Highflyer Bloodstock Strikes for Arqana Autumn Toppers


Lot 434, one of the co-toppers | Arqana

The second day of the Arqana Autumn Sale kicked off with horses-in-training on Monday. Although the catalogue was not as deep as 2019's record-breaking sale, 77% of the 160 horses offered found new homes. The gross was €3,050,000 for the 124 sold and two horses were co-toppers at €200,000, with Highflyer Bloodstock snapping up both offerings. In 2019, the highest price was €420,000. The average dropped to €24,597

(-29%) and the median fell to €11,000 (-21%). In addition, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic also presented some challenges, but the sale was conducted in the new open air ring, just like this past Friday's Arqana Autumn Flat Yearling Sale.

Tessa Greatrex and David Powell of Highflyer Bloodstock first picked up lot 423, Tax for Max (Ger) (Maxios {GB}), for €200,000. They bought the 3-year-old colt on behalf of Simon Munir and Isaac Souede, who are sending the colt to Willie Mullins. Previously trained by Henk Grewe and offered by Gestut Ohlerweiherhof, the dark bay is rated 109. Tax for Max finished fourth in the G2 Sparkasse KolnBonn Union-Rennen.

Just 11 lots later, the winning gelding Houx Gris (Fr) (Gris de Gris {Ire}) (lot 434) caught their eye again to equal the price of Tax for Max. Sold by Jean-Marie Callier, the hurdler was trained by Sylvain Dehez. Successful in his latest start at Auteuil, he will race in the colurs of Jared Sullivan.

“We've bought him for Jared Sullivan,” commented David Powell. “He'll go to England where he'll be trained by Paul Nicholls.”

Overall, seven lots brought six figures, with Horse Racing Advisory's Hubert Barbe and Charlie Swan purchasing three of them, led by Hercule du Seuil (Fr) (Saddler Maker {Ire}) (lot 464) at €185,000. Runner-up in his lone start over hurdles at Strasbourg on Oct. 21, the Michael Seror-consigned 3-year-old colt is from the same family as Grade 2 winner Etoile du Seuil (Fr) (Network {Ger}). The duo also snapped up the dual Flat-winning gelding Goven (Fr) (Poliglote {GB}) (lot 456) from Alain Couetil for €175,000 and lot 471, Head Law (Fr) (Network {Ger}) at €150,000. The latter won over 2300 metres on Nov. 6 and is a half-brother to Grade 2 scorer GA Law (Fr) (Sinndar {Ire}). The HRA quintet was completed by Gaetan Taupin's Hawai Game (Fr) (Diamond Boy {Fr}) (lot 461) for €90,000 and lot 465, the €60,000 Gold Conti (Fr) (Network {Ger}) from the draft of Arnaud Chaille-Chaille.

“The market is difficult but we bought them at the right price,” said Charlie Swan. “They are all going to start over hurdles and we hope that some of them will go down the chasing route afterwards, we just have to be lucky. The French system is really very well done, the horses are broken in early and progress race by race afterwards from a young age.”

The final two seven-figure lots will both head Down Under, with listed winner Arapaho (Fr) (Lope de Vega {Ire}) bringing €140,000 from Jim Clarke of Clarke Bloodstock and Avenue Bloodstock for the Australian trainer Bjorn Baker. Hailing from the draft of trainer Andre Fabre, lot 418 is out of stakes winner Alzubra (GB) (Dansili {GB}). Consigned by Wertheimer et Frere, Flambeur (Mizzen Mast) (lot 427), who won the Listed La Coupe de Marseille, is bound for the yard of Matthew Smith after hammering for €100,000.

At the end of Monday's sale, Arqana President and Executive Director Freddy Powell said, “Demand for the horses-in-training was not as strong today as it was last year. We cannot ignore the impact of COVID-19 on the business of many owners, nor the absence of certain buyers due to the movement restrictions caused by the pandemic. We will now focus on the young jumps

prospects and the National Hunt breeding day.”

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