Godolphin Strikes As Dubawi Filly Heads Arqana Opener


The session-topping Dubawi filly | Baroda Stud


DEAUVILLE, France—The more things change, the more they stay the same or, as our French friends here in Deauville would say, plus ça change. Sheikh Mohammed buying the top lot by Dubawi (Ire) at a yearling sale is not exactly a surprise, but it is also not a situation that could have been taken for granted ahead of a sales season shrouded by uncertainty.

The elite end of the yearling sales market stuttered into action on Wednesday at Arqana, where vendors' pre-sale jitters appeared to be justified through the first few hours of trade. It's not unusual for sales to take some time to spring to life, but by the normal standards of this particular auction, the early rounds felt particularly trying before trade gathered momentum towards dusk.

But this is no normal year, despite the name alongside the day's leading lady. In fact, the sale has a new name—the Deauville Select Sale—and direct comparisons are not being made by Arqana to its traditional August Sale. For the last seven years in August, the average price has been a six-figure sum, hitting a record high of €187,671 in 2019. There was always going to be some market adjustment during the ongoing coronavirus crisis and indeed, on paper, Thursday's session appears to be stronger, but a first-day average of €147,739 can be viewed as a decent start to the sale, even if there will be some vendors licking their wounds.

The median of €115,000 also stood up to last August's across-the-sale figure of €125,000 on a day when 92 of the 126 horses offered-or 73%—went down on the sheet as sold, bringing an opening tally of €13,592,000.

Before the start of the season, there had been much discussion regarding potential Maktoum involvement at the yearling sales and, though it remains to be seen to what level Sheikh Mohammed's Godolphin operation will be active, it was responsible for two significant purchases as Arqana got underway.

An outlay of 300,000gns on a foal as a pinhook is always a bold gamble but, as is so often seen, the bolder the call the bigger the reward. David Cox's last-minute decision to come to France with his own select Baroda Stud draft for the first time, transpired to be a sound one as lot 61, the Dubawi (Ire) filly out of German Group 3 winner Daytona Bay (GB) (Motivator {GB}) became the second purchase of the afternoon by the sheikh's buying team of Anthony Stroud and David Loder, who held off underbidder Fawzi Nass at €620,000.

“As it happened four people followed her in so there was plenty of action for her,” said Cox. “We had been worried when it looked like a lot of the English people wouldn't be able to travel to the sale but plenty have made the trip and this filly showed herself well all week. It's a great result.”

Daytona Bay, winner of the G3 Hamburger Stutenpreis for breeder Gestut Hof Itlingen, had foaled two previous fillies by Kingman (GB) and Pivotal (GB), both of whom are in training in their native Germany. The 10-year-old mare is herself a daughter of the treble listed winner Daytona (Ger) (Lando {Ger}) from a dynasty which has served the Ostermann family well over the years and includes the grandam's full-brother, G1 Deutschland Preis winner Donaldson (Ger).

Stroud had stepped in early in the day to sign for lot 14, a son of Lope De Vega (Ire) from Haras d'Etreham at €260,000. The colt is out of the G2 Park Hill S.-placed Alta Lilea (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) and was bred by Federico and Jennifer Bianco.

Love For Lope
Ballylinch Stud's Lope De Vega has been enjoying another good season and at Arqana his colts in particular were in demand on the opening day, with three of his most expensive horses being out of mares by Galileo or by his son Teofilo (Ire).

Sebastian Desmontils, buying under his Chauvigny Global Equine banner, was pushed to €480,000 for lot 23, a son of the winning Teofilo mare Attractive Lady. The 8-year-old mares's half-siblings include the GI Woodford Reserve Manhattan H. winner Desert Blanc (Fr) (Desert Style {Ire}) and to listed winner Lumiere Noire (Fr) (Dashing Blade {GB}), who is in turn the dam of this year's 2000 Guineas runner-up Wichita (Ire) (No Nay Never).

Desmontils said of the Haras du Mezeray-bred colt, “I was very happy to be able to buy him for my Japanese client because there were lots of people on him. He was a great mover and he has such a lovely page—from one of the best French families.”

An easy-moving colt by the same stallion and offered by Haras des Capucines (lot 93) will eventually make his way to Hong Kong after being bought by Mick Kinane on behalf of the Hong Kong Jockey Club for €420,000.

“He was my pick of the sale and looks every inch a racehorse,” Kinane said. “The stallion has international appeal and he works for us.”

Bred by a partnership which includes Eric Puerari, Michel Zerolo and OTI Racing, the colt is a son of the Galileo mare Foreign Legionary (Ire), whose best offspring, Mantastic (Ire) (Fastnet Rock {Aus}), won the listed C. S. Hayes Memorial Cup in Australia. Foreign Legionary is herself a half-sister to Alexander Goldrun (Ire) (Gold Away {Fr}), who will be remembered by the fans at Sha Tin for her victory in the G1 Hong Kong Cup. Her outstanding career for Jim Bolger included top-flight wins in the Nassau S., Pretty Polly S. and the Prix de l'Opera.

Lope De Vega had five yearlings sell on Wednesday for an average of €310,000.

Kinane was back later eight lots later for lot 101, a colt from the first crop of Haras d'Etreham's champion galloper Almanzor (Fr) and a half-brother to GI Shadwell Turf Mile winner Miss Temple City (Temple City). Offered by the sale's regular leading vendor Ecurie des Monceaux, the son of Glittering Tax (Artax) was the most expensive by his sire on day one at €280,000.

Golden Future
The champion sire Galileo may well take a starring role in Thursday's action when his son out of Prudenzia (Ire) takes to the ring, and his leading light on the first day was lot 103, the first foal of G3 Prix Minerve winner Golden Valentine (Fr) (Dalakhani {Ire}). 

It almost goes without saying that the offspring of Galileo are well bred but this particular colt, offered by Ecurie des Monceaux and bought by David Redvers for €450,000, hails from one of France's most celebrated families. His third dam Born Gold (Blushing Groom) has produced not only the outstanding miler Goldikova (Ire) (Anabaa) but also her full-brother, GI Breeders' Cup Mile runner-up Anodin (Ire), and their Group 1-winning half-sister Galikova (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}).

LNJ Foxwoods raced Golden Valentine, whose four wins also included the listed Prix de Thiberville, and the American owners bred the mare's first foal in partnership with Monceaux.

Another of the Monceaux draft, lot 95, will be on the way to the Chantilly stable of Hiroo Shimizu who, with Daniel Cole, went to €340,000 for the Siyouni (Fr) colt out of a daughter of the Argentinean dual Grade 1 winner Safari Queen (Arg) (Lode). The first foal of Frame Of Mind (Ire) (Invincible Spirit {Ire}), he will race for Shigeo Nomura, whose colours have been carried to success this year by TDN Rising Star Midlife Crisis (Fr) (Wotton Bassett {GB}), a €120,000 graduate of the 2019 August Yearling Sale who won on debut at Deauville by five lengths and runs in Thursday's G3 Prix du Chene at ParisLongchamp.

“He's a very attractive colt by Siyouni, who is a very good stallion,” said the Japanese-born trainer Shimizu. “We hope he will follow in the footsteps of Midlife Crisis.”

Strong Finish
Trade certainly gathered pace towards the end of the day, and Haras du Mezeray, the consignor of the top-priced colt of Wednesday, was rewarded with a €350,000 sale of the Invincible Spirit (Ire) filly out of Lucrece (GB), a Pivotal (GB) half-sister to G1 Prix Maurice de Gheest winner Signs Of Blessing (Fr), who shares his sire with the yearling filly in question.

Robson Aguiar is a name more familiar as a buyer of relatively inexpensive yearlings for the breeze-up market and he has had made handsome profits in this field in recent years, with some notable results on the track. This year, he was responsible for the G2 Norfolk S. winner Prince Of Lir (Ire) (The Lir Jet {Ire}), whom he bought for £8,000 and sold privately to Nick Bell before the colt was sold on to Qatar Bloodstock. 

Aguiar's skills have obviously not been lost on his new, undisclosed client, who has entrusted him to attempt to buy a Royal Ascot winner.

“There were two I liked today and I particularly liked this filly, who looks like she could do the job. I will take her home and pre-train her and in March we will start to think about which trainer she will go to,” he said of lot 143.

Gestut Ammerland was also well rewarded for its Dark Angel filly (lot 140), who was bought by Charlie Gordon-Watson on behalf of Palestinian-born Ahmed Abu Kadra.

The daughter of Group 3-placed Light The Stars (Ire) (Sea The Stars {Ire}) represents one of the German stud's best farms as her grandam is responsible for dual Classic winner Lope De Vega, whose named featured prominently throughout the day as the sire of a number of the more expensive yearlings of the session. And indeed, the new purchase of Abu Kadra will be trained in the same stable as Lope De Vega, by Andre Fabre, who, like the owner is a keen polo player.

Lone Arrogate
The only son of Juddmonte's late stallion Arrogate in the Arqana catalogue, lot 124, was offered by breeder Guy Pariente's Haras de Colleville and sold for €260,000 to SARL Trotting Bloodstock. The colt is the first foal of the Kendargent (Fr) mare Kenriya, a Group 3-placed treble winner.

Colleville also offered a full-sister to its up-and-coming young stallion Goken (Fr) (Kendargent {Fr}) as lot 105, and the filly, who is also a half-sister to exciting 3-year-old Hurricane Cloud (Fr) (Frankel {GB}), was bought by Marc-Antoine Berghgracht for €210,000.

Haras de Bouquetot's young stallion Shalaa has enjoyed a good run of winners over the last fortnight and one of his daughters, lot 36, was an early highlight of the sale, bought for €300,000 by Frederic Sauque from Haras des Sablonnets. The agent will be keeping a keen eye on events at Irish Champions Weekend as the filly's half-sister, Bolleville (Ire) (Camelot {GB}), trained by Jospeh O'Brien, has entries in the G1 Irish St Leger and G2 Blandford S. at the Curragh.

He said of his purchase, “She is magnificent and I hope she will be as good as she is beautiful. I've bought her for a client who has already invested in trotters and now wishes to also be involved in the Flat. I hope he will have lots of luck.”

The filly is a daughter of Brasilia (GB) (Dubai Destination), a dual listed winner and half-sister to G3 Prix Cleoaptre victrix Sandbar (GB) (Oasis Dream {GB}).

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