As predicted in last week's blog, Newmarket was a hive of activity recently as the annual Tattersalls horses in training sale took place over five days. Almost 2000 horses were cataloged to sell but finding value was still hard to come by as buyers from every corner of the globe came to restock their stables.
I was shocked to see some horses that you know have problems make sums of money which could buy you a house in some parts of the country.
Having said that, my extensive research of the catalogue and endless footwork seeing lots of horses before they sold seemed to pay off as I came away with some absolute bargains.
On Monday, Ross had pointed out to me a filly from Richard Fahey's yard called Lulu Star who had only had one run last month where she had shown plenty of promise yet her connections were still deciding to sell her. Being by top sire Oasis Dream, I was expecting her to be out of our price range but she must have been missed by many as I picked her up for 6000gns. Being a well-bred filly, she will always retain plenty of value for a breeding career and I'm delighted that Tommy Healy has decided to own her after he sadly lost Appease in the summer.
A friend from Roger Varian's yard had given me a shortlist of horses who were all sound and will improve for a change of yards but, with most of them rated quite high, I again thought buying them might be out of our budget. With some talented horses leaving his stable, all eyes were focused on the big lots later on as Maazel went through the ring and was knocked down to me for just 3000gns. Beaten just a neck on his last start in early October, he looks ripe for a fruitful all-weather campaign and has been added to the N.E.T. Racing Club's roster of horses. The lads at Varian's believe they have only just worked out the best way to ride him so he should still have more improvement to come with these change of tactics and he'll give Club members loads of fun in the coming months. More details on the Club can be found on our OWNERSHIP page.
Completing a trio of fresh horses in training to the yard was Oud Metha Bridge. After doing well with Oceanus from Ed Dunlop's yard this season, we were keen to grab one of his again and this horse was the one we were recommended. An impressive six-length maiden winner in March, he lost his way a bit but looks just the type to improve for a change of scenery. He is a lovely big horse who has probably needed a bit of time to grow too and I can see him being a lot better than his current rating of 74. He won't take much to get fit again and will be available for syndication very soon in 10% shares so keep your eyes peeled for more information if you are interested in being part of an exciting prospect.
As well as buying, we were also selling with Mungo Madness going through the ring as part of his owner's dispersal sale and he is set for sunnier climes as he was bought to race in Bahrain. I hope he does well out there for his new connections and enjoys himself.
We have also added a number of yearlings to the squad and I'll give you the full run-down on these next week.
We had just three runners last week with Gatillo faring best when finishing fourth at Leicester. We have been using hold-up tactics on him recently and it seems to see him in a better light. He was a bit unlucky on this occasion and has enough ability to be winning soon.
At Kempton on Wednesday, Sunset Bounty had her third career run and will qualify for handicap races now whilst Candesta again showed he is more an all-weather horse when unplaced at Nottingham the same day.
This week will see us heading to the races just once with Oceanus at Nottingham on Wednesday. He has been in great form this autumn and might have won last time if the ground was a bit softer. It has been pretty dry recently so any more rain will help his chance but he is an honest and consistent horse who might go hurdling after this run.
FOUR TO FOLLOW LEADERBOARD
Julia Feilden 94
John Chalklin 90
Paula Smith 85
Clare Peacock 84
Colleen Pyrke 84
Trevor Mather 82
Geoff Walton 80
Jean Allen 79
John Tucker 77
Ken Campbell 77
Ros Taylor 77
Brad Dines 77
Christine Sparham 77
George Evans 77