PAT HEALY: Pat on a record-breaking Tattersalls Sale, the weekend’s Guineas action from the Curragh and fond memories of Eamon O’Carroll.
I was at the Tattersalls Breeze Up sales this week and as ever there was plenty of nice horses to be looking at. It was a record-breaking sale with the highest price ever achieved for a breeze up as Stephen Hillen, who purchased Breeders’ Cup runner-up East in 2018 from Katie Walsh, paid €520,000 for a Saxon Warrior filly again from Katie Walsh that dwarfed the previous record of €410,000 set last year. Hopefully she can go on to reach similar heights as East when she goes into training with Kevin Ryan.
It was a sale where you could have taken out any number of horses to follow but particularly the fillies on offer, and some looked very smart indeed. The fillies accounted for three of the four most expensive lots sold on Thursday which really puts it into perspective.
I can’t wait for this weekend’s meeting at the Curragh and am really looking forward to the first Classic of the year with the Irish 2000 Guineas. Native Trail (pictured below) will be suited by the easier ground he’ll get here and he deserves his favouritism tag, but it is interesting to see Joseph [O’Brien] running Buckaroo over the mile again and you would have to think that he will trouble the favourite when he could have gone straight to the Epsom Derby next month. He won the Tetrarch over the mile here the last day and you’d have to think he’ll give a bold show but the obvious one is Native Trail. The rain will do him no harm, so I think he’ll take all the beating.
On Sunday’s card, I’m looking forward to the Tattersalls Gold Cup which will see Broome and Helvic Dream renewing their rivalry after the race last year, but you can also throw in State Of Rest, John & Thady Gosden’s Lord North, High Definition and 2000 Guineas winner Mac Swiney! It’s a fantastic race and, for me, will be by far the race of the weekend. I can’t wait for it.
On a personal note, it was gutting to hear on Thursday evening of the passing of Eamon O’Carroll. A local Listowel man and racing fanatic he was steeped in Listowel racing history and Jet’s pub was always the place to be. A regular at the Cheltenham Festival for the best part of 50 years the local racing community will be sure to miss him. May he rest easy.