The Castlebridge Consignment Returns to Arqana

Andrew Mead from Castlebridge with lot 93, Vouchsafe | Sue Finley


Fresh off yet another productive Tattersalls December Mare Sale, where they have led consignors there for the past eight years, The Castlebridge Consignment embarked on somewhat of a less familiar journey to Deauville to hang up their well-known banner for Arqana's December Breeding Stock Sale.

The Castlebridge Consignment, which has bases in Newmarket and at Castlebridge Stud in County Meath, Ireland, has been absent from the Arqana sales grounds since 2017, but this week they returned with a group of nine fillies in training, broodmare prospects and mares in foal that will sell in Saturday's select session.

Castlebridge co-director Andrew Mead was on-site early Thursday morning to oversee setup in cour C.

“We've tended to focus on the Tattersalls and Goffs sales in Ireland,” Mead said. “Those have been going very well for us, but we reached a point where we thought it was time to come back to Deauville in December. The sales have been steadily improving and we had enough horses this year to go to Goffs, Tattersalls and Arqana.”

Mead said that as buyers descend upon the sales grounds, he expects to see a mix of both familiar faces and new ones.

“You'll see some of the same faces arriving in Deauville to try to buy the horses that they didn't manage to buy at the previous sales, but there also is very much an element that you'll see different faces here that didn't attend Tattersalls in Newmarket or Goffs in Ireland,” he explained. “To some degree, we're putting our horses in front of a different audience, but at the same time, there are many of the same faces attending all the sales. So you're perhaps getting the best of both worlds at Arqana.”

The Castlebridge consignment includes several promising fillies that could go on to further their racing success next year.

“Of the fillies in training, we've got two from Germany that are very attractive,” Mead said. “We have a filly called Libre (Ire) (Exceed and Excel {Aus}) (lot 118), who is a lovely black-type filly, and we have a filly called Goldana (Galileo Gold {GB}) (lot 141) who won a stakes race in her last start. We also have a lovely filly from Italy who is a wildcard, Romagna Mia (GB) (Mastercraftsman {Ire}) (lot 190). She won her last [black-type] start in Italy. She looks to have plenty of racing still in her and she'll make a lovely broodmare as well.”

The consignment's group of broodmare prospects includes lot 93, Vouchsafe (Ire) (Kingman {GB}), a three-quarter sister to four-time Group 1 winner Moonlight Cloud (GB) (Invincible Spirit {Ire}); lot 151, Loch Lundie (Ire) (Shamardal), a stakes-placed filly from the immediate family of G1 Fillies Mile winner Lyric Of Light (GB) (Street Cry {Ire}); and lot 179, Thunder Beauty (Ire), a 5-year-old listed stakes-winning daughter of Night of Thunder (Ire) who ran second in this year's G2 Duke Of Cambridge S.

Lot 56, Sweet Mademoiselle (Fr) (Free Eagle {Ire}), a half-sister to Group 1 winner Zellie (Fr) (Wootton Bassett {GB}) in foal to Almanzor (Fr), and lot 171, Boyne River (GB), a winning daughter of Kingman (GB) in foal to Night of Thunder (Ire), both represent the consignment as in-foal mares.

A perennial leading vendor, The Castlebridge Consignment was the leading seller at the Goffs November Foal Sale and a top three consignor at the Goffs November Breeding Stock Sale. They celebrated a successful Tattersalls December Mares Sale as they led the auction with 28 sold for a gross of over 5.4 million gns, headlined by the sale of Group 3 scorer Tranquil Lady (Ire) (Australia {GB}) for 2.7 million gns.

“We've been very lucky over the years and we seem to keep rolling along in terms of having good sales at Castlebridge,” Mead said. “I think what's behind it all is the staff at the sales, who are amazing, but also we've got a marvelous backroom team who work extraordinarily hard leading up to the sales for about four months and through the weeks of the sales. We owe all our success to the people who work for us because without them, it just wouldn't happen.”

Mead shared his thoughts on the market ahead of the final breeding stock sale of the season.

“We arrived here in Deauville straight from a very strong sale in Newmarket,” he said. “I think anybody from the horse industry following sale results would say it was a remarkable sale. We had horses selling in both the Sceptre Sessions and the non-Sceptre sessions, and we found that the market was equally strong across the board for whatever part of the sale we were selling in. Prior to that, we had come straight from a very strong Goffs sale where we had a lot of foals and they sold extremely well. I think all sale companies at the moment are riding something of a crest of the wave. They're all doing well, they're all having great sales and let's hope Arqana equally finishes the season in the same style.”

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