The Grey Panel


Marsha Sells for European Record 6,000,000 Guineas at Tattersalls December Mare Sale

The European record for a thoroughbred at auction was broken on the second day of the Tattersalls December Mare Sale when the dual-Group 1 winner MARSHA sold for 6,000,000 guineas to the bid of MV Magnier. It was a remarkable day at the Tattersalls December Mare Sale with ten lots breaking the million guineas barrier and the European turnover record for a day at auction also broken. The record-breaking session also included the final fillies and mares from the historic Ballymacoll Dispersal.

The turnover during the remarkable session reached 45,665,000 guineas for the 175 sold, which broke the turnover record for any day at a European thoroughbred auction, set on the Tuesday of this sale back in 2007. The average for the day was 260,943 guineas whilst the median was 85,000 guineas. Turnover for the sale passed 60,000,000 guineas.

On the racecourse MARSHA was one of the leading sprinters in recent years, winning at Group 1 level in both the Nunthorpe Stakes and Prix de l’Abbaye de Longchamp for her owners Elite Racing and trainer Sir Mark Prescott. The four-year-old filly by ACCLAMATION out of the Listed winning MARJU mare MARLINKA was bred by her owners Elite Racing and hails from the family of their great Champion older mare SOVIET SONG. With looks to match her outstanding race record it was no surprise to see buyers from as far afield as Japan, Qatar, South Africa and the US all make bold bids to secure her, but it was MV Magnier and John Gosden, bidding on behalf of Godolphin, who settled down to fight it out. In the end it was Magnier, who twice jumped the price, firstly to 5 million guineas and then to 6 million guineas who eventually secured the star.

"She really is something special," said Magnier. "Sir Mark has done a great job with her, she was very fast and the lads were very keen to have her. She is the best sprinter of the year and she will go to Galileo."

For Dan Downie of Elite Racing Club it was the end of long day. "I feel exhausted actually," he smiled. "but, no, it is exciting, and it is a wonderful for Elite.

"We did have a price at which we would have taken her home, but we did think it was going to be unlikely. She has been wonderful and always takes everything in her stride. The funds will help with ongoing and the long-term running of the Club, but we will, of course, take a look at our nomination plans, in particular for Marsha's dam, Marlinka."

The sale is the highest that any thoroughbred has ever achieved in an auction ring in Europe and at prevailing exchange rates represented $8.5m.

Owners John Murrell and Chantal Regalado-Gonzalez had a small but select group of three fillies on offer at this year’s December Mare Sale with the first of them to be offered, INTRICATELY, topping proceedings at 1,700,000 guineas during last night’s opening session. That figure was put in the shade on the second day when the Grade 1 Man O’War Stakes winner ZHUKOVA sold for 3,700,000 guineas to the bid of Anthony Stroud. The daughter of FASTNET ROCK is out of the Group 1 Irish 1,000 Guineas winner NIGHTIME and was secured by Stroud after he saw off Ballylinch Stud’s John O’Connor.

"She is a Grade 1 winner and out of a Group 1 winner," said Stroud. "She is a very nice filly and is logical fit for Dubawi."

The other filly to make up the triumvirate of horses from Murrell and Regalado-Gonzales was the POUR MOI filly ONLY MINE who was knocked down to Flaxman Stables’ Alan Cooper for 925,000 guineas taking the aggregate for the trio to 6,325,000 guineas. The trio were consigned by the Castlebridge Consignment.

The other Group 1 winning sprinter in the Tattersalls December Mare Sale was the Karl Burke-trained QUIET REFLECTION who was knocked down to Blandford Bloodstock’s Tom Goff for 2,100,000 guineas on behalf of MV Magnier. The winner of the Group 1 Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot and the Group 1 Haydock Sprint Cup, QUIET REFLECTION is a daughter of SHOWCASING and out of the HAAFHD mare MY DELERIUM. She was knocked down to Goff after he saw off the efforts of underbidders Oliver St Lawrence and Ed Sackville.

"She was a brilliant racehorse and wonderful three-year-old, she was very speedy and is very special," said Goff. "She was very well selected and trained by Karl Burke.

"It is my assumption that she will not continue racing and is ready to become a Mum."

Consignor Jamie Railton said: "She came in tremendous condition and is a serious recommendation of Karl Burke, who I believe is a very underrated trainer. It is a wonderful story.”

Another highlight on the Tuesday of the December Mares Sale was WEKEELA, the dual Group 3 winning daughter of HURRICANE RUN, who realised 1,800,000 guineas when selling to David Redvers on behalf of Sheikh Fahad’s Qatar Racing.

Bidding was strong for the internationally-raced filly who won the Group 3 Prix Chloe whilst in training with Jean-Claude Rouget in France where she was also runner-up in the Group 1 Prix Saint-Alary and placed fourth in the Group 1 Prix de L’Opera. On transferring to Chad Brown in America at four, the ultra consistent mare was second in both the Grade 1 Jenny Wiley and Gamely Stakes before winning the Grade 3 Matchmaker Stakes as a five-year-old.

European Sales Management consigned the daughter of the GRAND LODGE mare MOONRISE who hails from the family of Group 1 winners MOLLY MALONE and MONSUN.

"She'll join Sheikh Fahad's elite band of broodmares," said Redvers. "She's as beautiful a mare as it's possible to imagine, she's incredibly sexy and hopefully she's going to breed something magnificent. I'm delighted to get her, I wasn't sure we would as I thought she might go beyond our budget."

There was plenty of buzz surrounding the outstanding two-year-old filly DIFFERENT LEAGUE as she entered the ring and it was a buying combination of Peter Brandt’s White Birch Farm and MV Magnier who secured her at 1.5 million guineas.

The daughter of DABIRSIM emerged as one of the best two-year-old fillies in Europe when landing the Group 3 Albany Stakes at Royal Ascot. The winner of the first three of her five starts to date, DIFFERENT LEAGUE subsequently confirmed her class with two Group 1 placings in the Prix Morny and Cheveley Park Stakes.

Con Marnane purchased the high class filly, who was raced under the ownership of his wife Theresa, as a foal for just 8,000 euros and explained;

"It is an unbelievable story. She has been wonderful for us and a once in a lifetime horse. I just have to thank everyone who has been involved with her. I hope she gives her new owners as much enjoyment as she has given us."

In a truly family affair, DIFFERENT LEAGUE was consigned by Marnane's daughter Amy who said:

"We counted that she'd had 500 shows, and she was the same for the last one as she was for the first. I hope she is really lucky for her new owners - she has a lot more to come and I am sure she will go on and continue as a wonderful racehorse. One thing for sure, wherever she goes I will be there to see her."

The final chapter of the historic Ballymacoll Stud, whose progeny have graced the racecourses of the world and won more than 30 Group 1s over the last half a century, came to a close at Tattersalls during the Mare Sale with the fillies and mares coming under the hammer. Consigned by the Castlebridge Consignment they featured three lots to sell for a million guineas or more, headlined by the GALILEO mare JUSTLOOKDONTOUCH. The daughter of GALILEO was knocked down to Peter Brandt’s White Birch Farm for 1,200,000 guineas whilst her daughters AIM OF ARTEMIS and ABINGDON realised 1,000,000 guineas and 1,050,000 guineas respectively. Following the conclusion of the sale, Stud Manager Peter Reynolds commented;

"I thought it went very well. We got market value for everything. The families were so well received, there was international interest.

"It just shows how important current form is. Justlookdontouch had three individual winners this year and that provided a massive injection into everything.”

The Ballymacoll Stud lots today realised 7,267,000 guineas for the 21 lots sold taking the dispersal total to 11,527,500 guineas for the 45 lots offered.

The Tattersalls December Mare Sale continues at 9.30am on Wednesday, December 6th.

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