Arqana Autumn Closes With National Hunt Yearlings

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Arqana's main yard parade ring | Arqana

National Hunt yearlings were in the spotlight during the third and final session of the Arqana Autumn Sale on Wednesday, and colts by Doctor Dino (Fr) and Martaline (Fr) filled the top five spots on the leaderboard. Topping trade was lot 708, Haras de l'Hotellerie's half-brother to listed winner Joplin (Fr) (Soldier Hollow {GB}) on the flat and Thyme White (Fr) (Anodin) over jumps. He was bought by JH Bloodstock for €97,000.

Haras de Montaigu's Martaline colt out of the dual winner Best Exit (Fr) (King's Best) (lot 648) was picked up by BLM Bloodstock for €87,000, while another colt from Hotellerie (lot 743) by Martaline cost Saubouas Bloodstock €80,000.

The three-day Arqana Autumn sale saw horses-in-training-a mix of flat and National Hunt-as well as stores and National Hunt yearlings go under the hammer in Arqana's Deauville main yard parade ring. Tweaking of the sale format due to various COVID-19 protocols mean that year-on-year comparisons are difficult for the Autumn Sale, but nonetheless 482 horses were offered from 558 catalogued this week, with 333 (69%) finding new homes. The aggregate was €7,955,000, the average €23,889 and the median €14,000.

The two days of the sale reserved for National Hunt youngstock (2-year-old stores and yearlings) ended with a contraction in that market of around 30% from 2019 to 2020, with the aggregate from those sessions dropping from almost €7-million to €5-million. Arqana's Eric Hoyeau and Freddy Powell said in a statement, “The percentage of horses sold was a little more resilient in the yearling session than in the store section. Nevertheless, we can't ignore the contraction in demand for young National Hunt prospects, partly due to the health crisis currently affecting the world. New faces, notably Irish, have appeared among buyers, but this has not made up for the absence of major players in the market.”

Selling continues in Deauville on Thursday with the single-session National Hunt Breeding Stock Sale.

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