Morans snap up bumper winner Hollymount

Horse Racing

Exciting five-year-old set to join Gordon Elliott.

Exciting bumper mare Hollymount is set to join Gordon Elliott after being sold for GBP 300,000 on Tuesday.

The Goffs January Sale usually takes place at Doncaster, but both horses in training and National Hunt breeding stock were this year sold entirely online due to the restrictions in place because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Hollymount is a daughter of Jet Away out of broodmare Zaffarella, who has produced a trio of high-class performers in Windsor Avenue, Ravenhill Road and Malone Road. The later joined Elliott three years ago for GBP 325,000 and has since won three of his four starts.

Zaffarella’s latest potential star made an impressive start to her racing career for trainer Stuart Crawford in a bumper at Carlisle last month – winning by eight lengths in the hands of champion jockey Brian Hughes.

The online bidding for Hollymount started at GBP 180,000, before she was eventually being knocked down to Noel and Valerie Moran’s Bective Stud for GBP 300,000.

The Morans are becoming an increasingly powerful force in Irish National Hunt racing, with the likes of Triumph Hurdle favourite Zanahiyr and GBP 400,000 purchase Grand Roi among their big-race winners on the track this season.

Just last month they went to 530,000 euros to secure former hurdling star Apple’s Jade – a record price for a National Hunt mare sold at public auction – for breeding purposes.

Elliott’s bloodstock agent, Mouse O’Ryan, said: “Hollymount has been bought for Noel and Valerie Moran to go to Gordon.

“She looks very smart and was well recommended and we’ve been lucky with the family.

“Hopefully she’ll go on to big things on the track before going on to become a broodmare.

“Noel and Valerie obviously bought Apple’s Jade and have some other very nice mares on the track, including Queens Brook, Pantry Central and Riviere D’etel.

“They’re having fun trying to make broodmares.”

La Bague Au Roi is set for a future career as a broodmare
La Bague Au Roi is set for a future career as a broodmare (PA)

Asked whether Hollymount could take up her entry in a Grade Two bumper at the Dublin Racing Festival at Leopardstown on Sunday week, O’Ryan added: “We haven’t even got her in the yard yet, so we’ll have to wait and see.”

The undoubted star of the breeding stock on offer was Grade One-winning mare La Bague Au Roi, who won 14 races for trainer Warren Greatrex including the Kauto Star Novices’ Chase at Kempton and the Flogas Novice Chase at Leopardstown.

The recently turned 10-year-old was sold for GBP 170,000 to former Republic of Ireland international footballer Kevin Doyle and bloodstock consignor Peter Nolan.

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