The Tattersalls December Mare Sale got off to a strong start with international buyers the feature of the opening day. Three mares from Prince Khalid Abdulah’s Juddmonte Farms led the way during a session that saw 215 lots realise 12,310,200 guineas at an average of 57,257 guineas and a median of 30,000 guineas.
Leading the way was AURORA GOLD, the FRANKEL half-sister to the Champion mare MIDDAY who was knocked down to Bertrand le Metayer for 550,000 guineas. The four-year-old Juddmonte Farms consigned mare, offered in foal to KINGMAN, caught the attention of Blackstone Farm’s Christian Black, Rabbah Bloodstock’s Jono Mills and Barronstown Stud’s David Nagle but none could match Le Metayer.
"She is for a new French breeder," said Le Metayer, "who wanted to get involved in this family.
"The mare is scopey and in-foal to Kingman – with him, and Kingmambo as her broodmare sire, it should offer some size to this foal.
"The hope is the page will get even darker – we counted eight fillies under the first dam which will only make this page grow."
AURORA GOLD’s other siblings include the Group 3 Nell Gwyn winner HOT SNAP, the Group 2 Ribblesdale Stakes winner SUN MAIDEN and the Listed winner MIDSUMMER SUN, whilst MIDDAY is also the dam of the Group & Listed winners MIDTERM and MORI.
Two lots earlier Michael Youngs went to 425,000 guineas to secure the Listed placed mare ARGUMENTATIVE on behalf of Jane Lyon’s Summer Wind Farm. The daughter of OBSERVATORY is already the dam of Group 1 Criterium de Saint-Cloud winner EPICURIS and was offered in foal to sire-sensation FRANKEL.
"Jane bred Mozu Ascot, Frankel's Group 1 winner in Japan, so she is delighted to have a mare back in-foal to him," said Youngs. "The mare will be going to the US, and there is enough in the pedigree to transfer to stateside.”
Youngs secured ARGUMENTATIVE at the expense of underbidder Stephen Hillen.
The third of the triumvirate of high-profile Juddmonte consigned mares was the DANSILI three-year-old FINE TIME who was also offered in foal to KINGMAN. The daughter of the SADLER’S WELLS mare CLEPSYDRA is a sister to the Group 1 winners TIMEPIECE and PASSAGE OF TIME and was knocked down to Stroud Coleman’s Matt Coleman for 420,000 guineas on behalf of Noel O'Callaghan's Mountarmstrong Stud.
"It is a phenomenal pedigree," said Coleman, adding, "it is one of the best in the book. She is also in-foal to Kingman, who has had a great start."
Coleman secured the filly, who is also a sibling to Group 3 winner FATHER TIME and Listed winner CONTINUUM, after staving off the efforts of Camas Park Stud’s Timmy Hyde and Rabbah Bloodstock’s Jono Mills.
Late in the evening Camas Park Stud’s Timmy Hyde Snr secured the ten-year-old mare BRISTOL BAY for 400,000 guineas after a prolonged bidding battle with owner-breeder Stuart Stuckey. The daughter of MONTJEU, who was consigned from Ballylinch Stud, is the dam of the Listed winning, Group-placed four-year-old BAY OF POETS and was offered in foal to LOPE DE VEGA.
"She is a lovely mare and very well covered," said Hyde. "We'll know if we have made the right decision here tonight when we get the foal!
"She is coming back to Camas Park and we will make some plans then."
BRISTOL BAY was bred by Gestut Ammerland and is from a pedigree long developed by the farm which includes the Champion filly BORGIA and the Group 1 Coronation Cup winner BOREAL.
Paul Hensey, representing Chinese operation Rifa Mustang, secured Group 2 Park Hill Stakes winner THE MINIVER ROSE. The twelve-year-old mare, who was offered in foal to DUBAWI, was consigned by Godolphin and knocked down to Hensey for 300,000 guineas.
"She is a Group 2 winner and has plenty going on in the family," said Hensey. "She has a filly by Dubawi with John Gosden as well as with James Tate. There is a lot to run for her, and ongoing plans will be open-ended."
THE MINIVER ROSE is a half-sister to BELLE DE CRECY, winner of the Group 2 Blandford Stakes and placed in the Group 1 British Champion Fillies/Mare Stakes.