With the steam not yet clear from the Keeneland September sale, which ended on Sunday, the international sales focus shifts to Ireland, where the two-day Goffs Orby sale of select yearlings began Tuesday. 

Not only is the Orby sale a contrast to the Keeneland September auction in size, but there is a distinct emphasis on premium sires whose imprint is more clearly identified with turf racing, as well as a smattering of sires little-known on the American side of the Atlantic.

Of the latter, the high-class Lethal Force and his sire Dark Angel (by Acclamation) form one of the best-known speed lines in Europe, but they are virtually unknown in the States. One reason for this is that few American buyers or breeders go to Europe to buy a sprinter.

Instead, they go in search of a classic colt.

And that means Galileo, the sire of more classic winners than any active stallion. There are 10 yearlings by Galileo consigned to the Orby auction, and they represent some of the most impressive and progressive young prospects by this great son of Sadler’s Wells.


Hip 119 – Galileo x Laugh Out Loud yearling colt at Goffs Orby 2016


One of the well-grown and attractive yearlings by Galileo is a gray colt out of the Castlebridge consignment. This colt is the first foal of Laugh Out Loud (Clodovil), winner of the G2 Prix de Sandringham at 3 and one of two stakes winners out of the Darshaan mare Funny Girl.

This colt has great length of body and a smooth, elastic walk. He uses himself well and effortlessly and is one of the few gray Galileos.

The most famous son of Galileo is European champion and unbeaten star Frankel, and his second crop are now yearlings. Unlike last year’s tepid appreciation of Frankel’s yearlings, when some observers were inclined to believe they came in too many colors and shapes for success, their victories on the racecourses this season have made Frankel a leading sire and have put the young stallion on everyone’s list for buying a yearling.

One yearling that will invite intense interest is Hip 168, out of the Nureyev mare Moonlight’s Box and consigned by Camas Park Stud. This colt is a half-brother to top European 2-year-old and 3-year-old Bago (Nashwan), who won the G1 Arc de Triomphe, Grand Prix de Paris, and three races at the top level. Another half-brother, the Monsun horse Maxios, won both the G1 Prix d’Ispahan and Prix du Moulin de Longchamp. For strength and development, this colt is outstanding.

Frankel’s cousin Camelot (by the other outstanding Sadler’s Wells stallion Montjeu) is best known to American fans for winning the 2,000 Guineas and Derby, then narrowly losing the English Triple Crown. Camelot has his first crop of yearlings at the sales, and they predictably include some nice prospects.

All together, they look like classic types, with scope and quality that should enable them race a distance, but one stood out as a young horse who ought to have some precocity. This is Hip 76, a colt out of the Bering mare Healing Music. This colt is a half-brother to At First Sight (Galileo), who was second in the Derby at Epsom. They are out of a stakes-placed mare who is a half-sister to Herboriste (Hernando), winner of the G2 La Prevoyante, and to Fast and Furious (Singspiel), a listed winner in Europe who was second in the G1 Hollywood Derby. (Update: Hip 76 sold for €360,000 or roughly $400,000).

A further gleaming facet to this year’s Orby sale at Goffs is the Wildenstein Stable dispersal, first of yearlings in the Orby sale, then of the racing stock immediately after the second day’s yearlings.

The Wildenstein family have been major international breeders for decades, counting Arc de Triomphe winners Allez France, Sagace, and Peintre Celebre, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes winner Pawneese, Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Arcangues, and U.S. Horse of the Year All Along among their notable performers.

So, when Goffs’s chief executive Henry Beeby was “alerted to the fact of a dispersal by Christie Grassick,” Beeby said, the sales team went in to secure the deal. “It was very important for Ireland and for Goffs to host this dispersal,” he said, “because of the prestige of the Wildenstein bloodlines and because it is a vote of confidence in our marketing and sales organization at Goffs.”

The selection of Goffs as the venue for the dispersal was announced in July, and one of the features of the Wildenstein horses is that they were bred and grown to race, not to sell, and only the troubles created by family dissention have caused a sell-off by the famed international stud.

One lot of interest among many in the group is a well-grown May foal, Hip 463, who is a son of English Derby winner Pour Moi (Montjeu) out of the G3 winner Prairie Runner (Arazi). This good-framed colt is a half-brother to G2 winners Prairie Star (Peintre Celebre), winner of the Prix Hocquart, and Pacific Rim (Singspiel), winner of the Prix de Malleret. Likewise, Hip 470 is a really large, ruggedly made filly by leading sire Giant’s Causeway (Storm Cat) out of listed stakes winner Andromeda Galaxy (Peintre Celebre). This filly is her dam’s second foal, and the second and third dams have produced three stakes winners each.

With the quality of the stock consigned, it is a certainty that there are gems in the making that buyers only have to find and refine into stars.