Record Figures Across The Board as Arqana August Concludes

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The Dubawi session-topper of Monday, consigned by Monceaux | Zuzanna Lupa

By Emma Berry, Brian Sheerin and Sue Finley

DEAUVILLE, France–Monday may have felt like Sunday in Deauville as the French observed the holy day of the Assumption of St Mary, but business continued apace at Arqana, with strength in depth to the final session hitherto unseen at the August Sale and new record figures set in all sectors.

Reworked this year so that the former select evening sessions held over the weekend with a supplementary session on Monday were all rolled into an alphabetical singular sale, the new format may have caught the odd person out but the major buyers knew to wait for a closing day which transpired to be the strongest of all three.

“Yesterday and today [Monday] have felt stronger but we need to wait until the end to analyse things properly,” observed Anthony Stroud, the leading buyer at the sale on behalf of Godolphin, who spent €5,550,000 on six yearlings. The sextet included Monday's session-topper and the fourth seven-figure lot of the sale, Ecurie des Monceaux's Dubawi (Ire) colt out of Golden Valentine (Ire) who sold for €2 million.

Indeed, proper analysis is best conducted once the auctioneer's voice has stopped ringing in the ears, but on paper at least the sale performed better with each passing day since Saturday.

Monday's average of €241,516 and median of €160,000 were the highest of the three days, as was the clearance rate of 86%. The 72 yearlings sold on Monday added just shy of €15 million to the sale's aggregate.

Over the three days turnover stood at €51,071,000 for 246 horses sold (84%), which was a new record for the sale, increasing by more than €7 million on the previous high of 2019. The sale's average of €210,025 and median of €140,000 both easily broke previous records in those sectors.

Monceaux Trio for Godolphin

Just four Dubawi (Ire) yearlings were on offer in the entire sale, of which, all bar one went the way of Godolphin. 

However, Anthony Stroud needed to fight hard for Ecurie des Monceaux's colt out of Golden Valentine (Fr) (Dalakhani {Ire}), who topped proceedings on day three at €2,000,000 and, by close of play, was only second to the August Sale-topping brother to Sottsass (Fr) [lot 154], who was knocked down to Yoshito Yahagi at €2.1 million on Sunday.

But Monday belonged to lot 292, by Darley's legendary sire, who has already been joined by a host of his high-class sons at stud, including Ghaiyyath (Ire), Too Darn Hot (GB), Night Of Thunder (Ire) and Space Blues (Ire). The members of Team Godolphin were unanimous in their admiration of the colt, with Stroud revealing that everyone who looked at him, including Charlie Appleby, were keen not to leave France without him. 

Stroud said, “He's an exceptional horse-very light on his feet. He's a Dubawi, [which is] brilliant, and we all thought he was the most lovely horse-Charlie, everyone. He was one we really wanted to get.”

It wasn't the first time that Monceaux enjoyed a major payday with a Dubawi out of Golden Valentine, either. Just 12 months ago, Oliver St Lawrence paid €750,000 for his brother, who has yet to hit the track. 

Golden Valentine won four of her seven starts for Freddy Head, including the G3 Prix Minerve at Deauville in 2016, and is from a family that is jam-packed with Group and Listed winners. As well as being a sister to Goldwaki (Ger), herself a Group 3 winner, Golden Valentine is a half-sister to Luck (Kitten's Joy), a Grade 3 winner in America this year, and two more black-type performers. The family goes back to champion and multiple Group 1-winning racemare Goldikova (Fr).

Anthony Stroud had earlier added another two yearlings to Godolphin's list of purchases for the week, also both from the draft of leading vendor Ecurie des Monceaux. 

At €600,000, he signed for lot 259, a Dubawi (Ire) half-brother to dual G2 Prix de Royallieu winner The Juliet Rose (Fr) (Monsun {Ger}).

“Dubawi needs no introduction, we've done so well with him,” he reasoned. “And The Juliet Rose was a very good filly, trained by Nicolas Clement. He comes from Monceaux, which has been a nursery for a number of excellent horses, so for us he passed all our criteria, for the team that is.”

Another to have passed muster was a son of the young Darley stallion Blue Point (Ire) [lot 251], who was bought for €200,000 to make him the most expensive yearling by the freshman sire to date. The colt's half-sister Devant has already added some bold back type high up on the page by winning the G3 Prix Miesque, while further down the page the names of his Group-winning grand-dam Savoureuse Lady (GB) (Caerleon) and the brilliant Mtoto (GB) (Busted (GB}) add further substance.

Stroud was signing for Monday's sales-topper immediately after picking up lot 291, an athletic Lope De Vega (Ire) colt out of a Galileo (Ire) mare [Golden Lilas (Ire)], consigned by Haras du Cadran, for €575,000.

He said, “This is a very nice horse. He came from a very good breeder and has a lot of quality. He was a very good walker. He was very well-balanced and is out of a Galileo mare. We really like him.”

Saint Pair On Par

Fawzi Nass and Oliver St Lawrence have made a splash at the August Sale in the past and they returned to pick up one of the most expensive lots of the final session in Haras de Saint Pair's Kingman (GB) colt from the family of Almanzor (Fr). Offered as lot 249, the son of the Street Cry (Ire) mare Dardiza (Ire) is a half-brother to Grade 3 winner Guildsman (Fr) (Wootton Bassett {GB}), with his damline emanating from an Aga Khan family which has produced the treble Group 1 winner Darjina (Fr) (Zamindar).

After placing the successful bid of €800,000, St Lawrence said, “Andreas Putsch is a great breeder and we loved the horse from the very first time [we saw him]. He's going to go to William Haggas, who was here over the weekend and loved him. We've waited a bit at this sale for him to come in.”

Of the suggestions from some consignors at this early date in the yearling calendar that the sale should be held a bit later the agent continued, “It's been a very active and competitive sale. I hear there are rumours that the breeders want to cancel the August Sale but I hope that doesn't happen. I hope they keep it here as overseas owners such as Fawzi Nass wouldn't be here if it was later; I think half the Americans wouldn't be here.”

Andreas Putsch's Haras de Saint Pair, which added another group winner to its record on Sunday with the victory of Eternal Pearl (GB) (Frankel {GB}) in the G3 Prix Minerve, also enjoyed a good few days in the sale ring. 

Three fillies from the same family of the Classic runner-up Glorious Sight (Ire) (Singspiel {Ire}) were all offered by the stud within four lots of each other, fetching €600,000, €400,000 and €150,000 respectively. 

“I think the new sale format works,” said a delighted Putsch. “We brought such nice horses that we were hoping that they would sell well but whenever you get into this sphere you can never expect it. I'm absolutely thrilled.”

He added, “The racecourse is what it's all about. We breed to race, and even if other people race them, the results on the racecourse are what it's all about.”

Kieran Lalor of Al Shira'aa Racing signed for Saint Pair's full-sister to Group 2 winner Glycon (Fr) by the late Le Havre (Ire) and said of lot 287, “I thought she was one of the nicest fillies in the sale and is out of a very good mare. She's a full-sister to a Group 2 winner and comes from a great breeder. I actually just met him for the first time and he told me I can come to see the farm any time and I'm excited about that. She comes from one of the best families there is and I have been trying to get into it for a long time. Le Havre was a very sad loss to the French breeding industry and is a stallion we used for a long time. He's obviously a very good sire of fillies so we're very excited.”

The family to which he refers is one that boasts the Group 1-winning fillies Hydrangea (Ire), Hermosa (Ire) and Tenebrism, and the two other members offered by Haras de Saint Pair include lot 284, a daughter of Frankel (GB) and Girl Friday (Fr) (Pivotal {GB}), who sold for €400,000 to Michel Zerolo of Oceanic Bloodstock.

“Everyone wants Frankel,” he said. “You can never have enough of a good thing. The pedigree, the filly, I think she's relatively inexpensive given the market. We're very happy to have her. She's for a partnership and will go to Jean-Claude Rouget.”

Gordon-Watson Lands Filly From 'Best Cross'

Charlie Gordon-Watson would have won the prize for the best-dressed man at Arqana had there been such a competition but, what he really came to Deauville for was lot 247, a Frankel (GB) filly out of a mare by Dubawi (Ire), which the bloodstock agent labelled as best cross there is. 

Just as the hammer fell at €650,000, Gordon-Watson, bedecked in a suit and a bright red tie, high-fived his two children in delight after securing the Haras d'Etreham-consigned filly. 

The filly is the first foal out of Listed winner Crystal River (GB), a half-sister to Group 2 winner Secret Ambition (GB) (Exceed And Excel {Aus}), and to Royal Marine (Ire) (Raven's Pass), who won the G1 Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere. Gordon-Watson later revealed that she will be trained by either John Gosden or Andre Fabre. 

The visibly delighted agent said, “Well, the Frankel and Dubawi cross is the best. The statistics, the percentages and the Group 1 wins are phenomenal. She's a fantastic individual and is an exceptionally-good first foal who vetted very well.

“She has a very good back-pedigree, we like Frankel and he had a Group 1 and a Group 3 winner yesterday. They get better every day and he's the best there is. She'll go back to England, and then she'll either be sent to John Gosden or to Andre Fabre, or whoever we decide on later.”

Asked who the filly was for, Gordon-Watson, who often buys for Lady Bamford, replied, “Just an owner-breeder in England.”

Lady Bamford has already enjoyed notable success with Frankel as her famous maroon colours were carried by his son Dreamflight (GB) to victory for Fabre in a Listed contest at Saint-Cloud earlier this season. Multiple listed and Group 3 winner Suphala (Fr) was another high-achiever to carry the famous silks in France.

White Birch and Coolmore Back in the Fray

As the supply of yearlings by Galileo begins to dwindle it was no surprise to see the colt out of Group 3 winner High Celebrity (Fr) (Invincible Spirit {Ire}) go the way of MV Magnier at €650,000.

Sold on behalf of his breeder Haras de Fresnaux by Eric Puerari's haras des Capucines, lot 297 is a full-brother to the Listed-placed Friendly Face (Fr) and will race for in partnership for the Coolmore team and Peter Brant's White Birch Farm.

“They're not making them any more and thankfully we have some very good two-year-olds by Galileo,” said Magnier. “Aidan [O'Brien] is very positive about Tower Of London (Ire) and Donnacha has Proud And Regal (Ire), and we were very lucky to have been part of Galileo's success.

“This colt was a very nice horse and Mr Dubois is an unbelievably good breeder. He was a good mover and we want to make the most of the opportunities left when it comes to Galileo's young stock.”

Channel's First Foal for Bouchard

It is a rare moment when the first foal of a Classic-winning mare is offered at public auction, and when the youngster in question is a filly by one of the world's best sires she could be sure to pique the interest of breeders looking to boost their broodmare band. 

The first offspring of the 2019 Prix de Diane winner Channel (Ire) (Nathaniel {Ire}) is thus bound, eventually, to join the paddocks at Jean-Louis Bouchard's fledgling operation near Reux, after being bought through Gerard Larrieu's Chantilly Bloodstock for €400,000.

“I'm so happy because five years ago I bought a stud close to Deauville, and we are starting with new mares,” Bouchard said. “This filly has everything; she walks very well and I really like her attitude. Her dam is a Classic winner and by Nathaniel, who produced an exceptional mare in Enable. She will make a very good mare and she could be a good racehorse too.”

Early into the ring on Monday evening as lot 234, the chestnut filly was presented on behalf of her breeder Samuel de Barros by La Motteraye Consignment. As well as her own Group 1 credentials, she has the advantage of owning a deep pedigree which includes her G1 Cheveley Park Stakes-winning grand-dam Magical Romance (Ire) (Barathea {Ire}), Classic heroines Alexandrova (Ire) (Sadler's Wells) and Chicquita (Ire) (Montjeu {Ire}), and Melbourne Cup winner Rekindling (GB) (High Chaparral {Ire}). 

MyRacehorse Enters French Yearling Market

When Arthur Hoyeau signed the ticket for lot 105, a Justify filly, for €100,000 on Saturday at the Arqana August sale, it marked a new beginning for the American-based microshare racehorse ownership group MyRacehorse in France.

MyRacehorse–which offers shares in racehorses for $100 or less–has made a splash in America with early successes like its 2020 Breeders' Cup Classic win with Audible, which saw 5,300 investors win America's biggest prize. The company says that they are approaching the number of 100,000 new owners for racing, and this week, the group will be testing the waters in the French yearling market with purchases at the Arqana August Yearling Sale.

The new venture represents a partnership between Henri Bozo's Ecurie des Monceaux, bloodstock agent Arthur Hoyeau, and MyRacehorse. The plan is for the horses to train and race in France, with the initial shares sold to investors in America, the UK, Australia, and Ireland, as MyRacehorse is not yet licensed to offer shares in France.

“I had been approached by MyRacehorse last autumn, just as an initial contact and I said to Arthur it's a great opportunity to find a new audience for racing, which we all need and is very positive, so we decided maybe one day we could do something together,” Bozo recalled. He said the idea also intrigued him because he was interested in buying yearling fillies to race in the hopes that they would one day join the Monceaux yearling band.

“In a perfect world, exactly,” he said. “I have always been a big believer that buying yearling fillies is a great way to improve your broodmare band and you're buying fillies that you have picked as yearlings. You can pick the pedigree, you can pick the physical. What you can't pick is their racing ability, but if that happens, it's the full package and to get that at the broodmare sales is not possible.

“This year, Arthur suggested we buy a few fillies in a partnership and I said we would take a share in that partnership, and I suggested we speak with MyRacehorse because it would be a good way to simply firm up their project in France.”

The plan is for the yearling fillies to remain in France and go into training. No trainer has yet been selected.

“I find it a great idea to allow as many people as possible and as many new people to enjoy the game and to try to do it properly,” said Bozo. “If you want to try to participate in the big races as they have done in America, it's a costly sport and hobby, and to be able to offer it to so many different people in different sizes of shares and financial participation is fantastic. It's really part of what racing is—a hobby and a way for people to think about something else and to have a goal of seeing their horses race, and to get news about them. I think what racing is all about is to provide racing and fun and new things to people. It's an interesting project.”

McStay Continues To Make Hay

Mark McStay has been one of the busier agents at the August Sale, predominantly working on behalf of international owner Bon Ho, who struck for the third time when going to €410,000 for lot 237, a Sea The Stars (Ire) half-brother to Chilean (Iffraaj {GB}).

McStay, who operates under Avenue Bloodstock, also bagged colts by Dubawi (Ire) and Sea The Stars on behalf of Ho during Saturday's session. While he admitted that Ho needed to be convinced to go the extra mile to secure his latest acquisition, a dashing grey by one of the owner's favourite sires, connections were buoyed by the fact that renowned judge Michael Donohoe was the underbidder. 

Mc Stay said, “I thought the colt was very athletic. He had great presence and, while he's not an overly big horse, he has huge movement. I am a big fan of Sea The Stars and he has a fantastic pedigree–the mare has already done it before. 

“I actually remember seeing Chilean when he was in training with Martyn Meade and the two horses have a similar presence about them so there's a resemblance there. I'm delighted to get the horse because he's by a proven sire, with a proven pedigree, he vetted very well and he looks like an athlete.”

McStay added, “He came well recommended by Gwen and Lucie of La Motteraye. Mr Ho bought Deauville Legend (Ire) (Sea The Stars {Ire}) at this sale from the same farm as well. If we can get the same results, we'll be very happy. 

“I had a protracted duel with Michael Donohoe, who is an excellent judge, so hopefully we bought right. Valuations are two people's opinions and, when Eugene Daly told me who the underbidder was, it made me feel good because we did have the stretch for this horse and I really had to persuade Mr Ho to go the extra bit.”

Chilean landed a Group 3 when in training with Meade. He is out of Childa (Ire) (Duke Of Marmalade {Ire}), a Listed winner in France who has produced three individual winners to date, with Chilean being the best. 

On plans for the colt and reflecting on the sale as a whole, McStay said, “This horse will be sent to Jane Allison in the United Kingdom to be broken in and pre-trained. Mr Ho has horses in the UK and Ireland so he'll decide where he goes when the time comes. 

“It's been a busy few days and I have bought for a number of owners, including Mr Ho, who bought three. I also got one for James Ferguson, some owners who have horses with Hugo Palmer purchased a lovely filly the other night, and I bought the half-sister to Nashwa as well. Arqana has been a lucky place for me and they look after us very well.”

How were the freshman sires received?

It's very early days in the yearling sales season but top of the pops of  the young stallions at Arqana with their first yearlings for sale was Darley's Blue Point (Ire), whose seven yearlings sold over the last three days returned an average of €132,857.

Coolmore's Magna Grecia (Ire) had two sold for an average of €112,500, and his stud-mate Ten Sovereigns (Ire) was represented by three sold for an average of €106,667.

Too Darn Hot (GB) had five sold for an average of €102,000, while the average price for Waldgeist (GB) for five sold was €95,000. Calyx (GB) had two sold for an average of €90,000; Haras d'Etreham's City Light (Fr) had one yearling catalogued which sold for €85,000, and Land Force's sole yearling sold for €30,000. 

Eric Hoyeau, President of Arqana, and Freddy Powell, Executive Director, commented at the close of trade on Monday evening, “With such great results, we are more than satisfied that the yearling sales season is off to a great start. We are extremely grateful to our vendors for entrusting us with yearlings of this quality and for adapting to the new three-day format. The entire catalogue was of exceptional quality and all the yearlings entered are qualified for the Arqana Series, which will be held for the first time next year. The return to normal compared to the last two years has allowed us to organise events that enable us to welcome our clients, who came from Japan, the United States, Europe, the Gulf, Australia, etc., and we thank them for having attended. It was a real pleasure to see everyone in Deauville and we look forward to seeing you at the beginning of September.”

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