A select group of young racehorses will be offered for sale in the Tattersalls Pavilion at Cheltenham after racing today.
Bloodstock agents, racehorse owners and trainers will be in position when the sale starts at 4.30pm, ready to make bids on a 57-strong catalogue which has been compiled by auctioneers Tattersalls Ireland.
Twelve months ago the event turned over £3.7m in just two hours and 14 horses sold for £100,000 or more, headed by four-year-old Irish pointer Know The Score who made £380,000 to a bid from trainer David Pipe. Horses who have passed through Cheltenham's sales ring include Grand National winner Tiger Roll, who runs in today's Glenfarclas Cross Country Handicap Chase, and who made £80,000 at the December Sale in 2013.
Potential headline acts today include Beyond Redemption (Lot 30) and Bold Conduct (Lot 38), who won point-to-points at Loughanmore on Sunday, and Mister Tickle (Lot 17), a winner at Lisronagh 24 hours earlier.
Donnchadh Doyle, who is a specialist at buying unbroken horses and training them to run in point-to-points as a way of advertising their talents, offers three lots, including Winged Leader (Lot 50), who has won twice in recent weeks.
The Gallantway (Lot 4), Peter's Portrait (Lot 8), Lou Trek (Lot 18), Whatcolourishe (Lot 19), Pennyforapound (Lot 34) and Getariver (Lot 51) are all once-raced, winning pointers from Ireland who should prove popular.
Getariver (Lot 51) is offered by Damian Murphy, who won the St James's Place Foxhunter Chase in 2006 on Whyso Mayo, while jockey Robbie Power, who won the 2017 Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup on Sizing John, turns his hand to selling when offering Picanha. Power and his cousin, Andrew Latta, bought the gelding for €24,000 last year with a view to selling him should he run well in a point-to-point. He duly scored on his first start and now goes under the hammer.
Bumper winners include the Ben Pauling-trained Tel'Art (Lot 26), Liz Doyle's Chapmanshype (Lot 15), Beacon Edge (Lot 32) from Nicky Richard's yard, and Surin (Lot 28), who is trained by Mario Hofer in Germany, but won at Market Rasen last month.
Horses who have been running on the Flat are rarely offered at Cheltenham because they stand a better chance of being sold for a good price at auctions dedicated to runners from that sphere, but trainer Tim Easterby has bucked that trend by entering The Knot Is Tied (Lot 2), a very big gelding, with form over two miles, and thought likely to appeal to trainers of jumpers. Joe
Murphy is trying something similar with Point Taken (Lot 9), who scored at Dundalk on his sole start.
PRESSES ROLL FOR NATIONAL HERO
An equine celebrity leads today's racing press coverage and is set to be the star of Countryside Day at Cheltenham.
Tiger Roll would be worthy of red-carpet treatment for his three Cheltenham Festival victories, but his memorable success in last year's Randox Health Grand National at Aintree would make him a stand-out in any crowd. He may be small, and his owner, Michael O'Leary, referred to him as 'a ratty little thing' after his Aintree triumph, but he deserves big headlines whenever he runs.
He gets them in today's press, and he will get more tomorrow if carrying top weight to victory in today's Glenfarclas Cross Country Handicap Chase.
The Racing Post pays due reverence to eight-year-old Tiger Roll by devoting most of its front page to a photo of him jumping a Cheltenham cross-country fence. It headines its cover, 'Let's Roll'. The paper's Lewis Porteous previews the race, and writes: "There is no denying Tiger Roll is a lion at Cheltenham."
Tom Segal, Pricewise of the Racing Post, is clearly a Tiger Roll fan, but reckons he is no certainty on his first start of the season, and suggests a small bet on outsider Jarob, although he writes: "Who knows how he will take to the fences, but he's in good form and has conditions exactly how he likes them."
'Tiger Roll can pounce again' is the conclusion of Rob Wright in The Times, and the Gordon Elliott-trained gelding is napped by Starform, the Daily Star's tipping column. Another large photo, this time of Tiger Roll jumping an Aintree fence, dominates a page of the Western Daily Press, while the Gloucestershire Echo, which is now a weekly paper, gives Cheltenham racegoers five local horses to follow at The November MJeeting.
The Daily Telegraph's Marcus Armytage chats to jockey Keith Donoghue, 25, who rides Tiger Roll today. He missed the spin at Aintree because he does not ride at weights below 11st 4lb, and so Davy Russell was in the saddle. Donoghue tells Armytage: "It's brilliant getting back on him. He's in good form but he'll definitely come on for the run."
Russell misses out on the Tiger, but he will ride his stablemate, the brilliant Samcro, at Punchestown on Sunday, writes Jason Heavey of the Daily Star. Only quick ground could floor that plan, while another jockey, Bryony Frost, has been confirmed as the rider for top-weight Frodon in tomorrow's BetVictor Gold Cup at Cheltenham.
Frost lost her 3lb claim earlier this week and is looking for her first notable victory since that ground-breaking moment in her career. David Yates of the Daily Mirror quotes trainer Paul Nicholls saying: "Bryony claimed 3lb at Aintree [when Frodon won] and he's gone up 3lb, so he's effectively got a 6lb penalty, but he keeps improving."
Daily Express tipster The Scout sides with Tiger Roll, but his column is headlined by Mr Whipped, who runs in the Steel Plate And Sections Novices' Chase. Robin Goodfellow of the Daily Mail makes the case for A Hare Breath in the BetVictor Handicap Chase, and that horse is also napped by Steve Jones, aka Templegate, of The Sun.
Jones reckons the Enda Bolger-trained Josies Orders 'can tame the Tiger' in the Glenfarclas Chase, and Jon Freeman of i takes a similar view.