Horse Racing

Callisto Star Tops Tatts December Mares Sale Opener

Day 1 of the Tattersalls December Mares Sale may have been more of an hors d’oeuvre before Tuesday’s group 1-winning main course, with high achievers Cachet , Poptronic , and Via Sistina  among those on the menu on Day 2.

However, once the first installment of the blue-chip Sceptre Sessions kicked in the evening of Dec. 4, there were plenty of significant prices spent in front of a packed Park Paddocks auditorium.

Ballybin Stud presented Callisto Star  and duly fetched the day’s highest price of 675,000gns (US$900,779, 1gn=US$1.3344) from Badgers Bloodstock, with the father-son team stationed in their usual position to the left of the auctioneer. 

Callisto Star didn’t make the track herself but has got her breeding career off to a particularly promising start. Her first foal, Rhea Moon , was placed in maidens at Dundalk and the Curragh but developed into an altogether more significant talent after a switch to Phil D’Amato in the United States, where she won the American Oaks (G1T). 

The mare’s second foal, There’s The Door , has won three races and was also second to Savethelastdance  in the Cheshire Oaks. Moreover, Callisto Star’s third foal, the 2-year-old Magna Grecia  colt Majed, took the mare’s record to three winners from three runners when breaking his maiden at the third time of asking late last month.

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Rhea Moon and There’s The Door are both by Starspangledbanner , and their dam was offered carrying a full sibling to the black-type performers.  

Ballybin’s Paddy Kelly admitted to being slightly lost for words after the session-topping transaction. Reflecting on Monday evening’s events, Kelly said: “I’m in shock but not in shock, it’s just that this is kind of a big one for us. It’s nice to be involved at the top end and I’m delighted—but not surprised—with the price she made.

“She’s a special mare. She has the looks, the temperament, and the pedigree. I think she’ll be a prolific breeder, just like her grandmother was with six black-type horses. Kevin (Molloy, breeder) has been a longtime client and he still has a good bit of the family at home. Another client of ours actually bought Callisto Star’s full sister a few years ago, so we have the stock to sell out of her, too.”

Callisto Star is out of Livia Galilei, a Galileo sibling to six stakes performers, including the dual group 3 winner Satchem and the Ballyroan Stakes scorer Eye of The Storm . The first two, black type-laden generations of the family were bred by Molloy. 

“She’s to stay here in Europe,” said Tom Pritchard-Gordon, whose purchase was made on behalf of an existing client. “She’s a beautiful mare and has already produced a grade 1 winner with her first foal. She’s carrying a full sibling to that grade 1 winner, too.

“Fastnet Rock is as good a broodmare sire as there is and her dam is by Galileo, so it’s all the bloodlines you want. She’s the whole package. I haven’t decided who she’ll be covered by next year, but Starspangled is an obvious target. Fastnet mares work with so many different bloodlines that she could go anywhere.”

The Tattersalls December Mares Sale continues Dec. 5 at 9:30 a.m. (local time). 


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