Donohoe Strikes for Day 1 Session Topper at Tatts Feb.
Yet another top lot went the way of BBA Ireland’s Michael Donohoe as Tattersalls opened for business for 2023 on Feb. 2. During the December Mares Sale the agent sent shockwaves around Park Paddocks when bidding 5,400,000 guineas (US$6,781,077) for the four-time group 1 winner Alcohol Free (IRE), but this time around 250,000 guineas ($323,581) was enough to head the market as day one of the February Sale produced a more down-to-earth day of trade. The lot in question was the 10-year-old Now Or Never (IRE), winner of the Leopardstown One Thousand Guineas Trial (G3) and third to Jet Setting in the 2016 running of the Irish Classic. The daughter of Bushranger (IRE) later switched hemispheres where she raced as Now Or Later and won the Blazer Stakes (G2). The Tweenhills Farm and Stud-consigned mare is also a half sister to dual group 1 heroine Fairyland, with the pair out of Queenofthefairies, a Pivotal (GB) half sister to champion sprinter and smart sire Dream Ahead. Now Or Never’s first foal, a colt by Zoustar (AUS), turned 2 this year and she was offered in foal to Tweenhills' Two Thousand Guineas (G1) hero Kameko (GB). "She's been bought for a client who has mares in Europe and Australia," said Donohoe. "She'll foal down in Ireland and then we'll decide what we do with her. She could be covered to southern hemisphere or sent to Australia. Obviously, she was a great race filly and it's a proper fast family. "Possibly the late cover or the fact she missed a year (barren in 2022) might have put some people off as I thought she represented a bit of value. With her pedigree she can go to any stallion as she’s a bit of an outcross. She had plenty of speed herself even though she stayed a mile and physically we should have a lot of options as she's a nice, neat-sized mare." Donohoe also secured the winning Pure Nature (GB) in foal to Mehmas (IRE) at 85,000 guineas ($110,018) and the well-related First Snowfall (GB) at 68,000 guineas ($88,014). Pure Nature, a Dansili (GB) half sister to listed scorer Ghostwatch from the family of Hernando, was offered by Baroda Stud, while First Snowfall, a daughter of Dubawi (IRE) who shares her page with Australian champion 2-year-old and sire Pierro (AUS), was presented by The Castlebridge Consignment. First Snowfall was cataloged as unplaced but opened her account in a Newcastle handicap on her penultimate outing for Archie Watson and Hambleton Racing. Bronsan Racing Secures a Rare Breed A well-bred colt from the penultimate crop of Galileo (IRE) was the first lot to break into six-figure territory when Tattersalls' Jason Singh, taking instruction on the phone from Neil Sands, outbid the O'Callaghan family of Tally-Ho Stud at 140,000 guineas ($181,205). Offered by Barton Stud on behalf of Lady Ogden, the 2-year-old is a half brother to the dual group 1-winning Amazing Maria and joins the growing string of Bronsan Racing, which is run by Sands and his father, Con. "They’re becoming a rare breed these Galileos," said Sands. "Obviously he's been one of the greatest stallions of the modern era and my father, who's the principal of our team, has had this type of horse as a target for a long time. "We’re really delighted to have been able to close out at the price we did—he could've made double that in Book 1! We have a fantastic network of helpers and Hubie de Burgh assisted us with this purchase. The dream for this horse is for him to become a top racehorse and then a stallion prospect. You've got to have that dream, but sometimes we can be afraid to dream!" The youngster will head to Ireland to begin his time in training, with Sands adding: "We have a good body of our stable with Joseph O'Brien but we'll make a plan over the next few weeks. We're very excited to add him to our stable, which is growing exponentially. "We have horses in training in Australia and Britain, though the majority are in training in Ireland. We also have a couple of National Hunt prospects, and we are excited about them for the coming season and are looking ahead to Cheltenham, but the primary focus for us is flat racing. We have about 40 horses in training, horses both owned in partnerships and fully by ourselves." The colt is out of Messias Da Silva, who was bought by Sir Robert Ogden for $700,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Calder 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale in 2007. She won one of six starts having been sent into training with Jeremy Noseda, gaining a Lingfield novice success on her second outing. She has made a far more significant impact from the paddocks, however, as she is the dam of five winners, most notably Amazing Maria, whose five successes include group 1 victories in the Falmouth Stakes and the Prix Rothschild. Turnover for the session finished at 2,265,500 guineas ($2,932,292) which was down 27% year on year, albeit from an offering that was down by 13% at 180, 141 of which sold at a clip of 78%. The average was down by 12% at 16,067 guineas ($20,795) and the median was clipped in by 28 points at 6,500 guineas ($8,413), having been 9,000 guineas ($12,829) 12 months ago. The Tattersalls February Sale continues on Friday at 10 a.m. local time.