Sheikh Mohammed Jets In to Arqana for €1.25m Dubawi Colt 

The session-topping Dubawi colt | Zuzanna Lupa

By Emma Berry and Brian Sheerin

DEAUVILLE, France–In the week that it was confirmed that Diane Wildenstein's breeding operation Dayton Investments has been sold to the Wertheimer brothers, a Dubawi (Ire) yearling from one of the most recognisable Wildenstein families became the first seven-figure yearling in Europe this season.

When there are yearlings by Darley's flagship stallion on the market, it is often a safe bet that Sheikh Mohammed will be interested. With the Ruler of Dubai in attendance in Deauville, the day's top lot (21) was duly sold to Godolphin for €1.25 million, with the sheikh's agent Anthony Stroud at the helm for the bidding. 

The colt was bred by the partnership of Ecurie des Monceaux, David Redvers, Langlais Bloodstock and Beauregard Bloodstock, who bought his dam Pretty Spirit (Ire) (Invincible Spirit {Ire}) as a three-year-old for €150,000. Though she was placed just once in her brief racing career, she is a three-parts-sister to the treble Group 1 winner Persian King (Ire), who is himself represented by his first yearlings this season. Pretty Spirit and Persian King represent five generations of Wildenstein breeding and a dynasty which includes Horse of the Year Pawneese (GB), Arc winner Peintre Celebre, and more recently the champion stayer Stradivarius (Ire).



Five of the seven Dubawi yearlings in the sale were offered within the first 39 lots on Friday and all were consigned by Monceaux. Godolphin also bought lot 17, a colt out of the G3 Prix de Royaumont winner Pollara (Ire) (Camelot {GB}) from Monceaux for €550,000, while David Redvers went to €400,000 for the grandson of another Group 3 winner, Pacifique (Ire) (Montjeu {Ire}) (lot 27). After the session ended, Redvers also privately acquired lot 5, a son of Group 3 winner Paix (Ire) (Muhaarar {GB}) herself a daughter of Pacifique, for €500,000. The final one to be sold during the session proper, at €390,000 to Hubie de Burgh, was the filly out of the Lope De Vega (Ire) mare Right Hand (GB) (lot 39). The Wertheimer-bred dam's half-sister Left Hand (GB) is one of Dubawi's many Group 1 winners and is the dam of this season's G3 Prix de Psyche runner-up Left Sea (GB) (Frankel {GB}).



Talking Points

  • A number of key industry figures have jetted in to Deauville for the first major yearling sale of the year in Europe. Sheikh Mohammed, John and Sue Magnier, Sheikh Joaan Al Thani and Kia Joorabchian are all in attendance, along with a number of owners from Bahrain, America and beyond. The many trainers on site include Aidan O'Brien and Yoshito Yahagi.
  • As is so often the case with sales, the opening session felt a tad shaky to begin with but it soon hit its stride. The day ended with 101 sold (seven fewer than last year) for an improved clearance rate of 85.6%. At €230,842, the average was up by 29%, and the aggregate was also up, by 20% at €23,315,000.
  • Wootton Bassett (GB) may have left the French stallion ranks but he has not been forgotten. Eleven members of his first Irish-conceived crop were sold in Deauville on Friday for an average of €338,182 from his 2021 fee of €100,000.
  • Pinatubo was another first-season sire to make a good start with his yearlings. The first lot into the ring was a filly from La Motteraye by the Darley-based stallion and she set the tone for a hot sale when selling to Louis Dubois on behalf of Wesley Ward for €250,000. All told, Pinatubo had four yearlings sell for €960,000 at an average of €240,000 on Friday.
  • Of the freshman sires on show at Arqana, Sottsass (Fr) also made a positive start, with five sold at an average of €142,400. Earthlight (Ire) had just one go through the ring, and Elevage de Tourgeville's filly (lot 101) from the family of Oaks winner Soul Sister (GB) fetched €160,000, sold to Blandford Bloodstock.
  • Five members of the first crop of Hello Youmzain (Fr) were offered on Friday, and all sold at an average price of €127,000. These were led by Haras de la Perelle's filly out of the Listed winner Testa (Ire) (Acclamation {GB}) (lot 94) who was bought by Peter Kavanagh of Kildaragh Stud for €210,000. It is a family that Kavanagh knows well, as her third dam is Mahalia (Ire) (Danehill), a smart runner and influential broodmare for Gerry Oldam of Citadel Stud.
  • The sole Kameko yearling on the opening day of the August Sale will be off to Hong Kong eventually, having been bought by Mick Kinane on behalf of the HKJC for €310,000. Lot 42 is a half-brother to the dual Listed winner Buckaroo (Ire) (Fastnet Rock {Ire}) out of the stakes-winning Galileo (Ire) mare Roheryn (Ire).

Coolmore Make Statement With €720k Wootton Bassett Colt

Wootton Bassett has gone some way in justifying Coolmore Stud's faith in him with River Tiber (Ire) winning the G2 Coventry S. for Aidan O'Brien and Bucanero Fuerte (GB) landing the G1 Phoenix S. for Amo Racing this year alone. 

The results on the racetrack carried over into the sales ring on Friday with Coolmore, from which John and Sue Magnier and their son MV were present at the back of the auditorium, going to €720,000 to secure Monceaux's (lot 118) colt by the stallion.

MV Magnier said, “He is a very nice Wootton Bassett and everybody knows that Monceaux does a brilliant job. Listen, he's a very nice horse and thankfully Wootton Bassett is absolutely flying at the moment.”

He added, “It was [a big commitment to bring Wootton Bassett to Coolmore Stud] and, thankfully, it looks like he has worked out. He keeps improving our stock and there are some very good two-year-olds by him. The future is going to be very bright for him.”

Coolmore's RIver Tiber could harden his reputation as a top-notch two-year-old in Sunday's G1 Sumbe Prix Morny at Deauville, however, according to Magnier, the colt could struggle to maintain his unbeaten record after suffering an interrupted prep for the race. 

He explained, “Aidan will hopefully run River Tiber on Sunday but he missed a week two weeks ago so he is a little bit worried about how fit he is coming into the race. Hopefully, if he does run, he can run well.”

Asked about the market, Magnier added, “It's been good and Arqana does a great job in getting everybody here from America, Japan, the Middle East, Australia, Ireland, England and Europe.”



Widespread Praise For Wootton Bassett 

Wootton Bassett's popularity was borne out in the results throughout the day with top American owners snapping up an expensive colt by him, respected bloodstock agent Richard Brown declaring his love for the stallion and even Godolphin shelling out €320,000 for a colt by him. 

His first yearlings from his debut year at Coolmore Stud sold well, with 11 going for an average which was more than three times his 2021 fee of €100,000. 

One of the picks was a filly (lot 33) consigned by Haras d'Etreham, and she made her way to the Bregman Family in America for €550,000. The Bregman Family are perhaps best known in Europe for being the owners of classy juvenile No Nay Mets (Ire) (No Nay Never) and are represented by bloodstock agent Mike Akers.

After signing for the most expensive filly by Wootton Bassett on the day, Akers said, “Lovely filly, very well prepped from a breeder who has been producing nice horses for a long, long time. I bought her for Alex Bregman of the Bregman Family Racing LLC. Alex is racing some nice fillies and hopes to be a significant breeder here and in the US in the future. We are very happy with what we have bought.”



Blandford Bloodstock's Richard Brown may not have been able to confirm who his Wootton Bassett filly would be racing for but didn't hold back in his praise for the stallion when going to €410,000 to secure lot 82 from Ballylinch Stud. 

Out of a winning Oasis Dream (GB) half-sister to Silasol (Ire) (Monsun {Ger}), Brown's purchase hails from a strong Wertheimer family and had the looks to match. 

Brown said, “I love the stallion and, obviously, he's having an incredible year. It's a very good pedigree and she comes from an exceptional nursery. Historically, I haven't bought a huge amount of horses from Ballylinch but it hasn't been from a lack of trying. They are a world-class nursery and do an exceptional job. Her dam is a sister to a very good filly [Silasol] and physically, I thought she was right up there with the best fillies that I have seen here. There is a very good selection of horses here. I had to stretch to get her but I am delighted to have got her.”

He added, “It looks like Wootton Bassett is going to go from strength to strength. He's one of the leading sires around so you have to take him very seriously.”

Godolphin added a Wootton Bassett to their roster in the shape of lot 6, a filly consigned by Ecurie des Monceaux who hails from the family of the brilliant Peeping Fawn (Danehill), for €320,000. 

Saint Pair's Frankel Plays Starring Role

Richard Brown was back in action later in the session but remained tight-lipped about the client on whose behalf he bid €950,000 on the colt by Frankel (GB) out of Via Pisa (Fr) (Pivotal {GB}) (lot 111). 

From the signature family of Andreas Putsch's Haras de Saint Pair, the 11-year-old dam was herself a Listed winner whose dam and granddam Via Medici (Ire) and Via Milano (Fr) are both Group 3 winners. The family also includes the Japan-based stallion and Grade 1-winning miler Admire Mars (Jpn). Via Pisa's first foal, a brother to this colt, is the treble winner and Listed-placed Green Fly (Fr).

“Once you have these families it's great but of course we didn't expect that,” said Putsch. “We had fantastic vibes all through the presentation days. We were busier than ever and the amount of high-rollers looking at the horses was tremendous. I'm really very impressed.”

He added, “Today we had a rocky start and we bought back the first filly but then it got stronger and I expect it to be strong tomorrow.”



Force Behind Amo Racing Ahead Of Prix Morny

Less than a week after recording a Group 1 breakthrough at the Curragh when Arqana August graduate Bucanero Fuerte (GB) landed the Phoenix S., Kia Joorabchian of Amo Racing was once again flexing his muscles in the sales ring.

Things could get even better for the Amo team on Sunday when, just a few hundred yards across the road at Deauville racecourse, the operation's Royal Ascot winner Valiant Force (Malibu Moon) will bid for Group 1 honours of his own in the Prix Morny. 

Those are the stars of today but Joorabchian was busy recruiting next year's two-year-olds at Arqana alongside Robson Aguiar, who said he hopes lot 112, a Kodiac (GB) filly from Etreham who cost €430,000, is as nice as she looks.

“She will be for racing and, if she goes as nicely as she looks, I think she could be a very nice racehorse,” he said. “I have worked with a lot of Kodiacs and she looks like a good one.”

Reflecting on the fine run Amo Racing is enjoying, Aguiar added, “We try to buy a good horse. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. At the moment, it's working.”



Knight Snaps Up Sottsass Filly For New Saudi Investors

The first yearlings to sell by the Arc winner Sottsass (Fr) went down well with five selling for an average of €142,400, headed by the €300,000 daughter of prolific producer Shermeen, who was bought by Richard Knight on behalf of new Saudi investors. 

Knight described himself a big fan of Coolmore Stud's Sottsass, who stands for a fee of €25,000, and labelled lot 66 as his favourite offering by the stallion in the entire sale. 

Knight said, “I thought she was a very athletic filly and is a daughter of Sottsass and, from what I have seen from the stallion, she was my pick. The dam has been a very good broodmare and she has been bought for a new Saudi operation called Salhia Stud and she'll go back to the UK where she will be trained.”

Shermeen was multiple Group-placed herself before producing seven individual winners, including three black-type performers, the best of which was David Wachman's G1 Phoenix S. winner Sudirman (Henrythenavigator).

There could be even more from the progeny of Sottsass at the August Sale as lot 183, a colt who sells under the Coulonces banner on Saturday, has been tipped by many of the top judges to be one who could command a pretty penny.

Rose Blooms Just In Time

John O'Connor is not known for his timekeeping, but he is certainly widely regarded as one of best operators in the business, both in his role at the head of Ballylinch Stud and as a breeder in his own right. A crucial update may have been last-minute for lot 121, the Lope De Vega (Ire) filly he bred from Xaarienne (GB) (Xaar {GB}), but it could not have been more emphatic as it came right under the noses of those in town for the sale when the filly's year-older sister made an explosive debut in the Arqana Series des Pouliches at Deauville on Thursday evening.

Named Rose Bloom (Ire) and running in the colours of the China Horse Club she was however only enhancing an already strong family. Other half-siblings include the G3 Prix Six Perfections winner See The Rose (Ire) and Listed winner Xaarino (Fr), both of whom are by Kendargent (Fr).

The yearling duly sold for €460,000 just over 24 hours later and was signed for by Alex Elliott on behalf of Coolmore.  



Buy of the Day

Lot 40, B, C, Hello Youmzain (Fr)-Rime A Rien (GB) (Amadeus Wolf {Ire})
Vendor: Haras de Montaigu
Buyer: Longways Stables
Price: €105,000

The first yearlings by Haras d'Etreham's dual Group 1-winning sprinter Hello Youmzain have impressed at Arqana, generally exhibiting a decent action and looking fairly forward types. It will be no surprise if they catch the eye of some of the breeze-up buyers, and indeed this colt out of the proven producer and stakes-placed Rime A Rien was bought by Mick Murphy and Sarah O'Connell of Longways Stables. If he gallops as well as he walks he could well prove profitable back in Deauville next May, especially as his half-siblings include the G2 Sapphire S. winner Soffia (GB) (Kyllachy {GB}) and the Listed-placed multiple winner Nationalista (Fr) (Nathaniel {Ire}).


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