Italy Beckons For Arqana Top Lot Agnes


Marco Bozzi signed for the top lot for owner Luigi Roveda | Zuzanna Lupa

Following last year’s dispersal of the stock of the Marquesa de Moratalla, which brought record trade for this time of the year in Deauville, Arqana’s February Sale returned to steadier levels on Tuesday. At €1,380,700, the aggregate was back around the 2018 mark, the 64% decline on last year’s turnover showing just how big a difference a dispersal can make to a minor sale and how year-on-year comparisons can prove futile.

The average of €11,568 and median €5,000 were both ahead of the corresponding figures from two years ago, but they were achieved from just 118 horses sold from the 180 offered, for a clearance rate of 66%.

The first of two sessions was headed by the 4-year-old filly Agnes (Fr) (Planteur {Ire}), who will leave Pia Brandt’s Chantilly stable to be trained in Italy by Raffaele Biondi.

After placing the successful final bid of €135,000 for lot 25, agent Marco Bozzi said, “She’ll start by running under the Italian sun, then we’ll bring her back to run on French soil from June. She’s a lovely filly who has been running well and we are delighted to have bought her.”

Bozzi added that the filly, who was fourth in last season’s G3 Prix Penelope, has been bought to race for owner Luigi Roveda, who previously campaigned the G3 Prix Exbury winner Affaire Solitaire (Ire) (Danehill Dancer {Ire}). The 10-year-old now stands at stud in Italy at Allevamento Razza Ticino.

A dual winner at three and also runner-up in the listed Prix Max Sicard, Agnes has plenty to recommend her as a future broodmare prospect with her Group 3-placed dam Agenda (Ire) (Sadler’s Wells) being a grand-daughter of Fall Aspen.

Only one other horse during this opening session returned a six-figure price and that was for another 4-year-old filly, Running d’Or (Fr) (Archange d’Or {Fr}), though she is a promising National Hunt prospect.

Offered as lot 97 by her trainer Serge Foucher, the winner of the listed Andre Massena Grande Course de Haies will continue her racing career in Britain under the tutelage of young jumps trainer Tom Symonds.

Matthew Houldsworth of Howson & Houldsworth, acting on behalf of an unnamed owner-breeder, signed for the filly at €100,000.

He said, “I’ve bought her for an English client and she’ll join Tom Symonds. She’s already a listed winner and I think she has the potential to go over fences as well as hurdles. She’s a lovely filly. She’ll continue her racing career and then join my client’s broodmare band. He’s just started breeding National Hunt horses.”

Running d’Or’s dam Running Running (Fr) (Zero Problemo {Fr}) is a half-sister to the Grade 3-winning hurdler Missy Tata (Fr) (Astarabad) from a family which also includes the G1 RSA Chase winner Bostons Angel (Ire) (Winged Love {Ire}).

Top of the broodmares sold on Tuesday was La Pedrera (Ire) (Danehill Dancer {Ire}), who was bought carrying a foal from the first crop of Coolmore’s U S Navy Flag for €75,000 by Ghislain Bozo of Meridian International. Consigned by Haras de l’Hotellerie on behalf of Dunmore Stud as lot 164, the 10-year-old mare is a half-sister to two stallions, the G1 Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere winner Naaqoos (GB) (Oasis Dream {GB}) and to G3 Prix La Force winner Barastraight (GB) (Barathea {Ire}). Her third dam is Lord Weinstock’s Irish 1000 Guineas winner Gaily (Sir Gaylord).



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