Racehorse sells for £8.1m at exclusive Kensington Palace Gardens auction - with Nottingham Forest owner Evangelos Marinakis and Michael Owen in the crowd - before connections buy her back for £3m less!

2024-06-18 https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/racing/article-13541613/Racehorse-sells-8-1m-exclusive-Kensington-Palace-Gardens-auction-Nottingham-Forest-owner-Evangelos-Marinakis-Michael-Owen-crowd-connections-buy-3m-less.html HaiPress

Remarkable things happen in remarkable places and so that old adage proved once more,this time in the stunning surrounds of Kensington Gardens.

The Goffs London Sale is billed as 'an auction like no other' and it is said without a hint of embellishment. On the eve of Royal Ascot,in secluded area behind Kensington Palace,staggering sums of money are invested by owners who want to buy a ready made runner for a meeting like no other.

This is event is now in its 10th year. There have been incredible moments during the past decade,such as a bonny little colt called Givemethebeatboys being sold 12 months ago for more than £1million; less than 24 hours later he came runner-up in the Coventry Stakes,a race for two-year-olds on Ascot's opening day.


But drama was taken to new levels here - levels that are unlikely to be surpassed. Everything revolved around Lot 11 in the catalogue,a filly called Sparkling Plenty,who on Sunday had won the Prix de Diane (French Oaks) in blistering fashion at Chantilly.

Winning a Classic was always going to mean the cost for her prospective new owners was plenty. It was the reason Henry Beeby,Goffs long-serving Chief Executive,asked those around the ring to start the bidding at £1million. Occasionally there can be a delay before someone raises a hand but not this time.

Sparkling Plenty won the Prix de Diane (French Oaks) in blistering fashion at Chantilly

Again,there was no hyperbole. It had been a breathless 90 minutes,featuring the £300,000 sale of Rock Hunter,a fast two-year-old who will contest the Norfolk Stakes at Ascot on Thursday and may give his new connections an immediate dividend.

Joorabchin suffered disappointment with Sparkling Plenty but he didn't leave empty handed,spending £480,000 on a three-year-old colt called Taraj,who will run in the Hampton Court Stakes - again on Thursday - and £650,000 on an unraced two-year-old filly.

Her breeding is impeccable. Her father is Kingman,an Ascot winner in 2014,and her mother is Laurens,a six-time Group One winner. She goes into training with Ralph Beckett and if she has anything like her parents' ability she will go far.

Will it be as far as Sparkling Plenty? Who knows. But the whole point of the sales ring is investing in dreams and seeing where the journey takes you. It is never anything other than remarkable.

Michael OwenRoyal Ascot

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