Group 1 Winner Alcohol Free Bound For Australia After Selling For 5.4 Million Guineas At Tattersalls - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report

Group 1 Winner Alcohol Free Bound For Australia After Selling For 5.4 Million Guineas At Tattersalls

Alcohol Free at Tattersalls December sale

Alcohol Free became the second highest price horse ever sold at a European auction when she realized 5,400,000 guineas on the highest grossing day in European auction history. The remarkable day saw eleven lots realize 1,000,000 guineas or more, ten of which were during the second part of the inaugural 'Sceptre Sessions', resulting in turnover of 54 million guineas. The previous record of 49,545,000 guineas was set at Book 1 of the Tattersalls October Yearling Sale earlier this autumn.

The second part of the 'Sceptre Sessions' saw the 49 sold lots realize a total of 37,637,000 guineas, taking the two-day total for the new December Mares Sale initiative to 45,907,000 guineas at an average of 646,577 guineas.

The four-time Group 1 winner Alcohol Free was the star attraction on the second day of the Tattersalls December Mares Sale and she entered a sale ring that was standing room only. Australian owner-breeder Michael Sherrin, standing alongside agent Jim Clarke, opened the bidding at 1,000,000 guineas before Blandford Bloodstock's Richard Brown, BBA Ireland's Michael Donohoe and Coolmore's MV Magnier joined the fray. As bidding soared past 4,000,000 guineas it became a direct head-to-head duel between Donohoe and Magnier with Donohoe, sitting alongside Yuesheng Zhang, prevailing with a bid of 5,400,000 guineas. The sale is the second highest price in European auction history.

BBA Ireland's Michael Donohoe commented: “She is for partnership to race in Australia. She vetted extremely well and clean for a filly with some miles on the clock. My vet was super happy with her. She is for a partnership who have horses in training and breed as well. There is a lot of money to win in Australia – I think 87 races this year are worth a million plus so we hope to recoup a lot of what we paid for her, and add a bit more too.

“She is a filly with speed for six furlongs but stayed a mile, so there will be a lot of options for her. Andrew Balding and the team did a great job, she looked very fresh. I went to see her last week at Kingsclere. She will make a lovely broodmare in time, she has the physique and the pedigree. It is a family I know well as I bought the dam for Yulong Investments last year, and she has a lovely Lope de Vega foal at foot and is in-foal to Lucky Vega.”

He added: “She will probably race for a season and then be covered, and we will probably send her to Frankel. So we will decide whether we cover on northern or southern hemisphere time, but obviously Frankel is an exceptional sire and is doing it in both hemispheres.”

Of bidding to over five million guineas, Donohoe laughed and said: “It was pretty cool! But to be honest I was born in an auction ring at Goresbridge and am used to all the theatre. Those blue hen fillies who come off the track, they are collectors' items. They don't come on the market, like a Picasso, and if they do come on the market, you just have to value them and we had a figure in our head. I suppose I was bidding pretty strongly so I guess it indicated there was a bit more petrol in the tank.”

David Bowe, who bought Alcohol Free as a foal, is the stud manager of Jeff Smith's Littleton Stud and said: “We are delighted, it is the end of a wonderful, wonderful journey we have been on, a wonderful dream. To end up here at Tattersalls, it is magnificent. Ollie Fowlston did a brilliant job from the rostrum and we could not have been better treated, and everyone was here to look at her.

“She walked in and looked beautiful. If it had been five years earlier with Jeff we might not have brought her to the sale ring, but she will make a beautiful mare in time. We have enough broodmares, she was not bred by us, but it is really to do with the timescale. It is time for someone else.

“We have had so much luck… everyone involved with her, the team at home on the farm, the Caffneys whom we bought from, all her jockeys. I can't thank everyone enough, and for everyone who put their hands up in the ring – it was lovely. Everyone has had a massive part, I am just the one who happens to be here talking to you.

“It has been emotional, I can't believe, it just shows that whatever sales ground you are at, we are all trying to do the same thing and it has happened to the likes of us! It is extraordinary. it just goes to show if you keep plugging away it can happen.

“Jeff was not here tonight, but it is all down to him. He let us buy her, let us all get involved in the whole dream. I am absolutely delighted, it is a beautiful end to our chapter, and we wish the new connections all the luck. We don't buy an awful lot of horses, but we have been lucky with the ones we have, and I hope you are here talking to me again some time!”

The dual Group 1 winner Saffron Beach looked one of the standout lots of the inaugural Sceptre Sessions and so it proved when she was knocked down for 3,600,000 guineas to Najd Stud's Saad Bin Mishraf, who saw off a determined effort from Northern Farm's Shunsuke Yoshida after Badgers Bloodstock's Grant Pritchard-Gordon had made much of the early running.

Bin Mishraf said: “She is for the Saudi Cup. Inshallah she will go to the Saudi Cup, Inshallah she will win it! She has good breeding from the dam's side to act on the dirt, and we like her physically. We thought she would not make that much. We will see about plans after.”

Trained by Jane Chapple-Hyam, the 4-year-old filly won the Group 1 Sun Chariot Stakes and Group 1 Prix Rothchild for owners Lucy Sangster, James Wigan and Ollie Sangster. The daughter of New Bay out of the Raven's Pass mare Falling Petals was sold in training and was bought by Bin Mishraf on behalf of Prince Faisal.

“I am thrilled and very excited,” said Chapple-Hyam. “It is a big honor, we have got a good winter to look forward. I think going around the ring she was waiting for the saddle, she was giving a few bops with her backend! She is in good order, she is tough, I believe she will get the nine furlongs in Saudi, you never know about the surface but we will give it a go.”

“I think we will have a little rest, and then build her up and get her ready,” outlined Chapple-Hyam. “I will have to do a very good racecourse gallop with her. When I sent her to Dubai World Cup meeting I felt that, although we ran fourth and went well, the ones who finished in front and had had a run, I am aware of that.”

Part owner James Wigan commented: “She has been wonderful for us. She looked fantastic tonight, Jane always has her looking fantastic and has done a wonderful job with her. We are very sorry to see her go, we have had a lot of fun.”

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