Group 1 Fillies Star At Arqana December

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Arqana's Deauville headquarters | Arqana

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DEAUVILLE, France-the sales caravan has rolled into its final stop of the season, the European bloodstock community having made its annual descent upon Deauville, France over the past two days for the Arqana December Breeding Stock Sale. With an expected deluge of rain remaining at bay through the first part of Friday, the usual suspects from across Europe and further afield were out of full force inspecting the cross section of fillies, broodmares and foals that will take their turns in the ring beginning at 10 a.m. on Saturday.

“People seem very happy with the horses we have here,” said Arqana's Executive Director Freddy Powell. “It's always a good sign when agents that have been here for the last couple of days tell you that their clients, that were not supposed to come, are coming because of the shortlists that they're sending. So it's all positive.”

Arqana December has gone from strength to strength over the past decade, with last year's edition staged in the midst of the pre-vaccine pandemic one of a few exceptions to its straight upward trajectory. Last year's sale still nonetheless returned satisfactory results in the circumstances, and with the quality of the catalogue assembled it is guaranteed there will be more than few fierce bidding battles over the weekend.

“The market has been very strong at Fasig-Tipton and Keeneland, and in Newmarket and Goffs as well,” said Powell. “Hopefully we'll be able to be on the same lines. There is a great demand for horses, at the top level in particular. Maybe the economy of the past two years has caused people to put some nice stock on the market, and nice stock is rare, so if you can get it in your sale it's quite good.”

In G1 Prix Jean Romanet winner Grand Glory (GB) (Olympic Glory {Ire}) and G1 Prix de l'Opera scorer Rougir (Fr) (Territories {Ire}), Arqana offers the only current-year Group 1-winning fillies to grace a European breeding stock sale in 2021. Indeed, Arqana has firmly established its reputation as a reliable marketplace for black-type fillies from across the continent, and in addition to Grand Glory and Rougir buyers will have the chance to take home the likes of G1 Poule d'Essai des Pouliches runner-up Speak Of The Devil (Fr) (Wootton Bassett {GB}); last year's G2 Airlie Stud S. winner and G1 Phoenix S. third Aloha Star (Ire) (Starspangledbanner {Aus}); Listed Prix Panacee winner Rumbles Of Thunder (Ire) (Night Of Thunder {Ire}), a descendant of champion American filly White Star Line; Criterium Arqana victress Purplepay (Fr) (Zarak {Fr}), who was also third in the G1 Criterium International; this year's G3 Princess Elizabeth S. winner Parent's Prayer (Ire) (Kingman {GB}); and 2020 listed winner and Group 3-placed Emoji (Ger) (Soldier Hollow {GB}).

“We have some great race fillies here and it's very satisfying to see the likes of Rougir and Grand Glory, who were traveling not long ago; Grand Glory only came back two days ago from Japan and she looks great,” Powell said. “There are a few different marketplaces in the world where those fillies would have also done well, but I think vendors do understand that there are places that make sense to sell these fillies.”

Arqana has likewise built up momentum at its December Sale in successfully selling German fillies, and as such there is another strong presence in this year's catalogue from that nation.

A handful of bidders last week missed out on Waldlied (GB) (New Approach {Ire}) when Graham Smith-Bernal bought out partner Gestut Ammerland for a sale-topping 2.2-million gns at Tattersalls, and Dietrich von Boetticher's Ammerland brings Waldlied's 3-year-old three-quarter sister Wildfeder (GB) (Galileo {Ire}) (lot 188) to Deauville. They are out of the excellent producer Waldlerche (GB) (Monsun {Ger}), whose crown jewel is the G1 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe scorer Waldgeist (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}). Another from the family on offer is Domaine de l'Etang's 14-year-old mare Waldjagd (GB) (Observatory) (lot 175), who was second in the G2 Diana-Trial, has produced two stakes winners and is in foal to first-season sire Hello Youmzain (Ire).

Ronald Rauscher topped last year's December Sale with the 4-year-old filly Durance (Ger) (Champs Elysees {GB}), who was bought by Bryant Prentice's Pursuit of Success for €750,000, and Rauscher this year brings 4-year-old filly Deia (Ger) (Soldier Hollow {GB}) (lot 202), a stakes-winning full-sister to Group 1 winner Dschingis Secret (Ger); and Amabelle (Ger) (Danehill Dancer {Ire}) (lot 193), the dam of G2 Diana-Trial winner Amazing Grace (Ger) (Protectionist {Ger}) carrying a full sibling. Marwell Park offers the listed-winning Tickle Me Green (Ger) (Sea The Moon {Ger}) (lot 204) on behalf of Gestut Gorlsdorf in foal for the first time to Oasis Dream (GB), while Haras d'Ombreville offers the well-related listed winning and group performer Schwesterherz (Fr) (Areion {Ger}) (lot 179) on behalf of trainer Henk Grewe. Other standouts with German connections include group winners Jin Jin (Ire) (Canford Cliffs{Ire}) (lot 142) and No Limit Credit (Ger) (Night Of Thunder {Ire}) (lot 158) from trainer Andreas Suborics; last year's G2 German 1000 Guineas winner Lancade (GB) (lot 167); Group 3-winning 3-year-old filly Reine D'Amour (Ger) (Soldier Hollow {GB}) (lot 198); and the Group 3-placed Tangut (Ger) (Adlerflug {Ger}) (lot 155), a half-sister to the dam of Arc winner Torquator Tasso (Ger) (Adlerflug {Ger}) whose third dam is the great producer Allegretta.

“We're quite present in Germany; [Arqana's Head Of Bloodstock] Ludovic Cornuel spends a lot of time there and we've done very well with horses in training in particular for German clients,” said Powell.

The sale also features a selection of black-type broodmares including Mishhar (Ire) (Authorized {Ire}) (lot 11), the dam of G2 Royal Lodge S. winner New Mandate (Ire) (New Bay) who is from the immediate family of dual Classic winner Avenir Certain (Fr) (Le Havre {Ire}) and in foal to first-crop covering sire Ghaiyyath (Ire); the well-related group winner Samba Brazil (Ger) (Teofilo {Ire}) (lot 82) in foal to Le Havre (Ire); the stakes-winning and producing Persona Grata (GB) (Sir Percy {GB}) (lot 170) in foal to Night Of Thunder; and the Group 2-winning Satomi (Ger) (Teofilo {Ire}) (lot 177) in foal to Lope De Vega (Ire). There is a high-class selection of mares in foal to first-crop covering sire Sottsass (Fr), the G1 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe winner who himself cost €340,000 as an Arqana August yearling. They include Sarvana (Fr) (Dubai Destination) (lot 80), the dam of the Group 2-winning and multiple Group 1-placed Gold Trip (Fr) (Outstrip {GB}); G3 Premio Dormello winner Noblesse Oblige (Ity) (Myboycharlie {Ire}) (lot 81); and Landikusic (Ire) (Dansili {GB}) (lot 116), a winning full-sister to Zoffany (Ire).

As the Arqana December Breeding Stock Sale has gone from strength to strength, a constant presence has been the consignments from Wertheimer et Frere and the Aga Khan Studs, from which breeders perennially source future stakes producers. Wertheimer et Frere's 2021 draft of 20 includes the winning 3-year-old filly Ever Pink (Ire) (Anodin) (lot 133), whose second dam is the excellent producer Brooklyn's Dance; Sparklia (Ire) (Dark Angel {Ire}) (lot 138), a winning half-sister to four stakes winners including G2 Prix Daniel Wildenstein and G2 Prix de Sandringham scorer Impassable (Ire) (Invincible Spirit {Ire}); Panthere (GB) (Sea The Stars {Ire}) (lot 194), a winning half-sister to G1 Prix Saint-Alary winner Queen's Jewel (GB) (Pivotal {GB}); and Frontgate (War Front) (lot 207), a stakes-placed 3-year-old from the family of Group 1 winners Green Tune (Fr) (Green Desert) and Pas De Reponse (Danzig).

The Aga Khan's 40-horse draft includes Visoriyna (Fr) (Dansili {GB}) (lot 127), a stakes-placed half-sister to multiple Group 1-winning stayer Vazirabad (Fr) (Manduro {Ger}) in foal to Persian King (GB); the unraced Ebiyanza (More Than Ready) (lot 149), a half-sister to multiple group winner Ebaiyra (Distorted Humor) and listed winner Edisa (Kitten's Joy); and Daladia (Medaglia d'Oro) (lot 216), who is from the immediate family G1 Prix de l'Opera winner Dalkala.

The Arqana December Breeding Stock Sale likewise has an excellent record for selling future Group 1 winners as foals, with Cartier 2-year-old champion Native Trail (GB) (Oasis Dream {GB}), 2021 G1 Poule d'Essai des Pouliches victress Coeursamba (Fr) (Starspangledbanner {Aus}), 2021 G2 King Edward VII S. winner Alenquer (Fr) (Adlerflug {Ger}) and Rougir, who cost just €14,000 in 2018, among the current stars. Among this year's standout foals on paper are a full-brother to Coeursamba (lot 145) and a half-brother to Alenquer, by The Grey Gatsby (Ire) (lot 136); a Wootton Bassett half-brother to dual Group 3 scorer Lesstalk In Paris (Ire) (Cape Cross {Ire}) (lot 111); a Sea The Stars (Ire) filly out of the listed-winning Volshka (Fr) (Le Havre {Ire}) (lot 129); Lope De Vega (Ire) half-brothers to group winners Zonza (Fr) (Alex The Winner) (lot 161) and Bourree (Fr) (Siyouni {Fr}) (lot 215); a Kingman (GB) colt out of the aforementioned Waldjagd; a Frankel (GB) half-brother to dual Group 1 winner Recoletos (Fr) (Whipper) and multiple group winner Castellar (Fr) (American Post {GB}) (lot 206), and another Frankel colt out of Castellar herself (lot 226).

The Arqana December Breeding Stock Sale's select session begins on Saturday at 10 a.m. The action also kicks off at 10 a.m. on Sunday, and at 11 a.m. on Monday and Tuesday.

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