Rogue Lightning got the inaugural edition of the Goffs Qipco British Champions Day Sale off on the ideal footing when changing hands for £1,000,000 in the Ascot parade ring.
Tom Clover, trainer of the recent Listed winner and Prix de l’Abbaye fifth, was considerate of what would be mixed feelings for his ownership syndicate, The Rogues Gallery, at letting go an incredibly promising three-year-old sprinter.
There was relief in his eyes to the fact that the successful bidder, Richard Brown of Blandford Bloodstock, will ensure Rogue Lightning remains in his care but now in the colours of the Emir of Qatar’s emergent Wathnan Racing. Yet there is also simple finance at play; the Kodiac gelding had cost just 42,000gns at the Tattersalls Craven Sale in the spring of 2022 and has shot through seven figures while giving connections unabated fun.
“This was a unique initiative by Goffs and it’s quite rare that a horse of his sort of stature comes to a sale like this,” Brown said.
“We were very interested in him privately after the Abbaye. I’ve bought him for Wathnan and he’ll stay with Tom, hopefully for the rest of his career. Hopefully it’s one of those things that’s good for everyone, we’re delighted to get him.
“He’s got a bags of speed and it’s hard to find a horse who will travel in those races over five furlongs. There’s a good and fairly obvious programme for him next year that we can dream about over the winter.”
Clover said: “The Rogues have been massive supporters of ours, I remember buying the horse very clearly with Tony [Elliott, syndicate founder], my wife Jackie and [agent] Billy Jackson-Stops.
“For a syndicate of people to buy a horse which they can sell for a million is fantastic for them. For me, for him to be staying with a new owner is a terrific result and I’m very grateful to Goffs for promoting the horse and selling him.”
Clover turned in the direction of the syndicate members who had come to see their star make a valedictory appearance in the paddock, as he has already been roughed off for the campaign.