Lord GrimthorpeLord Grimthorpe (FBA)In a conversation yesterday with Lord Grimthorpe (Prince Khalid Abdullah’s bloodstock manager), we ascertained that the Titans of the bloodstock world, Sheikh Mohammed’s Godolphin and Coolmore, have been patently avoiding the major clashes in the sales ring, which have characterised the last decade and a half. This is partly due to the orchestrated boycott of the progeny of the Coolmore stallions by Sheikh Mohammed and his brothers, as well as what appears to be a distinct reduction in the number of horses Sheikh Mohammed is targeting, but follows a pattern which saw its first manifestation at the American sales last month.

Lot 217Lot 217However, Cumbria-based breeders Gary and Lesley Middlebrook hit the jackpot yesterday at Tattersalls’ October Yearling Sale when gaining 1,000,000gns for a Gone West colt (Lot 217).

Sheikh Mohammed paid for the yearling who was foaled by the Sadler’s Wells mare Myth To Reality, already dam of champion filly Divine Proportions and top-class miler Whipper – the Middlebrooks bought the mare at Keeneland when her two future moneyspinners were on the ground, but yet to see a saddle.

It seems the couple not only have the excellent sense to live in Britain’s finest county, they also have the foresight that makes this business seem easy when a hunch pays off.

John FergusonJohn FergusonJohn Ferguson, acting for Sheikh Mohammed, said of the yearling: “ He’s got a pedigree everyone knows so well, he’s a brother to one of the best fillies of the past 20 years and he looks an athlete. The Middlebrooks have done very well since coming into the business .”

The sight of Demi O’Byrne and Marcus Tregoning locking horns for a late-in-the-session son of Montjeu was almost a re-run of events 24 hours earlier.

On that occasion O’Byrne’s boss, John Magnier, denied Tregoning with a 500,000gns bid for the final horse into the ring, and the Lambourn trainer was luckless again yesterday when pipped by a bid of 520,000gns.

Lot 361Lot 361This was given for a colt by the Coolmore sire ( Lot 361 ), consigned by Voute Sales, and foaled by the Zafonic mare Secret Dream , a daughter of Charles Wacker’s superb filly Sleepytime .

Another Coolmore-sired youngster who rattled the tills was knocked down to Michael Goodbody, the former Gainsborough Stud director, for 375,000gns. This son of Giant’s Causeway ( Lot 352 ) was foaled by Saree ( Barathea ), a full-sister to the Gr.1 Cheveley Park Stakes winner Magical Romance and three-parts sister to last year’ s dual Oaks winner Alexandrova .

Pivotal ’s unofficial role as Britain’s most–revered stallion was underlined when one of his sons made an impact soon after the session opened.

Lot 190Lot 190Foaled by the Danehill mare Miss Pinkerton ( Lot 190 ) and consigned from Anthony Oppenheimer’s Hascombe & Valiant Studs, he became the subject of a tussle that saw John Magnier and Hiroaki Akita of Japan’s Northern Farm trade bids before the Irishman came out on top at 475,000gns.

Extract from European Bloodstock News 11.10.07