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A hectic but rewarding fortnight

Before I write anything else, I must first thank Jenny and her wonderful team of Rachael, Andrea, Katy, Mel, and Anne for the excellent work they did in preparing and presenting the Clairemont Stud draft for Books 1 and 2 of the October Yearling Sale at Tattersalls. After all the long months of sales prep, the last few days at the sales showing the horses before they head to the sales ring are really important. Our team worked really hard through long days and I think enhanced the stud’s reputation for professionalism and good horsemanship.

As you’ll no doubt have read or witnessed for yourself, trade in Newmarket was really vibrant and we were pleased to sell our pinhooked yearlings well, with the biggest result of the fortnight being second-top lot on the Tuesday of Book 2 with a Rip Van Winkle colt out of Chehalis Sunset (pictured above in the ring, courtesy of, with Jenny and I looking on nervously from the gangway). William and I bought him at the December Foal Sale for 75,000gns and he was bought this week by John Gosden for 260,000gns. We wish him and the colt’s new owner the very best of luck with him. Our other yearlings are going into training with Richard Hannon, Andrew Balding and Eddie Lynam and we’ll enjoy following their progress next year.

During Book 3, Jenny and I sold our homebred filly by Multiplex out of Nut. Obviously I’m biased, but as a late May foal she was a strong, well-developed filly with a good temperament and three of her siblings are already winners, so naturally it was disappointing to sell her for 4,000gns. We’re not alone in this regard – plenty of small breeders will have had disappointments over the sales season, particularly with fillies – and it just shows how tough it is for breeders, when stallion fashions change so regularly, that even if you breed a nice, correct horse who looks every bit a runner you can still lose out in the sales ring. The positive from the sale of the filly is that she is going into training with Mike Murphy, whom we know and like very much and who trained her winning full-sister Captain Caroline. Best of luck to Mike and his team.

As well as selling the Clairemont horses, William and I have been busy at Goffs and Tattersalls looking for horses for the Happy Valley Syndicate and two of our long-standing clients. We were delighted to be able to buy a Duke Of Marmalade filly and a Canford Cliffs colt in Ireland and colts by Iffraaj and Archipenko in Newmarket. They go into training with Andrew Balding and James Fanshawe.

The fun and games don’t end there for the tireless team of Norris/Huntingdon as I’m already packing my bags for a return trip to Deauville for Arqana’s October Sale where we have more yearling orders to fill. After that it will be back to Newmarket for the Horses-in-Training Sale and then a first visit to the Osarus Sale at Le Lion d’Angers. That will be pretty much it for us on the yearling-buying front but then of course the foal sales get underway and it all begins again…

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