Mayfair Offerings Lead Arqana February


Jake Warren signs for Lbretha | APRH

Buyers during the second session of the Arqana February Sale on Wednesday capitalized on the opportunity to scoop up offerings from Mayfair Speculators, with three of the top four lots formerly representing that stable.

The Tattersalls February sale two weeks ago enjoyed a boost from the sale of a handful of lots formerly owned in partnership by Mayfair Speculators. That was again the case in Deauville on Wednesday, the offerings raced by Markus Jooste’s stable alone or in partnership including the €300,000 colt Learning To Fly (Ire) (Oasis Dream {GB}) and the €200,000 filly Lorgnette (Ire) (Galileo {Ire})

The February Sale was this year staged over two days compared to one last year, and figures held steady with 89 more horses offered. The clearance rate for 279 sold was 79.3%, and the aggregate €2,794,300. The average dipped slightly (3%) to €10,015, while the median was down 20% at €4,000.

China Horse Club signed for Learning To Fly (lot 245) for €300,000 at Arqana’s August yearling sale in 2016, and subsequently put him into training with Andre Fabre in partnership with Mayfair Speculators. The bay broke his maiden by two lengths in his lone outing at Lyon-La-Soie on Oct. 25, and that proved sufficient to hold his value on Wednesday. Anthony Stroud was the winning bidder this time, but a client was not disclosed.

Learning To Fly is a half-brother to the stakes-placed Astronomy’s Choice (Fr) (Redoute’s Choice {Aus}), and his dam is a half-sister to the stakes winners Pacifique (Ire) (Montjeu {Ire}) and Prudenzia (Ire) (Dansili {GB}), the latter the dam of G1 Irish Oaks winner Chicquita (Ire) (Montjeu {Ire}).

Anthony Stroud was also the name on the ticket when Lorgnette (lot 353) sold for €1-million at the Arqana August yearling sale in 2014, and she would go on to race just twice unsuccessfully for Markus Jooste and Bernard Kantor. The daughter of the Group 3-placed Dance Secretary (Ire) (Danehill Dancer {Ire}), a half-sister to the champion miler Perfect Soul (Ire) (Sadler’s Wells), will now join the first book of new Haras des Granges stallion Johnny Barnes (Ire) (Acclamation {GB}) after being snapped up by Jake Warren for €200,000 in foal to Le Havre (Ire).

Johnny Barnes was one of the first horses to race for Bermuda Thoroughbred Racing, and his four wins for trainer John Gosden included victory in the G3 Prix Quincey Barriere in 2015. Johnny Barnes was recently retired to Haras des Granges in the Southwest of France and Warren explained, “She is for the owners of Johnny Barnes, who are keen to support their stallion. They have been looking for quality mares and she fitted the bill perfectly.”

The 5-year-old maiden mare Lbretha (Fr) (Exceed and Excel {Aus}) (Lot 287) was a listed winner racing in the Al Shaqab silks, and the daughter of the Dynaformer mare Actrice Francaise, formerly a €190,000 Arqana breeze-up buy, was picked up by Bertrand Le Metayer on behalf of new breeder Samuel de Barros for €260,000.

“She is for Samuel de Barros, who is starting out as a Thoroughbred breeder,” said Le Metayer. “This will be his second broodmare. I liked the fact that she has strains of Machiavellian and will be very easy to mate with Galileo and his sons.”

De Barros, whose wife Elodie is a significant breeder of trotters, bought a nomination to Siyouni on Arqana Online in December.

Another Mayfair Speculators connected offering, the twice-raced €250,000 yearling Emotion (Fr) (Exceed and Excel {Aus}) (Lot 336), found favour when secured by Charlie Gordon-Watson’s assistant Will Douglass for €75,000. Emotion is a half-sister to two stakes horses and a granddaughter of the Group 2 winner and multiple stakes producer Spectacular Joke (Spectacular Bid).

The most expensive yearling sold on the day was a colt by the in-form Dabirsim (Fr) (Lot 259) picked up by the Fairway Partners for €30,000.

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