Superpowers collide as Marsha brings 6,000,000gns from Magnier
James Thomas reports from a record-breaking day at Park Paddock
When just about every superpower from the bloodstock world gathers around one sales ring almost anything is possible, and Marsha duly smashed the European auction record when Coolmore's MV Magnier outgunned John Gosden at 6,000,000gns at Tuesday's session of the Tattersalls December Mares Sale in Newmarket.
Back at Book 1 of the October Yearling Sale it was Gosden that emerged victorious when landing the Galileo filly out of Breeders' Cup winner Dank at 4,000,000gns on behalf of Godolphin. On this occasion Magnier was in no mood to be denied.
Each bid from Coolmore's man, often delivered after a lengthy consultation with Paul Shanahan, was met with a sharp nod of the head from Gosden, who was tucked away behind the partition just as he had been back in October.
"She walks like a rockstar," said auctioneer Simon Kerins with the five million mark in sight, but when Magnier raised six digits from in the gangway to signal a bid of 6,000,000gns there was no encore forthcoming as Gosden quickly turned away and exited stage left.
"She's very quick and Sir Mark [Prescott] did a great job with her," said Magnier as he signed the docket carrying the European auction record price. "Hopefully we can do half the job he's done with her."
The four-year-old filly won seven races for Prescott and the Elite Racing Club, including this year's Nunthorpe Stakes and last year's Prix de l'Abbaye. Those exploits have now earned her a date with the most dominant stallion of the current era.
"She's going to Galileo," confirmed Magnier. "She's one of the best sprinters around and she has a lovely presence about her."
Marsha's trainer, who has handled the filly's racing career with typical aplomb, was among those on hand to witness the recording-breaking transaction.
"I was surprised," said Prescott when asked if he had expected Marshato scale such heights in the ring. "But it's great for Elite Racing, we got 47 of them here on a bus and not many horses have that when they go to the ring.
"She's gone to a great home and her stock will be wonderfully trained. It's just been a very good story. She looked a million dollars and she's made it easy. She's just the most consistent sprinter, I won't say she's the best but she's the most consistent. She's never turned a hair here despite everybody poking about."
Despite the racing powerhouses that went toe to toe for the filly, who shares her family with the great Soviet Song, Marsha was offered on behalf of the Elite Racing Club, whose members gained access to the club for as little as £199 a year.
"I feel exhausted but elated," said Elite Racing Club manager Dan Downie. "We knew we were coming here with a lovely filly but you never dare to dream of that. We knew she was worth a fair bit of money and we were pretty confident. You don't often come to a sale and feel confident unless you have something perfect to offer.
"If she hadn't reached a level we thought was fair we would definitely have kept her but I think we always thought that was unlikely given that you can't really fault her as a specimen - she's pretty much perfect."
TOP FIVE FILLIES/MARES SOLD AT TATTERSALLS
13 f Acclamation - Marlinka (Marju)
Tattersalls December Mares Sale 2017
Heath House Stables to MV Magnier
08 m Pivotal - Side Of Paradise (Sadler's Wells)
Tattersalls December Mares Sale 2013
Mount Coote Stud to BBA Ireland
02 m Barathea - Shouk (Shirley Heights)
Tattersalls December Mares Sale 2006
Elms Stud to London Thoroughbred Services
JUST THE JUDGE
10 f Lawman - Faraday Light (Rainbow Quest)
Tattersalls December Mares Sale 2014
Tweenhills Farm & Stud to Qatar Racing & China Horse Club
08 m Danehill Dancer - Rain Flower (Indian Ridge)
Tattersalls December Mares Sale 2013
Clairemont Stud to John Ferguson Bloodstock