Daughter Of Oaks Winner Talent is Top Priced European Foal in 2023

Lot 869: St Mark's Basilica (FR) / Talent (GB)
Lot 869: St Mark's Basilica (FR) / Talent (GB)

The daughter of the Oaks winner TALENT became the highest priced foal sold in Europe and North America this year when knocked down to Jill Lamb for 575,000 guineas at the Tattersalls December Foal Sale on a day that also registered nine of the top ten foal prices in Britain or Ireland in 2023.

Newsells Park Stud Land Regally Bred Daughter of Oaks Winner Talent  

The daughter of first season sire ST MARK'S BASILICA out of the Oaks winner TALENT looked one of the highlights of the Tattersalls December Foal Sale on paper and did not disappoint when selling for 575,000 guineas to Jill Lamb Bloodstock on behalf of Graham Smith-Bernal’s Newsells Park Stud. The half-sister to AMBITION, winner of the Group 2 Prix Corrida and second in the Group 1 Prix Jean Romanet, is the seventh foal out of the NEW APPROACH mare and was consigned by Ashbrittle Stud. Lamb secured the filly after seeing off the efforts of underbidder MV Magnier and Shadwell Estates’ Angus Gold.    

"She is beautiful, absolutely gorgeous, I fell in love with her as soon as I saw her," said Lamb. "She is very athletic and has a wonderful page. She has been bought to race and to come back to Newsells Park Stud. She has two half-sisters by Dubawi and she ticked all the boxes for us. We are delighted to get her. I watched everyone going in for her and thought 'Oh my gosh!'"  

Of the young sire, Lamb added: "St Mark's Basilica is the unknown quantity, but she is the nicest I have seen by him."  

Ashbrittle’s stud manager Georgina Whales admitted she had a mixture of emotion seeing the filly sell, but reported that there is still plenty of the top class family at home with exciting mating plans:  

"We have Ambition back on the farm, she had a Frankel foal this year and is in foal to Palace Pier, and Talent is in foal to New Bay. This filly speaks for herself, and she has been so well behaved here. She has been really busy and had ten vets, and it was just this morning that she got tired but she still marched around the sales ring. Jill came to see her several times."  

The filly is from the first crop of ST MARK’S BASILICA, the five-time Group 1 winning son of SIYOUNI who won the Dewhurst Stakes as a two-year-old before an unbeaten three-year-old campaign that took in the French 2000 Guineas & Derby, the Eclipse Stakes and the Irish Champion Stakes.  

Lot 961: Starspangledbanner (AUS) / Mosa Mine (GB)

Brother to Vandeek to MV Magnier for 450,000 Guineas  

Another lot that looked a standout in the catalogue was the STARSPANGLEDBANNER half-brother to this year’s dual Group 1 winning juvenile VANDEEK. The son of the EXCEED AND EXCEL mare MOSA MINE was consigned by Kelly Thomas’ Maywood Stud and purchased by MV Magnier for 450,000 guineas, after he saw off agent Jill Lamb and noted pinhooker Philipp Stauffenberg.    

Thomas was quickly back at the colt's box with her team and said: "We bred the dam Mosa Mine, sold her as a yearling and bought her back for very little money. I have just had faith in the family for a long time and just felt that something had to come through at some stage. They are just too determined, that will-to-win to have their heads in front. This colt even has to have his head in front at feed time, the other foals can come second to him all the time, he just has that competitive nature. It is the important thing you need in a racehorse."  

Of today's sale and watching VANDEEK’s stellar two-year-old season she said: "We kind of thought that was the figure we could get. I wish we could replay it all again - while you are there in the ring you are a bit like a rabbit in the headlights, it is a bit overwhelming. In fact the whole year has been a bit overwhelming, there is almost more to worry about now! As much as we are happy about it you want to get to the next stage, and we had this colt at home and we'd wake up every morning and hope that he is in one piece, and that we are still going to be able to bring and present him for sale."  

Buyer MV Magnier said: "He is a lovely horse, and in fairness to Kelly Thomas and everyone they have done a great job with him. He is a half-brother to a very good horse, and I am just glad we can support the likes of the Thomas's, and it is a great result for them. He has quality, is a good mover and he looks like he will be a fast, early horse, and hopefully he will be." 

Lot 903: Wootton Bassett (GB) / Poet's Vanity (GB)

Juddmonte Strike Again for Poet’s Vanity Foal  

The consignment from Michael Wates’ Langton Stud is always one of the highlights of the Tattersalls December Foal Sale and this year proved no exception with their six foals realising 634,000 guineas, headed by the WOOTTON BASSETT colt out of Group 3 Oh So Sharp Stakes winner POET’S VANITY who was purchased by Juddmonte Farms for 425,000 guineas.    

A daughter of POET’S VOICE, POET’S VANITY is a half-sister to the Group and Listed winning pair LESSON IN HUMILITY and BOASTFUL, and her LOPE DE VEGA daughter realised 500,000 guineas at last year’s December Foal Sale when also bought by today’s purchaser.    

Juddmonte’s Simon Mockridge outlined the reasons behind the purchase: "We bought the Lope de Vega half-sister here last year and we think she is one of our nicest at home. This is a nice horse, a bit later as a May foal but very well balanced, compact, and a great walker. Wootton Bassett has had a very good year and this made a lot of sense to us. And this foal is out of a very good mare."  

WOOTTON BASSETT has had three individual Group/Grade 1 winners in 2023 including the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf winner UNQUESTIONABLE, the Champion Stakes winner KING OF STEEL and the Phoenix Stakes winner BUCANERO FUERTE.  

Lot 942: New Bay (GB) / Hayyona (GB)

Brother to Bay Bridge Makes 375,000 Guineas    

Another highly anticipated draft at the Tattersalls December Foal Sale is that of James Wigan’s West Blagdon Stud and their seven foals realised 827,000 guineas with the brother to last year’s Group 1 Champion Stakes winner BAY BRIDGE selling for 375,000 guineas to Anthony Stroud for Godolphin.    

Wigan was naturally pleased and commented: "I am glad where he has gone. This colt is a little bit similar in some ways to Bay Bridge, this horse is very light footed and a very good mover. He has never been a moment's trouble and is a very straightforward horse. He will be a lovely colt."  

On selling at the December Foal Sale, he continued: "We always sell as foals, we have sold the occasional yearling but it is disappointing for the team on the stud if they don't sell themselves when the stock are foals."   Of Bay Bridge's future plans he said: "He goes to stud, and the deal is being finalised."  

Purchaser Anthony Stroud said: "He is a really attractive horse and is a full-brother to a good horse. It is a great stud to buy off, they produce such good horses. I am delighted to have bought him." 

The Tattersalls December Foal Sale concludes with the fourth and final session at 10am on Saturday, 2nd December.