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Europe well represented at the Hong Kong International Sale

Tue 6th Mar 2018, 07:40

Mark Richards with Lot 17, a half-brother to Epsom Derby victor
©Hong Kong Jockey Club
By David Morgan
Young stock from some of the world’s top thoroughbred auctions will go under the hammer at the Hong Kong International Sale (March) on the evening of Friday, 16 March.

The Hong Kong Jockey Club (HKJC) is offering 28 attractive geldings this time, 14 of them sourced in Europe and 14 selected out of Australasian sales. Those northern hemisphere three-year-olds were purchased out of Tattersalls, Goffs and Arqana, in Britain, Ireland and France, and each had to pass the scrutiny of HKJC’s experienced sales team and vets before continuing their development during a period of pre-training with Malcolm Bastard in Wiltshire, England.

Mark Richards, the Jockey Club’s Executive Manager, International Sale, is pleased with the horses from both hemispheres.

“This group of horses has a lot of quality overall, they’re a really nice bunch,” he said. “They’re all athletic types that have been picked out because they displayed the attributes needed to make it as a racehorse in Hong Kong.

“As for the European horses, they appear to be as good a group of northern hemisphere horses as we’ve had for this sale in my time here. The prospect of having a half-brother to a Derby winner and a full-brother to a European champion sprinter in the Sha Tin sale ring during the same session is particularly exciting.”

Derby connections

A couple of this year’s European offerings have strong English Derby connections, one via his notable young sire and the other thanks to a talented half-brother.

Lot 17 received an impressive pedigree update when Wings Of Eagles won the G1 Derby (2400m) at Epsom, England, last June. While his half-brother was soaring to classic-winning heights, the unraced Holy Roman Emperor gelding was undergoing pre-training in the English countryside, HKJC having purchased him at the 2016 Arqana August Yearling Sale.

The grey’s sire is well-established as a good source of Hong Kong winners, thanks largely to his top-class sons Designs On Rome, Beauty Only and Rich Tapestry. His G1-placed dam Ysoldina is a half-sister to four Group race winners, including G1 scorer Belle Et Celebre. With some useful performers, including a couple of Listed place-getters, as well as a Derby winner among her offspring, the mare’s HKIS representative is likely to raise plenty of bids at Sha Tin.

Lot 7, meanwhile, is by Camelot, winner of the English 2,000 Guineas (1600m) and Derby as well as the Irish Derby (2400m), and a new sire to the HKIS. His athletic son was bought out of the 2017 Tattersalls Craven Breeze-Up Sale.

More Power?

Full brothers to a champion sprinter don’t come along every day but the HKIS has one in Lot 15. The athletic chestnut gelding is by Dutch Art out of Girl Power, the same pairing that produced European champion Slade Power, winner of the G1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes (1200m) and G1 July Cup (1200m) four years ago.

More European highlights

Lot 1 is by the established G1 speed source Acclamation out of Melbourne Memories, a Listed-winning, G3-placed mare from the family of G1 Middle Park Stakes winner Lycius.

Lot 3 is a son of the high-class sprinter Kodiac out of a Listed-placed 1000m winner from a good black type family.

Lot 5 is a Dark Angel full-brother to the classy juvenile Log Out Island, a Listed winner and second in both the G2 Norfolk Stakes at Royal Ascot and G2 Mill Reef Stakes.

Lot 9 is by the young G1-winning stallion Havana Gold out of an unraced half-sister to G1 King George VI &; Queen Elizabeth Stakes winner Belmez, from the family of further G1 winners Debussy, Red Desire and Lypharita.

Lot 11 is an Acclamation half-brother to three winners, whose second dam, Lady Winner, numbered the G2 Prix d’Astarte among seven wins.

Lot 13 is a bay Lawman gelding out of the German Listed winner Sworn Sold, a half-sister to Sworn Pro - a champion two-year-old filly in Germany - from a good black type family.

Lot 19 is an athletic Harbour Watch half-brother to the G3-placed Stroll Patrol and Hors De Combat, the latter successful in a Meydan handicap recently, from a classy family that features G1 winner Stroll and G2 heroine Lady In Waiting.

Lot 21 is another son of the impressive sprint stallion Dark Angel. The grey’s dam Trip To The Moon won seven races from 1200m to 1600m and has produced three winners, including G3-scorer Trois Lunes.

Lot 23 is by Dubai World Cup winner Street Cry out of the Listed sprint winner Anne Of Kiev. The family has also produced G1 winner Chorist and G1-placed Blessed Event and Sacrament.

Lot 25 is a son of the multiple G1-placed sprinter Bated Breath. His unraced dam has produced three winners and is out of the Italian champion filly Proskona, a half-sister to Korveya who produced Bosra Sham and Hector Protector.

Lot 27 is a handsome Iffraaj three-year-old out of an unraced half-sister to G1 Prix Morny winner Arcano.

Photo 1

Mark Richards, the Jockey Club’s Executive Manager, International Sale with Lot 17, a half-brother to Epsom Derby victor Wings Of Eagles.

Photo 2

Lot 7, an Irish-bred gelding by Camelot.

Photo 3

Lot 15 is a full-brother to European champion Slade Power.

Might Bite To Prove His Worth Next Season

There is not much attention given to national hunt racing in the summer months, by punters or by the media. It is, of course, understandable given that our attention is focused on the flat season: the action at Royal Ascot, the Classics and the rest of the elements that define the summer racing season. Some punters might have a dabble at an ante post bet for Cheltenham next year, but by and large we forget about it until the autumn.

THE IRISH TIMES