McGivern Optimistic as Speedy Fillies Catch Attention at Arqana

Katie McGivern and her Sioux Nation filly | Emma Berry


DEAUVILLE, France–Deliverance came a day early for Katie McGivern at the Arqana Breeze-Up Sale as lot 64, a Sioux Nation filly and lot 66, a filly by Siyouni (Fr), finished in the top five fastest times overall in the session.

It was McGivern's fillies, the only two that she brought to one of the premier breeze-up sales in Europe, who emerged from the cavalry of 130 juveniles as being up there with the fastest on show.

McGivern stuck her neck out in going to €68,000 for the Siyouni filly out of Stars So Bright (Ire) (Sea The Stars {Ire}) at the Goffs Sportsman's Yearling Sale and she looks like being handsomely rewarded when she offers the speedster under the banner of Derryconnor Stud on Friday.

“I'm delighted,” the in-demand consignor said in between showing the fillies post-breeze. “They put in a solid breeze and had shown some pretty good homework before coming here. They stepped up on what I asked them to do here.

“The Siyouni just naturally knew how to go. There was no teaching in her. The Sioux Nation was very straightforward as well in fairness. I actually came over here on my own with them.

“Everyone was asking me why I didn't bring staff with me but I kept telling them how straightforward they were and they showed that today. I have a girl helping me today and for the sale tomorrow but usually the good ones are horizontal.”

So, too, is McGivern, who knows a thing or two about producing good horses. Daban (Ire) (Acclamation {GB}), winner of the 2017 G3 Nell Gwyn S., is one of many high-class graduates from McGivern's nursery and, given the Siyouni and Sioux Nation fillies have passed the vet and pulled out of the breeze in top shape, the popular consignor was feeling optimistic on the eve of the sale.

She said, “They stepped up to the mark. You can do all of the homework you like but some will let you down at the sales. Not these fillies. I'm very proud of them.

“I bought the Sioux Nation in Book 2 at Tattersalls in October. I gave 36,000gns for her out of Sherbourne Lodge and I bought the Siyouni in the Sportsman's Sale off Castlebridge for €68,000, which would be a huge amount for me. We gave a big price for her as €40,000 is normally my maximum but we were lucky in that the mare hadn't produced a winner when we bought her but the first foal out of her has won since and that definitely helps.”

McGivern added, “It's very busy here and hopefully they sell well. I know they vet 100% which is a relief because there's no point in having a fast one who isn't going to pass the vet. I actually had Kaboo (More Than Ready) here last year, and he didn't pass the vet despite being the fifth fastest, so he only made €40,000 in the end. Thankfully, these two have passed so that hurdle is crossed. I'll definitely sleep easy tonight but it will be nerve-wracking tomorrow.”

There was a real international feel to the afternoon session, with Joseph O'Brien, Jean-Claude Rouget, George Boughey, Thady Gosden and Francis Graffard some of the many recognisable faces in baking heat.

Few have concentrated so heavily and reaped such rewards with breezers in recent years quite like Michael O'Callaghan has and, while he hopes to be active at the sale which kicks off at 2 p.m. local time, the Irish trainer admitted it will be tough to compete against the international competition.

“It's going to be very hard,” O'Callaghan admitted in between viewings on Thursday evening. “This is one of the best breeze-up sales there is and the consignors keep their best horses for France. It will be hard to buy the best of them but we will give it a good go.”

He added, “Blue De Vega (Ger) (Lope de Vega {Ire}), Now Or Later (Ire) (Bushranger {Ire}) and Letters Of Note (Ire) (Azamour {Ire}) all came from the breeze-up sales and we'll be doing our best to find the next one tomorrow [Friday].”

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