Record horse buy at Newmarket

THE man who has pumped millions into Manchester United has shattered a horse racing record after buying dual classic winner Ramruma .John Magnier, major shareholder at the Premiership giants, paid 2.

THE man who has pumped millions into Manchester United has shattered a horse racing record after buying dual classic winner Ramruma .

John Magnier, major shareholder at the Premiership giants, paid 2.1 million guineas for the European Champion on the second day of the Tattersalls December Mare Sale.

The three-year-old filly, in foal to Machiavellian, won the English, Irish and Yorkshire Oaks in 1999 and was being offered as part of the late Prince Fahd Salman'sbreeding stock.

Seen as a jewel in the December sale, a spokesman for Newmarket-based Tattersalls said they were unsurprised records were broken with the buyers hoping the broodmare, used in a stud for breeding purposes, will nurture future champions.

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Marketing director Jimmy George said: "We knew she'd make big money as she is very special.

"We were thrilled to bits with the price as we want to see champions like that fetch good money and there was a lot of interest.

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"She was a champion racehorse and very well bred with a good pedigree and huge ability as a racehorse.

"Obviously the person who bought her hopes to have a possible champion with her sons and daughters."

In front of a packed sales ring on Tuesday night, the bidding was always close and soon passed the 1 million guineas mark with Angus Gold, of Thetford-based Shadwell Estates, and Mr Magnier in competition.

But it was Mr Magnier who got the nod for the filly to set a new record price for a broodmare sold at auction in Europe to further strength the Coolmore Stud in Ireland.

Mr George said: "Coolmore Stud is one of the dominant forces in racing throughout the world and Ramruma fits their portfolio beautifully.

"She was a record price at this sale for a broodmare but we sold a filly for 2.5 million guineas a few years ago while the highest price for any horse was 3.4 million guineas.

"She was the highlight of the Newgate Stud dispersal, a champion racehorse winning the Oaks in this country and Ireland – she was always going to be very special and it was a packed ring that greeted the sale."

Mr Magnier, managing partner at Coolmore, has emerged in the past two decades as a global force in horse breeding.

His wealth has allowed the secretive millionaire to become one of the single investors in Manchester United – believed to own around 23 per cent.

Shunning the media spotlight, Mr Magnier has recently become embroiled in a legal dispute with United boss Sir Alex Ferguson over the ownership of horse Rock of Gibraltar.

The December sale at Tattersalls is regarded as the world's most international thoroughbred sale visited by buyers from more than 50 countries each year at the 12-day climax to the European Bloodstock Sales season.

Meanwhile, members of Forest Heath District Council's community services committee have approved a £250,000 budget to regenerate the Mews Stable block in Newmarket.

Currently described as "dilapidated", the block needs structural repairs and re-roofing to enable it to become a possible home for a proposed Hall of Fame for British Racing.

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