'You Need To Zig When Others Are Zagging' – Crow On First Trip To Arqana

Liz Crow said she was happy with her first trip to Arqana | Horsephotos

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American bloodstock agent Liz Crow, best known for sourcing GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf winners Aunt Pearl (Ire) (Lope De Vega {Ire}) for 280,000gns and British Idiom (Flashback) for $40,000, Jack Christopher (Munnings) for $135,000 and the mighty Monomoy Girl (Tapizar) for $100,000, says that her first trip to Arqana October was a success after picking up four well-bred fillies this week.

Crow bought Aunt Pearl at Book 1 at Tattersalls in 2019 for 280,000gns but, in anticipation of a buoyant trade at Park Paddocks this year, opted to sidestep the sale that has served her so well in the past.

Instead, a maiden trip to Deauville for the October Sale was pencilled into the diary and, after leaving France confident that she secured value during a time when the price of well-bred yearlings have been skyrocketing, Crow insists that Arqana will be factored into plans for the foreseeable future.

She explained, “I really enjoyed the sale and I see us going back next year with more clients. I am trying to think outside of the box here. You need to think of ways to keep developing your business and go zig when others are zagging. This felt like that. It felt like an opportunity.”

Crow added, “I wanted to go to Goffs and Tattersalls but it was record sales and record prices there–it was just too tough. Our clients like to shop at the maximum $300,000 range.”

The influx of American buyers at Goffs and Tattersalls bidding to capitalise on the strength of the dollar may have been excellent news for vendors but the buyers found the going tough.

Revealing that she regretted the fact that she failed to pick any European-bred fillies to bring back to America this season, Crow made the late decision to travel to France and said she is confident that the trip will pay off in the long run.

She said, “I had heard that the Arqana October Sale was a little like the Fasig-Tipton October Sale in that it had a mixed bag of physicals and pedigrees but, if you did the work and were prepared to look at a lot of horses, you could find value.

“I regretted missing out on buying at Goffs and at Tatts so I was thinking if I want to get a few European pedigree fillies, maybe this is the way to do it.”

Crow added, “Freddy [Powell, chief executive at Arqana] was nice enough to accommodate myself and Lindsay Schultz. She's a young trainer who has got off to a fast start in America and she just wanted to experience it. We had never been to Arqana before and we really enjoyed it.

“Deauville is such a beautiful place, full of history and atmosphere. The October Sale was my kind of sale–lots of horses to dig through and a few nice physicals and prices where I felt we got value.

“Everything we bought was in the €160,000 to €170,000 range. That's great value to me because you still have to spend $20,000 to get them over to America. I felt I found value for my clients.”

Well-bred fillies were what Crow came to France for and that's exactly what she got. From a Siyouni (Fr) filly (lot 239) out of Montjeu (Ire) mare Cherriya (Fr) who has already produced two black-type performers, to a more stoutly-bred Waldgeist (GB) filly out of Deauville Shower (Ire) (High Chaparral {Ire}), who is from the family of Eagle Rise (Ire) (Danehill) and Eye Of The Tiger (Ger) (Tiger Hill {Ire}), the pair amassing four Group 2 victories in Italy and Germany between themselves, Crow thinks she filled the brief.

All bar one of the four fillies she selected have been allocated trainers already and Crow says she is excited about the new recruits.

“We bought a Siyouni, whose yearlings average €400,000, but we bought a filly by him for €170,000. She was really pretty.

Siyouni has done really well in America and we had Etoile (Fr), who we sold, by him. I thought this filly had similar characteristics to Etoile but had some power and speed. That also reminded me of Aunt Pearl–that body shape.”

Crow added, “Almanzor (Fr) was a really interesting sire for me. We kept landing on a bunch of those and learned that he's in a 'wait and see' phase at the moment. I see he had a big winner [Rajapour (Ire)] on Wednesday. I liked a lot of his physicals and was able to buy one [lot 321] for Stuart Grant.

Wootton Bassett (GB) is another sire who has done well in America so we looked at a lot of those and got out bid on several but I was happy to land one. That filly [97, signed for by Steven Rocco for €140,000] will go to Christophe Clement. The Siyouni will go to Chad Brown and is for Peter Brant.

“We also got a Waldgeist (GB) filly [260, signed for by NBS Stables for €160,000]. I had a client looking for a two-turn or three-turn type of filly and I thought that's what she was. She's going to be trained by Kelsey Danner. That's the group.”

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