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Lemonfield winner Whistle Dixie sends records tumbling at Goffs

Former point-to-pointer Whistle Dixie set a new Goffs record when she was sold for €230,000 at the Kill auction horse’s December National Sale on Thursday.

The daughter of Kayf Tara, a half-sister to the 2005 Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Kicking King, had originally been bought as an unraced three-year-old for €100,000, making an immediate impact to her racing career when getting off the mark at the first time of asking in a four-year-old mares’ maiden at Lemonfield for Pat Doyle.

That would be her sole appearance between the flags, as the Gigginstown House Stud-owned mare followed a proven and successful path by joining the Gordon Elliott yard, for whom she went on to win on three occasions.

Back-to-back bumper victories at Limerick and Fairyhouse saw her sent off as the favourite for a Listed contest at Sandown, where she parted company with Bryan Cooper before the halfway point.

Although she would win just one more race, she did pick up black type for her page when finishing third behind Limini in the Grade 3 Coolmore N.H. Sires mares’ novices’ hurdle at Fairyhouse in January 2016.

Retired after finishing a close third in a Fairyhouse beginners chase in February, the eight-year-old was consigned by her owners Gigginstown House Stud in-foal to Mount Nelson and she certainly set the sales ring alight at the two-day sale.

A final bid of €230,000 from Robert McCarthy of Beeches Stud was the highest price given for a national hunt mare at any sale this year and also the most expensive price paid for such a horse here in over ten year.

Her buyer later reported that she would likely next be covered by Order St George, a new addition to the National Hunt roster.

The son of Galileo was the winner of the Group 1 St. Leger in both 2015 and 2017, and added to his long list of successes when taking the Group 3 Vintage Crop Stakes at Navan earlier this year, prior to his retirement following a racing career which saw him accumulate almost €2.25 million in win and place prize money.

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