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Lot 767: Balance Play (IRE)

Australian buyers were to the fore on the second day of the Tattersalls Autumn Horses in Training Sale, buying six of the top eight lots including the session topping BALANCE PLAY at 575,000 guineas.

Waterhouse & Bott Secure Balance Play for 575,000 Guineas  

The top lot on the second day of the Tattersalls Autumn Horses in Training Sale was BALANCE PLAY, the LOPE DE VEGA three-year-old sold by Alex Elliott’s Imperium Sales for Valmont, who realised 575,000 guineas to the bid of Johnny McKeever on behalf of the trainer partnership of Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott. Will Bourne, Ciaron Maher’s head of bloodstock was the underbidder.

Claudia Miller, racing manager for Gai Waterhouse, said: “Balance Play is our highest rated horse of the sale, we were under strict instructions not to leave without him! He is a lovely three-year-old, lightly raced, very consistent, effective on all going. He just is the exact profile of the horse we look for at this sale. We are very excited to get him.”

Miller continued: “It was strong, we knew it was going to be strong, but he was a horse we were not leaving without. He could be anything for us, he is easily a Stakes horse, there is a lot of improvement in him form-wise, physically as well – these Europeans seem to explode when they get down to the sunshine and the warmer weather. We are expecting more to come.”

Miller concluded: “We have some commitment already, a couple of opportunities to get involved, but he is more or less sold.”

BALANCE PLAY was trained by Ralph Beckett and was offered with a Timeform rating of 108.

The same team joined up to secure BEAR ON THE LOOSE, the next lot in the ring, for 280,000 guineas. Of the immediate plans for both horses, Miller said: “We will get them down to Australia, probably give them both a good break, then look to the autumn and then the spring next year.”

“There is so much interest in Australia for these types of horses as they are racing for so much money. We have had incredible success with European horses, and in particular from this sale. It is a very happy hunting ground for us.”

Local agent Johnny McKeever said: “It is about 15 years we have been working with Gai, quite a long time! We are getting to know the system quite well. We are bidding against the likes of Wathnan and that is making it more expensive for us, and we have been outbid by the likes of Guy Mulcaster on two others tonight.”

He continued: “I think the top end is as strong as always. You kind of know on these ones who the opposition is going to be. We do have to pick them – Gai does not like it if you send a bad looking horse!”

Lot 769: He’s A Monster (IRE)

He’s A Monster Heads to Qatar at 450,000 Guineas 

Blandford Bloodstock’s Richard Brown secured the next two lots in the ring, HE’S A MONSTER and JUST BRING IT, from the same Imperium Sales draft. The pair realised 450,000 guineas and 300,000 guineas respectively and have been purchased on behalf of Wathnan Racing.

“They’ll both go to Qatar,” said Brown. “We focussed on buying real quality and hopefully we’ve done that. Everyone on the team was very keen on both of these horses. He’s A Monster was recommended highly by Archie [Watson]. He looks progressive and is a particularly good looking horse. He could end up running on either turf or dirt in Qatar.

“It’s a tremendous effort by Alex Elliott on his first venture selling. They were superbly presented.”

The three-year-old HE’S A MONSTER is a son of NO NAY NEVER who raced for Lone Star Investments. He has won five of his nine starts and was offered with a Timeform rating of 113. JUST BRING IT is a son of HARRY ANGEL who raced for Atlantic Equine, has won his last two starts and was offered with a Timeform rating of 99.

Alex Elliott, who was selling his first draft at Tattersalls under the Imperium Sales banner, was a little emotional after the draft went through the ring:

“I am absolutely over the moon, I am very proud of the horses and very proud of the job that the team has done. I am a bit overwhelmed really on this first time doing it.

“I said to Lucy [Ryan, assistant] a few months ago that we are going to do this, and she went ‘OK!’ She has not batted an eyelid right through from the yearling sales, she has put a team together of phenomenal horse people and done a great job. I can’t explain what a wonderful job they have all done.

“We are buying a lot of yearlings, I hope it is something we are going to continue to do. We have sold some serious horses tonight and I hope they go on to do better than they did for us – and they have done us a great service. I am very sad to see them go, and we are actually going to stay in Balance Play because we loved him and there is lots to come from him. We have a lot of faith in him.

“I am a bit overcome by how well everything has been received, I am very grateful that the owners went through with the idea and I just want to say thank you to everyone – the buyers, to the viewers, to my clients, to the trainers, as the horses turned up looking immaculate. It is everything we dreamed of and more – we came here with big expectations and for the all the horses to jump through the hoops…. I was expecting X and Y to be wrong and it was not at all!

“We have a lot of horses like Balance Play at home. Ralph has trained him masterfully, he is a late May foal, he has a staying pedigree and Ralph has brought him through slowly. He has handled every ground, he could be anything.

“We are sad to see him go, but it is the nature of the beast with this game. Hopefully we have got a bit back. I have wanted to do this for a few years and this felt like the right moment, the product was there and you have to have the right product. We were very confident that we had some serious horses.”

Lot 720: Amleto (IRE)

Bourne Secures Amleto for 360,000 Guineas for Ciaron Maher & David Eustace  

AMLETO, a SEA THE STARS full-brother to the dual Group 1 winner SEA OF CLASS and four further blacktype winners, was bought by Will Bourne on behalf of Ciaron Maher Bloodstock for 360,000 guineas after he saw off Eddie O’Leary to secure the three-year-old gelding. He was in training with William Haggas and owned by Sunderland Holding Inc, and was offered with a Timeform rating of 98p.

Will Bourne, Maher’s head of bloodstock, said: “He is the one we really targeted and we were very keen to pick him up. He is a really nice horse, and the profile is very much for Australia. The sireline is proven down there with the Group 1 Australian Cup winner Fifty Stars and Just Fine, winner of the Group 1 Metropolitan.

“He is just a lovely lightly raced horse, and a perfect fit for Australia. He has plenty of miles left on the clock and we can’t wait to get him down there.”

Lot 721: Florida (IRE)

Mulcaster & Waller Secure Florida for 300,000 Guineas  

New Zealand agent Guy Mulcaster was one of the first agents to venture up to the Autumn Horses in Training Sale and buy tried horses for the Australian market and specifically trainer Chris Waller, and the pair were active again today securing the three-year-olds FLORIDA and UNLIMITED for 300,000 guineas and 230,000 guineas respectively, both horses from William Haggas’ Somerville Lodge.

“Both horses were highly recommended by the Haggas stable and we were happy to go with their judgement,” said Mulcaster. “We like the horses’ profiles and we liked the race replays. Fingers crossed!”

“I had Chris on the phone when I bought Florida, and he was pretty happy to keep going and we managed to get him at that money. In the big scheme of things the money in Australia is for the milers and 1800m horses. We have a few more to look at tonight and tomorrow, then it’s on the plane and home!”

FLORIDA, a son of NO NAY NEVER, has run seven times, won twice and is rated 99 by Timeform, whilst the SAXON WARRIOR gelding UNLIMITED has won two of his last three starts and was offered with a Timeform rating of 91.

The Tattersalls Autumn Horses in Training Sale continues at 9.30am on Wednesday, 25th October.