Ballylinch Sires Loom Large During Purple Patch

The session-topping Lope De Vega colt in the ring | Zuzanna Lupa


DEAUVILLE, France–It's beginning to feel as if it's John O'Connor's world and we're just living in it. After selling 27 yearlings for almost 6.5 million gns at Tattersalls last week, Ballylinch Stud, which he manages, was then represented by a Group 1 double at Ascot's Champions Day when first Bayside Boy (Ire) won the Queen Elizabeth II S., followed by the triumph of Bay Bridge (GB) in the Champion S. Both are sons of Ballylinch resident New Bay (GB), and Bayside Boy was bred and is co-owned by Ballylinch, while the stud bought into the James Wigan-bred Bay Bridge.

Though not on the list of consignors in Deauville this week, a strong Ballylinch feel continued at Arqana on Tuesday as Haras d'Etreham's colt by Lope De Vega (Ire) (lot 240) topped the second session and final day of Part I when finally secured at €210,000. He became the latest purchase by Stroud Coleman Bloodstock, who bid via telephone through Arqana's Freddy Powell after the partners' earlier departure. The first foal of German listed winner and Classic-placed Cherry Lady (Ger) is very closely related to his dam's fellow stakes-winning half-sister Celebrity (Ger), who is by Shamardal, while Cherry Lady is herself by Soldier Hollow (GB), whose role as a broodmare sire was enhanced this year by the two Group 1 wins of Helmut von Finck's Sammarco (Ire) (Camelot {GB}). The Lope De Vega colt was consigned for his breeder Haras Voltaire by Nicolas de Chambure's Haras d'Etreham, which has enjoyed a decent two days of trade, selling 21 yearlings for €1.9 million to be second on the list of vendors.

Twenty lots later, and acting through Amelie Lemercier, American owner John Ballantyne of NBS Stables went to €160,000 for a daughter of Ballylinch freshman Waldgeist (GB) out of the listed-placed Deauville Shower (Ire) (High Chapparal {Ire}). Consigned by Elevage de Tourgeville on behalf of breeders Thierry Storme and Thierry Lohest, the bay filly (lot 260) was the most expensive of the five yearlings by Waldgeist in the sale, who sold for an average of €83,400. Meanwhile, the sextet of Lope De Vega yearlings sold has brought an average price of €176,667.

With the two days of Part I of the October Sale now in the books, another €6,131,000 was added to the ledger on Tuesday, bringing a running total for the sale to €18,955,000 with three days left to run. Tuesday's clearance rate was 81%, with 82 of the 101 yearlings sold for an average of €74,768 and median of €62,000,

Overall, the average for Part I was €76,741 with a median of €60,000 and healthy rate of lots sold at 81%.


Zarak in Demand

Anthony Stroud was back on the phone to Freddy Powell when lot 299 entered the ring and bought the Zarak (Fr) filly for €180,000 from the Haras de Hoguenet consignment. The second foal of the G2 Prix de Malleret runner-up Fuse (Fr) (Teofilo {Ire}), she was bred by Guillaume de Saint-Seine, the co-owner of GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf runner-up Malavath (Ire) (Mehmas {Ire}), who will return to this year's Breeders' Cup meeting in a bid to go one better. The Wertheimer-bred Fuse hails from the family of G1 Poule d'Essai des Poulains winner Falco.

Late in the session, Mark McStay of Avenue Bloodstock was another to opt for a Zarak yearling (lot 325) when buying the half-brother to G3 Firth of Clyde S. winner Queen of Bermuda (GB) (Exceed And Excel {Aus}) for €160,000.

“There was a lot of Dubawi about him and Zarak is really making waves as an emerging young stallion. The mare has done it: she has bred two fast horses and she was fast herself. He'll be going to William Haggas.”

The colt was bred by Yeguada Centurion from the stakes-placed Haafhd (GB) mare Imperialistic Diva (GB) and consigned by Haras de l'Hotellerie. Though he was bought for a different unnamed client, McStay has done well with his purchases for Hong Kong-based owner Bon Ho, who owns the current favourite for the Melbourne Cup, the Guy Heald-bred Deauville Legend (Ire) (Sea The Stars {Ire}), who was bought by the agent at Arqana in September 2020.

Asked about the 3-year-old's travels to Melbourne, he replied, “Fingers and toes crossed. The horse travelled really well and James Ferguson is on his way out there right now. His team, led by Alison, have done a great job getting him there. There's a lot of pressure being favourite but it's a great position to be in. Mr Ho and his wife are flying out there and so am I. It's a great experience to be involved in. He's a fantastic horse who has already done us all proud so hopefully he can run well.”


French Trainers in Clover

Deauville-based trainer Stephane Wattel signed up the most expensive offspring in the sale of another first-season sire, Calyx (GB). Lot 237, out of the listed-winning Arch mare Cheriearch, is a half-brother to Al Shaqab's G3 Prix de Fontainebleau winner Welwal (Fr) (Shalaa {Ire}) and was bred in partnership by Ariane Gravereaux, OTI Racing and Oceanic Bloodstock, was bought from the Haras des Capucines draft for €170,000 and will race for a syndicate led by Peter Savill. The owner-breeder and former BHB chairman has put together a group of friends from Britain, Ireland, France and Australia with the intention of racing four juveniles in France next season.

Jean-Claude Rouget and Michel Zerolo continued their support for the stock of Wootton Bassett (GB) when signing for lot 289 at €170,000 from La Motteraye Consignment. From the further family of Superstar Leo (Ire) and One Master (GB), the daughter of juvenile winner Fille Du Septembre (Ire) (Choisir {Aus}) was bred in partnership by Gwen Monneraye and Lucie Lamotte with Gerard Ferron.

Wootton Bassett has had a strong representation at Arqana so far this week, and 21 members of his final French-conceived crop have proved popular, selling for an average of €134,619.

Christophe Ferland will take charge of lot 272, a Night Of Thunder (Ire) granddaughter of G3 Prix des Reservoirs winner Emily Bronte (GB) (Machiavellian), who was bought by Arthur Hoyeau for €160,000. Bred by Ecurie de Cachene and consigned on their behalf by Edwige Le Metayer's Haras du Buff, the filly is the first foal of Dubai Opera (GB) (Invincible Spirit {Ire}), a sister to Group 3 winner Lockwood (GB).


At Monceaux, Sharing is Caring

Victor Kiam famously said of Remington shavers, 'I liked it so much I bought the company' and through Peter Brant is unlikely to be able to secure Siyouni (Fr) himself from the Aga Khan, he has invested plenty in his stock over recent seasons and struck for another of his yearlings on Tuesday. The filly (lot 239), bought for €170,000 in the name of White Birch Farm, is out of the unraced Cherriya (Fr), a Montjeu (Ire) half-sister to the treble Group 1 winner Cherry Mix (Fr) (Linamix {Fr}).

She was consigned by Ecurie des Monceaux, the sale's leading vendor who on Monday had sold a Wootton Bassett filly bred by various members of the Monceaux staff for €210,000. Eleven individuals were involved in the breeding syndicate, including former yearling manager Antoine Bellanger–who now runs his own Arcadia Elevage consignment–his successor Jordan Tancrede, Charlotte Andre, and broodmare manager Bruno Dieuaide.

Tancrede, whose job it is to oversee the prep of the Monceaux yearlings, explained, “Henri Bozo bought the mare Avocate for the staff and asked me if I wanted to be involved. We had a Siyouni colt from the first year and sold him in the August Sale for €80,000. But then this was a big surprise, the price the Wootton Bassett filly made. She was a very nice filly but we thought she might make something like €110,000, not €210,000.”

The daughter of the Lawman (Fr) mare Avocate (Fr), from the family of Group 1 winners Ectot (Ire) and Most Improved (Ire), will race in America for Klaravich Stables.

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