09 June 2017

The Irish Store Sales are upon us and Martin Cullinane is brimming with anticipation, hopeful that his latest crop of National Hunt youngsters will do themselves justice under the spotlight over the next few days and weeks. The County Galway consignor is vastly experienced and has seen some good ones pass through his hands. He describes this year’s offerings at Goffs and Tattersalls Ireland as “maybe more select as a bunch” against those from previous years, which must bode well.     

Kingscliff (IRE) went through the academy at Mount Brown Farm near Athenry. So did Road To Riches (IRE) and Go Native (IRE), among many more topliners. At the Goffs Land Rover Sale in 2011 he sold his homebred Martello Tower (IRE) for €12,000 to Mags Mullins. That horse went on to win the Grade 1 Albert Bartlett Hurdle at Cheltenham and has €175,000 in the bank. It’s fair to say Cullinane can unearth the odd gem. 

Already there is a buzz about Lot 321 at next week’s Goffs Land Rover Sale, a three-year-old gelding sired by Frozen Fire out of a half-sister to Brametot (IRE), who recently completed the French 2,000 Guineas and Derby double.

“He is very correct to look at; he is a very good-moving horse. I was drawn to him both on type and on pedigree as he has Monsun down the page and he has been a superb sire of so many top class horses. The other closer relation [Brametot (IRE)] doing so well winning the Classic races in France has been a nice boost and good timing, I suppose. This horse is very sound and clear-winded. I’d say he’s fairly interesting,” says Cullinane.     

Asked to nominate another from his draft at Goffs, he doesn’t have to deliberate too long before mentioning Lot 76, a son of Mastercraftsman (IRE) for whom he makes a big call. “Smashing big horse, that fella is. I wouldn’t be surprised if he ended up running well in a race like the Goffs Land Rover Bumper at Punchestown. The damsire is Rock Of Gibraltar (IRE) and he seems to be turning into a good sire of sires, too. I’m very happy with that lad overall.”

Two weeks later when the caravan rolls onto the Derby Sale, Mount Brown Farm won’t be lacking for numbers with 14 catalogued. Asking for the customary steer into another one that will fill the eyes of those on site at Fairyhouse, Cullinane pauses a little longer.

“I don’t want to narrow it down to one horse for the Derby Sale because I have a few there that I really like,” he says, “but if you’re pressing me I love the horse by Jeremy [Lot 322]. He was €21,000 as a foal but I’d say he was worth it. I like the sire and they are not making any more of them. Correct, good-moving and I am very familiar with the family. He is related to Clar Na Mionn (IRE) who raced for a neighbour of mine, Val O’Brien and the page extends back to top horses that raced for the Dreaper family. He’s a really nice horse.”



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