Durance Heads Arqana At €750,000

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Durance | Thierry Boisson

Under tight restrictions similar to those experienced in Newmarket over the previous fortnight, Arqana's Breeding Stock Sale began its four-day run in Deauville on Saturday with a strong international feel to proceedings. Participation at this select session from owners and breeders in America and Japan in particular ensured that trade held up pretty well in extraordinary circumstances as the French lockdown continued. The clearance rate was down slightly, but was a healthy 79%, and the turnover of €18,716,000 dipped 18% on last year, when ten more horses were sold. This time around, the 154 lots to have found a buyer returned an average price of €122,961 (-12%), while the median remained unchanged at €75,000.

German Influence
As highlighted in yesterday's TDN, the German entry for this year's sale was strong, particularly through the draft of Ronald Rauscher, and it was Durance (Ger) (Champs Elysees {GB}) who proved the most desirable of the fillies in training, with the 4-year-old Gestut Ebbesloh homebred eliciting the day's top price of €750,000 from James Delahooke. 

The winner of last year's G3 Mehl-Mulhens Trophy in her native country for Peter Schiergen, Durance (lot 174) followed that up with victory in the G2 Gran Premio di Milano this season and the half-sister to seven black-type performers is now under American ownership, with Delahooke having been acting on behalf of Bryant Prentice's Pursuit Of Success LLC.

“She was the one that I really wanted in the sale,” said the agent. “Her family has really produced with sires that I'm ashamed to say I've never even heard of. The first dam fills the entire page: that's rare these days. She herself has an admirable race record. I bought her for a very nice American gentleman who has mares in Kentucky and England. Durance will head to stud and her offspring will go to the sales.”

He added, “The sale is very strong for the right profiles despite so few people around the ring. A lot of people must be bidding from offsite.”

Another of the Rauscher draft, the Group 2 winner Satomi (Ger) (Teofilo), was bought by Michel Zerolo of Oceanic Bloodstock on behalf of breeder Andreas Putsch for €300,000. Trained. By Markus Klug to win three times and to finish fourth in the G1 Preis der Diana, the 4-year-old (lot 197) is a daughter of German champion juvenile Swordhalf (GB) (Haafhd {GB}).

While G1 Preis Von Europa winner Donjah (Ger) (Teofilo {Ire}) was bought back by her owner Dr Stefan Oschmann of Darius Racing at €720,000, this year's G2 German 1000 Guineas runner-up No Limit Credit (Ger) (Night Of Thunder {Ire}) was knocked down to Jean Deroubaix of the FBA at €480,000. Both fillies were bred by Gestut Karlshof, with the latter (lot 192) having raced in the colours of the Faust family of Gestut Karlshof to win four times, including the G3 Schwarzgold-Rennen.

Deroubaix said of No Limit Credit, “I have bought her for a German client, who hasn't owned a horse for 20 years. I bought him a horse in the 1980s, Val Des Pres, and then he then moved away due to work commitments, and stopped having horses. Now he is retired and is reinvesting. She will go back into training in Germany.”

Carson Wants Truth
The offspring of Prudenzia (Ire) (Dansili {GB}) have long ruled over Arqana's August Sale, and one of the great mare's daughters again played a leading role in December when Truth (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) brought the hammer down at €580,000. Again it was James Delahooke doing the bidding but this time he was acting on behalf of Willie Carson's Minster Stud.

Now eight, the sister to Group 1 winner Magic Wand (Ire) and half-sister to Classic winner Chicquita (Ire) (Montjeu {Ire}) had been sold for €1 million as a yearling and raced in a partnership for Al Shaqab and Coolmore. Her one placed finish for Aidan O'Brien may have been disappointing but she has plenty of black-type earners for relations and she was sold in foal to Siyouni (Fr) as lot 178. Thus, a member of the celebrated family returns to England, where her grandam Platonic (GB) (Zafonic) was bred by the Cumani family's Fittocks Stud before being bought as a foundation mare for Ecurie des Monceaux by Henri Bozo and Patricia Boutin.

Another of Platonic's grand-daughters, Psara (GB) (Invincible Spirit {Ire}), also brought one of the day's highest prices when sold to Ghislain Bozo's Meridian International for €500,000.

The 4-year-old mare (lot 148) is a daughter of the G3 Prix de Lutece winner Pacifique (Ire) (Montjeu {Ire}) and, a winner herself last year, is now in foal to Churchill (Ire). As a yearling she was bought for €250,000 by Monceaux partner Victor Langlais.

“She's a lovely mare from a very good family,” said Bozo. “She is carrying to Churchill and the mating should suit her. Certain partners have come out and the sale has allowed new partners to come in.”

Japan Calling
All three Yoshida brothers of Japan's leading racing family were represented during Arqana's opening session. 

Spinning Memories (Ire) (Arcano {Ire}) has been a highly consistent campaigner for Pan Sutong and  Pascal Bary since her impressive maiden win on debut in Ireland and subsequent purchase from Andy Oliver's stable. Her tally of two Group 3 and three listed wins over the last two seasons vouch for her talent and, though her first two dams were unraced, she traces back to another talented and consistent race mare, the dual Grade 1 winner Memories Of Silver (Silver Hawk), who has in turn also proved to be a classy producer.

Now five, Spinning Memories (lot 134) has thus earned her place among the illustrious broodmare band of Teruya Yoshida, who bought her online for €500,000. She will be joined on the flight to Japan by Mageva (Fr), the 3-year-old daughter of Wootton Bassett (GB) who was trained by Fabrice Chappet to take third in the G1 Poule d'Essai des Pouliches and was picked up for €430,000, also by the Shadai Farm principal.

Katsumi Yoshida had already bought the winner of that French Classic, Dream And Do (Fr) (Siyouni {Fr}), in a private deal earlier this season to join his own equally impressive collection of broodmares at Northern Farm, and he was also a prominent buyer in Deauville. Through Emmanuel de Seroux of Narvick International, Yoshida went to €400,000 for the wildcard entry Petite Folie (GB), the Australia (GB) half-sister to dual Group 1 winner Persian King (Ire) (Kingman {GB}).

“She has been bought for breeding purposes and she will join Northern Farm,” said de Seroux. “There is a very strong chance that she will head to Japan in the new year to be covered.”

Petite Folie, who ran just once for her breeder Diane Wildenstein's Ballymore Thoroughbred Ltd, was sold as lot 150 through La Motteraye Consignment and she continues the European spending spree for Katsumi Yoshida, also bought five mares at Tattersalls last week for 1.6 million gns.

Haruya Yoshida also made his presence felt with the purchase of another wild card (lot 170) in the recent G3 Prix Fille de l'Air winner Directa (Fr). The half-sister to German listed winner Mc Queen (Fr) (Silver Frost {Ire}) was bought for €470,000 through Satoshi Kobayashi and will join the breeder's Oiwake Farm in Hokkaido.

Kobayashi said of the 3-year-old, “The filly has been bought as a breeding prospect and she won't race again. She may be covered by a European stallion before she travels to Japan.”

Another mare on the way to Japan from Arqana is Considerate (GB), a Dansili (GB) half-sister to Enable (GB), who was bought by Keisuke Onishi of JS Company for €65,000. The 10-year-old mare (lot 32) was sold by Haras d'Etreham in foal to Enable's sire Nathaniel (Ire). She also has a colt foal by the Newsells Park Stud stallion on the ground among her four offspring to date.

Euclidia Joins Select Local Team
Owner Jean-Louis Bouchard is turning his success on the track into a boutique breeding operation and, acting though agent Gerard Larrieu, went to €525,000 to buy the listed winner Euclidia (Fr) (Maxios {GB}) from the Wertheimer consignment (lot 172).

“Jean-Louis Bouchard has just started a little farm here near Deauville,” Larrieu explained. “He doesn't want to have many mares, just eight or ten maximum, and he wants to improve the quality of his broodmare band. This is a lovely Wertheimer family and they cover their mares with top sires.”

The 3-year-old Euclidia is a half-sister to G3 Prix d'Aumale winner Soustraction (Fr) (Lope De Vega {Ire}) and G1 Prix Marcel Boussac runner-up Matematica (Fr) (Rock Of Gibraltar {Ire}) from a deep Wertheimer family which includes the Arc heroine Solemia (Fr) (Poliglote {GB}) and Poule d'Essai des Poulains winner The Gurkha (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}).

From Trotting to Galloping
Malevra (Fr) (Le Havre {Ire}) was one of the young in-foal mares to sell well on Saturday, and she will remain in France to become the foundation mare for an unnamed breeder from the world of trotting. 

Offered as lot 90 by Haras d'Etreham, the 4-year-old is in foal for the first time to that stud's former stallion Wootton Bassett (GB). A half-sister to listed winner and Group 3-placed Moonlife (Fr) (Invincible Spirit {Ire}), Malevra gained her own black type last season when runner-up in the G3 Prix de Royaumont on the back of two wins at Deauville and Lyon-Parilly.

Bloodstock agent Frederic Sauque signed the ticket on behalf of his client from and said, “I have bought her for a new investor and she will be his first Thoroughbred mare. We liked both her conformation and her form on the track, and she is carrying a foal by a good stallion.”

American Engagement
Along with the day's top lot, two well-credentialed 3-year-old fillies piqued the interest of Americans, one to remain in training and one to join the broodmare band at Gainesway Farm.

Conte De Fee (Ire) (Sea The Stars {Ire}) has already earned black type through her victory in the listed Prix Occitaine this summer. Bought as a yearling by Tina Rau for 100,000gns for owner Alexis Adamian, the grand-daughter of Irish Oaks winner Petrushka (GB) (Unfuwain) was sold on by her trainer Nicolas Clement for €410,000 to Newmarket-based agents Mark McStay and Jamie Piggott.

“I bought her with Jamie Piggott on behalf of Medallion Racing and a client of Jamie's in America,” explained McStay of Avenue Bloodstock. “She'll go to the United States. Medallion is Taylor Made's racing arm and both Jamie and I felt she was a lovely filly. She's been really well trained by Nicolas Clement and she looks like to be progressing the right way.”

Piggott added, “I've had a lot of luck at this sale over the years and you only need to look at the recent success of French-bred horses in America to see what fillies like this can do over there.”

Also heading across the Atlantic is the unraced but well-bred Lasy W (War Front) (lot 144), who was bought online for €320,000 by Alex Solis acting on behalf of Gainesway's Antony Beck and Andrew Rosen.

“It's a great American family,” said Solis. “It's very rare to have a Grade I winner who is out of a Grade I winner and there are so many current stakes horses on the page. We're excited about that; she's a beautiful War Front filly. I had some people look at her over there for me and the report was out that she was very, very good-looking.”

This particular brach of the family ended up in the care of the Wertheimer brothers after they bought Lasy W's dam Zaftig (Gone West) for $1.4 million at Fasig-Tipton in November 2011. The mare's most accomplished runner to date is the GII Louisiana Derby runner-up Spinoff (Hard Spun), and she is also the dam of listed-placed Rugbyman (Tapit).

Solis added, “Antony Beck and Andrew Rosen bought her together and the plan will be to breed her to Tapit next year. The mare [Zaftig] has a yearling colt by Tapit right now and Rugbyman is a Tapit and he's a nice horse, so we figured that made a lot of sense for us.”

Double Handed
The demand for the stock offered by the Wertheimer brothers continued with Right Hand (GB), a Lope De Vega (Ire) half-sister to G1 Prix Vermeille winner Left Hand (GB) (Dubawi {Ire}), who was bought by  Victor Langlais for €370,000. The 3-year-old (lot 168) was acquired on behalf of a partnership that will include Henri Bozo and Bertrand Le Metayer, and we will doubtless hear more of her in the Arqana ring in years to come as she will reside at Ecurie des Monceaux, the perennial leading consignor at the August Yearling Sale. 

Langlais also bought lot 154, Light Dream (Fr) (Anodin {Ire}), the three-part-sister to G1 Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud winner Plumania (Fr) (Anabaa), from the Wertheimer draft and said, “I bought her for a partnership. Henri Bozo and I are both among those involved. The idea is to find good mares and to then sell their yearlings at the sales. She comes from a great family and is from a very good breeding operation.”

The Arqana Breeding Stock Sale continues on Sunday at 10am local time.

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