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Yearlings sold, yearlings bought

While Jenny and I run the stud together and liaise constantly on the management of the horses in our care, when it comes to consigning and organising our drafts at sales time, she’s the boss, which gives me time to concentrate on the agency side of my business with William.

Happily, the Norris/Huntingdon partnership has been kept very busy throughout October. We bought four really nice yearlings during Book 2 of Tattersalls' October Sale for two of our regular clients, Chris Van Hoorn and the Happy Valley Racing & Breeding Partnership. A colt from the final crop of High Chaparral and a really good-looking Power filly (left) will be trained by Stuart Williams for the Happy Valley team which is managed very well by our Australian friend Geoff Price. For Chris, we bought a well-bred Henrythenavigator colt from Floors Stud who will join James Fanshawe’s string, while Dennis Coakley will take charge of a beautiful first-crop daughter of Declaration Of War.

It’s lovely to have orders from regular clients but even more important is to continue to have success for them with previous purchases, so it was wonderful to see Inniscastle Lad get off the mark for Geoff and his partners on only his second start since we bought him from the July Sale. His win was followed a few days later by that of Dream Of Summer, a yearling purchase from two years ago, won for the second time in the Happy Valley silks for Andrew Balding.

I had a brief pitstop home from Newmarket for less than 48 hours during which we tried to celebrate Jenny’s birthday, but then our travels continued on to Deauville for the Arqana October Sale. John Paterson is another old friend and client who we’ve been lucky to buy some nice horses for in the past and this time around we were able to find him two nice fillies, by Dabirsim (right) and Rajsaman, both of whom will go into training with Henri Devin.

I’ve had a short time at home with Darcey and her remaining puppies and we waved goodbye to the final one yesterday, which just leaves Blink, the only bitch of the litter of six, who we are keeping in the hope of continuing the line we’ve now had for three generations.

While the yearlings have nearly all gone, we have a select group of foals in to prep for the sales, as well as a number of spellers coming from Roger Charlton, Marcus Tregoning and John Berry. It's lovely to welcome back Blakeney Point, who was with us last winter and has had a terrific season. It's also been great to follow the exploits this season of another of last year’s winter boarders, the Group 1 winner Quest For More.

Another welcome return to our ownership is Valilla, who I bred and put into training with Roger Charlton. She won in my colours before being sold on to race in Spain, where she won the Spanish 1,000 Guineas and Guineas Trial. At four she recorded another victory in France and when I met her owner this year at the races in Madrid and discovered she was for sale I couldn’t resist the chance to bring her home to add to our small broodmare band.

I’m back on the road now for a few days to the horses-in-training sale at Tattersalls before I turn my thoughts to the foal catalogues and some potential pinhooks for next year. I live in hope of finding another one as good as Shalaa, who I shall look forward to visiting in his new home at Haras de Bouquetot when I'm back in Normandy in December.

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