No Nay Never’s Alcohol Free Brings 5.4 Million At Tattersalls
Multiple Group 1 winner Alcohol Free (4f No Nay Never - Plying, by Hard Spun) became the second-most expensive thoroughbred in European auction history when fetching 5.4million guineas at the Tattersalls December Mare Sale.
Bidding opened at 1 million guineas for Andrew Balding and Jeff Smith’s wonder mare, and as a heaving sales ring watched on, BBA Ireland’s Michael Donohoe eventually outlasted the attentions of MV Magnier. Donohoe signed the docket alongside Yuesheng Zhang of Yulong Investments and later revealed his purchase had been made on behalf of a partnership, who will continue to race the top lot in Australia.
“She vetted extremely well and clean for a filly with some miles on the clock,” Donohoe continued. “There is a lot of money to win in Australia - I think there are 87 races for this year down there worth a million plus, so we hope to recoup a lot of what we paid for her and add a bit more, too. She is a filly with speed for 6f but she also stayed a mile, so there will be options for her. Andrew Balding and the team did a great job with her.”
“She will make a lovely broodmare in time,” he added. “She has the physique and the pedigree. Those blue hen fillies who come off the track are collectors’ items - they don’t come on the market very often.”
Bred by the Gaffney family’s Churchtown House Stud, Alcohol Free was purchased by Jeff Smith’s Littleton Stud manager David Bowe as a foal. “It is the end of a wonderful journey,” Bowe said. “It has been a wonderful dream. She walked in and looked beautiful. She will make a beautiful mare in time and it is time for someone else.”
Perhaps the most impressive nature of Alcohol Free’s quartet of Group 1 wins is that they were achieved over sprint and mile distances as a two, three and four-year-old. The outstanding race mare hails from the third crop of sire sensation No Nay Never, whose most exciting crop of juveniles in 2022 included six Group winners, with three of those scoring at the highest level.