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Ballyadam leads strong trade for Irish Pointers at Cheltenham Sale

For the second year in succession, Colin McKeever and Wilson Dennison were responsible for the top lot at the Tattersalls Ireland November sale, as their Ballyadam lit up the action in the sales ring.

With bidding beginning at £100,000, the son of Fame And Glory, who was the top-rated four-year-old of the autumn so far following his impressive debut at Portrush in the same maiden won three years earlier by the ill-fated Grade 1 star Finian’s Oscar, was clearly at the top of many shopping lists.

By the end of bidding, it was a final bid of £330,000 from Gordon Elliott, almost double that of the top lot at last year’s sale, which was enough to secure the exciting four-year-old.

The Cullentra operator was the big spender on the afternoon having signed for three of the top four lots, adding Fiston Des Issards and Queens Brook to his purchases.

The former clocked a time 12 seconds faster than the day’s average when he won a division of the four-year-old maiden at Loughanmore for Barry O’Neill and Colin Bowe. The French-bred realised £255,000 as lot 43 on the afternoon.

Elliott’s other six-figure purchase saw him return to Aidan Fitzgerald for a four-year-old winning mare, having acquired his recent Down Royal Grade 3 winner Daylight Katie from the Carlow-based handler at the same sale two years earlier.

On this occasion, it was Queens Cave which took his eye and he parted with £160,000 to secure the Shirocco mare, a Dromahane winner just five days earlier.

She was one of three point-to-point fillies to feature in the sale’s top ten, with the market looking very favourably on last month’s Knockinroe contest, as the first two horses home in the race both reached six-figure prices.

Warren Ewing’s winner Brave Way went to Rathmore Stud for £160,000, whilst Denis Muphy’s runner-up, Uptown Lady, was bought by Jonjo O’Neill for £150,000.

All three of the sale’s £200,000-plus sellers were graduates of the Irish point-to-point fields with Cian Hughes’ Moig South winner Yousayitbest completing the trio.

The son of Doyen, who was bought for just €25,000 by the Dublin-based handler, made his winning debut when taking the four-year-old geldings’ maiden at Moig South by two lengths. A final bid of £220,000 saw him knocked down to agent Alex Elliott.

The runners-up to a number of those leading lots also featured among the 11 six-figure lots, with Shane Ryder’s Moig South runner-up Gabynako going to Champion Hurdle winning trainer Gavin Cromwell for £130,000, whilst Boothill, who finished second to Fiston Des Isssards at Loughanmore went to Kevin Ross Bloodstock for £125,000.
 

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