No stopping Micky Cleere as next breeze-up date approaches
Irish consignor moves into Goffs UK after a good early return
Two down, 16 to go. When your yearly business model revolves around a block of only a few weeks, there is little time for reflection.
Micky Cleere, who consigns under MC Thoroughbreds, could at least arrive in Doncaster for this week’s Goffs UK Breeze-Up Sale with a spring in his step after a handy turnaround from the first stage.
The Tipperary native left the Tattersalls Craven after selling a Hard Spun colt to Highflyer Bloodstock and Alan King for 90,000gns. The half-brother to US stakes-placed More Ice had been found for just $18,000 at Keeneland.
"A good start anyway," said Cleere. "I was supposed to go to Keeneland, but there was a last-minute cancellation. I asked Johnny Collins [of Brown Island Stables] if he spotted anything cheapish to let me know, and he said he’d found me the perfect horse, so it’s all down to him.
"We were expecting a good return for him because he was a lovely horse who always worked well."
Cleere’s other Craven Sale offering represents the ebbs and flows of the breeze-up business, as he had to cut his losses with a 50,000gns Siyouni colt. Out of a half-sister to Le Havre, he had siblings that had sold considerably better.
"He didn’t get a clean run, he got an infection in his heel and things went against him late on," Cleere reflected. "He was doing well up to before that, it just happened at the wrong time."
Which sale he slots each of his youngsters into depends on various factors, but his two for this week's Goffs UK Sale - a Dandy Man colt with Damson in his pedigree (lot 85) and a Mehmas sibling (126) to a string of early winners including the stakes-placed Yolo Star - look primed for their chance in Doncaster.
"A lot of the time you’re playing on what way they’re progressing and what the sales companies are saying, where they’re being accepted, then you juggle between them," the consignor said.
"The Dandy Man belongs to a man called Anthony Norris, he’s a smaller sort but a real forward-going quick lad, ready to rock and roll tomorrow, and the Mehmas filly is quick and straightforward with a nice temperament."
He continues: "Basically all the horses going to France are smart, they seem to be a really nice bunch. A nice Summer Front goes there, a Kodiac colt, a Churchill and a Kingman filly. We’ve got them all there, if it all goes according to plan and the restrictions ease in France, you’d hopefully be okay.
"There’s a smart Profitable filly for Goresbridge, who is very quick, and a Strath Burn filly for the Guineas Sale, she’s very fast too and a full-sister to [last year’s Cornwallis third] Burning Cash."
Cleere took a jump into the unknown last year when he began offering horses under his own name, having previously ridden successfully as an apprentice for David Wachman and worked at preparing breeze-up horses for Star Bloodstock.
He now rents a yard from Louise and Pat Joyce just down the road from home, where daily exercise can be supplemented by trips to work on the gallops of Willie Browne or Michelle Gannon. Luckily, there are plenty of pairs of hands for the remaining members of his string while Cleere is busy overseas.
"Normally we’d slip home after every sale but it’s a bit of a struggle this year," he said. "I’ll definitely get back after the Guineas Sale but thankfully my girlfriend and a few lads are doing a brilliant job, there’s no point in me going back disturbing them."
Micky Cleere aboard last week's strong-selling Hard Spun colt Laura Green
Cleere began 2020 with a similar number to this year but sold quite a few privately as the pandemic took its grip. The fact MC Thoroughbreds is standing proudly after such a tumultuous bloodstock year is evidence enough that the wheels have been kept turning, but there is no time for complacency.
"I got lucky with a couple of fillies that breezed well, I ended up selling them well, and I owned them mostly myself," he said.
"Most we pick ourselves, it’s all down to what we like but budget has a big say. Normally we try to go for the better pedigrees if we can. It’s high cost, you’d want to be getting some kind of return for them, so you just hope for the best."