Last year’s Irish 2,000 Guineas runner-up New Energy has been sold to Australian Bloodstock in a private deal, with trainer Sheila Lavery gutted to lose him but delighted for her brother John, whose colours he carried.
The son of New Bay won first time out at the Curragh, and after a couple of third-placed efforts in Listed company ran Native Trail to a length and three-quarters in the Curragh Classic. He was also runner-up in the Group 2 Park Stakes at Doncaster last year, while on his most recent start at Naas last month he was third in the Listed Owenstown Stakes.
Out of the Singspiel mare For Joy, and so a half-brother to Group 3 winner Victoria Regina, New Energy was bred by Anne Hallinan and John O’Connor. He was sold through Ballylinch Stud to Lavery and agent Ted Durcan for £65,000 at the 2021 Tattersalls Ireland Goresbridge Breeze-Up Sale, which that year took place in Newmarket.
He will now join the Ciaron Maher and David Eustace stable as a potential Cox Plate candidate, having been on the radar of Australian Bloodstock’s Jamie Lovett for some time.
Recalling what first attracted her, Lavery said: “He had very sore shins so his breeze wasn’t anything to go by, but both Ted and I loved his pre-breeze and his action. He had shins so he didn’t let down but he wasn’t asked to. Gary Halpin had ridden him and highly recommended him.
“We don’t put the gun to their heads at home, they have got to do it at the track. We knew we had something very nice and he was able to perform to a high level on the track as well. It was a serious run in the Guineas when runner-up to Native Trail.”
She added: “Australian Bloodstock have been trying to buy him for about a year. I’ve dealt with them and Jamie quite a bit over emails over the past 12 months.
“I’m absolutely gutted to lose him because we’ve been very lucky and privileged to have a horse like him, and we’ve had some fantastic days. However, it makes complete sense for him to be sold to Australia for John; I’m delighted for him but gutted for myself.”
Sheila Lavery: pragmatic over the sale of one of her stable starsCredit: Patrick McCann (racingpost.com/photos)
New Energy, who is set to be gelded, won his maiden on good ground and Lavery feels he will be well suited to racing in Australia.
“It would be great to see him be a success down there,” she said. “He’s always been such a beautiful, sound horse so I’d be disappointed if he doesn’t progress big time over there, and I don’t see any reason why he wouldn’t.
“I think he’ll love the style of racing in Australia because his best runs have been when there has been a lot of pace on. He loves chasing a nice pace, like in the Guineas and the Group 2 at Doncaster. He just settled beautifully both times.
“We were disappointed he didn’t win at Naas the last day but, once he got his act together, he absolutely flew home. He just got a bit boxed in and he’s better with a solid pace in front of him.”
Conor Fennelly Reporter / racingpost.com