YOUNG HORSES GO ON SALE AT CHELTENHAM TONIGHT
Cheltenham's winner's enclosure will be a focus of activity after racing this evening when Tattersalls Ireland is based there for the annual Festival Sale.
Twenty-seven young horses, mostly from Ireland and all having shown form in one or two races, will go under the hammer as trainers, bloodstock agents and their clients search for future winners.
They will need big bank accounts, for the average price of the 21 horses sold at the event last year was £142,857 - the event saw £3,000,000 worth of horses change hands in less than two hours.
Samcro, easy winner of yesterday's Ballymore Novices' Hurdle, was bought for £335,000 at a similar sale held at Aintree in 2016, while at last year's Festival Sale the gelding Santini was knocked down for £150,000, and is now a leading fancy for tomorrow's G1 Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle.
Samcro had won a point-to-point in Ireland ahead of his sale appearance, while Santini landed a similar race in Gloucestershire, performances which advertised their abilities.
Today's catalogue contains a number of horses who have run well in or won Irish point-to-points in recent weeks, including four from the stable of Colin Bowe, who broke in and trained Samcro in the early days of the horse's career. They are The Glancing Queen (Lot 3), The Hollow Chap (Lot 6), Long After Dark (Lot 18) and First Account (Lot 26), all point-to-pointers who have a one-run, one-win record.
Andy Dufresne (Lot 10) was a very impressive winner last Friday for trainer Gordon Elliott - the horse is owned by a member of his staff, Camilla Sharples.
Brewers Project (Lot 11) scored in good style on Sunday for trainer Donnchadh Doyle, who, like Bowe, is a master of the art of prepping a young horse in a point before selling at auction. Doyle's brother, Sean, offers Bubbles Of Gold (Lot 4) who triumphed at Lingstown by eight lengths.
John Nallen's Minella Beat (Lot 15) won a Lismore point by 12 lengths - he comes from the family of Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup runner-up On His Own.
Three pointers, who have won British point-to-points, are entered - they are Port Of Mars and Interconnected from Tom Lacey's Herefordshire stable, and Kootenay River, who hacked up by 20 lengths at Hackwood Park in Hampshire on Sunday. Kootenay is being offered by Fran Nimmo and her partner, jockey Charlie Poste.
The sale is due to start at 6.15pm.