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Varian swoops to make Dansili colt Willie John a sales record-breaker

Fri 2 Feb 2018

Classic prospect Willie John became the highest-priced colt ever sold in Europe when knocked down to Roger Varian for 1,900,000 guineas on the second day of the Tattersalls February Sale in Newmarket.

The son of Dansili, out of dual Group One-winning mare Izzi Top, was bought by the Newmarket trainer on behalf of Sheikh Mohammed Obaid, whose colours were carried to great success by the Varian-trained Postponed.

There was plenty of interest in the ring for Willie John, who impressed on his sole start to date when winning at Yarmouth in October when trained by William Haggas.

Several interested parties, including Newsells Park Stud's Julian Dollar, Anthony Stroud, Hugo Lascelles, Ed Sackville and Cheveley Park Stud's Chris Richardson put in strong bids, but Varian won the day.

"He is for Sheikh Mohammed Obaid," said Varian. "He already has a Dubawi from the family and he identified this colt as one that he would like - we were very happy to do the steering.

"Willie John was an impressive winner of his maiden at Yarmouth and those autumn maidens at the track can be very strong races.

"It is not often you get the chance to buy a horse such as this, it is unusual circumstances, but we look forward to getting him home and getting to know him - he is a very promising horse with a great pedigree."

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