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Lot 1026: Dark Trooper (IRE)

International buyers continued to dominate proceedings on the third day of the Tattersalls Autumn Horses in Training Sale with the leadings lots bound for Australia, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United States.

Brown & Wathnan Secure Dark Trooper for 500,000 Guineas  

The top lot on the third day of the Tattersalls Autumn Horses in Training Sale was the Ed Walker trained DARK TROOPER, who was knocked down to Blandford Bloodstock’s Richard Brown for 500,000 guineas on behalf of Wathnan Racing.

“The idea is to buy quality over quantity, that is the message from Qatar to Olly Tait to me and Ali Al Kubaisi, who is working the sale with me,” said Brown. “This horse has been on the radar for most of the year because Al Donald, who bought and managed him, and Ed Walker, who trained him, have been trying to get me to buy him for most of the year, saying there is a lot more to come.

“He won a very competitive Ascot handicap on quick ground and then was unlucky in the Bengough. He is an interesting horse and will go to Qatar and there is a programme with him in that part of the world, but he is the sort of horse who could come back here. He is a gelding so can run on for a number of seasons. He will be trained by Alban de Mieulle and we will see how things go.”

The three-year-old DARK TROOPER has won six of his fourteen starts, including four of his last five, and was consigned with a Timeform rating of 111+.

Explaining the purchase further Brown said: “Wathnan purchased Bolthole at this sale last year – the horse went on to do very well in Qatar and then came back to France, and has won a Listed and finished second in a couple of Group 3 races this summer.”

“He is obviously a Group calibre sprinter, he is very sound, he looks magnificent here so all credit to Ed Walker – the horse is still carrying plenty of condition at the end of a long season. We thought that he would be in that price bracket.”

DARK TROOPER was bought as a yearling by SackvilleDonald’s Alastair Donald for owner Chi Un Fred Ma at Book 2 of the 2021 Tattersalls October Yearling Sale for 60,000 guineas.

Lot 1133: Sea The Casper (IRE)

Sea The Casper Bound for Saudi Cup Meeting at 425,000 Guineas  

Late in the evening a bidding duel between Middle Eastern interests for the Simon & Ed Crisford trained SEA THE CASPER lit up the sale ring and resulted in the four-year-old realising 425,000 guineas. The successful bidder was Mubarak Al-Ruwis after he saw off the determined efforts of the Najd Stud team.

Sat with a group of friends under the back window, a spokesman for Al-Ruwis said: “He will ship straight to Saudi. We have two horses already in Saudi and need good quality horses for the big Saudi Cup meeting. We think this horse could be a champion.”

Bred by Rabbah Bloodstock, the four-year-old SEA THE STARS gelding has won on four occasions and finished second last time out in the Listed Diamond Stakes at Dundalk, beaten just a neck by the Group 3 winner PIZ BADILE who was runner up in the Group 1 Irish Derby behind WESTOVER in 2022.

It is a second horse purchased this week by Al-Ruwis, who spent 105,000 guineas on the 88 rated OUT OF SHADOWS on Monday.

Lot 1081: Halfway Line (GB)

Donohoe Lands Halfway Line for America

The Juddmonte draft is always one of the highlights of the Tattersalls Autumn Horses in Training Sale and this year proved no exception with the fourteen lots realising a total of 1,398,000 guineas, headed by the three-year-old HALFWAY LINE at 320,000 guineas.

The son of ZOFFANY was purchased by BBA Ireland’s Michael Donohoe online and following his purchase he commented: “I have left the sales ground and so it worked well for me to bid online. The horse has been bought in conjunction with Niall Dalton of Stakes Horses to go to California and is for a new client with trainer Phil D’Amato, who has had a good bit of success training European horses.

“Halfway Line was recommended by his former trainer Francis-Henri Graffard as well as Barry Mahon of Juddmonte. He should suit California – he is progressive, he goes on firm, he has a turn of foot, all the attributes you need.”

HALFWAY LINE has won three of his six starts and was third in the Listed Prix Matchem on his most recent start at Saint-Cloud. D’Amato is set to get two sons of ZOFFANY from this week’s sale after OTTOMAN PRINCE, also by the late sire, was bought by Boomer Bloodstock on behalf of D’Amato’s owner Anthony Fanticola. The paternal siblings will be flying over together to join D’Amato’s string in southern California.

Lot 1021: Royal Patronage (FR)

Royal Patronage Attracts Waterhouse & Bott  

Australian buyers continued to be at the fore on the third day of the Autumn Horses in Training Sale including agent Johnny McKeever, bidding on behalf of the training partnership of Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott. McKeever, bidding alongside racing manager Claudia Miller, secured the four-year-old WOOTTON BASSETT colt ROYAL PATRONAGE for 300,000 guineas.

The WH Bloodstock consigned colt won the Group 2 Royal Lodge Stakes and the Group 3 Tattersalls Acomb Stakes as a two-year-old, before finishing second in the Group 2 Dante Stakes at three. He then shipped to the US where he finished fifth in the Grade 1 Belmont Derby Invitational Stakes. He remained in the States with trainer Graham Motion and ran in last year’s Grade 1 Saratoga Derby, before winning an allowance race this spring and running fifth in the Grade 3 Arlington Stakes.

“Not only is he a beautiful type and with the form on the board, he rated very highly for us and I think he will adapt very well to Australia,” said Claudia Miller, Gai Waterhouse’s racing manager. “He had good form as a two-year-old and as a four-year-old, he is very sound for us, very clean. We think he will adapt very well to Australia and we look forward to getting him into the system and getting him going.

“Wootton Bassett is a stallion that we have been looking at for a while as he has been very successful in Europe, and they will start to sell ‘Down Under’ shortly so it’s great to get one in the stable.”

Johnny McKeever added: “We spoke to Graham Motion about the horse and he gave us a very positive report, he just had a few small training issues, nothing to worry about at all. He is an ideal horse to go to Australia and so we were confident that it was the right thing to do. It is hard to find Group form in the sale, he has got a certain quality. We are not guessing here, we know he is a pretty good horse if all goes well for him.”