The European record price for a male racehorse in training was smashed at Tattersalls July Sales in Newmarket earlier this week.
Four-year-old gelding Mastermind was knocked down to agent Dick O’Gorman for £380,000gns – a figure which comfortably beats the previous record of 235,000gns for a colt or gelding in training. The previous record was held by the two-year-old Atmospheric when he was sold in last autumn’s Tattersalls sales.
Mastermind’s new home will be in the Middle East, as Dick has a number of Saudi Arabian clients.
Their acquisition’s value has risen steeply since he was sold at Tattersalls last year for 100,000gns. He was bought then by agent Paul Webber on behalf of owner John Martin, and sent into training near Thirsk with Lynda and Jack Ramsden.
Mrs Ramsden saddled Mastermind to win Newbury’s Spring Cup and he then performed creditably at Royal Ascot and the Curragh in Ireland. However, throughout this period, a well-publicised financial dispute was brewing between Martin and the Ramsdens, resulting in the dispersal of eight horses at the sales.
Boosted by Mastermind’s sale, the eight went through the ring for just over £492,000gns. Jack Ramsden said: “I’m surprised that some of them didn’t make more money, but they were more than eclipsed by the price received for Mastermind. I didn’t think he’d make as much as that – it’s sad that it had to be done in these circumstances.”
Whether Mr Martin, an investment speculator, will benefit from the sale was not entirely clear, although an official at Tattersalls, which sold the horse last year, said the company was delighted with the outcome.
Mr Martin need not worry unduly – he owns a horse called Jim And Tonic, trained in France by Francois Doumen, who won an £800,000 race in Dubai earlier this year.