Arqana Top Lot Make Me King to Wathnan Racing 

The striking Make Me King in the ring | Zuzanna Lupa

Arqana's Autumn Sale, which began on Saturday with a session of Flat yearlings, resumed with a lively session of horses in training, headed by Make Me King (Fr) (Dark Angel {Ire}) at €380,000, one of two six-figure purchases on the day by Wathnan Racing.

Sold as lot 420 by the Channel Consignment, the three-year-old has been in training with Andre Fabre and has won in both his seasons to date, as well as finishing runner-up in last year's G3 Prix Thomas Bryon. Out of the Listed-winning juvenile Miss Infinity (Ire) (Rock Of Gibraltar {Ire}), Make Me King was bred by Haras Voltaire and is from the family of the G1 Prix Morny winner The Wow Signal (Ire) (Starspangledbanner {Aus}). Blandford Bloodstock agent Stuart Boman signed for the gelding on behalf of his colleague Richard Brown, in turn buying for Wathnan Racing. 

Boman signed for six horses on the day, four of which are heading to Australia for a variety of trainers, including Annabel Neasham and Charlotte Littlefield. The other member of the sextet, the Aga Khan's treble winner and Listed-placed Beshtani (Fr) (Siyouni {Fr}), who was sold from the stable of Francis Graffard for €340,000, is also for Wathnan Racing.

Speaking on the phone from the Goffs sale in Ireland, Richard Brown said of Make Me King and Beshtani, “They will both go to Qatar. They are progressive-looking horses and I wouldn't rule them out of coming back here at some stage. That would be a decision of Olly Tait and the Wathnan team. They did it successfully with Bolthole last year, but for now these two horses will race during the Qatar season.”

A clearance rate of 83% appeared to be a decent enough statistic but this was actually markedly down from this session last year when 94% of the horses were sold. On Monday, 169 horses found new homes, with the figures up in all other sectors. Turnover was €7,003,500 (9%), the average was €41,441 (+4.5%) and the median was €18,000, which rose from €15,000.

The Willie Mullins buying team regularly peruses the French market and it will be to Closutton that the the Wertheimer-bred Zoffany (Ire) colt Zillow (GB) now heads after winning two of his five starts. The three-year-old (Lot 401) was bought by Pierre Boulard on behalf of Ireland's champion jumps trainer at €300,000.

“He is lightly raced and particularly appreciates soft ground,” said Boulard. “He seems quite versatile, and will run over jumps and then come back to the Flat.

“We loved the horse: he's well bred and has an exceptional physique. He was recommended to us by his trainer Christophe Ferland, with whom we have had great luck in the past.”

The buying team of Boulard, Mullins and Harold Kirk topped the table after the horses-in-training section, having signed for six horses for a total of €1,070,000.

One horse who escaped the Mullins clutches, despite having the stable's star juvenile hurdler Lossiemouth (Fr) (Great Pretender {Ire}) in his pedigree, was Shamrock Glitter (Fr) (Shalaa {Ire}). John Hammond placed the final bid of €250,000 for the two-year-old colt from Nicolas Clement's stable who has run just twice, most recently winning over 1,600 metres at Chantilly after finishing placed on debut. 

Hammond later confirmed to TDN that Shamrock Glitter, a half-brother to the globetrotting Group 1 winner Lord Glitters (Fr) (Whipper), has been bought for Barry Irwin of Team Valor and is likely to remain in training in France.

The Autumn Sale continues over the next two days with two-year-old stores and National Hunt yearlings to follow. 


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