Author: Jim

The McCartan family is well known throughout the racing world and Jim is no different, having worked with horses from a young age. After gaining early experience at a local point-to-point yard, Jim moved into the show jumping field, where he competed for Ireland on the international circuit. Read more about Jim »

Doncaster Breeze Up Sale, April 22-23, 2015


Lot 9

A Bay Filly (IRE) – 2013
Kodiac (GB) / Sensasse (IRE)
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Lot 22

A Grey Colt (IRE) – 2013
Clodovil (IRE) / Star Now (GB)
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Lot 94

A Bay Colt (IRE) – 2013
Lilbourne Lad (IRE) / Easy To Thrill (GB)
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Lot 115

A Bay Colt (GB) – 2013
Kyllachy (GB) / Inya Lake (GB)
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Lot 118

A Bay Colt (IRE) – 2013
Lope de Vega (IRE) / Iuturna (USA)
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Lot 137

A Grey or Roan Colt (USA) – 2013
Exchange Rate (USA) / Marianka (USA)
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Lot 162

A Chesnut Colt (GB) – 2013
Showcasing (GB) / Palais Polaire (GB)
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Tattersalls Craven Sale, April 14-16, 2015


Lot 47

A Bay Filly (IRE) – 2013
Kodiac (GB) / Double Fantasy (GER)
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Lot 55

A Bay Colt (IRE) – 2013
Jeremy (USA) / Feis Ceoil (IRE)
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Lot 96

A Chesnut Colt (GB) – 2013
Showcasing (GB) / Nizhoni (USA)
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Lot 104

A Chesnut Filly (GB) – 2013
Sea The Stars (IRE) / Pickle (GB)
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Lot 114

A Grey or Roan Colt (USA) – 2013
Exchange Rate (USA) / Relampago Azul (USA)
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Lot 130

A Chesnut Colt (IRE) – 2013
Exceed And Excel (AUS) / Snowdrops (GB)
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Sheikh Fahad Intent on War


War Alert

On the eve of the first Classic of the British turf season, the Tattersalls Guineas Sale drew a decent crowd to Newmarket for a record-breaking day’s action topped by a daughter of red hot sire-of-the-moment, War Front, at 270,000gns.

Sheikh Fahad Al Thani is the proud new owner of the filly (Lot 233), a first foal for multiple winner and listed-placed Pastel Gal (Lemon Drop Kid), who was led out of the ring unsold at $85,000 at Keeneland September and subsequently changed hands in a private transaction between Suzi Shoemaker and Jim McCartan of Gaybrook Lodge Stud.

Buying on behalf of Sheikh Fahad, his racing and bloodstock manager David Redvers said: “Jim’s horses go like rockets. We have Lightning Thunder running in the [G1] QIPCO 1000 Guineas on Sunday and we bought her from Gaybrook Lodge last year. This filly did the quickest breeze and was by far the nicest filly at the sale. She’s a bit up behind and a bit back at the knee but she clearly has a massive engine.”

He added: “The fact that she’s by War Front is a bonus. We locked on to him from the start and sent him mares when he was still standing quite cheaply.” Three six-figure transactions and solid trade with a 79% clearance rate throughout the breeze-up section of the sale led to the highest turnover in seven renewals of the auction, and at 3,271,800gns, the aggregate leapt up by 39% on the 2013 auction. The average of 32,718gns improved by 28% and the median, at 22,000gns, was up by 33%.

Combined with the figures for the horses-in-training section, the aggregate for the day stood at 3,955,328gns (+43%), with the average at 27,278gns (+18%) and median at 16,000gns (+14%).

“After the record-breaking Tattersalls Craven Breeze-up Sale it has been encouraging to see the momentum continue to this week’s Guineas Breeze-up and Horses-in-Training Sale,” said Tattersalls Chairman Edmond Mahony. “The 270,000gns top price was the highest price at the sale since 2010 and the second-highest price for a filly at this fixture.”


War Alert

The sales-topper provided yet another memorable moment in a highly successful breeze-up season for McCartan’s Gaybrook Lodge Stud, which also consigned the day’s second top lot (Lot 181) at 215,000gns, plus an 800,000-guineas High Chaparral (Ire) colt which returned the second-highest price at the Craven Sale.

“I’m chuffed to bits, it’s absolutely brilliant,” said McCartan, who sold four juveniles through the session for a total of 553,000gns to end the sale as leading consignor. “I love War Front. We’ve been successful with him right from the start. I bought this filly from Suzi Shoemaker, who’s a very good breeder. It’s just such a relief when it all works out like this–it’s great for the team at home who have worked so hard.”

Taking second billing during the session was another filly, this time a daughter of Invincible Spirit (Ire) out of the unraced Machiavellian mare Golden Flyer (Fr), who had been bought by McCartan for just i39,000 at the Goffs Sportsman’s
Sale last year. She will join Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum’s string of bluebloods after being knocked down to Ed Dunlop, who will train the filly in Newmarket.

“We tried hard to buy a horse for Ed at the Craven Sale,” said Sheikh Hamdan’s racing manager Angus Gold. “She looked sharp and did a really good breeze for her size. I doubt she’ll be out too early but she vetted well.”


Source: Thoroughbred Daily News, Saturday, May 5, 2014 | by Emma Berry

McCartan in Front at Breeze-Up


War Alert

He briefly held the European record for a breeze-up horse last month and yesterday Jim McCartan claimed the top two prices at Tattersalls’ Guineas Breeze-Up and Horsesin- Training Sale, writes Carl Evans.

A daughter of War Front (Lot 233) out of the winning mare Pastel Gal (Lemon Drop Kid) gave McCartan another memorable day when selling to David Redvers for 270,000gns – well ahead of the price her vendor paid last year when he bought her outside the ring – and he had earlier reaped 180,000gns when selling an Invincible Spirit filly (Lot 181). The pair became the second and third-highest priced fillies to change hands at this one-day auction, albeit some way behind a daughter of Mr Greeley, who made 470,000gns in 2008.

The War Front had been led out unsold at $85,000 when she appeared as a yearling at Keeneland in September, but McCartan, who trades as Gaybrook Lodge Stud, approached consignor Suzi Shoemaker and struck a deal.

He had bought the Invincible Spirit at Goffs for €39,000. He is not the biggest consignor of breeze-up horses, but  McCartan has had the Midas touch this year, headed by a High Chaparral colt he traded for 800,000gns at Tattersalls’ Craven Breeze-Up Sale after being bought for a humble 41,000gns last year.

Reflecting on a breeze season which has been extended into June – when Goffs stages an eve-of-Royal Ascot auction – McCartan said: “We have had our best year, but we probably spent more on yearlings – we wanted to try and buy nicer horses and upgrade the thing a bit, and it seems to have paid off. I have the nice job of travelling to the sales and trying to buy and sell nice horses, so I have to rely upon a very good team who are dedicated to getting the best out of the raw material.

For Redvers the War Front filly’s purchase was an unequivocal decision from the moment she lit up the Rowley Mile with a breeze that signalled she was the fastest filly on display.


War Alert

Acting for Sheikh Fahad, he had to dig deep to head spirited interest from agent Stephen Hillen, who was standing near the ring entrance with trainer Kevin Ryan. Ironically, Ryan is one of the Sheikh’s trainers, and today, at Newmarket, he saddles Hot Streak – a 42,000gns purchase by Redvers at this sale – for him in the Gr.3 Pearl Bloodstock Palace House Stakes.

Yet it is another breeze-up purchase from McCartan, Lightning Thunder, who is arguably of greater significance this weekend, for she carries Sheikh Fahad’s colours in tomorrow’s Classic, the Gr.1 QIPCO 1000 Guineas.

Redvers said: “Our experience of Jim’s horses is that they breeze like rockets, and run like rockets in races, too. This was by far the nicest filly and she did the quickest time with her ears pricked. She is a bit dip-backed and back at the knee, but it doesn’t stop her running.

War Front has become the hottest stallion in Europe not standing in Europe – a resident of Claiborne Farm, the son
of Danzig began stallion life in 2007 at a fee of $12,500 but now requires $150,000 for his services.

Royal Ascot winner Declaration Of War promoted him on this continent last year, and one of his colts set a new European record at the Craven Breeze-Up Sale a few weeks ago when knocked down to Coolmore Stud interests for 1,150,000gns.

Redvers said: “We’ve been hooked on him for a long time – way before he became so fashionable – and we’ve sent mares to him.

Dunlop Adds to McCartan Joy

Jim McCartan’s double dose of luck was completed by the sale of an Invincible Spirit filly who enters the Shadwell fold.

One of four winners produced by the Machiavellian mare Golden Flyer, she joins Newmarket-based trainer Ed Dunlop, who bid in person and headed interest from agent Ross Doyle. The latter bought McCartan’s aforementioned 800,000gns son of High Chaparral at the Craven Sale.

Sheikh Hamdan’s racing and bloodstock manager, Angus Gold, subsequently said: “We tried to buy a horse for Ed to train at the last sale [Craven Breeze-Up], but failed, and he liked this filly very much. She looked quite sharp in her breeze – it was just unfortunate Mr Hannon [Doyle’s client Richard Hannon] decided to join in.”

Gold admitted that breeze-up buying is not his premier forte, and that the individual, rather than the time they achieve in their breeze, was a factor when buying. “I’m not a huge clock fan,” he said, “but she vetted well and Ed was pleased with her breeze.

“She’s quite a big filly considering how well she breezed, but we will give her a bit of time.

McCartan said of the filly: “She did  particularly well during the winter and was a very nice, kind filly who was easy to prep. She showed herself well all week.

“I had two Invincible Spirit fillies to sell, so sent one to the Craven – where she made 210,000gns – and kept the other one for this sale. I thought she would do well at this event, and it’s paid off.”


Source: European Bloodstock News, Saturday, 3rd May 2014

High Chap Colt Sets Breeze Record


Abunai colt

A little over two hours after watching Al Shaqab Racing’s Sandiva (Ire) (Footstepsinthesand {GB}) post serious Classic claims in the G3 Lanwades Stud Nell Gwyn S., Sheikh Joaan Al Thani’s Racing Advisor Harry Herbert sent several of the organization’s trusted lieutenants into battle in the sales ring to secure the next generation of potential stars. With 20 of the 45 lots sold during the first evening of trade reaching six-figure sums, the average rocketed to 117,457gns, up by 49%, while the median also rose significantly, by 46% to 76,000gns. Turnover of 5,403,000gns was a 35% improvement on the corresponding session of
2013. Ross Doyle engaged in a prolonged tussle with the Coolmore team to ensure that Lot 44, a High Chaparral (Ire) colt out of a Pivotal (GB) half-sister to GI E.P. Taylor S. winner Miss Keller (Ire) (Montjeu {Ire}), will race in the Al Shaqab livery after setting a new European breeze-up record at 800,000gns.

“He did the best breeze of any in the sale and he’s a beautiful horse by the right stallion,” said Doyle, standing alongside Richard Hannon, who trains another High Chaparral colt, the G1 Sussex S. winner Toronado (Ire), for Al Shaqab and will now take charge of Sheikh Joaan’s expensive new purchase.

Herbert added, “He’s a very similar stamp to Toronado with a beautiful head and outlook. Coolmore wanted the horse as much as Sheikh Joaan does and this is what happens when they clash.”

The sale-topper was a welcome touch for Jim McCartan of Gaybrook Lodge Stud, who bought the colt for 41,000gns in the same ring less than six months ago, just a week before his dam, the multiple winner Abunai (GB), was sold for just 15,500gns to Jocelyn Targett of Black Type. Abunai foaled a colt by Bated Breath (GB) last week and is set to be covered by first-season sire Cityscape (GB).


Abunai colt

McCartan said: “I thought he’d sell well, though I wasn’t expecting that–but this is what we’re all in the game for. The day I bought him I thought he was a very nice colt but he’s just done everything right since. The first day I worked him I knew he was something special and we’ve just kept him ticking over. It’s very much a team thing–you can’t do anything in this business without good staff and Cian Hughes broke him in for me while Gerry Kerins has been riding him and looking after him.

“The lads were mad about him at home and I just hope he turns out to be really special for his new owner,” McCartan added. McCartan’s good evening didn’t end there. Dick O’Gorman went to 210,000gns to buy Lot 65, Gaybrook Lodge’s Invincible Spirit (Ire) half-sister to Group 3 winner Distinctive (GB) (Tobougg) after she had been picked up at the October Sale for just 25,000gns.


Source: Thoroughbred Daily News, Thursday, April 17, 2014 | by Emma Berry

Sheikh Joaan Creates New Breeze-Up High


Abunai colt

Europe’s breeze-up record price was nudged to a new high at Tattersalls in Newmarket last night when a son of High Chaparral made 800,000gns.

A horns-locked encounter between two major racing and breeding operations created the new mark – up 40,000gns on the previous best set at this same Craven Breeze-Up Sale last year – and the successful buyer proved to be Sheikh Joaan’s Al Shaqab Racing,  which foiled the powerhouse Coolmore Stud. It was a moment in time for the vendor, Jim McCartan of Gaybrook Lodge Stud, who picked up this prized possession for a humble 41,000gns (that is not a printing error!) in December.

Harry Herbert, representing the Sheikh, said of the colt, a grandson of the marvellous Hascombe and Valiant Stud’s mare Ingozi: “He has the most beautiful head and wonderful outlook. He was the absolute stand-out in this sale, and you could see the  opposition – they wanted him just as much.”

The revered colt had been foaled by the Pivotal mare Abunai, who produced a juvenile winner last year in Black Blade, and was herself a half-sister to Gr.1 E P Taylor Stakes heroine Miss Keller.

Two foot soldiers had been sent to bid on behalf of the leviathans, namely Ross Doyle for Al Shaqab, and Jamie McCalmont, who was positioned next to Paul Shanahan, Michael Tabor and M V Magnier, for Coolmore. Doyle, who was standing alongside Richard Hannon Jr, said the new European record holder put him in mind of another High Chaparral colt who is in that trainer’s stable.

He reminds me of Toronado,” said Doyle. “He was the best horse here by a long way. He’s very special – they don’t just come along like that.

Asked to confirm that Hannon, in his first season with a licence, would handle this exciting prospect, Herbert smiled and said: “One would assume so. There would be war if not.


Abunai colt

For seasoned observers, let alone the average racegoer who knows little of the machinations beneath the action they see on the track, the question is: How did a 41,000gns yearling, bought at the December Yearling Sale little more than five months ago, spiral so colossally in value?

It’s a Westmeath thing,” said McCartan, in jest perhaps, but how can anyone be sure when such a remarkable transition has been achieved? “The day I bought him I thought he was very nice, and the first time I worked him I thought he was different – he just worked better than other horses. He did everything very easily, and when we came here he did the breeze I thought was in him.

“You have to bear in mind it’s very much a team thing. You cannot do this without good staff. Cian Hughes broke him in, Gerry Kerins has been riding him for the past couple of months, and Manuel breezed him. The lads at home were all mad about him.

Asked what he would do with his bumper profit, McCartan added: “The bank manager will be happier, and it will help pay for the equine swimming pool. Willie Browne just came up and said I’ll be swimming them in champagne after this!

Gaybrook Lodge’s spectacular moment was given a cream topping later in the session when it traded an Invincible Spirit filly (Lot 65) to Dick O’Gorman for 210,000gns – described by auctioneer Edmond Mahony as “An Ascot two-year-old”, she had been bought my Midas-touch McCartan for 25,000gns at the October Sale.

Of course, such profitable occasions have to be set against the inevitable losses that will occur – McCartan revealed he is trading 30 breezers this season at the two Tattersalls’ sales, DBS, Arqana and Goresbridge, and, intriguingly, he has a War Front filly for Goffs’ new London sale on the Monday of Royal Ascot, where she will be one of 30 two-year-olds who will be auctioned (in addition to a possible 20 horses in training). “It’s something new and imaginative, and we wanted to support it,” said McCartan.


Source: European Bloodstock News, Thursday, 17th April 2014

New Spa and Swimming Pool

Gaybrook Lodge has recently expanded its facilities with the addition of a hydrotherapy spa and a 40m straight swimming pool which is available to hire.

Additional stables have also been added as part of this project to cater for boarders using these facilities during layup or rehabilitation after injury.

Tattersalls Guineas, May 3, 2013

Lot 72, Tattersalls Guineas, May 2013

Lot 72

A Bay or Brown Colt (USA) – 2011
Roman Ruler (USA) / Magnificent Lady (USA)
Download Full Pedigree (PDF | 26KB)

Lot 98, Tattersalls Guineas, May 2013

Lot 98

A Bay Colt (GB) – 2011
High Chaparral (IRE) / Pure Wonder (IRE)
Download Full Pedigree (PDF | 31KB)

Lot 129, Tattersalls Guineas, May 2013

Lot 129

A Bay Colt (IRE) – 2011
Haatef (USA) / Zuniga’s Date (USA)
Download Full Pedigree (PDF | 31KB)

Lot 135, Tattersalls Guineas, May 2013

Lot 135

A Grey Filly (IRE) – 2011
Acclamation (GB) / Ardea Brave (IRE)
Download Full Pedigree (PDF | 25KB)

Lot 161, Tattersalls Guineas, May 2013

Lot 161

A Grey or Roan Colt (USA) – 2011
Exchange Rate (USA) / Deputie’s Notebook (USA)
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