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West End Girl Tops Tattersalls Online Auction

Ribblesdale Stakes entry West End Girl created her own piece of history on Monday as she topped the inaugural Tattersalls online auction when selling to Badgers Bloodstock for £420,000.

The daughter of Golden Horn – who last July became her sire's first ever winner – is due to take up her Royal Ascot engagement and will now carry the colours of Cayton Park Stud. The Mark Johnston-trained filly is around 20-1 for Tuesday's Group 2 prize after running a close third to Miss Yoda in the Lingfield Oaks Trial this month, but Tom Pritchard-Gordon of Badgers Bloodstock said the filly's appeal stretched far beyond her chances at Ascot.

"She's a lovely filly and she runs in the Ribblesdale Stakes," he said. "Mark Johnston's horses are in great form so she's got a squeak, but in all honesty she's already done everything she needs to do to make a great addition to anyone's broodmare band. As a Group 3-winning two-year-old from a great Car Colston Hall family she's a lovely filly to have. Anything else she does on the racecourse now is going to be a bonus."

Bred by Car Colston Hall Stud, West End Girl is out of Free Rein, a winning daughter of Dansili from the Wiener Wald clan that has been a source of much success for breeders Nicholas and Jane Forman Hardy.

Free Rein is a half-sister to two black-type winners, most notably champion three-year-old sprinter Reckless Abandon, who also won the Middle Park Stakes, Prix Morny and Norfolk Stakes during a productive juvenile season.

West End Girl's third dam is Argent Du Bois, who bred Prix Maurice de Gheest winner Brando and dual US Grade 1 scorer Ticker Tape.

The filly, who previously carried the colours of Alan Spence, was bought by Johnston for 95,000gns from Book 2 of the Tattersalls October Yearling Sale in 2018.

Pritchard-Gordon, who works alongside his father Grant, is no stranger to buying thoroughbreds online. The Badgers Bloodstock team were active at the Inglis Easter Yearling Sale and the company's Chairman's Sale, both of which were staged digitally this year because of restrictions brought in to stop the spread of Covid-19.

"We bought at the two Inglis online sales earlier in the year and all the formats are very similar," said Pritchard-Gordon. "There was a slight hiccup on the technical side of things later on in the Tatts sale, but everyone overcame that and we were delighted to come out on top and get the filly."

Giving a buyer's perspective on proceedings, Pritchard-Gordon said: "I think they had a slight issue with their servers so they extended the sale by another 20 minutes. We were trying to bid £420,000 before it went offline but were able to get the bid in afterwards.

"We were delighted to get her and fingers crossed she can run a nice race tomorrow, though that race isn't the be-all and end-all because she's a lovely filly to go to stud with in the longer-term."

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