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Picture : The Goffs hammer falls at €1,650,000 to Amanda Skiffington for the New Bay sister to Saffron Beach Credit: Sarah Farnsworth (Racing Post)

Racing Post (James Thomas)

‘I feel totally sick!’ – Saffron Beach sister steals the Goffs Orby show at €1,650,000

“Go on, you only live once,” said auctioneer Henry Beeby as he looked in the direction of Amanda Skiffington. The agent stood on the top tier of the Goffs auditorium with owner Fiona Carmichael, with the sister to Saffron Beach commanding the ring below.
That gentle prompt elicited a bid of €1,650,000, and when Al Shira’aa Farms’ Kieran Lalor declined to return fire from his position to the left of the rostrum, the hammer fell in favour of the Orby Sale’s leading ladies.
The final price was achieved only after a grueling round of bidding. The Godolphin buying team were involved up to €900,000, but once the seven-figure barrier was breached matters became a straight duel between Skiffington and Lalor, with the rivals trading increases of €100,000.
When Lalor went to €1.5 million Carmichael could be seen shaking her head, but after a brief caucus with her agent Skiffington mustered another €50,000 raise. Lalor matched the offer, but when Beeby teased one last bid out of Skiffington the Al Shira’aa man was consigned to the role of underbidder.  
When asked how her heart rate was after the marathon bidding battle, Skiffington said: “Terrible! I feel totally sick. I hoped I wouldn’t have to go that far to get her. We had to be brave, and we knew we were going to have to be.”
Expanding on the filly’s appeal, Skiffington said: “The pedigree is fantastic and she’s just beautiful. We bought the brother last year, who looks like being very good, so that added to the appeal a bit. We thought she’s a collector’s item. She’s a special filly to breed from later on.”
The New Bay filly cost considerably more than her year-younger brother, who brought €450,000 12 months ago.
Bred by the China Horse Club and consigned by Ballylinch Stud, the seven-figure filly is the sixth foal out of Falling Petals, a Darley bred daughter of Raven’s Pass who won a Lingfield maiden in the colours of Princess Haya during her time under the care of John Gosden. The dam joined the China Horse Club broodmare band in 2016, when she was knocked down at €235,000.
Saffron Beach is comfortably the dam’s best runner to date, winning six times for Jane Chapple-Hyam and an ownership group made up of James Wigan and Ben and Ollie Sangster.
The 55,000gns foal failed to make her date at the yearling sales but went on to land two Group 1s for connections, namely the Sun Chariot Stakes and Prix Rothschild. She was subsequently sold at the 2022 December Mares Sale, where she drew a bid of 3,700,000gns from Saudi Arabian outfit Najd Stud.
Reflecting on the show-stopping transaction, the China Horse Club’s Matthew Houldsworth said: “This is a fantastic sale and every time we sell with Goffs they deliver. She deserved to make a good price, we weren’t expecting quite that, but we thought she might make seven figures. She’s an outstanding individual by a stallion who’s very much on the up and with such a good pedigree.”
Falling Petals produced a colt by Lope De Vega earlier this year and is back in foal to New Bay.
Carmichael and Skiffington are no strangers to eye catching Orby Sale purchases, having secured Signe, a Sea The Stars half-sister to Forever Together, Together Forever and Lord Shanakill, at €1.1m in 2014. Signe won three races during her time in training with William Haggas, and is now a key part of Carmichael’s breeding interests.
Signe has produced three foals, all of whom have names registered with Weatherbys. The eldest, a four-year-old Siyouni filly, has been called Gemma, and is followed by a three-year-old daughter of Kingman named Queen Forever and a yearling colt by Wootton Bassett called Carmers.
Earlier in the session attention was focused firmly on the Kingman half-brother to Skitter Scatter. The colt was making his second appearance in the Goffs ring having topped last year’s November Foal Sale to the €550,000 bid of high-rolling pin hooker Philipp Stauffenberg.
Bidders took a while to warm to their task, with Beeby addressing the room and saying “don’t be shy!” when the price stalled around the €100,000 mark. Eventually David Redvers and Godolphin’s Anthony Stroud took each other on, with the latter winning out at €650,000.
“He’s an extremely well bred horse by Kingman,” said Stroud after signing the docket. “We’ve had Victory Dance out of the mare already, they’re both bred by Airlie, which is a great stud farm.
“We looked at him as a foal and debated buying him then, but we thought we’d leave him and see what he’s like next year. It’s reassuring that he came back with Philip Stauffenberg so we got a chance to look at him again. We thought he’d progressed well so we’re very happy with him.”
Bred by Airlie and Sonia Rogers, the colt is the fifth foal out of Dane Street, a winner at Fairyhouse and Leopardstown during her time in training with Jessica Harrington. The daughter of Street Cry has far surpassed her racecourse achievements at paddocks, however, with five winners from six runners.
As well as Moyglare Stud Stakes heroine Skitter Scatter, Dane Street has also bred the Listed-winning Dubawi colt Victory Dance, a 700,000gns Godolphin purchase, and the Grade 3-placed Data Dependent.
Asked if there were many similarities between Victory Dance and his six-figure sibling, Stroud said: “To be honest, no, Victory Dance is a very different type. This colt definitely has a lot more Kingman in him than Victory Dance. I’ve been associated with a few Kingmans, including Persian King. He’s had a great year this year and he’s capable of siring a brilliant horse.”
The presence of those high-achieving siblings meant the page already caught the eye when Stauffenberg pin hooked the colt last November, and it has received two significant updates since. Data Dependent’s first foal, Justify filly Aspen Grove, won the Grade 1 Belmont Oaks, while the colt’s two-year-old sister, Skellet, looked a filly with a bright future when scooting clear in a Salisbury maiden for Ralph Beckett.
There are firm foundations to this pedigree too as Dane Street is a half-sister to Dewhurst Stakes winner Intense Focus, while there has been another top-level update further back in the family as this year’s Poule d’Essai des Poulains hero Marhaba Ya Sanafi appear beneath the colt’s third dam.
Those updates and a striking physical presence had led some to believe the colt possessed seven-figure potential. While the final price may not have been the pin hooking home run some had expected, the vendor was sanguine about the transaction.
“There were moments where it felt like a worrying situation when he was stuck at a relatively low level,” said Stauffenberg. “I was pretty sure he would make more than we had paid for him, it was just a question of how much. I can’t complain, it’s not a loss or a huge gain, but he’s a very nice horse and hopefully he will prove that on the racecourse. That’s the main thing.
“I’m pleased he went to a good home and hopefully he will do well for Godolphin. The last two they bought from me have done well, a Teofilo colt called Majestic One and a Night Of Thunder filly named Romantic Style. Hopefully this colt will do us proud.”
Stauffenberg has plenty to look forward to before offering a five-strong draft at Book 1 of the Tattersalls October Sale, as he is the breeder of Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe contender Fantastic Moon and also pin hooked the Cheveley Park Stakes-bound Soprano.
Plenty of international money was invested during day two, including a brace of purchases that brought €500,000 apiece. First US-based agent Kim Valerio partnered with micro share syndicate Commonwealth Thoroughbreds to secure the Wootton Bassett colt out of First Flower from Glenvale Stud.
The colt is the first foal out of the unraced Galileo sister to Group/Grade 1-winning siblings Hydrangea, Hermosa and The United States.
Chase Chamberlin (right) with Commonwealth Thoroughbreds co-founder Brian Doxtator
Chase Chamberlin (right) with Commonwealth co-founder Brian Doxtator
Credit: Commonwealth
“He’s the second horse Kim has got for us in Europe so we’re really excited about him,” said Commonwealth’s Chase Chamberlin. “He’s beautiful and he’s got a massive pedigree.
“We said we weren’t going to buy a horse unless one begged us to take him home, and this one did. He’ll head to Donnacha O’Brien, he was pretty crucial in this part of the purchasing process.”
Commonwealth Thoroughbreds have been involved in owning some major talents trained on the opposite side of the Atlantic, most notably Dubai World Cup hero Country Grammer and this year’s Kentucky Derby victor Mage.
Expanding on the group’s European ambitions, Chamberlin said: “We want to find great horses for people. That starts with conviction, and we had the same conviction about Country Grammer and Mage. We have great partners and trust people like Kim to make these decisions, and trainers like Donnacha O’Brien and Bob Baffert. Hopefully we can make magic happen, but that starts with quality horses.”
Valerio added: “We’ve looked at pretty much everything in the sale, minus about 40 lots, and he’s my top choice. He’s beautiful. He looks like an American horse and I tend to migrate towards those. He’s light on his feet and super smart.”
Kellsgrange Stud’s Mehmas brother to Grade 2 scorer Quattroelle is hammered down to the Hong Kong Jockey Club at Goffs Orby
Kellsgrange Stud’s Mehmas brother to Grade 2 scorer Quattroelle is hammered down to the Hong Kong Jockey Club at Goffs Orby
Credit: Sarah Farnsworth
Later in the session the Hong Kong Jockey Club joined the fray with the €500,000 purchase of the Mehmas brother to Grade 2 scorer Quattroelle, who was offered by Kellsgrange Stud.
The Hong Kong buying team, who are sourcing prospects for the jurisdiction’s International Sale in 2025, is headed by legendary jockey Mick Kinane, who said of the Mehmas colt: “He’s a lovely, balanced horse. His sister was a very good horse and if he’s as good he should be fine. Mehmas is only new on the horizon in Hong Kong, there is one there that I know of, so he’s still in his infancy over there.”
That purchase was the most significant of a four-strong haul for the Hong Kong Jockey Club, whose spend totaled €1,190,000.

The €500,000 Mehmas colt turned a handsome profit for connections as he had been pin hooked through Peter and Ross Doyle at 240,000gns when offered by Rossenarra Stud last year.