Records Across The Board At Tattersalls Somerville Yearling Sale

Lot 221: Havana Grey (GB) / Minoria (GB)
Lot 221: Havana Grey (GB) / Minoria (GB)

The Tattersalls Somerville Yearling Sale took another step forward with a record turnover, average and median to underline its place as Europe’s most progressive yearling sale. The number of six figure lots rose from four to seven with the strength of trade illustrated by a clearance rate of 89 percent, 44 lots selling for 50,000 guineas or more and increases in the average and median to 31,904 guineas and 27,000 guineas respectively.

Whitsbury Manor Stud’s Havana Grey Filly Leads the Way at 155,000 Guineas

Whitsbury Manor Stud’s young sire HAVANA GREY enjoyed a banner day at the Tattersalls Somerville Yearling Sale with the sale’s two highest priced fillies. The record-breaking stallion continues to go from strength to strength and has been consistently well represented at the Somerville Yearling Sale, both in the sales ring and on the racecourse, and the stud and stallion combined to provide the day’s top lot with their homebred filly out of MINORIA selling for 155,000 guineas to the bid of Stroud Coleman Bloodstock’s Matt Coleman.

Coleman reported: "She is a lovely filly, Havana Grey is almost a 'freak' stallion and is surpassing everyone's expectations. This filly is a fantastic walker and has a similar movement to Vandeek, whom Anthony [Stroud] bought at the Tattersalls Craven Breeze Up Sale. Vandeek has that wonderful flowing action and this filly has that too. She is a standout at the sale, Whitsbury is a fantastic breeder and we are looking forward to seeing her on the track."  

He added: "She is for an existing owner and goes into training with George Scott. We were looking for fillies and we had two on the radar, fingers crossed she can do something good next year." 

The filly is a half-sister to Group 3 placed filly IT’S SHOWTIME BABY out of the HARBOUR WATCH mare MINORIA, herself a half-sister to Listed winner MINALISA from the family of Group 1 winners DICK WHITTINGTON and OWINGTON and Group winning two-year-olds VENTURA TORMENTA and NATHRA.

Lot 152: Galiway (GB) / Golconde (IRE)

Emotional Pinhook Triumph for Drumhill Stud

Drumhill Stud’s highly touted GALIWAY colt proved one of the highlights of the day with Margaret O’Toole and Highflyer Bloodstock’s Anthony Bromley among the bloodstock agents clustered on the near partition to attempt to secure the colt, but it was Ross Doyle who emerged triumphant with a bid of 145,000 guineas. Out of a MODIGLIANI own-sister to Italian Champion filly MAGRITTE, the February-foaled colt made a handsome profit on his €27,000 purchase price and Drumhill Stud’s Gary Dowling was emotional following the sale when recalling his late father Sean:

"He will have been looking down on us. That was our biggest touch, but Dad had some good days here."

Of the decision to offer the colt at the Tattersalls Somerville Yearling Sale, he said: "We hoped he might stand out a bit at this sale, he is a very good physical and the sire is on fire. The mare is two from two with two juvenile winners, thankfully it has paid off. I have never had a horse of this quality, and he was so busy. It is easily our best result, it is magic and that it is why you do it."

Successful purchaser Ross Doyle reported: "He is going to Richard Hannon. Richard said that he is an absolute smasher and we agreed. We saw the colt yesterday, and every time we went to see the horse, he did exactly the same show. He came across as an absolute dude of a horse, he has been very well prepped by Gary and Fergal. The stallion is capable of getting a very good horse and is on the up. I have not had one by Galiway but two good judges, Harold Kirk and Willie Mullins, have been telling me for years to 'get as many as you can' ... that is enough for me!”

Promising young French sire GALIWAY stands at Haras de Colleville for €30,000, having begun his stud career at a fee of just €3,000, and has produced the Group 1 Champion Stakes winner SEALIWAY as well as Royal Ascot winner and leading Melbourne Cup hope VAUBAN.

Doyle continued: "The stallion can get anything. I don't think you push a horse like this yearling, and he will tell Richard when he is ready and Richard will take his time. It is probably too over the top, but it would be nice if he could rock up in the Chesham!"

Lot 199: Havana Grey (GB) / Last Echo (IRE)

Amo Racing Strikes for Havana Grey Filly at 140,000 Guineas

Culworth Grounds Farm offered a HAVANA GREY half-sister to high class two-year-old ODDYSSEY, placed in both the Group 2 Superlative Stakes and the Listed Chesham Stakes at Royal Ascot, and she had plenty of suitors.

Bloodstock agent Matt Houldsworth, standing alongside newly licensed trainer Jamie Insole, took the bidding swiftly up to 75,000 guineas. Breeze up consignors Mick Murphy and Brendan Holland both made determined plays, but it was agent Hamish Macauley who made the successful bid of 140,000 guineas on behalf of Amo Racing’s Kia Joorabchian.

The filly is a homebred for Culworth Grounds Farm and her consignor Sophie Buckley recalled the purchase of her dam LAST ECHO:

"Matt Coleman helped me buy the mare. I wanted her as she is a Whipper mare - he is a good broodmare sire and there are not that many of them so it is hard to get them. She has had a great update this year with Oddyssey - Pat Owens has done a great job of training him to get his blacktype."

Of the reasoning behind the HAVANA GREY cover she said: "I liked the foals, and I buy a lot of foals. I thought they looked very correct and good walkers. When I was asked I punted him as the stallion in that generation of sires that I thought could be the 'one'; I thought I had better back my judgment and use him!"

"He bred a very nice model for us - this filly is a good walker with a good mind. She is beautiful and the sire is on fire. She showed very well and was a queen all the way through. Hopefully, she can follow her half-brother but go two places better and win at Royal Ascot!"

Successful purchaser Hamish Macauley revealed: "She goes to George Boughey. Last year George and I bought a Havana Grey filly called Graceful Thunder, and she won a Listed race in France a few weeks ago and was third in a Group 3 the other day. 

"We went around the complex yesterday and picked out three horses that we wanted, and this filly was top of the list. Kia came down this morning and we showed her to him and he was happy with her. She cost a bit more than we thought, but the stallion speaks for himself and she is a lovely looking filly." 

Of today's trade and the Somerville Yearling Sale he concluded: "We’ve followed in a few that we thought would be buyable and they have not been, it is a good trade. We’ve had a bit of luck at this sale and bought a good horse called Maximum Impact, also by Havana Grey."

Lot 51: Prince of Lir (IRE) / Barqeyya (IRE)

Monksland Stables’ Prince of Lir Filly to Diego Dias for 130,000 Guineas

Long a respected figure on the breeze up circuit, Diego Dias burst onto the training scene this summer with two Group/Listed performers from a just handful of runners and the Curragh based Brazilian secured a hotly sought after daughter of PRINCE OF LIR at the Tattersalls Somerville Yearling Sale. Underbidder Alex Elliott made a determined effort to secure the Monksland Stables consigned filly but she was eventually knocked down for 130,000 guineas to Dias along with Robson Aguiar.

Dias commented: "Hopefully we will go racing with her, she is for ourselves. She walks well and has a great mind, we looked at her a couple of times and she always showed the same. Prince Of Lir has been lucky for Robson." 

It was an excellent result for the Hassett family who own Monksland Stables. The filly was bred by Trio Bloodstock which consists of siblings Maebh, Orla and Richie Hassett, who led up the March-foaled filly, and who all assist their parents Tom and Clodagh Hassett with the family stud farm.

"We bought the mare Barqeyya at the Tattersalls July Sale in foal to Helmet," recalled Tom Hassett. "She has been a lucky mare and has bred two black type winners by Dandy Man.

"It is very much family affair for the three children... my wife and I are getting nothing out of this!" laughed Hassett. "I am delighted, they have had some difficult days so they deserve this."

Maebh and Orla added: "Barqeyya was supposed to go to a different sire and it didn't work out, this was Plan B and it has not been a bad Plan B in the end! Ballyhane has been very lucky for us and Joe Foley has been very good to us. This is easily the biggest result in the ring for the three of us, although Dad has had some great days here before. We weren't expecting anything like that today – he was busy and had a few vets and lots of second, third and fourth looks. It was a dream watching that happen."

The SHAMARDAL mare BARQEYYA is a granddaughter of the Group 3 winner and Group 1 Prix Marcel Boussac third HARMLESS ALBATROSS and is the dam of two high class fillies in the Listed winner ROYAL ADDRESS and Listed runner up YAHSAT.

At the conclusion of the 2023 Tattersalls Somerville Yearling Sale, Tattersalls Chairman Edmond Mahony commented;

“The Tattersalls Somerville Yearling Sale has established itself as an important fixture in the European yearling sale calendar in a remarkably short period of time. Only two years ago the turnover at the inaugural Somerville Yearling Sale was below five million guineas, the average a fraction over 21,000 guineas and the median was 16,250 guineas. Today’s third edition of the Somerville has produced records across the board with turnover above 8.5 million guineas, an average well over 30,000 guineas and a median of 27,000 guineas.

“There is always a correlation between racecourse success and sale ring success and Somerville yearlings have enjoyed an extraordinary recent run with the likes of BRADSELL, INDIAN RUN and RELIEF RALLY showcasing the sale to great effect on the home front and Grade 1 Del Mar Oaks winner ANISETTE providing the best possible advertisement across the Atlantic. These outstanding results have clearly not gone unnoticed and Park Paddocks has been alive with activity over the past few days. Top British and Irish consignors have sent us some smart yearlings and their confidence in our newest yearling sale has been reflected in a sale of real depth with a clearance rate approaching 90% and the number of yearlings selling for more than 50,000 guineas and more than 100,000 guineas increasing significantly on last year’s impressive numbers. 

“The pinhookers have also enjoyed some spectacular returns on their investments and today’s robust trade has given us a positive start to the Tattersalls yearling sale season as we now look forward to Books 1 to 4 of the Tattersalls October Yearling Sale and the unveiling of our newly renovated Somerville Yard which is the latest major investment undertaken at Park Paddocks."

The next sale at Tattersalls is Book 1 of the Tattersalls October Yearling Sale which takes place from October 3rd – 5th. Catalogues are out now and available from Tattersalls and Tattersalls representatives, and online at