Arqana December Aided By Uni Dam


Uni winning the Breeders’ Cup Mile | Horsephotos


When Uni (GB) (More Than Ready) circled the field at Santa Anita Park on Nov. 2 to win the GI Breeders’ Cup Mile, she provided cause for celebration not only for her connections both present and prior in America and France, but for the principals of Arqana, who three days later would release the catalogue for the December Breeding Stock Sale with her dam, Unaided (GB) (Dansili {GB}), among the highlight lots of the sale for Uni’s breeder Haras d’Etreham. Unaided–who will go through the ring on Saturday, Dec. 7 as lot 161-has the added benefit of being a young (just 10) Grade I-producing mare whose dam is a half-sister to Rafha (GB) (Kris), the dam of Invincible Spirit (Ire) and Kodiac (GB). And to complete the package, Uni is in foal to hot young sire No Nay Never.

Arqana’s Executive Director Freddy Powell, who was on hand for the celebration at the Breeders’ Cup, said, “Unaided is a real nice package. She is in foal to No Nay Never, which has to have wonderful international appeal. She is 10 years old; Uni was her first foal. It was very exciting when I saw Uni coming from the back at the Breeders’ Cup; she was probably the only horse that came from the back all day. Her turn of foot was quite something.”

Unaided is, of course, just one standout in a sale that has become a must-attend for the shrewdest breeders not only across Europe, but in America, Australia and Japan as well. The Arqana December Breeding Stock sale runs from December 7 to 10 and will see 480 mares, 207 fillies, 335 foals and three stallions-before scratches-go through the ring. Unaided is joined in the Etreham draft by the likes of Wonder of Lips (Ger) (Champs Elysees {GB}) (lot 125), last year’s G1 Preis der Diana third who also enjoyed a significant update this fall when Waldgeist (GB) (Galileo {Ire}), under her second dam, won the G1 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe; Palmyre (Fr) (Dansili {GB}) (lot 177), twice listed-placed and a granddaughter of Peeping Fawn (Danehill); Just Gorgeous (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) (lot 189), a full-sister to Group 1 winners Magical (Ire) and Rhododendron (Ire) in foal to Almanzor (Fr); and Roystonia (Ire) (Redoute’s Choice {Aus}) (lot 23), out of a full-sister to Classic winner Roderic O’Connor (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) and also in foal toEtreham’s Almanzor. Roystonia’s dam, Waterlilly (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) (lot 197), is offered later on Saturday evening by Coulonces Sales in foal to Lope de Vega (Ire).

Last year’s €1.1-million sale topper, the G1 Prix Marcel Boussac winner Lily’s Candle (Fr) (Style Vendome {Fr}), wasn’t even in the catalogue until two weeks before the sale, and Arqana’s wildcard system means that high quality lots with recent form can be added up until the time of the sale. Just last week, another Group 1-producing mare, Watchful (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) (lot 170)-the dam of this year’s G1 Coronation S. winner Watch Me (Fr) (Olympic Glory {Ire}) and in foal to Golden Horn (GB)-was thrown into the ring (her colt foal by Elvstroem {Aus} was already catalogued as lot 22 with Haras de Saint-Julien). This will be the second time Watchful has been through this ring; she brought €22,000 four years ago when carrying Watch Me.

On the same day that Watchful was added to the catalogue, Koala (Fr) (Kodiac {GB}) (lot 130), a 2-year-old three-quarter sister to this year’s G1 2000 Guineas winner Magna Grecia (Ire) (Invincible Spirit {Ire}), joined the Nicolas Clement consignment for owner/breeder Bob Scarborough. A week earlier, this season’s multiple group-placed Kenlova (Fr) (Kendargent {Fr}) (lot 140), multiple listed winner Qualisaga (Fr) (Sageburg {Fr}) (lot 150) and the listed-placed Rosie’s Premiere (Ire) (Showcasing {GB}) (lot 200)-in foal to Churchill (Ire)–had been the first wildcards to be unveiled.

Those younger mares that have not yet been covered are exactly what are on the shopping lists of many visitors to Arqana.

“Something a lot of people are looking for in Deauville is something they can keep racing for a year and then cover them, and we have quite a lot of people from the U.S. doing that; that’s what Nicolas de Watrigant and Bradley Weisbord did with A Raving Beauty and she won two Grade Is,” Powell said. “When we put the catalogue together it’s really something we’re looking for, those 3-year-old fillies with form that can race on. We know we have a big market for them.

Powell said the competition for such fillies is so strong now that it is trickling down to the yearling market.

“Even at the yearling sales now more and more people are looking for some French blood,” he said. “The know-how of our French breeders and the way the horses are trained in France have real appeal. Our horses are quite tactical so they have a good turn of foot, which really suits American racing.”

While the wildcard system annually tosses in some surprise packages late in the game, another popular feature of the sale that can be counted on every year to produce the goods are the drafts from leading owner/breeders like Wertheimer et Frere and the Aga Khan Studs. Wertheimer et Frere sells its culls exclusively in Deauville each December, and this year has been a particularly good one on the racetrack for the progeny of mares sold by them at this sale, with group wins by half-sisters Big Brothers Pride (Fr) (Invincible Spirit {Ire}) and Polydream (Ire) (Oasis Dream {GB})-their dam Polygreen (Fr) (Green Tune) was sold for €200,000 in 2015; Platane (GB) (Le Havre {Ire}) (dam sold for €240,000); Hopeful (Fr) (Motivator {GB}) (dam sold for €25,000); and Ziyad (GB) (Rock of Gibraltar {Ire}) (dam sold for €36,000). The fact that four of those five carried the Wertheimer colours this season is evidence of how the brothers’ masterful program continues to work for buyers long after their mares have left the sales grounds.

Some of the highlights of this year’s 22-strong Wertheimer consignment include Legerete (Rahy) (lot 115), the dam of black-type winners Pilote (Ire) (Pivotal {GB}) and Esquisse (Ire) (Dansili {GB}) in foal to Mastercraftsman (Ire); Kylia (Mr. Greeley) (lot 131), a descendant of Allegretta and the dam of two stakes horses also in foal to Mastercraftsman; Bilissie (GB) (Dansili {GB}) (lot 164), a half-sister to G1 Prix Vermeille winner Left Hand (GB) (Dubawi {Ire}) in foal to Intello (Ger); and High Profile (GB) (lot 181), another daughter of Dansili and a half-sister to champion miler Solow (GB) (Singspiel {Ire}) who is offered as a 3-year-old maiden.

“The Wertheimers will often sell a mare that is still going to produce a Group 1 horse, and they also sell mares that have yearlings and 2-year-olds on the ground that are going to become very good,” Powell said. “That’s happened before. They’re very specific, very selective about their broodmare band, and what they don’t want anymore is still very, very good.”

Among the gems to be have been unearthed in past Aga Khan drafts at Arqana December include Siyouni’s sister Siyouma (Ire) (Medicean {GB}) and Alpine Rose (Fr) (Linamix {Fr}), who both won Group 1s the year after they were sold. Read more about this draft in Saturday’s TDN.

Also offering a reduction this year is the famed German nursery Gestut Fahrhof, co-breeder and owner of Waldgeist. Among the 22 fillies and mares under that banner are Solola (Ger) (Black Sam Bellamy {Ire}) (lot 91), a Group 3-producing half-sister to Grade/Group 1 winners Silvano (Ger) and Sabiango (Ger) in foal to Harry Angel (Ire); Hasay (GB) (Lomitas {GB}) (lot 166), a listed winner and the dam of Group 3 winner Hargeisa (Speightstown); the 3-year-old Panguna (Ger) (Australia {GB}) (lot 215), a half-sister to G1 Premio Roma winner Potemkin (Ger) (New Approach {Ire}); and Quipara (GB) (Soldier Hollow {GB}) (lot 218), a 3-year-old half-sister to four stakes winners including G1 Premio Presidente della Repubblica winner Querari (Ger) (Oasis Dream {GB}) and triple graded winner and Grade I-placed Quidura (Ger) (Dubawi {Ire}), the latter of which was bought by Peter Brant for $3.6-million at Fasig-Tipton two years ago.

“The Gestut Fahrhof reduction is a little bit of history because there are some very nice, strong families that have never been offered commercially,” said Powell. “It’s nearly completely new blood for the commercial market.”

The progeny of mares sold at Arqana have been enjoying consistent success at the top level in Japan and Australia-and closer to home in Europe, of course-and mares previously sold here by the de Moussac family’s Haras du Mezeray supplied two such horses this year: Fierement (Jpn) (Deep Impact {Jpn}), winner of the G1 Tenno Sho Spring, and the Coolmore partners’ Wichita (Ire) (No Nay Never), who took the G3 Tattersalls S. by seven lengths and was third in the G1 Dewhurst S. Mezeray supplies a typically strong group again in 2019 including Chanterelle (Fr) (Trempolino) (lot 146), the dam of top staying filly Enbihaar (Ire) (Redoute’s Choice {Aus}) in foal to Wootton Bassett (GB); Frankel Light (Ire) (Frankel {GB}) (lot 153), a 4-year-old stakes-placed descendant of Aviance in foal on her first cover to Dark Angel (Ire) (her dam is also in the sale as lot 212); and Miss Aiglonne (GB) (Dawn Approach {Ire}) (lot 173), a half-sister to five stakes horses including Group 1 winner Mekhtaal (Ire) (Sea The Stars {Ire}) in foal for the first time to Siyouni (Fr).

Other highlights include Joseph O’Brien’s G2 Kilboy Estate S. winner Red Tea (GB) (Sakhee) (lot 171); this year’s G3 Prix Texanita winner Ilanga (Fr) (Penny’s Picnic {Ire}) (lot 178); Italian Group 3 winners Binti Al Nar (Ger) (Areion {Ger}) (lot 40) and Nikisophia (Ire) (No Nay Never) (lot 93); the listed-winning Sully (Fr) (Siyouni {Fr}) (lot 7), in foal for the first time to Le Havre (Ire); the G3 Fred Darling S. second Jellicle Ball (Ire) (Invincible Spirit {Ire}) (lot 53) in foal to Siyouni (Fr); Group 1-producing mare Grey Anatomy (GB) (Slickly {Fr}) (lot 122) in foal to Zarak (Fr); and New Desire (Ire) (Dansili {GB}) (lot 186), a young mare from the family of champion Islington (Ire) carrying a member of the lone crop of Horse of the Year Roaring Lion.

New Faces Among Freshmen

The Tattersalls and Goffs foal sales provided insight into the reception of the sire crop with their first foals of 2019, and Arqana will see those reputations shaped further while also introducing a few new French sires into the fold. The Queen’s Recorder (Ire) (Galileo {Ire})-standing at Montfort et Preaux–had no foals at Tattersalls or Goffs and Al Shaqab’s Al Wukair (Ire) (Dream Ahead) had just one in Ireland, and they are the two leading first-season sires numerically at Arqana with 11 apiece catalogued.

Almanzor (Fr) (Wootton Bassett {GB}), meanwhile, is no stranger to the market, the Cartier champion 3-year-old’s foals having averaged 99,000gns at Tattersalls, selling for up to 160,000gns and 125,000gns. Almanzor has nine catalogued at Arqana. The G1 Investec Derby winner Wings Of Eagles (Fr) (Pour Moi {Ire}) has seven catalogued from his lone French-bred crop sired at Haras de Montaigu before relocating to Beeches Stud in Ireland, and Haras de Bonneval’s regally bred Group 1 winner Zarak (Fr) (Dubawi {Ire}) has six.

The other first-season sires with foals catalogued are Aclaim (Ire), Birchwood (Ire), Brametot (Fr), Caravaggio (Ire), Churchill (Ire), Ectot (GB), Highland Reel (Ire), Luck of the Kitten, National Defense (Ire), Profitable (Ire), Ribchester (Ire), The Grey Gatsby (Ire), Time Test (GB), Ultra (Ire), Ulysses (Ire) and Zelzal (Fr).

Some of the highlights on paper among the 335 foals catalogued include the aforementioned Elvstroem (Aus) half-brother to this year’s G1 Coronation S. winner Watch Me (lot 22); a Kodiac colt out of German stakes winner Abraxa (Ire) (Verglas {Ire}) (lot 28); a No Nay Never (Ire) filly who is the first foal of the listed-placed Bohemian Rhapsody (Spa) (Dyhim Diamond {Ire}) (lot 42); an Almanzor half-brother to the listed-winning and Group 3-placed Expressiy (Fr) (Siyouni {Fr}) (lot 68); a Fastnet Rock (Aus) grandson of champion, Classic winner and Group 1 producer Again (Ire) (Danehill Dancer {Ire}) (lot 69); a full-sister to multiple graded stakes winner and Grade I-placed Rymska (Fr) (Le Havre), who sold for $1.05-million at Keeneland last month (lot 74); a Kingman (GB) half-sister to the stakes-winning Ghislaine (Ger) (Soldier Hollow {GB}) (lot 82); a Sea The Stars (Ire) colt out of a half-sister to G1 Lockinge S. winner Keltos (Fr) (Kendor {Fr}) (lot 92); a Siyouni colt out of the Group 3-placed Moonlight In Paris (Fr) (Literato {Fr}) (lot 179); and a Pivotal (GB) half-sister to the G3 Prix d’Aumale winner Rocques (Fr) (Lawman {Fr}) (lot 219).

The sale will begin at 11 a.m. on Saturday, 10 a.m. on Sunday and 11 a.m. again for the final two sessions on Monday and Tuesday.

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