The Goffs sale last month in Ireland was peppered with international buyers, and prominent among the foreigners were the Indian clients of bloodstock agent Hugo Merry.
On Sunday in Mumbai, the fruits of a prior Merry purchase paid off handsomely. The King Charlemagne filly Jacqueline, with Richard Hughes flown in to ride her, easily won the Indian 1000 Guineas for trainer Pesi Shroff — who also won the race last year with the sensational Indian filly Set Alight, now retired. Jacqueline’s dam, Talita Kumi, was purchased by Merry at the 2005 Goffs sale for €11,000 carrying the eventual classic winner. The mare’s destination was Sohna Stud, near New Delhi, where Jacqueline was foaled.
Pesi Shroff is going to attempt the rare Guineas double by wheeling Jacqueline right back for the 2000 Guineas Sunday. Awaiting her will be the undefeated Verglas colt Versaki, whose dam also was purchased by Merry at the same Goffs sale in 2005 for Sohna Stud, for €19,000.
The following was clipped from a Racing Post article about the 2009 Goffs sale:
Merry was purchasing as prolifically as ever at the sale and picked up in excess of eighty mares to go to India over the two days.
“The mares that we’ve bought are for leading stud farms in India. I’ve been buying for India since 1991 and have built up a good relationship with various farms in conjunction with Gautam Kotwal who is India’s premier bloodstock agent,” he said.
“We’ve had lot of success with various mares that we have bought in-utero and who have then gone on to produce Guineas and Derby winners in India.”
At €95,000 Merry’s most expensive Indian purchase was the Knockatrina House-consigned Najayeb, who is in foal to Bahri, thus carrying a three parts sibling to Sakhee. The daughter of Silver Hawk is the dam of this season’s Royal Lodge Stakes runner-up Waseet.
“We were actually underbidder on Najayeb here last year when she made less,” Merry said. “She has been bought for Sonha Stud where Noverre now stands.”
Noverre, an ex-Darley horse, was a tremendous pick up for Sohna because he was represented this year by the Group 1 Prix du Jockey Club (French Derby) winner Le Havre. The latter is out of a German-bred dam, and it’s interesting to note that Jacqueline’s dam, the German-raced Talita Kumi, also is out of a German-bred mare.
Noverre will be bred to many of these European mares at Sohna, which should raise the stud’s ascendant profile even more. Who is Sohna? I ran a post here on Sept. 2 linking to Sharan Kumar’s post on Sohna Stud. It deserves another read now.
The Indian success at Goffs with Merry should mean more business for the Irish sale in the future.