Now Or Never Tops Opening Day of Tattersalls February Sale at 250,000 Guineas

Lot 130: Now Or Never (IRE)
Lot 130: Now Or Never (IRE)

The Tattersalls February Sale got off to a solid start on the opening day with three lots selling for 100,000 guineas or more and the Group winning broodmare NOW OR NEVER realising 250,000 guineas. 

BBA Ireland’s Michael Donohoe Secures Now Or Never for 250,000 Guineas  

The top priced lot on the opening day of the Tattersalls February Sale was the regally bred mare NOW OR NEVER, who was knocked down to BBA Ireland’s Michael Donohoe for 250,000 guineas. There was plenty of interest in the Classic and Group 1 placed daughter of BUSHRANGER with Baroda Stud’s David Cox, Avenue Bloodstock’s Mark McStay and Tally-Ho Stud’s Tony O’Callaghan all making bold plays to secure her.  

NOW OR NEVER won the Group 2 Rose of Kingston Stakes and the Group 3 Derrinstown Stud 1000 Guineas Trial and also placed in the Tattersalls Irish 1000 Guineas.  She is a half-sister to the two-time Group 1 winner FAIRYLAND, and their dam QUEENOFTHEFAIRIES is a half-sister to the Group 1 July Cup winner DREAM AHEAD. She was consigned by Tweenhills Farm & Stud and offered in foal to the 2000 Guineas winner KAMEKO.  

"She is for an existing client, she will be foaled down in Ireland and then we can decide what to do with her," reported Donohoe. "She might be covered southern hemisphere time or could head to Australia. My client has mares in Europe and Australia, so can look at options.  

"She was obviously a high class race filly herself and she is from a proper fast family. Her late cover and the fact that she missed a year might be the reason why she has not made quite what she might have, hopefully she might be a bit of value."  

Of stallion options, he added: "With her pedigree she could go to any stallion, she is an outcross. She is a good type and a strong mare, physically she will suit most stallions, she is a neat mare. We will probably breed her back to speed, she had plenty of speed herself even though she stayed a mile." 

Lot 128: Queenhope (FR)

Queenhope to Blue Diamond Stud for 140,000 Guineas  

Two lots earlier Hugo Merry, buying on behalf of Blue Diamond Stud, had secured the six-year-old mare QUEENHOPE for 140,000 guineas. The two-time winning KENDARGENT mare is a full-sister to KENHOPE, winner of the Group 3 Prix de la Grotte and placed in the Group 1 Coronation Stakes and Group 1 Prix Rothschild. Consigned by Tom Blain’s Barton Sales, QUEENHOPE was offered in foal to stallion of the moment NEW BAY who was represented by Group 1 winners BAY BRIDGE, BAYSIDE BOY and SAFFRON BEACH in 2022.  

Successful purchaser Merry said: "This mare is a complete outcross and will be a very easy mare to mate. We have seen her Galiway yearling at Barton Stud and she is a very, very good first foal. Queenhope is a very commercial mare, and I know the family well through my client Dr Poonawalla."  

He added: "Blue Diamond was keen to buy into this Grey Sovereign line. It is so hard to buy interesting pedigrees now, and ones that are a complete outcross. This family also goes back to Pat O'Kelly's wonderful Flame Of Tara line. Physically, Queenhope is correct and she has plenty of room to carry a good foal - but really it is the quality of her first foal that really sold her to us. She is carrying to New Bay now and he is a €75,000 cover."  

Lot 93: Galileo (IRE) / Messias da Silva (USA)

Bronsan Racing Land Galileo Colt for 140,000 Guineas  

The Barton Sales consigned two-year-old colt by GALILEO, offered on behalf of Lady Ogden, was purchased by the father and son team of Con and Neil Sands under their Bronsan Racing banner for 140,000 guineas. They secured the April born colt despite a determined effort from underbidder Tony O’Callaghan of Tally-Ho Stud. The colt is out of the TALE OF THE CAT mare MESSIAS DA SILVA and is a half-brother to the dual Group 1 winner AMAZING MARIA, who won the Falmouth Stakes and Prix Rothschild for the late Sir Robert Ogden.  

After the purchase Neil Sands said: "They are becoming a rare breed these Galileos, obviously he has been one of the greatest stallions of the modern era and my father, who is the principal of our team, has had this type of horse as a target for a long time. We are really delighted to have been able to close out at the price we did, he could have made double that in Book 1! We have a fantastic network of helpers and Hubie de Burgh of De Burgh Equine assisted us with this purchase.  

"The plan is to get him home, we have great trust in Irish trainers. We have a good body of our stable with Joseph O'Brien and we will make a plan over the next few weeks. We are very excited to add him to our stable, which is growing exponentially."  

Of the Bronsan Racing equine string, Sands outlined: "We have horses in training in Australia and Britain, though the majority are in training in Ireland. We also have a couple of National Hunt prospects, and we are excited about them for the coming season and are looking ahead to Cheltenham, but the primary focus for us is flat racing. We have about forty horses in training, horses both owned in partnerships and fully by ourselves."  

Sands concluded: "The dream for this horse is for him to become a top racehorse and then a stallion prospect - you have got to have that dream, but sometimes we can all be afraid to dream!"  

The Tattersalls February Sale continues at 10am on Friday, 3rd February.