John MotaungJohn Motaung (Michael Nefdt) Readers of these columns know we have five staff abroad at present, attending the Irish National Stud course, at Sheikh Hamdan’s Derrinstown Stud in Ireland, or in John Motaung’s case, riding the Ready to Run (or Breeze Up) Sales in Florida and California.

The first of these is at Calder, where i t’s been quite warm over the past few days, but that hasn’t stopped a steady stream of prospective buyers from checking out the offerings at the Fasig-Tipton Selected Two-Year-Olds in Training Sale. “All the grooms and all the consignors fill up the parking lot and make the place look very busy,” quipped Terence Collier, Fasig-Tipton’s director of marketing.

Recent Calder graduates have made their mark in Britain, including David Junior, a $175,000 purchase in 2004 who developed into a multiple Group 1 winner; and Sir Robert Ogden’s Royal Ascot heroines La Chunga and Sander Camillo, who brought $275,000 and $500,000, respectively in 2005 and 2006. Their success hasn’t gone unnoticed. “There are a couple more parties here that haven’t been here before, the most notable of which is Mr Saleh Al Homeizi [owner of 2007 G1 Epsom Derby hero Authorized {Ire}] and his advisor Tony Nerses,” Collier confirmed. “I think the consignors felt there would be a huge influx of people because of the strength of the European currencies against the dollar. Well, generally, Europe has taken a little bit of a beating, economy-wise, in the last two or three months. I think the presence of a couple of major buyers will make a difference, but it’s not a tidal wave.”

As for Ogden’s success with this sale’s graduates, Collier offered, “Jamie McCalmont, who helps Jeremy Noseda in the evaluation of these horses, likes the format of this sale. He comes from a horse-in-training background, and spends 10 days down here watching these horses religiously every day. One of the reasons people say, “Why is Demi so successful? Why is Jamie so successful here?” It’s because of the amount of time they put in, and the same is true with Buzz Chace. You know, Buzz is here day after day, not just going to the under-tack show, which is a very public part of the format. There are days when they just go to the track and watch these horses, they go back to see how they cool out. So the people who are successful really do put a lot of work into it. There are enough nice horses in this sale that even the people that aren’t here every day can bid on a horse and come up with a top-class runner. It’s just whatever works for people.”

We’ll be in touch as the sale unfolds.