Selkirk mare Thistle Bird, a Group 1 winner sold in foal to Kingman, topped the opening day of the Tattersalls December Mare Sale on Monday when purchased for 750,000gns.
Out of French Listed winner Dolma, Thistle Bird is a half-sister to the Australian Group 3 winner and Group 1 placed gelding McCreery.
"Thistle Bird has been purchased for George Strawbridge," said James Wigan of London Thoroughbred Services, formerly bloodstock advisor to Lady Rothschild. "I obviously know the families and the horses well and have seen them; it is nice that it can carry on with my clients. No plans have been made yet as regards stallions."
The 11-year-old mare was sold by The Castlebridge Consignment on behalf of the Waddesdon Stud Dispersal who also sold Alfame to London Thoroughbred Services for 675,000gns.
By Shamardal, Aflame is a winning daughter of Group 1 winner Magical Romance, making her a half-sister to Werribee Cup (Listed) winner Tall Ship. She was sold in foal to Havana Gold.
"Aflame has been purchased for Erdenheim Farm," said Wigan who purchased five lots for the Pennsylvania-based Erdenheim Farm at this sale last year.
Of the dispersal, Wigan said: "It is the end of an era and it is sad, but the draft were beautifully turned out. The mares have gone but there are still yearlings to come to sell next year and there are horses in training too."
Lady Rothschild died in January at the age of 83. The highlight of her breeding and racing career were the Group 1 victories of Nathaniel in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes and the Eclipse Stakes.
The 14 lots to go through the ring fetched a total of 3,193,000 guineas.
Another 2 lots broke the 500,000gns barrier with Group 1 winning colt Sands Of Mali being bought out by The Cool Silk Partnership for 600,000gns. Consigned by Richard Fahey's Musley Bank Stables, Sands Of Mali was sold to dissolve the partnership of The Cool Silk Partnership and Phoenix Thoroughbreds.
"I am delighted, we will make stud plans for him now," said Peter Swann of The Cool Silk Partnership. "He does not owe us anything and he will go back to Richard's to relax for a week while we finalise things.
"We have had interest from a number of studs, so it won't be a problem. He has a pretty clear pedigree being by a son of Miswaki."
Mango Tango meanwhile, a daughter of Siyouni, was purchased for Yano Farm by JS Company for 535,000gns.
"We really like her and wanted to buy a mare from the Pivotal line," said Akinori Yano of Yano Farm, who has 25 broodmares at his farm. "We would like to send her to stallion Lord Kanaloa, the son of King Kamehameha. She will travel straight to Japan now."
Australasian purchasers were also active on Monday. Australian Bloodstock went to 75,000gns for Pivotal filly Loolwah from the draft of Shadwell Stud. Offered as lot 1356 the 3-year-old is the winner of 2 races and comes from the family of Grade 2 winner Innuendo.
Dean Hawthorne and Badgers Bloodstock paid 110,000gns for Galileo mare Pure Elegance. Covered by Starspangledbanner on 13 Mary, Pure Elegance is a placed daughter of Grade 1 winner Society Selection and was offered by John Troy as agent.
On Monday 215 of the 249 lots offered sold. The aggregate of 15,762,800gns was up 28% on the corresponding session last year when 215 lots sold for 12,310,200gns. The average was also up 28% from 57,257gns a year ago to 73,315gns. The median meanwhile rose 17% to 35,000gns from 30,000gns a year ago.