The dream start that Jamie Sloan has had to his training career since taking over the reins from Ian Ferguson reached even greater heights at the Tattersalls Cheltenham December Sale when Gallyhill was sold to Henrietta Knight for £450,000.
The former Cheltenham Gold Cup-winning trainer clearly liked what she saw from his two and a half-length victory over Ballybegg, as she went to that final bid, making the four-year-old the most expensive point-to-pointer of 2019.
It concludes a fantastic autumn for owner Wilson Dennison, as his Portrush winner, Ballyadam, had been sold for £330,000 in the Cheltenham sales ring only a month earlier.
Remarkably, Gallyhill was not the only point-to-pointer to reach the £400,000 mark on this night, as Ellmarie Holden’s Sir Gerhard was knocked down to Gordon Elliott for a price of £400,000.
The son of Jeremy had been an expensive purchase as a three-year-old, having cost €72,000 at the store sales, however that faith was justified when he easily dismissed nine rivals to win a divide of the four-year-old geldings’ maiden at Boulta in November by 12 lengths without ever having to come off the bridle.
It was certainly a night for emerging handlers, as another rider turned handler, Danny Fitzsimmons, had a very memorable sale, with his recent four-year-old winner going for £170,000.
Rose Of Arcadia, a debut winner at Tattersalls Farm just last Sunday was snapped up by Peter and Ross Doyle to join the Colin Tizzard yard, a stable that has been doing particularly well with their Irish points recruits in recent seasons.
That same £170,000 sum was also achieved by another of last Sunday’s Tattersalls Farm victors, with Anthony Bromley of Highflyer Bloodstock signing for Es Perfecto.
The Shirocco gelding made amends for slipping up at Lingstown a fortnight earlier when winning for Colm Murphy and Paul McKeon, and he is now set to be trained by Alan King.
The sale was further boosted with an additional sixhorses realising six-figure prices, including Colin Bowe’s Across The Channel.
The Dunkerque gelding out-battled the previously placed Junior Rattler (also sold for £55,000 on the night to Kevin Ross Bloodstock) to make a winning debut at Mainstown at the beginning of the month.
A bid of £150,000 for Philip Hobbs secured Colin Bowe’s charge.
Gordon Elliott added to his purchase of Sir Gerhard when he bought Corran Cross for £130,000 with close friend and Bloodstock agent Mouse O’Ryan.
Denis Murphy’s Doyen gelding had got the better of the aforementioned Junior Rattler at Tinahely on debut in November.
Tom Malone had bought Tuesday’s Tramore winner, Three Is Company from Matt Collins at the Ascot Sales in March, and he returned to the Dower House Stables operator to buy his son of Jeremy, Upton Road.
The €20,000 Derby Sale recruit had made a winning debut at Boulta for Collins when taking the five and six-year-old geldings’ maiden before being sold for a price of £100,000 to Malone and trainer Michael Scudamore.
Borris House winner Escaria Ten remained in the care of Gordon Elliott, and will now run for owners the McNeill family having changed hands for £100,000, whilst Ocean Drifter completed the night’s six-figure lots when he too was sold for £100,000 to Gerry Hogan.
Donnchadh Doyle’s son of AIzavoski had impressed when getting his head in front at the third time of asking at Lingstown late last month.