Goffs Champion Sale 2022

The Goffs Champion bloodstock sale is a boutique sale for both horses in training and breeding stock.

The Sale is held at Leopardstown racecourse on the first day of Irish Champions Weekend, and 2022 marks the sales’ reappearance after Covid forced its two-year absence. The first edition of the sale was back in 2014. Since then it has typically seen 5 to 11 lots offered each year, selling for an average of just under €200,000. Figures from the Australian Bloodstock scene have been known to heavily support the sale. Particularly in 2018 when the Australian-based Sun Bloodstock purchased the sales most expensive graduate to date for €500,000.

Sun Bloodstock, at the time of the purchase, owned and operated two of Australia’s most successful thoroughbred breeding farms in Victoria and Queensland. Additionally, they had a racing operation that was actively expanding across Australia, Europe, and Hong Kong. They paid €500,000 for Glebe House Stud’s Cimeara, a Vocalised mare out of Gold Mirage. Cimeara was on the market with plenty of Blacktype. Having won a Group 3 fillies’ race and a Listed race at Leopardstown, both over 4,400m. Sun Bloodstock kept the mare in Ireland and moved her from Jim Bolger into the hands of Joseph O’Brien. Post sale, Cimeara went on to win a Listed fillies’ race at Cork and placed in a Group 3 at Leopardstown for her new connections.

Aussie Connections

Bloodstock agent George Moore, who is predominantly present in Australia and Hong Kong, also purchased from the 2018 Goffs Champion Sale. Moore paid €250,000 for a Helmet colt out of a Capote mare, named Carbon Fibre. The colt was purchased for the Purple Kingdom Syndicate after placing second to Ten Sovereigns, the now Coolmore Stallion, in a 25-runner maiden at The Curragh. His new connections continued his racing career in South Africa where he won and placed in plenty of handicap contests.

De Burgh Equine and James Harron were the first to purchase from the Goffs Champion Sale with the intention of racing in Australia. The pair purchased three-year-old gelding Plot Twist, by Champs Elysees out of Bryanstown Girl, for €200,000 during the 2015 sale. They subsequently flew the gelding to Australia and he was placed under the watchful-training eyes of Peter and Paul Snowden. After 8 mediocre attempts on the track, Plot Twist accumulated A$21,850 in prize money, with his best effort being mid-field in a Listed Randwick Handicap.

Plot Twist, winning Group 3, The Queen’s Cup at Sunshine Coast 2018. Article: Plot Twist earns first stakes win

The Goffs Champion Sale starts on Saturday, September 10th, and entries were not yet out at the time of writing. Although you can stay informed through this link: Goffs.com/news

St Leger

The St Leger Stakes (Group 1) was established in 1766 and is the oldest British Classic out of the five.

It is run in mid-September each year on the stage that is Doncaster Racecourse, over a distance of one-mile-six-furlongs (2,800m). In the British Flat racing season, the St Leger is both the longest race, in terms of distance, and the last Classic race to feature in the calendar year.

As the race is a Classic, it is only open to three-year-old colts and fillies and it is the final leg of the English Triple Crown. For colts, the Triple Crown consists of the 2,000 Guineas, The Derby, and St Leger. Whilst fillies compete in the 1,000 Guineas, The Oaks, and St Leger. The last horse to come close to winning the English Triple Crown was Camelot in 2012. Winning both the 2,000 Guineas and The Derby and just falling short in the St Leger by placing second.

The Godolphin-owned New London has been the ante-post favourite ever since his Group 3 win in the Gordon Stakes at the Glorious Goodwood festival (end of July). The race was just short of 1m4f (2,400m) and the son of Dubawi was able to outrun Derby runner-up and St Leger opponent Hoo Ya Mal. When adjusted for distance, New London clocked the fastest time of the meeting. If he can repeat his Gordon Stakes performance, he won’t have to improve much in order to win the St Leger. New London currently stands in the betting at 8/13 for trainer Charlie Appleby.

Race Value

However, I do love a challenge. Alongside a long-priced winner. Therefore, despite New London is the one to beat, below are the two bigger-priced horses that I believe have the best chance of getting their head in front of the Godolphin silks.

The first horse is the aforementioned Derby runner-up Hoo Ya Mal, who currently stands in the betting at 8/1. The Leger will be his last run-on European soil before heading to Australia. His target of the season is – the Melbourne Cup. Despite being defeated by New London at Goodwood in late July, the son of Territories has continued to improve. He took a Group 3 at Goodwood very comfortably on his last run at the end of August over 1m6f (2,800m). The best thing about Hoo Ya Mal is that he will stay and the form he holds as Derby-runner up are always be respected. He has a great chance of being competitive in the race and being on the market at 8/1 makes him a highly attractive each-way bet for at least a place.

The second of the bigger-priced horses to have taken my fancy is the Paddy Twomey-trained French Claim. The colt placed third in the Irish Derby behind the hugely talented son of Frankel, Westover. His trainer Paddy Twomey is currently in the midst of a ground-breaking season holding a 34% winners-runners strike rate. French Claim is coming into the race with fresh legs having not had a run since the Irish Derby. His price of 20/1 makes him a horse to take a chance on, especially as he has failed to ever finish out of the top four.

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