Frankel Daughter Lights Up Arqana


Frankel Light | Zuzanna Lupa

By Kelsey Riley

DEAUVILLE, France-As a dual champion son of Dubawi (Ire), Too Darn Hot (GB) will get every chance to succeed at stud, and his odds were further cut on Saturday with the addition of the high-class Frankel Light (Ire) (Frankel {GB}) (lot 153) to his book after she was bought by his breeder, Watership Down Stud, for €1.3-million at Arqana carrying her first foal by Dark Angel (Ire). Charlie Gordon-Watson conducted the bidding standing alongside Watership Down manager Simon Marsh, after which Marsh revealed that Andrew and Madeleine Lloyd-Webber’s nursery will send about a dozen mares to its triple Group 1 winner.

“She’s a great addition to our broodmare band and we’re delighted to have her,” Marsh said of the mare consigned by Haras du Mezeray. “She was our pick of the sale.”

Frankel Light was one of two millionaires during the opening session of the four-day Arqana December Breeding Stock Sale. While the average dipped 6.3% to €141,086, the median and clearance rate were both up, to €75,000 (+3.4%) and 82.3%, respectively. The clearance rate for this session last year was 78%. A total of 163 horses were traded for €22,997,000, down 0.5% from last year’s Saturday session, when 152 horses were sold.

Frankel Light was taken home from the Tattersalls October yearling sale by breeder Rashit Shaykhutdinov after passing in at 360,000gns, and the decision to retain her looked especially wise after she won last year’s Listed Prix la Sorellina over a mile for trainer Francis Graffard.

Frankel Light is out of the German listed winner Mambo Light (Kingmambo) and is a half-sister to Le Juge (Ire) (Dansili {GB}), winner of the G3 Chairman’s H. in Australia. The third dam, Aviance, is responsible for the G1 Coronation S. winner and multiple Group 1 producer Chimes of Freedom, so this is the same Best In Show family as an Almanzor (Fr) filly foal that sold for €220,000 earlier in the session.

Frankel Light’s 13-year-old dam Mambo Light (lot 212), in foal to Sea The Stars (Ire), was initially a €840,000 buyback late in the session, but was later sold privately to BBA Ireland for €725,000.

Adrian Nicoll was underbidder on Frankel Light for Bob Scarborough, whose Koala (Fr) (Kodiac {GB}) (lot 130), a three-quarter sister to this year’s G1 2000 Guineas winner Magna Grecia, sold for €105,000 earlier in the session to MAB Agency.

No Help Needed

Not long after the excitement of Frankel Light had died down, the tempo jumped up again in the Arqana ring as Haras d’Etreham’s Unaided (GB) (Dansili {GB}) (lot 161) strolled in. The 10-year-old’s first foal, Uni (GB) (More Than Ready), had won the GI Breeders’ Cup Mile just days before the catalogue was released, and prospective buyers wouldn’t have failed to notice, either, that the bay is in foal to No Nay Never. Unaided could join her illustrious daughter in the U.S. after being bought by Michel Zerolo’s Oceanic Bloodstock on behalf of Peter Brant for €1.25-million, but Zerolo stressed that this is a mare that could fit many jurisdictions.

“She could go back to More Than Ready; nothing is decided,” he said. “There are a number of options. She’ll go to Haras des Capucines for the moment, then we’ll decide where she goes.”

Unaided is out of the Generous (Ire) mare Wosaita (GB) and is free of Sadler’s Wells.

“She has a rare pedigree; she could go to a number of stallions,” Zerolo said. “She’s the dam of a champion in the U.S. who is trained by Chad Brown, so Peter sees [Uni] every day; he’s at the barn every day.”

Unaided was a 65,000gns Tattersalls October yearling purchase in 2010, and while Unaided has always been a half-sister to Rafha (GB) (Kris {GB}), the dam of Invincible Spirit (Ire) and Kodiac, her dam’s half-sister Whazzat (GB) (Daylami) provided a pedigree updates in 2017 and 2018 when her son James Garfield (Ire) (Exceed and Excel {Aus}) won the G2 Mill Reef S. and G3 Greenham S. Etreham, meanwhile, had bought Unaided at Keeneland November through Meridian International for $230,000 in 2013.

This is also the family of Group 1 winners Chinese White (Ire) (Dalakhani {Ire}) and Pride of Dubai (Aus) (Street Cry {Ire}).

Eliade Headed Stateside

Another high quality filly joins the ranks of Peter Brant’s White Birch Farm-this time the racing arm-with Zerolo earlier in the session prevailing for Eliade (Fr) (Teofilo {Ire}) (lot 101), also from the Etreham consignment, at €520,000. The 3-year-old Eliad joins the Chad Brown barn, like Brant’s multiple Grade I winner and former French purchase Sistercharlie (Ire) (Myboycharlie {Ire}).

Eliade broke her maiden at second asking on Feb. 15 before finishing runner-up in a high-class conditions race and at listed level. Fourth in the G3 Prix de Royaumont on June 2, Eliade was second in the Listed Grand Prix de Clairefontaine in August and boosted her value considerably with a black-type win in Toulouse’s Listed Prix Panacee over a mile and a half on Oct. 7.

Eliade hails from a prolific family farmed by another American-based but internationally active owner, George Strawbridge. Her second dam is Strawbridge’s G3 Prix de Flore winner In Clover, the dam of Group 1 winners With You (GB) (Dansili {GB}), Call The Wind (GB) (Frankel {GB}) and We Are (GB) (Dansili {GB}).

It was a remarkable day for Haras d’Etreham, which sold three of the top four lots. That trio was rounded out late in the session by Just Gorgeous (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) (lot 189), who was bought by Mags O’Toole standing alongside Paul Shanahan for €520,000. Just Gorgeous raced for the Coolmore partners, winning a Cork maiden in six starts, and she has an ever-improving page, being a full-sister to Group 1 winners Magical (Ire) and Rhododendron (Ire), as well as Group 3 winner Flying The Flag (Ire). They are out of the triple Group 1 winner Halfway To Heaven (Ire) (Pivotal {GB}), who is herself out of the celebrated producer Cassandra Go (Ire) (Indian Ridge {Ire}) and from the family of dual Grade I winner Photo Call (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}), who was bought by Katsumi Yoshida for $2.7-million at Fasig-Tipton last month.

Just Gorgeous was sold in foal to Almanzor. She was the most expensive of three mares that sold for €300,000-plus on the day carrying members of the Cartier champion’s second crop.

Plummer Enters Breeding Game

Octogenarian friends Ann Plummer and Tony Weschler enjoyed a dream 2019 on the racetrack courtesy of their G1 Irish 2000 Guineas winner Phoenix of Spain (Ire) (Lope de Vega {Ire}). The pair race a handful of horses together, and on Saturday at Arqana Plummer took a step into the breeding game with the purchase of the G3 Fred Darling S.-second Jellicle Ball (Ire) (Invincible Spirit {Ire}) (lot 53) for €510,000 through Geoffrey Howson and Matt Houldsworth. Sold by Haras de Saint Pair, the 7-year-old Jellicle Ball is in foal to Siyouni (Fr) and has a filly foal by Frankel (GB) and a yearling colt by Dark Angel (Ire) that could as-yet boost her stock.

Plummer confirmed that Jellicle Ball was purchased to support Phoenix of Spain in his first year at stud at the Irish National Stud.

“I liked the pedigree; I liked everything about her,” Plummer said. “She has a pretty head and should work well with Phoenix of Spain. Having a Frankel and a Dark Angel coming up and a Siyouni covering are exciting as well.”

Jellicle Ball is a half-sister to the G3 Ballysax S. winner Puncher Clynch (Ire) (Azamour {Ire}) and to the dam of dual Italian stakes winner Isole Canarie (Ire).

Fancy Mare For GSA

Dean Hawthorne traveled from New Zealand to Deauville with the specific goal of accumulating daughters of Galileo (Ire), and he accomplished that goal on Saturday evening when prevailing for Fairway Consignment’s Fleeting Fancy (Ire) (lot 139) at €480,000. The 4-year-old is out of the Group 3-winning and multiple Classic-placed Just Pretending (Giant’s Causeway) and is a full-sister to two stakes-placed winners. She herself was placed twice at three and was sold in foal on a Feb. 18 cover to No Nay Never.

“We love Galileo mares; we’ve been accumulating them for a while,” said Hawthorne. The agent was acting on behalf of GSA Bloodstock, which keeps between 80 and 100 mares in Australia. “I bought a couple here last year as well. She had a lovely covering–a nice early colt by No Nay Never. It’s a beautiful and very current family with a lot going on. She’s a beautiful mare; I thought she was the pick of the Galileos on the sales ground, with a lovely shoulder and length which we like Down Under. She’ll eventually head down there; she’ll be down there by September.”

Hawthorne added, “We’ve accumulated 10 to 12 Northern Hemisphere-bred mares, mainly Galileos and they’ve all been covered by top sires Down Under. Galileo, like everywhere else in the world, has been a top broodmare sire down there. You can put anything to him and win big carnival races. We love him down there.”

Clement’s Must-Have Filly

Peter Brant’s purchases aren’t the only mares headed to the U.S. following Saturday’s opening session of the Arqana December Breeding Stock Sale. Also looking to follow the blueprint laid by the likes of Sistercharlie and A Raving Beauty (Ger) (Mastercraftsman {Ire}) will be Madeleine Must (Fr) (Motivator {GB}) (lot 185), who will race on in the States with trainer Christophe Clement after the French ex pat signed for the 3-year-old at €470,000 on behalf of a group of owners.

“She’s been bought for a partnership and she’ll come to Florida [for the winter] and race in New York next year,” Clement said.

Madeleine Must was, remarkably, a €1,500 buyback by breeder Guy Heald at this sale three years ago as a foal. Put into training by Heald with Henri-Alex Pantall, Madeleine Must broke her maiden at fourth asking going seven furlongs in May. She swiftly ascended the latter from there, picking up black-type when second in ParisLongchamp’s one-mile Listed Prix Volterra a month later. She picked up a win at that level, course and distance in the Sept. 5 Listed Prix de la Cochere, and was a staying on sixth after being unsettled at the start in Newmarket’s G1 Sun Chariot S. on Oct. 5.

“She has very good racing form and at the end of the day you’re buying racehorses in order to compete and the form was right,” Clement said. “She has raced against very good fillies and has very good form, so I’m just lucky to train for nice people who can afford those kinds of horses.”

Despite what she does from here on out, Clement acknowledged that Madeleine Must has a high residual value.

“She’s already a stakes winner, and they can’t take that away from her,” he said.

American interest was also registered from Dave Reid’s Preferred Equine, which stuck around until late in the session to scoop up Queen Iseult (Fr) (Camelot {GB}) (lot 211) for €490,000. The 4-year-old, who is carrying her first foal by U S Navy Flag, is a half-sister to young French sire Dabirsim (Fr) and from the family of this year’s G2 Coventry S. winner and dual Group 1-placed juvenile Arizona (Ire) (No Nay Never). Arizona’s 3-year-old full-sister Nay Lady Nay (Ire) has provided an update since the catalogue was printed, having won the G2 Mrs Revere S. at Churchill Downs just a week ago. Reid raced the G2 Norfolk S. winner and top young sire No Nay Never.

Diamond Adds Another Gem

Imad Al Sagar has been staunch in his support of his three-time Group 1 winner Decorated Knight (GB) since the horse retired to the Irish National Stud two years ago. The Blue Diamond Stud owner bred a colt by the sire, in partnership with Saleh Al Homaizi, who fetched 190,000gns at the recent Tattersalls December Foal Sale, and on Saturday he picked up a mare for Decorated Knight’s third book, spending €300,000 on Monceaux’s Star Of Bristol (Speightstown) (lot 137).

“She will be going to Decorated Knight, my stallion,” Al Sagar said. “I believe in my stallion very much; I have high expectations. I want to support him to the best of my ability to make him a successful stallion. Any successful stallion needs good mares. I want to give him every chance possible.”

Al Sagar said he has seen a common theme in Decorated Knight’s first foals.

“His first foals are gorgeous and he has put his stamp on them,” he said. “They fetched at Tattersalls up to 190,000gns, which is very good. We’re very optimistic about him.”

Japanese Presence Strong

As ever at this sale, Japanese interests formed a strong presence, and a trio of high-profile mares are headed to the Land of the Rising Sun. Teruya Yoshida’s Shadai Farm swooped at €380,000 for wildcard Qualisaga (Fr) (Sageburg {Ire}) (lot 150). Trained by Carina Fey for Torsten Raber, the 5-year-old Qualisaga won a pair of listed races going a mile in Paris on Oct. 20 and Nov. 5. Her unraced dam Qualita (Ger) (Konigstiger {Ger}) is a half-sister to Group 1 winner Querari (Ger) and Quidura (Ger), the latter of which won a pair of graded stakes in the U.S. for Gestut Fahrhof before being bought by Peter Brant for $3.6-million at Fasig-Tipton November in 2017.

Teruya Yoshida’s brother Haruya Yoshida laid out €350,000 to ensure he would take home another German-connected filly, the 4-year-old G1 German Oaks third Wonder of Lips (Ger) (Champs Elysees {GB}) (lot 125). Japan’s Lake Villa Farm, in conjunction with Narvick International, was the name on the ticket for La Motteraye’s Joplin (Ger) (Soldier Hollow {GB}) (lot 133), a listed winner in July and fourth in the G1 Prix Rothschild.

Foal Power For Montaigu

Haras de Montaigu enjoyed a good day with its foals, selling two of the three top-priced foals-a colt by Sea The Stars (Ire) (lot 92) midway through the session for €290,000, and a filly by Pivotal (GB) (lot 219) near the end of the evening.

The colt is the first foal out of Innevera (Fr) (Motivator {GB}), a winning sister to G1 Lockinge S. winner Keltos (Fr) (Kendor {Fr}) and four other stakes winners, while three other siblings have produced stakes horses including Spirit of Brittany (Fr) (Invincible Spirit {Ire}), a ‘TDN Rising Star’, three-time winner and Group 3 third. Anthony Stroud signed for the colt under the name Hennessy Bloodstock.

An emotional Sybille Gibson said, “The owner was underbidder so we were a bit worried, but we’re delighted now. We just love this colt, he was amazing and such a great mover. He has an amazing pedigree and is by the right stallion. We’ve consigned him for a very faithful client who has been with us for ages.”

Paul Nataf signed for the Pivotal filly. She is a half-sister to Rocques (Fr) (Lawman {Fr}), the winner of last year’s G3 Prix d’Aumale.

Berglar Bringing Family Home

The first foals by Cartier champion 3-year-old Almanzor (Fr) have drawn plenty of aclaim at this autumn’s Breeding Stock Sales, and taking top billing for the Haras d’Etreham sire on Saturday was lot 77, Etreham’s filly out of Fresh Air (Ire) (Montjeu {Ire}), the top-priced filly foal of the session. The January foaled bay was bought by Ronald Rauscher on behalf of leading German owner/breeding Christophe Berglar for €260,000.

“She’s a lovely filly and she’s been bought for one of the leading owner/breeders in Germany,” Rauscher said. “She’s not a pinhook as farm as I’m concerned; she’ll go into training in Germany and hopefully she’ll be a very good addition to the broodmare band.”

Berglar is best known as the breeder of G1 Melbourne Cup winner Protectionist (Ger) (Monsun {Ger}) and G1 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth S. victor Novellist (Ger) (Monsun {Ger}). The Almanzor filly’s fourth dam is the illustrious producer Best In Show (Traffic Judge), who spent much of her breeding career at Stonereath Stud in Kentucky and is buried on the farm. Stonereath was purchased by the Berglar family in 2011 and is currently managed by Berglar’s son Peter, who was present at Arqana.

“The nice thing is that she’s from a very, very good family,” Rauscher said. “The son’s owner, Peter Berglar, is here, and he manages the family’s Stonereath Farm in Kentucky, and that’s where this family originates from. It’s sort of a coming home in a way.”

The various branches of the Best In Show family tree include the likes of sire brothers El Gran Senor and Try My Best; Grade I winner and producer Chimes of Freedom; GI Kentucky Oaks winner and multiple Classic producer Blush With Pride; and current standout Japanese filly Almond Eye (Jpn). This particular branch of the family includes Juddmonte stars Close Hatches (First Defence) and Siskin (First Defence). The Almanzor filly is the second foal out of Fresh Air, who was bought by Haras d’Etreham for $650,000 at Keeneland November in 2017 in foal to War Front.

A mare in foal to the second crop of Almanzor was an early highlight of the sale, Roystonia (Ire) (Redoute’s Choice {Aus}) (lot 23) selling to Eamonn Reilly of BBA Ireland for €360,000 on behalf of an undisclosed Irish-based client. The listed-placed Roystonia was sold by Haras d’Etreham, having been purchased for 165,000gns at Tattersalls last December. She is from a glittering family, her unraced dam Waterlilly (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) being a full-sister to G1 Irish 2000 Guineas and G1 Criterium International winner Roderic O’Connor (Ire).

Reilly later in the session went to €400,000 for another well-related in-foal mare, La Motteraye’s Broderie Anglaise (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) (lot 210), a sister to seven stakes horses including G3 Kilternan S. winner Hearthstead Maison (Ire) (Peintre Celebre). The 4-year-old was sold carrying her first foal by No Nay Never.

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