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5 Wins & 3 Grade 1s: Goffs Point-To-Point & Store Graduates Dominate Day 1 At Cheltenham

The opening day of the Cheltenham Festival was an outstanding one for Goffs and Goffs UK point-to-point and store sale graduates with five winners including three Grade 1s for Honeysuckle, Constitution Hill and Marie's Rock.  

Superstar Honeysuckle extended her remarkable unbeaten record to 15 with a second successive victory in the Grade 1 Champion Hurdle for Kenny Alexander, Rachael Blackmore and Henry De Bromhead. The eight-year-old daughter of Sulamani is now the heroine of 11 individual Grade 1 triumphs and earns a place in the annals of racing history as the first mare to win back-to-back Champion Hurdles.
She was sold by Shanrod Stables to Peter Molony for €110,000 on behalf of Kenny Alexander at the 2018 Goffs Punchestown Sale following her debut success in a four-year-old mares’ maiden at Dromahane.
Speaking after the race, a relieved and delighted Kenny Alexander was full of emotion: “I am a huge racing fan and it has always been a dream to own a horse like this. I was stood down there watching Quevega, Annie Power and Apple’s Jade who are all greats and she has joined them. It is not fair to compare them but she is one of the greats now.” 

Supreme 1 – 2 for Goffs UK Pointers…
The 2022 Cheltenham Festival began with a stunning 1-2 for Goffs UK point-to-point graduates in the Grade 1 Supreme Novices’ Hurdle as Nicky Henderson and Michael Buckley’s Constitution Hill gave a scintillating performance to beat stable companion Jonbon in a course record time.
Unbeaten, the five-year-old son of Blue Bresil was previously victorious in the Grade 1 Tolworth Hurdle at Sandown but the consummate ease with which he defeated Jonbon, a Grade 2 winning full-brother to Douvan, had connections dreaming of further glory.
Constitution Hill was sold by Warren Ewing to Nicky Henderson at last year’s Goffs UK Spring Horses-In-Training and Point-To-Point Sale for £120,000 following his narrow second place on debut in a four-year-old maiden at Tipperary for Ewing and Barry Geraghty. 

Ewing was ecstatic with Constitution Hill’s stunning 22 length triumph.
That was brilliant, he broke the track record as well, it was just an outstanding performance. We always thought that Constitution Hill was a very good horse which is why we advised Nicky to buy him and it’s fantastic that he has turned out to be even better than we thought. I think it will be a long time before he will be beaten.
“I am delighted for Michael Buckley too, he has bought a few horses from us including Brain Power and it’s great that he has such a talented horse,” he added.
Speaking afterwards, winning trainer Nicky Henderson was astounded by the margin of Constitution Hill’s victory over Jonbon, who had previously been unbeaten.
“He must be an extraordinary animal. This is a very, very good horse. Jonbon is a very good horse and for him to do that to him is remarkable,” said the winning trainer.
Both Constitution Hill and Jonbon are graduates of Goffs UK point-to-point sales with Jonbon smashing the record auction price for a point-to-point winner when selling for £570,000 to JP McManus from Ellmarie Holden’s Coolmeen Stables at the 2020 November Point-to-Point Sale at Yorton Farm.
The same sale provided the winner of the Grade 3 Ultima Handicap Chase; Corach Rambler for Lucinda Russell, Peter Scudamore and The Ramblers. The eight-year-old son of the late Jeremy won a Monksgrange point-to-point for John Martin Walsh’s Scar Stables who sold him to Michael Scudamore at the Yorton Sale. 

More Grade 1 Land Rover Sale Festival Success…
Goffs Land Rover Sale, so often the leading store sale at the Festival, provided the winner of the Grade 1 Close Brothers’ Mares’ Hurdle in the shape of Marie’s Rock who was purchased by Anthony Bromley of Highflyer Bloodstock on behalf of Middleham Park Racing at the 2018 sale.
The Milan mare’s victory sparked an outpouring of joy from her delighted owners in the winners’ enclosure.  Twice a Listed winner prior to her breakthrough success at the highest level, Marie’s Rock was bred by Dan Breen and sold by Francis Quinn’s Railstown Stud at the Land Rover.
I am still shivering,” smiled a delighted Quinn. “That was just brilliant and I am hoarse from roaring her home. I consigned her for Dan, who is a farrier and keeps a few mares. We sold her Beat Hollow half-brother to Matt Coleman for Jonjo O’Neill at last year’s Land Rover Sale.
“I remember her selling and Anthony Bromley buying her, and it is fantastic to see a syndicate like that have a Grade 1 winner.”
Marie’s Rock is the second Cheltenham Grade 1 winning mare sold by Quinn following Relegate’s victory in the Champion Bumper and the family’s connection with Cheltenham glory stretches back almost a century to the five times Gold Cup hero Golden Miller, who was sold by Quinn’s grandfather. 

Doncaster Spring Sale graduates bookended Cheltenham's opening day and it was Ronnie Bartlett’s Stattler, trained by Willie Mullins and ridden by Patrick Mullins, who took the closing Grade 2 Ukraine Appeal National Hunt Novices’ Chase.  The son of Stowaway was sold by Treannahow Stables to Ian Ferguson at the 2018 Doncaster Spring Store Sale. 


Upcoming Goffs NH Sales:

  • Aintree Sale: 7 April
  • Punchestown Sale: 28 April
  • Doncaster Spring Sale: 16 – 19 May
  • Goffs Land Rover Sale: 7 – 9 June