Bozo: “It's Going To Be A Year Of Opportunity”

Henri Bozo | Zuzanna Lupa


As the leading consignor at the Arqana August Yearling Sale for eight years running, the team at Ecurie des Monceaux knows a thing or two about the importance of drawing a diverse, international assortment of buyers for the blueblooded yearlings on display. Not only did Monceaux breed and sell the top three lots at the 2019 edition of Arqana's flagship sale; it also offered the sale's only two seven-figure yearlings, which went through the ring back-to-back and sold to Godolphin (a €1.625-million Dubawi {Ire} filly now named Philomene {Ire} who makes her first start for Andre Fabre at ParisLongchamp on Thursday) and Japanese trainer Mitsu Nakauchida (a €1.5-million Galileo {Ire} colt now named Hinoshita Kaizan {Fr}).

As August came and went without an Arqana yearling sale, it was already very clear that this was a year unlike any other. The sale, rebranded as the Deauville Select Sale, will take place at the company's seaside headquarters on Sept. 9 to 11 with a typically star-studded catalogue, but without the usual panache that comes along when racing and bloodstock afficionados descend upon Deauville each summer–the coronavirus pandemic, social distancing and travel bans have put paid to that.

But despite the fact that this year will include fewer celebratory handshakes, dinners at Le Drakkar, trips to Trouville or late night mojitos at Brok, and that most of those on the grounds will be coming from near rather than far, Monceaux's Henri Bozo said he thinks buyers have greater reason than ever to shop this year's catalogue. Even putting his own 40-horse draft aside, Bozo described the catalogue as “really strong.”

“There are some amazing pedigrees, some foundation pedigrees in there,” he said. “People may not be thinking of buying something this year or may not be thinking about Europe, but it's definitely going to be a year with a lot of opportunities.”

“This year is of course a bit different and not as many people as usual will be able to be on site in Deauville or anywhere,” Bozo added. “We are all expecting a more difficult market and I think the reaction of the breeders is that the industry has to keep the machine going and keep things rolling. I think it's going to be a year of opportunity for racehorse owners and also for breeders who could take this opportunity to invest in some proper pedigrees. I'm thinking of the American breeders who are getting back more into the turf pedigrees because of the rise of turf racing in America at the moment. I think it's definitely an opportunity for breeders to invest in some proper turf pedigrees in Europe, and in Deauville in particular where we have some fillies that could become foundation mares in the future.”

If there is a breeder who knows a thing or two about such fillies it is Bozo. The Monceaux-bred Sistercharlie (Ire) (Myboycharlie {Ire}) was scooped up for just €12,000 at Arqana's October yearling sale in 2015 before later being sold privately to Peter Brant and going on to win seven Grade Is and an Eclipse Award in America.

“The French pedigrees have done really well in America for the past 20 years and the American trainers like buying from France, so I think there is no reason why they shouldn't take the opportunity this year to invest in Europe and in France,” Bozo said.

Next week buyers will have the chance to tussle over a Dubawi half-sister to Sistercharlie, although they will have to pay much more than €12,000 for her. Sistercharlie is the first foal out of her dam Starlet's Sister (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) and the page has been greatly enhanced not only by the great mare herself but by G1 Prix du Jockey Club and G1 Prix Ganay scorer Sottsass (Fr) (Siyouni {Fr}) and My Sister Nat (Fr), a Group 3 winner in both France and the U.S. Starlet's Sister's Fastnet Rock (Aus) colt fetched €700,000 in Deauville last summer and is now named Parliament (GB).

“We have a sister to Sottsass and Sistercharlie by Dubawi (lot 251) and she's a superb individual with of course an amazing page,” Bozo said. “That's a rare page to have and she'll be considered by any breeding operation as a foundation mare in the future. She's a great mover with a lot of quality.”

The Monceaux consignment-all of which, as per usual, are homebreds-includes 10 yearlings by Siyouni, seven of which are fillies including a half-sister to G1 Prix Maurice de Gheest winner Polydream (Ire) (Oasis Dream {GB}) and G3 Prix Sigy winner Big Brothers Pride (Fr) (Invincible Spirit {Ire}) (lot 194) and a half-sister to G1 Prix Jean Prat scorer Intellogent (Fr) (Intello {Ger}) (lot 174).

Bozo said of lot 194: “she's a beautiful filly; she looks exactly like we were hoping she would when we did the mating. She's a really athletic and precocious type.” Of lot 174, he added, “it's a beautiful page from one of the best German families and the filly is very nice; she's a very good cross between Siyouni and this German family. She's a very, very attractive filly.”

Among three Frankels in the draft is a half-sister to Group 3 winner and Group 1 and Classic-placed Wind Chimes (Ire) (Mastercraftsman {Ire}). Monceaux also offers two fillies by Kodiac (GB), Europe's leading sire of 2-year-olds in 2020: lot 99, a daughter of the listed-placed Game Zone (Ire) (Hurricane Run {Ire}) from the family of Immortal Verse (GB) (Pivotal {GB}) and lot 200, the first foal out of the listed-winning Qatar Power (Fr) (Le Havre {Ire}).

“We have two Kodiac fillies and Kodiac is definitely a source of speed and precocity, and we have two nice fillies by him,” Bozo said.

Among the consignment's top colts will be a son of one of Monceaux's crown jewels in Prudenzia (Ire) (Dansili {GB}) (lot 199). He is a full-brother to Group 1 winner Magic Wand (Ire), a three-quarter brother to G1 Irish Oaks winner Chicquita (Ire) (Montjeu {Ire}) and a half-brother to last year's sale-topping filly Philomene. Prudenzia has supplied a remarkable five seven-figure yearlings and two yearling sale toppers in addition to Chicquita, who topped the 2013 Goffs November Breeding Stock Sale at €6-million.

“He has a lot of class,” Bozo said of Prudenzia's Galileo colt. “He's very appealing, he has that little something and he moves very well.”

Sure to offer him plenty of competition in the ring is lot 103, another Galileo colt who is the first foal out of G3 Prix Minerve winner Golden Valentine (Fr) (Dalakhani {Ire}).

“She's from the Wertheimer family of Goldikova and we have her in partnership with LNJ Foxwoods,” Bozo said of Golden Valentine. “This first foal is lovely, he's a magnificent mover and very sound with a very good mind, and we're sure he'll attract many buyers.”

Monceaux offers three by Lope De Vega (Ire)-“Lope De Vega is an amazing stallion, he has some great statistics and we really like using him,” Bozo said-including a colt out of the listed-placed Sotka (GB) (Dutch Art {GB}) (lot 248). He is a half to Group 3 winners Fas (Ire) (Fastnet Rock {Aus}) and Silva (Ire) (Kodiac {GB}) and the mare's Kingman (GB) colt made €400,000 from SackvilleDonald in Deauville last year. Speaking of Kingman, there is one of those in the Monceaux consignment too: lot 149, a half-brother to stakes winners Marbre Rose (Ire) (Smart Strike), Gidu (Ire) (Frankel {GB}) and Aviatress (Ire) (Shamardal). Marbre Rose's Dubawi (Ire) colt follows his relative through the ring (lot 150) and they will be the last two offerings on day one of the sale.

Bozo notes that Monceaux typically uses proven sires but has gambled on first-crop sires Almanzor (Fr), Caravaggio (Ire) and Churchill (Ire).

“We try to use proven stallions as much as we can, but this year we have two Almanzors,” he said. “They're from his first crop and they're two very nice yearlings, very good movers with very good minds.” Those colts are lot 87, a half-brother to Grade I winners Coil (Point Given) and Chiropractor (Kitten's Joy) and lot 101, a half-brother to triple Grade I winner Miss Temple City (Temple City) and Grade III winner Pricedtoperfection (Temple City).

“We also have a lovely filly by Caravaggio out of a Galileo mare (lot 128),” Bozo added. “She's a good advertisement for the stallion as she looks like a precocious type.”

“We also have some Churchill yearlings; he was a fast Galileo with a lot of power and a very interesting pedigree so we've backed him since the beginning and we have three nice individuals by Churchill,” Bozo said. Those include lot 162, a colt out of Debutante (Fr) (Gold Away {Ire}), a listed-placed half-sister to Danedream (Ger) (Lomitas {GB}).

“I think it's one of the best drafts we've ever had go to the sale,” Bozo summarized. “I have a lot of faith in them and I'm sure they'll do well on the racetrack. Hopefully things will go well at the sale and hopefully people will come and try their luck at the sale.”

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