ELLIOTT'S GROOM CAMILLA LANDS A £330,000 PAYOUT AT FESTIVAL SALE
Gordon Elliott's travelling head groom Camilla Sharples enjoyed a stunning payout at yesterday evening's Tattersalls Ireland's Festival Sale when selling a horse for £330,000.
Sharples, who earlier in the day had led up the JLT Novices' Chase winner Shattered Love for her boss, offered her four-year-old gelding Andy Dufresne (Lot 10), who was an impressive winner - under top amateur Jamie Codd - of an Irish point-to-point when making his racing debut on Friday.
After Frank Berry, racing manager to J P McManus, had bought the hammer down, Sharples, who comes from Lancaster in Lancashire and has worked for Elliott for three years, admitted her initial intention had been to buy a house, not a horse. She explained: "He was bought for me by Gordon and [bloodstock agent] Mouse [O'Ryan]. I had a bit of savings, but not enough to buy a house, so I thought I'd have one shot at buying a horse instead.
"Now I can buy the house, and hopefully another horse."
Andy Dufresne became the sale's joint-top lot along with Feel My Pulse (Lot 13), who was knocked down to bloodstock agent Mags O'Toole standing alongside Elliott. Feel My Pulse was offered from Donnchadh Doyle's Monbeg Stables, which had bought him last year as an unbroken three-year-old for €60,000.
Willie Mullins, who yesterday became The Festival's most successful trainer with 61 winners - and who has saddled seven winners this week alone - was not going to miss out on buying one of the 24 choice young horses on offer at the sale, and with bloodstock advisor Harold Kirk he too invested in some high-profile lots.
Kirk signed for Ontheropes (Lot 12) for £240,000 from Denis Murphy's Ballyboy Stables, and The Big Getaway (Lot 23), who was another from Donnchadh Doyle's Monbeg Stables' draft.
Ballyboy Stables landed another six-figure sale when The Captains Inn (Lot 24) made £220,000 when selling to bloodstock agent Matt Coleman, and Monbeg's fruitful evening included the £185,000 sale of Brewers Project (Lot 11), bought by former jockey-turned-agent Tom Malone.
At a sale dominated by young Irish point-to-pointers, there was also a record price for a British pointer. Interconnected (Lot 17), a four-year-old son of Sprinter Sacre's sire Network, won a point at Larkhill in Wiltshire last month for Herefordshire-based owner Tom Lacey, and made £220,000 last night. Lacey said:
"He was gorgeous and with pedigree and performance. You couldn't fault him."
Anthony Bromley of Highflyer Bloodstock bought Interconnected for Mike Grech and Stuart Parkin, the owners of Mr Whipped, who runs in today's Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle.
The cast of beautiful young horses helped push the sale's turnover up 5.5% to £3,165,000, the average rose 11% to £158,250, while the median climbed 23% to £147,500. Twenty of the 24 lots offered (83%) found a buyer.
Richard Pugh, Director of Horses in Training Sales at Tattersalls Ireland, said: "We would like to extend a thank you to our loyal clients who continue to support our sales. We would also like to extend a thank you to the team at Cheltenham Racecourse for giving us the opportunity to stage our sale at National Hunt's greatest showcase."