145,000 Guineas Sovereign Debt Tops Tattersalls February Sale

Lot 177: Sovereign Debt (IRE)
Lot 177: Sovereign Debt (IRE)

Last year’s Group 1 Lockinge Stakes runner-up SOVEREIGN DEBT topped a buoyant Tattersalls February Sale that saw rises across the board, the highest turnover since 2008 and a record median. A total of 172 lots were sold for 2,166,600 guineas, at an average of 12,597 guineas and a median of 6,750 guineas, figures that represented rises of 24%, 37% and 35% respectively.

The top-priced lot during the one-day February Sale was the five-year-old gelding SOVERIGN DEBT. The son of DARK ANGEL was knocked down to trainer Dandy Nicholls after he saw off fellow handler Brian Ellison as well as Lillingston Bloodstock’s Barry Lynch.

"He's a tough horse, like his new trainer!" joked Nicholls after signing for the Group 1 Lockinge Stakes runner-up.

"I'd rather spend this sort of money on a horse such as this than a yearling," he continued. "He has ability and you don't lose that and we will be hoping that one of my clients will buy him! We'll look to run him in all the top races in England, Ireland, Europe, anywhere.... Michael Bell recommended him."

SOVERIGN DEBT was consigned from Michael Bell’s Fitzroy House Stables with an official rating of 106 and prize-money of more than £130,000.          

February Sale Figures:
2014 301 214 172 2,166,600 12,597 6,750
2013 316 244 190 1,747,600 9,198 5,000

The top-priced filly at the sale was ENHARMONIC, the three-year-old daughter of E DUBAI consigned from Juddmonte Farms who was knocked down for 90,000 guineas. The half-sister to the Group 1 Dewhurst Stakes winner DISTANT MUSIC was knocked down to Blandford Bloodstock’s Tom Goff after a protracted bidding duel with Charlie Gordon-Watson Bloodstock’s Will Douglass.

When asked what he particularly liked about the filly, Goff joked: "As Joss Collins would say, look at the friggin’ page!

"She has a lovely pedigree, you don't beat being a half to a Dewhurst winner. I saw her a lot when she was in training with John Gosden and she definitely had ability. She goes to stud now."

The five-year-old DUKE OF CLARENCE was another to attract the attention of buyers when knocked down to Robin O’Ryan for 70,000 guineas. The son of VERGLAS was consigned from Richard Hannon’s East Everleigh Stables as the winner of five races and an official rating of 95.

"With that sort of rating he can run for good money," said O'Ryan.

"He is for an existing owner and will go to Richard Fahey's in time."

DUKE OF CLARENCE was bought as at the Tattersalls December Yearling Sale in 2010 for 45,000gns by McKeever Bloodstock.

At the conclusion of the 2014 Tattersalls February Sale, Tattersalls Chairman Edmond Mahony commented;

“2013 was a record breaking year for Tattersalls with every sale showing growth and our first sale of 2014 has continued the sequence. The Tattersalls February Sale may not be the most high profile sale at Park Paddocks, but it never fails to attract a diverse cross section of buyers from throughout the world and this year has been no exception.

“The 145,000 guineas paid for the high class performer SOVERIGN DEBT is the highest price ever for a colt or gelding in training at the February Sale and the key indicators of turnover, average and median have all surpassed last year’s levels. As ever, significant consignments from many of the world’s leading owner/breeders have been particularly sought after, and the sustained demand at today’s sale has yet again demonstrated the consistent appeal of sales of this nature at Tattersalls.”

The next sale at Tattersalls is the Craven Breeze Up Sale which takes place from April 15 – 17.