The fierce rivalry between Sheikh Mohammed’s Godolphin operation and John Magnier’s Coolmore Stud moved from the racecourse to the sales ring, as the sport’s biggest players engaged in a bidding war for a Dubawi half-brother to Group One winner Barney Roy on the first day of Tattersalls’ prestigious Book 1 sale. The winning bid of 3.6m gns [£3.78m], eventually made on behalf of Godolphin, was the highest price paid for a yearling in Europe this year.
He is the most expensive purchase for Godolphin at Book 1 since Sheikh Mohammed paid 4m gns for the filly Gloam in 2017.
“We knew he was a lovely horse but you don’t expect that sort of figure when you go in there,” said Adrian O’Brien, from the consignor Hazelwood Bloodstock. “I’m blown away. To be honest, when we got up around the million I was quite satisfied and the rest was just an amazing experience, to watch those figures go up.
“I think Coolmore was the under-bidder and it’s what every consignor dreams of to get Darley [Sheikh Mohammed] and Coolmore on one. He’s been beautiful from day one.”
Earlier, a colt by Dubawi out of the Group One-winning mare The Fugue was the first lot to be knocked down for a seven-figure price as Tattersalls’ October Book 1 Sale, Europe’s most prestigious yearling auction, got under way in Newmarket.
David Redvers, bidding on behalf of Qatar Racing, made the final bid of 1m gns. He will join John Gosden, who trained The Fugue to win four Group One races for Lord Lloyd-Webber.
It is the second year running that Redvers has gone to seven figures at Book 1 for a Dubawi yearling from Lloyd-Webber’s Watership Down Stud.
Kevin Ryan, who has enjoyed -several valuable successes during his first two seasons training for leading owner Sheikh Mohammed Obaid, secured another seven-figure colt to run in the Sheikh’s colours, paying 1m gns for a half-brother to the Group One winners, Tamarkuz and Without Parole.