Sensational August Sale Closes With €2.2m Siyouni Colt to Coolmore

Paul Shanahan and MV Magnier | Zuzanna Lupa

By Brian Sheerin and Emma Berry

DEAUVILLE, France–It was the bloodstock sales equivalent of a mic drop: two lots, five minutes, €3 million. Boom.

Coomore has long nurtured its partnerships, and with Peter Brant, Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith and Georg von Opel's Westerberg, the Magnier-led operation has enjoyed plentiful success. Most notably this season that has come with Paddington (GB), a multiple Group 1-winning son of Siyouni (Fr) bred by Dayton Investments at Ecurie des Monceaux, and it was to that nursery that the team turned again, signing for the day's top lot [244], also by Siyouni, for €2.2 million.

The names of MV Magnier and Brant's White Birch Farm were on the ticket, just as they were for the previous colt [243], a son of Wootton Bassett (GB) whose yearlings on offer this season are from the first crop conceived in Ireland since the stallion's purchase by Coolmore. 

Those two sires, Siyouni and Wootton Bassett, have formed the cornerstone of the French stallion ranks in recent years, backed up by the late Le Havre (Ire) and Kendargent (Fr), and even with Wootton Bassett no longer in the country, his stock is still high in Deauville. A batch of 24 of his yearlings went through the ring over the last three days for an average of €349,375, led by the €800,000 colt from Monceaux out of the American Pharoah mare Holy Roman Empress (Ire), herself a winning daughter of the G1 Phoenix S. winner Damson (Ire) (Entrepreneur).

The Siyouni colt, meanwhile, is out of Hourglass (Ire), a Galileo (Ire) half-sister to Shamardal. Both colts were bred by China Horse Club from mares bred by Coolmore and associates.

“They're two very nice horses and, interestingly enough, we actually sold the two dams a couple of years ago,” said Magnier. “We've come back and bought the progeny because China Horse Club are very good breeders and Monceaux are an incredible farm. They do a very good job raising horses and we're lucky to get the two of them. They'll both go to Ballydoyle.”

Ecurie des Monceaux has held the title of leading consignor at the August Sale since 2012 and it was once again on top, with 35 yearlings sold for a total of €15,180,000.

Monceaux's Henri Bozo said, “It's been a very good sale. As it has got going it has gone from strength to strength and to have sold those two big horses to Coolmore is a great proof of trust from them to us. The Siyouni colt is a lovely horse with the magic cross, he's magnificent, a good mover, and there is plenty to come physically.”

He continued, “I think that we saw from the beginning of the showing days that there were more and more people. A lot of principals were looking at the horses and enjoying the sale and everybody was confident.”

Bozo and some of his partners were also involved in one of the Group 1 contests on the racecourse at Deauville earlier in the day when their Ramatuelle (Justify) was collared close home to finish second by a head in the G1 Sumbe Prix Morny.

“I got too excited too early and I thought she was going to win,” he said. “She's so tough, she's amazing.”

Ramatuelle will be a valued addition to the Monceaux broodmare band in due course, but first we may see her travel to Newmarket for the G1 Cheveley Park S.

Talking Points

  • All credit to Arqana, this year's August Sale didn't miss a beat. The aggregate was up 15.41% to €56,949,000 while the average climbed 10.7% to 232,445. Along with that, the clearance rate was a healthy 86%, up 4% on last year. In short, it was an excellent, record-breaking sale. 
  • Plenty of attendees at the sale remarked upon the importance of the presence of some of the heads of major global racing and breeding operations in Deauville, and it may well have been a contributing factor to an incredibly buoyant market at Arqana. Godolphin, Coolmore, and a rejuvenated Al Shaqab filled the top three buyers' slots.
  • For the twelfth year in a row, Ecurie des Monceaux was the leading August vendor, selling 45 yearlings at and average of €451, 714, but it was also a terrific sale for Nicolas de Chambure and his team, who sold the top lot, the Dubawi half-sister to Bucanero Fuerte (Fr), for €2.4 million along with 14 other yearlings for a total average price of €340,895.
  • Siyouni has long been the stallion king of France and, with Mqse De Sevigne (Fr) winning her second Group 1 in three weeks across the road just before the start of the final session, and the scintillating prospect of Paddington (GB) running in Tuesday's G1 Juddmonte International, the stock of the Aga Khan Studs' star resident really couldn't be higher. At Arqana over the last three days, 15 of his yearlings sold for a total of €6,950,000, putting him behind only Dubawi (Ire) and Frankel (GB) on the sale's sires' table.
  • Freshman sires featured prominently, with Ghaiyyath's €455,000 average for three sold giving him bragging rights, but it was also a notable debut for Haras d'Etreham's Hello Youmzain, whose stock drew many favourable comments and who ended the sale with 19 sold at and average of €128,789. His initial stud fee was €25,000.

Coulonces Back in Spotlight With Another Japanese Buyer

On Saturday Anna Sundstrom sold a homebred Sottsass (Fr) colt to Mitsu Nakauchida for 525,000gns, and a day later another Japanese trainer, Yoshito Yahagi, also found favour with Sundstrom's Coulonces Sales draft. He selected a Wootton Bassett (GB) colt out of the G3 Prix Miesque winner Magic America (High Yield) for €1,000,000.

“I was interested in buying a yearling by Wootton Bassett, as I think he has the ability to succeed in Japan as a sire,” said the trainer who has launched successful international raids on the Breeders' Cup and Saudi Cup. “I have been here all three days, and my impression is that this is a very strong market. I was on my final bid for this colt.”

Last year, Yahagi was responsible for buying the sale's top lot, a €2.1 million brother to the Arc winner Sottsass (Fr). This time he signed for two yearlings, including a first-crop son of the 2,000 Guineas winner Kameko for €140,000.

The Tweenhills stallion has made a rock-solid start, but far more interesting than the fact the Kameko posted an impressive €177,500 average for four yearlings sold were the buyers of his sons and daughters. The Hong Kong Jockey Club snapped up a colt by Kameko on Friday for €310,000 and, along with  Yahagi, French trainer Yann Barberot also featured on the list of buyers. 

Speaking about the strong start from the £15,000 sire, David Redvers of Tweenhills said, “Delighted. It's been a great start. There is a mixture of happiness and sadness because, when a horse is sold abroad, it lessens the exposure for the stallion at home. But, wherever he does well, it will be a good thing. I think we have some really exciting yearlings to come. The ones I have seen tend to be really sharp-looking. If they are out of a fast mare, he seems to be putting that strength into them. With the Roaring Lions, I rarely saw one that didn't look as though it would need at least 10 furlongs at three.”

He added, “With the Kamekos, we certainly have one going to Book 1 and he is out of a very fast mare and looks very sharp. He could be his first two-year-old runner. Sheikh Fahad wants to expose Kameko to the market so he is selling some of his nice ones.”

A Siyouni for Restrepo and JR Ranch

“We've waited three days for this filly,” said Ramiro Restrepo after signing for lot 279, a Monceaux-bred Siyouni daughter of the unraced Lucerne (GB), a Frankel (GB) half-sister to the treble Group 1-winning miler Charm Spirit (Ire).

At €700,000, she was another significant purchase in Europe by the American-based JR Ranch, who gave £250,000 for Ocean Vision (Ire) (US Navy Flag) at the Goffs London Sale in June. 

Restrepo, who acts as Marquee Bloodstock, continued, “She is going to be a cornerstone, hopefully a foundation mare down the line for us. We bought Ocean Vision for the same partner, JR Ranch. He has a lot of passion for Thoroughbred racing and this filly has it all: temperament, class, physique, beautiful pedigree. She's out of a Frankel mare who is a half to Charm Spirit, a major Group 1 winner, and Dream And Do is in the family, who is one of Siyouni's Group 1 winners.”

Restrepo added that the filly will be the first to race in France for JR Ranch and that she will be trained in Chantilly by Tim Donworth, who previously trained Ocean Vision.

He said, “I have known Tim since he was on the Flying Start course. We bought Ocean Vision, who was one of the nicest horses in his yard. He brought the horse over to America for the Grade II and our partner was super-impressed with how he handled himself and the love that he showed for the horse, so it was only right to replace one in his barn.”

Stroud: 'It Has Been Great To Get The Principals Here'

Just a few hours after his Craven Breeze-Up purchase Vandeek (GB) (Havana Grey {GB}) confirmed himself one of the best two-year-olds in Europe when storming to G1 Prix Morny glory for KHK Racing Ltd, Anthony Stroud rounded off a weekend to remember by signing for a Camelot (GB) colt with “a stallion's pedigree” on behalf of Godolphin for €850,000.

Purchased from Gestüt Ammerland, the Camelot colt brought Godolphin's total spend at Arqana over the past few days to €5,350,000 across 10 yearlings, which made the operation the leading buyers at this year's sale.

Very nice horse from Gestüt Ammerland,” Stroud said of lot 267. “We bought the half-brother [a Shamardal colt for €1.6m] here last year and we like him. This colt obviously has a stallion's pedigree and the team thought he was one of the picks of the sale. He's a nice staying horse.”

Stroud added, “I think it has been a good sale. The main thing is that it has been great to get the principals here like John Magner, Sheikh Mohammed, Al Shaqab, Amo Racing and now Wathnan Racing. There are many more and you couldn't come to a nicer place than Deauville for a sale, could you?”

Not only was this year's August Sale a hugely successful one for Godolphin with a view towards the number of high-class yearlings added to the system, but the performance of the Darley stallion roster was something that gave the team a lot of satisfaction. 

Dubawi was out on his own as the leading stallion at the sale with seven yearlings selling for €5,690,000 but his sons Night Of Thunder (Ire) and freshman Ghaiyyath (Ire) enjoyed some time in the limelight, with Godolphin snapping up all three offerings by the latter to the tune of €1,365,000.

Stroud commented, “We all have great faith in Ghaiyyath, including the boss, and the three that were here were a really good representation of the stallion. We've great faith in him so we will see what happens. We're very happy going forward.”

'We're Back': Al Shaqab Make A Statement With €3.5m Spend 

The smile on Benoit Jeffroy's face said it all after Al Shaqab signed for the ninth yearling purchased at this year's August Sale, a Wootton Bassett (GB) colt from Haras du Mont dit Mont for €575,000, which helped bring the total spend for the operation made famous by Treve (Fr) to €4,135,000.

“It's great to be back,” Jeffroy beamed, as Al Shaqab set the foundations of a rebuilding process at Arqana over the past three days that saw the operation sign for yearlings by some of the most sought after stallions in the world, including Siyouni, Kingman and No Nay Never.

Jeffroy said, “Listen, it has been good to be investing in these yearlings and nice to get some yearlings that we liked and into fillies and new families. We have really enjoyed going around selecting them with Sheikh Joaan, who has been really involved throughout the past week and was here. He said, 'Let's go and find some nice horses for next year,'. Hopefully we have found some good ones.”

Elaborating on the reasoning behind the strongest spend at a yearling auction for many years by the operation, he said, “We spoke in May about trying to regroup and select more with a view towards the broodmare band. It's very tough to breed the [good] horses. We have 60 mares now compared to the big operations that have a lot more mares and access to all of the big stallions. “We just thought that we would stay a little more selective on the breeding side of things and to try and buy some more nice horses at the sales. That's the plan.”

That's not to say that it was all plain sailing. The strength of the market in Deauville meant that even the reinvigorated Al Shaqab operation struggled to land every punch but emerged from the 12 rounds at Arqana in better shape than it began. 

“First day was good but the second day we got beaten quite a few times. Today, we got beaten twice, but got one we really liked–the Wootton Bassett. It's been a really good market and, to be honest, the guys at Arqana have done a great job. There have been a lot of horses with good physicals and good pedigrees and we are lucky to have bought nine now.”

He added, “Last year we bought six or seven horses at Book 2, including Baheer (Ire) (Mehmas {Ire}), who is quite exciting for Richard Hannon. We also bought some horses here in Deauville but not to this level. That's why I said to Sheikh Joaan, it's good to keep going with higher quality and the horses by the big stallions because, if you want to keep a mare, it's good to have one by a big stallion. Also, if you become a good racehorse and stallion, you want to be by a good sire. We are just trying to upgrade.”

Al Shaqab went on to sign for another Wootton Bassett for €675,000, elevating the spend beyond €4m. Interestingly, Amo Racing bought in to lot 235, the Wootton Bassett who colt €575,000, later on in the day. That represents a new partnership.

As well as recruiting runners for next year and beyond, Al Shaqab offered prospective buyers the first glimpse of progeny by the Haras de Bouquetot-based stallions Wooded (Ire) and Romanised (Ire), and Jeffroy described himself as pleased by the start the freshman sires have made.

He said, “Wooded has been very well received. His first yearling made €140,000. Personally, I find him quite exciting. They have great depth and are nice horses. I think we will see more from him in October and we are also pleased with Romanised. 

“We stand him on behalf of Mr Ho and the filly was very well sold here on Saturday. Romanised has some nice yearlings selling at V.2 so we are happy. Yes, they are on the cheaper side, but who knows? They might be the ones.”

Buy of the Day

Lot 255, B, C, Zarak (Fr) – (Just Sherry (Ire) (Intense Focus)
Vendor: Haras du Cadran
Buyer: Godolphin
Price: €175,000

It is almost cheating when selecting a horse who cost €175,000 as the buy of the day but, given that figure was over €50,000 below the average of this year's sale, it is probably fair to include the Zarak (Fr) colt [lot 255] who was snapped up by Godolphin. 

Zarak needs no introduction for a start, and this good-walking son of his, consigned by top breeder Haras du Cadran, boasted a lot of likeable attributes. Such a statement is backed up by the fact an operation the size of Godolphin felt they couldn't leave him behind at the money. 

He is out of Just Sherry (Ire) (Intense Focus), a dual listed winner in France, who hails from the family of the 2,000 Guineas winner Cockney Rebel (Ire).

A nice athletic colt, he looks one who will benefit with a bit of time under his belt and he'll certainly get every opportunity to fulfill his potential. 

Away from the Zarak, lot 294, a filly by The Grey Gatsby (Ire), caught the eye in selling to Dan Astbury for €82,000. She is a big girl, but has a walk to match and carries herself. 

The Grey Gatsby is an intriguing sire and this filly of Anna Sundstrom's [Coulonces] draft was a nice model and is one to look out for in time.

 

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