Michael O’Leary sells top horses including Petit Mouchoir as he continues racing withdrawal

Michael O’Leary and Gorden Elliott (Image: ©INPHO/Bryan Keane)

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Dual Grade One-winning hurdler Petit Mouchoir will move to Gordon Elliott's yard after being sold as part of the annual Gigginstown House Stud dispersal at the Goffs UK September Sale.

Ryanair supremo Michael O'Leary, who announced last year that he was scaling back his racing operations, sent a large team of horses to be sold without reserve at Doncaster on Tuesday.

The star of the squad was the nine-year-old Petit Mouchoir – the winner of five races since joining Henry de Bromhead, including the 2017 Irish Champion Hurdle at Leopardstown.

While winless in almost three years, the grey has been running well in defeat in 2020, finishing placed behind then stablemate Honeysuckle in the Irish Champion Hurdle in February, fifth in the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham and third in the Galway Hurdle last time out.

Petit Mouchoir will return to Ireland after being knocked down to bloodstock agent Mouse O'Ryan and Elliott for over €76,000.

"He's been bought for an existing owner in the yard," said O'Ryan.

"We (Elliott) actually had him as a four-year-old, when he won the Land Rover Bumper at Punchestown.

"He's a star and as long as he stays safe and sound, he'll be able to go for all those big races on a Sunday in Ireland.

"He'll aimed at the Morgiana Hurdle at Punchestown in November."

Michael O'Leary
(Image: ©INPHO/James Crombie)

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O'Ryan also bought the Gigginstown trio of Cuneo (€7,600), Or Jaune De Somoza (€26,100) and Fierami (€12,500), with all three moving to Elliott's yard from De Bromhead's.

Reflecting on the day as a whole, O'Ryan added: "I thought it was a very good trade. A lot of people have been giving out, but I think the trade has been brilliant, considering we're in the middle of a pandemic. All credit to Doncaster for getting it on."

Another Gigginstown-owned veteran to go under the hammer was De Bromhead's 11-year-old Sub Lieutenant, who was bought by David Phelan on behalf of an unnamed client for €54,400.

Phelan said: "I've bought him for a friend with a view to him running in the Grand Sefton at Aintree and possibly ending up in the Grand National next year.

"He's been second over the National fences in the Topham and ran a good race last time to finish second in the Galway Blazers.

"Horses like him don't come along very often – you can sometimes pay £50,000 for a store horse who'll never make the track."

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