Killourney Mór Farm’s Eoghan Grogan was optimistic ahead of the sale of its U S Navy Flag filly (Lot 69) on day one of the Goffs Orby Sale in Ireland, and that expectation proved well founded when she was knocked down to Ben McElroy for €160,000, writes Cormac Hayes.
Goffs has made a concerted effort to attract American buyers to its flagship sale, an enterprise which paid rich dividends for consigners such as the Grogans, whose filly is one of a number bound for foreign climes.
“We are delighted and the publicity helped!” said Grogan. “Ben McElroy bought her, so hopefully Wesley Ward gets her and she’ll be at Ascot next year.
“She was very popular all week, vetted excellent and all the right judges liked her. It’s a good result for the farm, all the bills are paid for next year and we can go again.”
The filly is a half-sister to Glorious Empire (Holy Roman Emperor), who won in Britain, Hong Kong and most notably the US, striking three times at Graded Stakes level there, including in the Gr.1 Sword Dancer Stakes.
They are out of the unraced Pivotal mare Humble And Proud, who is a half-sister to the Listed Newmarket Stakes winner and Gr.2 King Edward VII Stakes runner-up Delsarte (Theatrical), as well as the Italian Listed-placed Regina Mundi (Montjeu), dam of the Gr.3 Prix d’Aumale winner Rocques (Lawman).
McElroy said that she could indeed be one for Wesley Ward: “She’s for Stonestreet. She’ll go to Florida to get broken in and probably go to Wesley Ward. She was probably my favourite filly today, so I was happy to get her.”
The agent was back in action again later on, sourcing another daughter of U S Navy Flag (Lot 85) to go to Tim Donworth, who has recently begun training in France. The filly, who is a half-sister to two winners out of the Listed Lenebane Stakes winner and Gr.3 Noblesse Stakes runner-up Karasiya (Alhaarth), cost €65,000.
“She was also a very nice filly, who looks like she should be precocious. Tim was looking for a filly that could run in the early two-year-old races in France and she fits the bill,” he said.
When asked if he noticed an increase in American representation at the sale, McElroy said: “I think there’s a few more. Goffs chartered a flight. Americans have done well out of this sale and I think with the success we’re seeing more and more each year. It’s good for the market.
“As you saw from the American sales, the market is very strong and I think a lot of them struggled to fill orders at the Keeneland September Sale, so there might be some real benefit to the European sales, especially with the strength of turf racing in America now, it’s on the up.
Later in the day, Al Shira'aa Farm went to 220,000 Euro's to secure Lot 120, a bay filly ex Maria Lee from Clare Castle Stud. This filly is a half sister to dual Group 1 winner Poetic Flare (IRE).
-European Bloodstock News