Lively Trade For Jumpers at Arqana

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Lot 419d, Foxfire Glow, topped Monday's trade | Zuzanna Lupa

Jumping was at the forefront of many buyers' minds in Deauville on Monday, where a strong first day of the Autumn Sale featuring horses-in-training and 2-year-old stores saw 13 horses change hands for six-figure sums.

The session was led by the 3-year-old gelding Foxfire Glow (Fr) lot 419d, though mystery surrounds the identity of the buyer who bid €315,000 for the son of Vadamos (Fr) via Freddy Powell. The Arqana director could say only that the horse's new owner wished to remain anonymous and that the former Francois Nicolle trainee, who was runner-up in his most recent start over hurdles at Compiegne, will race on overseas.

Another 3-year-old gelding, the recent Senonnes winner and wildcard addition Ironica De Thaix (Fr) (Coastal Path {GB}) (lot 419b), was the selection of Tom Malone at €210,000. The agent was buying on behalf of Gwent Holdings, and the half-brother to Duca De Thaix (Fr) (Voix Du Nord {Fr}), a Group 1 AQPS Flat winner, will now be trained in Britain by Christian Williams. The same agent/owner/trainer combination was also responsible for the signing of Si Elegant (Fr) (lot 405), a son of former top-class jumper Gemix (Fr), at €155,000.

The Willie Mullins buying team of Harold Kirk and Pierre Boulard have long been fans of French-bred jumping stock and scored their latest of many Grade 1 victories on Sunday with Sharjah (Fr) (Doctor Dino {Fr}), who graduated from winning on the Flat in Deauville at three to being a five-time Grade 1 winner over hurdles in Ireland.

Mullins will be hoping to work similar magic with recruits from Monday's sale which include Quais De Paris (Fr) (lot 417), a 3-year-old son of the St Leger winner Masked Marvel (GB) who has been placed on his sole start over hurdles. He was bought for €180,000 while Kirk and Boulard also went to €150,000 apiece on the G2 Derby Italiano-placed Alastor (Fr) (Helmet {Aus}) (lot 369) and the dual-winning AQPS gelding Houlanbatordechais (Fr) (Great Pretender {Ire}) (lot 395).

From a much larger catalogue, and with 34 more horses sold this time than in the corresponding session last year, turnover was way beyond the receipts for 2020, with the 158 horses sold on Monday bringing an aggregate of €5,548,000. But figures in other sectors also took a big step forward, with the average improving to €35,115 from €24,516 and the median almost doubling at €21,500. The clearance rate was 80%.

Arqana's Autumn Sale continues on Tuesday with a session of National Hunt-bred yearlings which will be followed on Wednesday with the National Hunt Breeding Stock Sale.

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