Dubawi Starlet Steals The Show

Dubawi filly out of Starlet's Sister | Arqana

By Emma Berry and Kelsey Riley

DEAUVILLE, France—More diva than starlet, the Dubawi (Ire) filly put in a few feisty bucks in the Arqana sales ring, but when one is in as much demand as she was, a touch of high jinks can be forgiven. If Wednesday's trade spluttered into action, Thursday's was pretty explosive from the start, but it was the appearance of two blue-blooded yearlings from the sale's perennial leading consignor Ecurie des Monceaux who really brought the ring to life.

It was a toss-up as to whether the full-brother to Magic Wand (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) or the half-sister to Sottsass (Fr) (Siyouni {Fr}) and Sistercharlie (Ire) ( Myboycharlie {Ire}) would play the leading role, but inevitably they each played pretty major parts, sailing easily past last year's top price on a day which will have had the team at Arqana and a number of vendors breathing a sigh of relief.

Dubawi (Ire) led the way last year and so he did again with his chestnut daughter of Starlet's Sister (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}), the mare who is now challenging more established names in the Monceaux broodmare band for top honours. The sales record of her offspring started in a moderate manner: just €12,000 was needed to buy her first foal at Arqana's October Sale but, the filly subsequently named Sistercharlie has played her own important part in ensuring that the siblings who follow in her wake will never be overlooked at a yearling sale. Add to Sistercharlie's seven Grade I victories the French Classic win of Sottsass and the price gets higher and higher: in this case it took €2.5 million to secure the Dubawi filly offered as lot 251.

With Anthony Stroud in his usual spot in the gangway to the right of the rostrum, the consistent bids that came from that direction led to the assumption that this was another Dubawi that would soon be heading Godolphin's way, but Fawzi Nass and Oliver St. Lawrence had other ideas. They were late to the party but stayed the longest and made the most noise when placing the final bid that had the gavel hit the wood in their favour. The pair had been active throughout the session, signing up new recruits for KHK Racing, the operation of Bahrain's Sheikh Khalid Al Khalifa. The Dubawi filly will race for him in  partnership with his brother Sheikh Nasser.

“She is a very beautiful filly with an exceptional pedigree,” Nass said. “She will be trained in England, we don't know where she will go into training yet, but we'll make up our minds soon. A filly with a profile like that arouses plenty of interest, and we are very glad to have bought her.”

Nass, who trains his own string of horses in Bahrain, also picked up the sole yearling by American Pharoah in the catalogue for €320,000 and said of lot 228, “He'll be trained in England. He's an exciting horse, a nice American Pharoah out of a Distorted Humor mare so he should be quite versatile on the turf.”

The colt's dam Sea Of Snow (Distorted Humor) was third in the Listed Woodcote S and is a grand-daughter of Snow Bride (Blushing Groom), who is also the dam of Derby winner Lammtarra (Nijinsky).

Nass and St Lawrence's five purchases through the first two days made them the leading buyers with just over €3.5 million spent. Their list also included a colt and a filly from the first crop of Almanzor (Fr), lots 158 and 185, at €260,000 and €250,000 respectively. The former, a colt consigned by Haras de Borgeauville, is a son of the Canadian Grade II winner Minakshi (Fr) (Footstepsinthesand {GB}), while the filly was bred by Steve Burggraf of Ecurie de Montlahuc, who raced her dam, the listed-winning juvenile Penny Lane (Ger) (Lord Of England {Ger}).

Almanzor's 12 yearlings sold so far in Deauville have returned a highly respectable average of €159,750.

Prudenzia Colt Enhances Extraordinary Record

And what of that other Monceaux blue hen? In time they will erect a plaque to Prudenzia (Ire) somewhere in the grounds of Arqana. The 15-year-old daughter of Dansili (GB) has, through her offspring, shone brightly through so many summers and her staggering sales statistic at Arqana stands at nine yearlings sold for €10,195,000.

In hindsight, her Irish Oaks-winning daughter Chicquita (Ire) (Montjeu {Ire}), as flighty as she was brilliant, now looks inexpensive at her yearling price of €600,000. But don't forget she made ten times that amount when setting a new record of price of €6 million at the Goffs November Sale during the dispersal of the stock of her owner Paul Makin.

From a raft of Galileo (Ire) fillies at their disposal, the Coolmore team must have a soft spot for the tough-as-teak Magic Wand (Ire), Prudenzia's 5-year-old daughter who runs in Sunday's G1 Prix Vermeille and who, through an extraordinary 2019 campaign, raced in Dubai, America, Britain, Ireland, Australia and Hong Kong. Her Group 1 victory was hard-won and, having given €1.4 million for her back in 2016, MV Magnier returned to Arqana to claim her full-brother (lot 199). At €2 million, the colt with a distinctive heart-shaped star on his forehead goes to the head of the list of Prudenzia's most expensive yearlings, beating last year's offering, the recent maiden winner Philomene (Ire) (Dubawi {Ire}), who topped the 2019 sale at €1.625 million.

To beat that, in this strange year, is quite something but, in the rarefied air of the elite bloodstock market, rare equine jewels retain their value no matter what is unfolding in the outside world. Magnier had a tussle with David Redvers but it was evident that this was one colt he was determined to add to the Ballydoyle battalions for next year.

After being thanked by breeders Henri Bozo and  Lady O'Reilly of the Ecurie des Monceaux team, Magnier said of the colt, “He comes from an excellent family and is by Galileo, who is having another great year. As Lady O'Reilly just said, [Prudenzia] has been an incredible mare and has produced some special horses. We thought he was a lovely horse. He's got a good hind leg and is a very good mover.”

He added, “Monceaux and Henri, they do an incredible job, they always produce very good horses. It's great for them and they deserve it for all the work they put in.”

More Monceaux Magic

For the ninth year in a row, Ecurie des Monceaux is at the top of the vendors' table for Arqana's flagship sale, with 23 yearlings sold for just shy of €10 million. There was a brief halt in its run of success on Wednesday when Baroda Stud provided the top lot for the opening session, but normal service was resumed on Thursday, and in force, with five of the seven most expensive yearlings of the day hailing from its consignment.

It's fair to say that Bozo was as relieved as he was pleased when he stated, “We knew coming to the sale that we had something a bit exceptional this year. We thought that we had the best draft ever, and I was a bit worried yesterday, but things have picked up well. The trade is better and there is more atmosphere. I suppose yesterday everybody was waiting to see what would happen but I knew today we had some exceptional horses.”

He added, “We've been very spoilt to have those mares like Prudenzia and Starlet's Sister. They have made Monceaux and they made our team. I'm also delighted for Jordan Tancrede, who has been with us since he was 12 and has taken over as yearling manager from Antoine, who did an amazing job for us for 10 years and has started his own Arcadia Elevage consignment. There was a bit of pressure on Jordan taking over from such a good guy as Antoine so I am delighted for him and the team.”

Bozo also praised the sales company's efforts in staging the sale in difficult circumstances. He said, “It is great reward for Arqana, too. I know it has been a very tough year for everyone with the dates changing all the time, but I think they have done a great job flying people in and trying to adapt as much as possible. It has paid off. We decided to be loyal to Arqana from the beginning. We started Monceaux when Arqana started and it's a win-win situation.”

Number Crunching

While the clearance rate, which dropped a little from the first day to 68.5%, tells its own tale in regard to the selectivity of the market, there was no denying the more buoyant feel to proceedings on Thursday at Arqana. The 76 yearlings sold during the session brought €16,625,000 in turnover, at an average of €218,750 and median of €100,000. Last year's record average for the three days of the August Sale was €187,671 and the cumulative average for the two days so far is now €180,790. That is likely to drop somewhat after Friday's final session. Overall, the median is currently €105,000, while the two-day aggregate is €30,680,000.

Strong Sale For Capucines

Set against the two million-euro-plus yearlings last year, there were three this time around, with the third of that group almost overshadowed in proceedings for being in the ring immediately before the sale-topping filly. But lot 250, the Kingman (GB) colt out of an unraced Frankel (GB) half-sister to multiple Group/Grade 1 winner Stacelita (Fr) (Monsun {Ger}), had plenty of admirers and he duly became the third purchase by Anthony Stroud on behalf of Godolphin at €1.1 million.

“He's a lovely strong colt and looks really athletic,” Stroud said of the relation to Frankel's first Grade 1 winner, the Japanese Oaks heroine Soul Stirring (Jpn). Haras des Capucines consigned the son of Speralita (Fr) and, having been leading vendor on the first day, Eric Puerari and Michel Zerolo's consignment is now second on the table, having sold 21 yearlings for €3,516,000.

Americans Team For Siyouni Filly

Ecurie Des Monceaux's Siyouni (Fr) half-sister to G1 Prix Maurice de Gheest winner Polydream (Fr) (Oasis Dream {GB}) (lot 194) will head to the yard of trainer Jean-Claude Rouget and race for the partnership of American-based stables LNJ Foxwoods and Gainesway Farm after Rouget went to €700,000 to secure her on their behalf.

Alex Solis, in non-COVID times a regular visitor to Deauville along with his business partner Jason Litt, joined the team at Anthony Beck's Gainesway in Lexington earlier this year as director of bloodstock and racing in addition to his ongoing duties with Solis Litt Bloodstock, including the management of the Roth Family's LNJ Foxwoods's equine interests. The very first horse Solis and Litt bought for the Roths in France was Goldikova (Ire)'s half-sister Gold Round (Ire) (Caerleon) for €520,000 at Arqana December in 2012. The  Dalakhani (Ire) filly she was carrying at the time turned out to be the G3 Prix Minerve winner Golden Valentine (Fr), whose first foal, a Galileo (Ire) colt, fetched €450,000 on the first day of the sale on Wednesday from David Redvers. The Roths in addition board some of their mares at Gainesway, including last year's Eclipse champion Covfefe (Into Mischief).

Speaking from Keeneland where he was inspecting yearlings ahead of the September sale that begins on Sunday, Solis noted that in addition to Thursday's filly, the LNJ/Gainesway partnership had bought another Siyouni filly from Monceaux (lot 75) for €200,000 through Rouget on Wednesday.

“Jason and I couldn't get there, but Jean-Claude has a great eye for a horse and Henri [Bozo] had been talking with us about doing something with him,” Solis said. “He called with a couple different fillies he liked and we ended up buying two. The filly today has a huge pedigree and Jean-Claude loved her. Henri produces a great horse.”

That huge pedigree, in addition to the aforementioned Polydream, includes two other stakes-winning half-sisters: the G3 Prix Sigy scorer Big Brothers Pride (Fr) (Invincible Spirit {Ire}) and Listed Prix Amandine winner Evaporation (Fr) (Red Ransom). Their dam, the French listed winner and Grade III-placed Polygreen (Fr) (Green Tune), was a private purchase by Monceaux from the Wertheimer et Frere draft for €200,000 at Arqana December in 2015 while carrying Big Brothers Pride.

Solis said that Gainesway owner Antony Beck, a South African-born Kentucky resident, will gradually build a stable in Europe and that Solis and Litt will continue to shop at European sales on his behalf.

“Gainesway hasn't raced much at all in Europe yet,” Solis said. “When Anthony hired me we talked about doing some more international stuff and this is the start. We're going to continue to look for horses over there through the rest of the year and hopefully next year also. Anthony is sending a really nice War Front filly over there to race for himself and the Roths have their own runners over there. We're definitely going to keep on building the operations for both of them over there.”

Lot 194 was the highest-price Siyouni filly during Part I of the sale. Earlier in the second session Mags O'Toole and MV Magnier had teamed to secure Monceaux's half-sister to the G1 Prix Jean Prat winner Intellogent (Fr) (Intello {Ger}) (lot 174) for €400,000. Book-ending the €700,000 filly was Etreham's third foal out of the listed-placed Power Of The Moon (Ire) (Acclamation {GB}) (lot 196), who was knocked down to Broadhurst Agency for €310,000.

Table Service

Lunch is a serious business. Thankfully, the positioning of the glass-fronted Arqana restaurant directly behind the auctioneer's rostrum means that, in Deauville, one can eat lunch while also conducting serious business.

And so it passed, half an hour in to the start of the second session of the Select Sale, that Wednesday's top price was surpassed by the Frankel daughter of Militante (Ire) (Johannesburg), who was eventually knocked down to Sebastian Desmontils of Chauvigny Global Equine at €630,000. The agent's lunch grew cold as his rival Laurent Benoit, who had left the adjacent lunch table to bid from the ring, ensured there was a proper tussle for the Monceaux-consigned filly. But Desmontils held his nerve and added the half-sister to G3 Prix de Lieurey winner Wind Chimes (Fr) (Mastercraftsman {Ire}) to the string of four horses already in training in France for Japanese owner  Hisaaki Saito.

“[Mr Saito] has two in training with Fabrice Chappet and two with Henri Devin so we will see where this princess will go. We're not sure yet, but he will decide after they have been broken in,” said Desmontils. “He has already had a winner in Deauville with [the Chappet-trained 2-year-old] Early Light (Fr), and hopefully he will have many more coming.”

Chappet To Train Treve's Sister

Sheail bin Khalifa Al Kuwari is best known as a champion owner of Purebred Arabians in Qatar, but he has begun to make his way into Thoroughbred ownership in France, his first runner being the Fabrice Chappet-trained 2-year-old Saqr (Fr) (Dutch Art {GB}), who is unbeaten in two tries including a 2 1/2-length conditions score at Deauville on July 12. That colt was a €48,000 selection from last year's Arqana v2 yearling sale, and Kuwari was clearly encouraged enough to swing at a higher level on Thursday, going to €520,000 to secure Treve (Fr) (Motivator {GB})'s full-sister (lot 269) through Gerard Larrieu of Chantilly Bloodstock. The bay filly from Haras du Quesnay will also go into training with Chappet.

“She's a lovely filly, maybe better than her sister at the same age,” Larrieu said. “We will find out if she has the same engine, but we're very lucky and happy to get her.”

The dual G1 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe and six-time Group 1 winner Treve was the fourth foal out of the dam Trevise (Fr) (Anabaa) and was a €22,000 buyback at Arqana October in 2010. Her trainer Criquette Head shared Larrieu's view in a pre-sale interview that Treve was more behind than her latest sister at that stage of her life. Another full-sister, Terre (Fr), was offered here in 2014 and brought home by Quesnay at €1.2-million. A winner at three, Terre was bought by Hillwood Bloodstock for 680,000gns in foal to Siyouni from Tattersalls December last year, and Quesnay sold her first foal, a colt by Intello (lot 261), to trainer Jean-Claude Rouget for €85,000 just eight lots prior to Treve's sister on Thursday. Thursday's Motivator filly was Trevise's first live foal since Terre. Treve, meanwhile, has the winning 3-year-old colt Qous (Fr) (Dubawi {Ire}), the unraced 2-year-old filly Paris (Fr) (Shalaa {Ire}), a yearling daughter of Siyouni and a filly foal by Sea The Stars (Ire).

Wootton Bassett In Vogue

The recent announcement of Wootton Bassett (GB)'s sale to Coolmore was followed by a purple patch for the 12-year-old son of Iffraaj (GB) on the racecourse, with Audarya (Fr) becoming his second Group 1 winner in the Prix Jean Romanet and Midlife Crisis (Fr) and Akmaam (Fr) his first two 'TDN Rising Stars'. There was as such some buzz around his yearlings on offer in Deauville this week, and the dearest of those proved to be Haras de la Louviere's second foal of the winning Nayef mare Sounaya (Ger) (lot 249), who was signed for by Jamie McCalmont at €300,000. Like Thursday's €1.1-million Kingman colt, he is from the family of the six-time Group/Grade 1 winner Stacelita and her Classic-winning daughter Soul Stirring (Jpn) (Frankel {GB}). Wootton Bassett's other transactions on Thursday included colts to Yann Barberot for €240,000 and Chauvigny Global Equine for €200,000, and Wootton Bassett's 14 sold during Part I of the sale averaged €126,929. His current yearlings are his second crop bred on a €20,000 stud fee.

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