I have a video on my phone from the 2019 Farm Sale. It was taken late at night, way after the conclusion of the commercial side of things, when the fellowship of racing people is being recharged around the bar.
Oscar Foulkes writes that there was a man with a guitar, but the singing action (at least for one song) was directed by John Koster as he led everyone in the chorus of The Wild Rover:
And it’s no nay never
No nay never no more
Will I play the wild rover
No never no more
Enjoy the video below to see the fellowship of the racing people in person:
It is no accident that Susan Magnier reserved so quintessential an Irish phrase for a horse that would be so successful for Coolmore.
Horsemanship is as natural to the Irish as breathing (or so it seems). It’s important for us to connect with what this horse thing is all about, and why we do it. The social side of things – especially when John Koster is around – is important for that.
The Farm Sale is also an important reminder of the equine side of things. When the chips are down, we just want to get on with breeding sound, tough racehorses, and not worry too much about the fickleness of select sales.
On Thursday we’ll load 10 yearlings for De Grendel Farm Sale on Sunday.
They might not be quite as rough as in the past – as I said to John on WhatsApp: “You know how you comb your hair and polish your shoes on the first day of a job you really need?”
Other than being stabled overnight for the past month, they haven’t been mollycoddled in any way.
My family has been breeding racehorses in this valley for over 150 years, and I’d like to think that the same principles of horsemanship are still being applied.
This is all about the basics, one of which is that young horses are on a growth curve. It’s a curve that progresses at its own pace, and we mess with that at our peril. With these yearlings in particular, they are nowhere near the finished article. There is plenty of improvement to come.
Here is the Normandy line-up:
Lot 2 c. Twice Over – Ekaterina
His pedigree received a timely update courtesy of the Devon Air Stakes, won by a daughter of Twice Over, with Miss Putin showing up nicely in third. She, of course, is out of a half-sister to this yearling colt. He’s a neat, well-made chap, who could be a smart buy early in the sale before the buzz gets going.
Lot 19 f. Master of My Fate – Greendale
There’s a lot of Captain Al about this well-balanced filly. The dam has a 100% record, including the exported De la Cruz.
Lot 21 c. William Longsword – Hard Lady
He’s a three-parts brother to Cape Flying Championship winner Sergeant Hardy. Other than him being chestnut, there are many physical similarities. The only reason he’s here, rather than on NYS or CPYS is that he was just too backward for those sales. Even now, I wish we had a few more months. I’m pretty certain he’ll get 1600-2000m.
Lot 30 c. Wylie Hall – Keep on Dreaming
Here’s another immature colt. He’s tall and scopey, and nowhere near being the finished article. Dam was a 5-time winner, with a Grade II third.
Lot 47 c. Twice Over – Miss Madelein
This November foal has plenty of improvement to come. He’s the close-coupled type of Twice Over, and should attract the smart money. His dam has already produced an 8-time winner.
Lot 50 f. Pomodoro – Night on the Hill
This is a smashing filly; strong and well-grown. It’s the family of top-class sprinter Cap Alright, and she looks as if she can add to the family’s heritage.
Lot 55 f. Master of My Fate – Ooh La Var
This is a high-quality, well-made filly out of a half-sister to the multiple champion Legal Eagle.
Have you read the SPRINT? Click on the mage below
Lot 67 c. Pomodoro – Prima Donna
This is an eye-catching guy. He’s tall, scopey, strong and good-boned. His dam is a half-sister to multiple graded stakes-winner Depardieu, from the Winter Solstice and Mother Russia family.
Lot 132 f. The United States – Cymbeline
We had a setback with her late last year and we’ve been playing catch-up ever since. She has a big, scopey athletic frame, which she is slowly filling. Her sire has started with a bang, and her dam was a Winter Oaks winner. She could be anything.
Lot 133 f. Pomodoro – Dans With Sally
This is a neat, substantial filly, most often the ringleader when the yearling fillies are playing in the paddock. She’s very active! Her imported dam has a most promising breeding record thus far.
Nordic Rebel, a R20 000 purchase from our 2016 Farm Sale draft, added another third place to his record on Monday at Turffontein. His consistency is remarkable. He’s now a seven-year-old (almost eight), with 45 starts, 7 wins and 21 places for stake earnings of over R700 000.