Cheltenham with a live chance. But he's been bought with the future in mind, not just Cheltenham, as he's still only a seven-year-old."
The four-year-old Sound Investment fell on his only point-to-point start but that did not deter interest in the son of Dr Massini as he realised for £100,000 by Graham Wylie to join Paul Nicholls via the trainer's assistant Dan Skelton.
"He was a belting-looking animal and we liked him the moment we clapped eyes on him," said Skelton.
"It's difficult to decide what to do when you get them at this time of year. We'll take him home and assess him but maybe give him a break and then bring him back over hurdles next season. But hopefully he'll make a nice chaser eventually."
A smaller catalogue in 2012 led to an increased clearance rate and a set of figures that largely mirrored those achieved 12 months ago and, following the conclusion of the sale, DBS Managing Director Henry Beeby said:
"We are delighted to have set a new high price for the Newbury Sales which, yet again, demonstrates the high demand for quality horses. The statistics are very similar to last year’s exceptional sale and DBS and Newbury are now firmly established as a leading outlet for NH horses of the highest calibre."
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