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Fares Offers Carefully Cultivated Families


Zghorta Dance winning the Prix Vanteaux | Scoop Dyga

By Kelsey Riley

DEAUVILLE, France-Lebanese politician and businessman Issam Fares has gained recognition in the Thoroughbred business globally, most notably as the breeder of American Horse of the Year, Breeders’ Cup Classic and Dubai World Cup winner Curlin (Smart Strike). He has also, however, developed high-class families at his Haras de Manneville in France, and he will offer four mares for sale at Arqana on Saturday as part of a dispersal that will continue at Arqana’s February sale.

The 81-year-old Fares, who has been involved in the civil engineering and construction businesses and has owned racehorses for almost 40 years, conducted an 80-horse American dispersal at Keeneland November in 2013 but retains to this day his Fares Farm in Lexington, the birthplace of Curlin.

Haras de Manneville was Fares’s first farm, purchased in 1982, and all four of the mares he sells on Saturday were born there: Wedge Trust (Ire) (Zamindar), a listed-winning and Group 3-placed 8-year-old who is offered carrying her fourth foal, by Gleneagles (Ire) (Lot 100); half-sisters Roman Ridge (Fr) (Holy Roman Emperor {Ire}) (Lot 110) in foal to Wootton Bassett (Fr) and Baino Hope (Fr) (Jeremy) (Lot 190) in foal to Kingman (GB); and the Group 3 winner and Group 1-placed Zghorta Dance (Fr) (Le Havre {Ire}), in foal with her first foal to Muhaarar (GB) (Lot 140). Zghorta Dance descends from one of Fares’s best racehorses; her third dam is the GI Breeders’ Cup Turf winner Miss Alleged.

“These are four young, top mares,” said Manneville Farm Manager Adrien Rambaud. “We have Zghorta Dance, who was the last top mare on the racetrack for Issam Fares. She won the Prix Vanteaux and ran in the Prix de Diane, and she was second in a Group 1 in Italy, so she’s a top mare.”

Baino Hope and Roman Ridge both descend from another of Fares’s foundation mares, the three-time stakes producer Baino Bluff (Be My Guest).

“This is a historic family of Manneville,” Rambaud said. “We have about five mares from this top family and she gave us really top representatives on the racetrack.

“We also have Wedge Trust, who comes from a top Niarchos family,” he added. “The dam is by Storm Cat and she is by Zamindar, and in foal to Gleneagles. She was a really nice filly and the winner of a listed race in foal with her first foal.”

In addition to Curlin and Miss Alleged, Fares is also the breeder of two-time GI Breeders’ Cup Mile winner Da Hoss, and raced Group 1 winner and sire Highest Honor (Fr). He has had success both buying and selling at Arqana, so Rambaud said it was a natural fit to place the dispersal in Deauville.

“We’ve had a lot of success with Arqana,” he said. “We’re in France, so we think it’s good to work with the French company for selling our horses. Historically, Mr. Fares has always had a lot of success with Arqana. He has bought a lot of horses through Arqana and he has sold yearlings every year through Arqana. He knows Arqana very well and has had a lot of success with them.”

The Fares dispersal will continue at Arqana February with 14 short yearlings by the likes of Anodin, Charm Spirit (Ire), Dabirsim (Fr), as well as fillies out of training.

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