R9-Million for Gypsy’s Warning

The 6yo mare Gypsy’s Warning (SAF) (Mogok-Gypsy Queen {SAf}, by Royal Chalice {SAf}) will defend her title in the Gr1Matriarch S. at Hollywood Park Nov. 25. But, unlike last year, she won’t be carrying the red-and-green silks of Barry Irwin’s Team Valor International. That after Team Valor and partner Green Lantern Stable sold the racing or broodmare prospect to the Niarchos family’s Flaxman Holdings for $1.05 million at Keeneland on Tuesday.

The family’s racing manager Alan Cooper signed the ticket. “She’ll go back to trainer Graham Motion, with a view at repeating in the Matriarch at the end of the month,” said Cooper, who said the mare will ultimately be retired for the 2012 breeding season. Cooper said the mare will likely stay as part of Flaxman’s U.S.-based broodmare band

“She was being sold to dissolve a partnership, so it’s the fair-market price,” added Cooper. The Niarchos family had reason to take an interest in the granddaughter of Storm Cat, as they bred and raised her sire Mogok. “He was the last foal from Coup de Folie and is a grandson of Raise the Standard,” said Cooper. “He was trained by Pascal Bary and never actually ran, but he was a lovely, quality horse. He was a much darker horse than Gypsy’s Warning, and she’s probably a lot calmer.”

Selling as a stallion prospect at the 2003 Goffs France summer sale, Mogok, a half-sibling to Machiavellian (Mr. Prospector) and from the family of Northern Dancer, topped the event on Kern Lillingston’s 135,000 euro bid and was shipped to stand stud in South Africa. In addition to Gypsy’s Warning, Mogok is the sire of South African Group 1 winners Orbison (SAf) and The Apache (SAf).

Gypsy’s Warning herself started her racing career in South Africa, where Irwin purchased her shortly after winning the G1 S.A. Fillies Classic in 2009. Gypsy’s Warning captured her stateside debut in the Gr3 Eatontown S. at Monmouth in May of 2010, ran third in the Gr1 Beverly D. and Gr1 Yellow Ribbon S., then beat Wasted Tears (Najran) in the Matriarch.

For Irwin, departing with a mare less than three weeks from defending a Grade I title wasn’t easy, but that’s what the business plan called for.
“I’m not the richest guy in the world, and it’s just something we had to do as part of the partnership,”said Irwin, whose operation won the Gr1Kentucky Derby this year with Animal Kingdom (Leroidesanimaux {Brz}).

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