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National Hunt Sales and Irish Point to Point Sales Review March 2018 to July 2018

22-August-2018 6:14
in General
by Admin

I was proposing to do a whole season review of the Irish p2p season, but such is the commercial nature of Irish pointing, it is now an integral part of the Major Sales scene in the spring and summer as well as the major festivals where the boutique sales are now common place.

The great unknown of course, is always the private sales that are done in between which tend to come out in stable tours around September time or when the horse makes its debut under rules for a British trainer.

The sales ring and paddocks at Goffs UK, Goffs Ire and Tattersalls Ire are quite a unique place. Where ever you are in the paddocks you can hear the sound of the auctioneer’s voice, racing away at 100mph as the price goes up in 5k or 10k units.

Every now and again, the voice slows to a crawl. Every word, every syllable is drawn out deliberately as the price escalates to levels most people would buy a house with.

The sense of excitement and anticipation is palpable as people, not involved in the bidding, scour the arena to see who is bidding. If you’re thinking it sounds like a scene from Lovejoy where the twitch of an eye, the slight raising of a finger constitutes a bid, your actually not that far wrong. Most of the time you only know who has been bidding when the hammer comes down and the auctioneer declares the horse sold and names the purchaser and the amount of the bid.

So, leading who are the leading p2p and sore sales so far this season?

I am going to start at the Boutique sale at the Cheltenham festival.

Feel My Pulse

It may have only been a 5 runner race at Lismore p2p back in march but by any standards Feel My Pulse was impressive, not just in the manor of his victory but on looks, running style, pedigree and temperament. At this stage, the son of Stowaway looks to have the world at his feet, but it is early days and we should not get carried away. Joint top lot at 330k he was bought by Mags O’Toole to into training with the Irish powerhouse stable of Gordon Elliot.

The form of his point is interesting as the Gigginstown horse who finished 35L in arrears that day, Shot to Hell won next time out at Irelands premier p2p course at Dromahane beating a horse making his debut in p2p called Cobblers way who has now been sold to Henry De Bromhead.

Andy Dufresne

Joint top lot with feel my pulse at 330k, the son of Doyen ran an impressive race at Borris House p2p, ridden by Jamie Codd and trained by Gordon Elliot, the master trainer obviously did not want to let the horse go, which should, in itself , tell you the horse is held in some regard. The form is no great shakes, nothing to speak of but the manor of victory was impressive. Would not have the size or scope of Feel my pulse and if I am being honest I am not a fan of Doyen as a NH sire but again, the manor of the victory cannot be denied and the fact that Elliot went to such lengths to keep him in the yard speaks volumes.


A very interesting son of Presenting, bought by Harold Kirk for willie Mullins for 240k.

Ontheropes was a fast finishing second in Punchestown p2p in February. What stands out about the race is the winner, Madiba Passion absolutely cruised through the race, jumped like a stag, whereas Ontheropes made up a lot of ground on the leader having been held up, showing that the engine is not only there but considerable in power. As Madiba Passion tired in the home straight Ontheropes came through with what looked like a powerful winning run only to clobber the last two fences but even so, rallied, only to go down by a nose in a photo finish.

Clearly a fantastic engine is now being fined tuned at Willie Mullins Yard and not being short of pace at all, one can only imagine Patrick Mullins licking his lips at the thought of riding this fellow in NHF races this season.

Madiba Passion was pulled up next time out and has not raced since or been sold at Public Auction and as far as I am aware at the time of writing has not been sold privately.

I am assuming an Injury of some sort has prevented racing or a sale at this point. Given that his first run was filled with such promise and he is a graduate of the Doyle’s fabulous Monbeg stables, he is worth putting in the tracker on the assumption, all being well, he will at some point appear under rules.

The Big Getaway

A big raw strapping son of Getaway, absolutely hosed up at the Horse and Jockey p2p in March before being snapped up for 230k by Harold Kirk buying for Willie Mullins.

He is probably one of the biggest getaway I’ve seen, Great engine, looks very strong in front, clearly fit with a powerful looking hind quarters and yet leaves you with the impression he is still slightly unfurnished and there is a lot more to come once he has matured a little bit more over the summer.

The form is nothing to speak of, this is all about looks, the engine and the pedigree. He has been beautifully prepared by Monbeg, as you would expect from one of Irelands top commercial p2p stables and looks another powerful addition to the Mullins battalions.

AINTREE…12th April 2014

Malone Road

Consigned by Stuart Crawford, this rangy son of Kalanisi made his debut at Loughanmore at the end of March and evidently made quite the impression as Tom Malone buying for Gordon Elliott went to 325k to acquire him.

Visually his point was more about staying power than pace and I think it’s reasonable to think that this lad won’t have the pace for 16f NHF races but would be defiantly one to consider for 20f plus Novice hurdles when the time comes. I am not saying for one second that he looks placeless but the manner in which his point was won was all about stamina, the only caveat I would add is that it was his debut and there was an element of running green about it and the penny dropping late on, even so I wouldn’t want to be getting involved below 20f till I’ve seen evidence to the contrary.

The second horse that day, Soldier at war, was also sold to Gordon Elliott for 140k later in the sale. Having pulled well clear of the field with Malone Road, the form can defiantly be marked up. This lad is a different model than the winner as he showed good pace trying to get away at the front end of the field only for greenness and stamina to give way on debut. Could make an interesting NHF horse kept away from the bigger tracks round Ireland.

Champagne Platinum

On the face of it, winning a 5 runner p2p at Quakerstown where 3 fell, two finished, one well clear of the other, wouldn’t normally attract a great deal of attention, form wise.

However this big grey son of Stowaway made enough of an impression for Kerion McManus to go to 250k for him 11 days later.

A well-built model, substantial in the chest with a strong, powerful backend, he certainly does not lack for pace but a bigger field and a stronger gallop will reveal more.

There is enough about him in both looks and pedigree to suggest he has a future on the track. That would be backed up in the confidence shown in him to go to 250k to acquire him.

I am putting him in my tracker as a horse to watch and let him develop a little so we might know a bit more about him before investing any hard earned cash.

Little Light

A beautiful Daughter of Walk in the park, really good looking mare and, on the face of it tough as teak. She ran in her second point at Loughanmore on the 31st March having fell on debut earlier in the month at the Horse and Jockey p2p. Clearly the experience was not lost on her as she quickened nicely off a strong gallop, pulling Clear of the rest with Tara West (Monbeg stables- trained by the Doyle family) and only going down by a head on the line in a tight finish.

There is no reason to think it’s not solid form and this gorgeous mare was Bought by Aiden Murphy for 200k and I will be endeavouring to find out who her new connections are ASAP. Sleek, feminine in looks ( not one of these masculine looking mares like Dawn Run et al), very athletic looking in nature. I could see her taking in a mares bumper in the Autumn on a galloping track with plenty of cut ( high knee action).

In one of those quirks of the sale ring Tara West, despite winning the race and having a good pedigree (by Kayf Tara) and coming from Irelands leading p2p yard, only made half of Little Lights price at 100k and was sold to Anthony Honeyball. I would suggest you look out for her round Wincanton or Taunton maybe Exeter. She won’t be out of place and at 100k might be a bargain.

Cheltenham April Sale


The only Horse at this sale Interested me and he was sold as top lot for 130k To Aiden O’Ryan Bidding for Gordon Elliott.

A gorgeous son of Martaline, Won his debut point by 3L from The Captains inn at Lingstown in March, quacking up from the front off what was already a strong pace he had set himself. Visually impressive to say the least as was the runner up who battled all the way to line albeit in vain and such was the impression he made that he was purchased for 220k at the Cheltenham festival Sales ( bought by Stroud Coleman Bloodstock) and is defiantly one for your tracker.

Thatsy reappeared at Loughanmore at the end of March and put up an improved performance only going down a head to a more experienced rival. All in all very much a horse to look forward to in the coming season.

Expect Thatsy to be a front runner trying to set a strong pace over 16-18f possibly 20f. Will obviously stay 24f but if he is going to front run, setting a strong pace on Irelands top tracks then a drop back in trip on a galloping track like Leopardstown or Punchestown will suit, as would Naas and Navan I think.

Goffs Punchestown Festival sale

Lecale’s Article

To Say Lecale’s Article was impressive in winning his p2p on debut at Largy would be an understatement, visually it was extremely impressive, I heard that locals who know the track well reckon it was run in a very quick time for the track. It’s hard to say what he beat but the second, Cage of Fear, 8L back, trained by the Doyle’s at Monbeg, has since been bought by Fergal O’Brien for 50k. Cage of Fear didn’t do anything wrong except just run into a good one and time may tell the form works out well and Fergal O’Brien may well have a good horse on his hands.

A big Strapping son of the German sire Malinas, powerful on looks and displays it in abundance when the burners are turned on. He answered the question the moment it was asked and that’s why Highflyer Bloodstock (Anthony Bromley and David Minton) went to 320k to acquire him.

At the time of writing I don’t know which Yard he will end up in, but an Educated guess would be Seven Barrows with Nicky Henderson.

Good ground may be important to this horse to show his best, but a bit of cut would not inconvenience him, but I would keep him away from the mud given his action and the speed and stamina he showed on good ground at Largy.

Cheltenham May Sale

El Barra

El Barra, a lovely athletic gelding by a relatively unknow sire called Racinger out of a Robin Des Champs mare, made his debut in what I would say was a pretty hot Dromahane 4yo maiden. What was so eye catching was for the two and a half mile he sat out the back off a good pace and half a mile out Derek O’Connor said go and boy did he go, he scythed through the field like butter and any other 4yo Maiden would have been his but for the fact that the Gigginstown horse who had set the pace from the front wasn’t stopping and is probably above average as to be honest as fast as El Barra closed down and overtook the rest of the field Fury Road was steadily pulling away and even quickened again after the last.

There is no doubt this Dromahane maiden threw up two very nice above average types.

Fury Road may or may stop with his current trainer, Gigginstown do have a habit of moving their successful pointers on to Gordon Elliot or maybe Joseph O’Brien et al but where ever he turns up, note, he has gears, serious gears, will have no problem in NHF races in Ireland at the Grade one tracks. Being by Stowaway out of an Oscar mare, his running style, action and pedigree mean he should get further in time with cut in the ground although he is now proven on Good.

Having said that he has bags of speed and can kick of a strong pace. Initially 2 miles in an NHF on a galloping track, nothing tight like Tramore. Let’s get some wins on the board first and worry about step up in trips and hurdles later.

Back to EL Barra, well many of the comments about Fury road apply to El Barra, just unlucky to meet a horse with a bit of class and with that kind of instant acceleration and ridden slightly closer to the pace he won’t have any trouble picking up NHF and Nov Hurdle Races from 2mile upwards. How far his stamina will go is hard to tell as I don’t know a lot about the sire, but he has been bought for 280k by Harold Kirk bidding for Willie Mullins, so you can be sure this fellow is going to be aimed high.


Harold Kirk went into the trenches again for Willie Mullins and paid 235k for this son of Stowaway out of an Old Vic mare.

The 4yo maiden at Stowlin in April, which was won by Monkfish is a cracking form guide as to where we are with a lot of horses mentioned in this article.

Monkfish is an out and out stayer in looks, running style and pedigree. 3mile Chasing will be his ultimate game but if he were mine I would be straight over hurdles around the 20f mark. I just don’t see him having the pace for a 2mile NHF, as good and as talented as he is. Mullins of course is a master trainer and we will see what he does with him but if he does appear in an NHF race around two miles I won’t be backing him, if I end up with egg on my face, so be it but this is a seriously talented horse that should be in your tracker.

Having said that it should be noted that the race was run in the fastest time of the day, which IMO is more down to the pace and stamina than acceleration at the end and that in no detracts from the high quality of the race and its form lines.

Gameface finished second to Monkfish in the above-mentioned race and it merely franks the form of Monkfish as Gameface had previously finished third to Malone Road, mentioned in this article, on his debut. He was beaten 13L that day but given the regard in which both Malone Road and Soldier at War are held that has now been shown to be an excellent run.

Furthermore, it should be noted that the above-mentioned Fury Road made his debut in the Stowlin maiden and finished 4th behind Monkfish and Gameface and that gives him lines of form with Malone road and Soldier at War

I do hope you have enjoyed reading about these of Irish pointers who should make the track under rules next season properly. When more form lines and sales come to light and I will be highlighting them in my weekly blog.

I will be contacting some of the trainers of these horses in the coming weeks to see if I can find out how they are coming along and future plans, so we can stay ahead of the game where possible

Pete Ingram

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