Hassett Says Arqana Breeze-Up Offering The Best He's Ever Seen


Johnny Hassett | Emma Berry


Leading breeze-up consignor Johnny Hassett has labelled the collection of horses on offer at the Arqana Breeze-Up Sale as the best bunch he has ever seen in one place at a given time and put forward colts by Siyouni (Fr) (lot 149) and Expert Eye (GB) (lot 43) from his eight-strong Bloodstock Connection draft as the most likely to make the biggest impression on buyers.

Malavath (Ire) (Mehmas {Ire}), runner-up to Pizza Bianca (Fastnet Rock {Aus}) in the GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf and Rockemperor (Ire) (Holy Roman Emperor {Ire}), the GI Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational winner at Belmont Park, flew the flag for Arqana Breeze-Up Sale graduates in 2021 and Hassett thinks there will be more than a few potential top-notchers to go under the hammer on Friday afternoon.

“I have never seen so many good-looking horses in the one place,” Hassett said on the eve of Thursday's breeze, which takes kicks off at 12 p.m. local time.

He added, “The year comes down to these next few days. I bought much bigger horses for the sales this year and, because I did that, some horses weren't ready for this sale.

“But the ones who work out, they work out very well, and I am happy with this bunch. There's a Siyouni colt in particular who is very nice. He only cost €85,000 grand but he's nice and he's well-related.

“There's also an Expert Eye colt, who is 16.2hh and is 510 kilograms, and I took a chance on him being ready for a breeze-up sale but he's certainly ready. I only have one mare and I sent her to Expert Eye so I think he will be quite good.”

Hassett's Siyouni colt is out of the winning and multiple listed-placed Aga Khan mare Valasyra (Fr) (Sinndar {Ire}), who is a half-sister to the ill-fated 2012 Prix de Diane winner Valyra (GB) (Azamour {Ire}) and Valirann (Fr) (Nayef {Fr}), who stands in Ireland.

The Expert Eye colt is out of Popular (GB) (Oasis Dream {GB}), a half-sister to black-type performer In Favour (GB) (Frankel {GB}), and from a good Juddmonte family.

Hassett has been bolstered by the support of the Getinthegame this sales season and is averaging 100,000 per horse sold on behalf of the syndicate on the breeze-up circuit thus far. The popular County Clare man is hoping the good run continues at Deauville this week.

He said, “I am very fond of my horses but, like I said, for a lot of people, the year comes down to this sale. The French do a tremendous job at getting the customers and the horses here. They have a young, dynamic team and are fairly switched on about getting everybody here.”

Hassett added, “The stats will tell you that you will be lucky to sell one good horse but I am bringing four or five who I really like. I would be happy to take them home if I don't get what I want for them but I don't think I will have to do that.”

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