Shifting from Newmarket to Deauville, Coolmore and members the Qatari royal family continue to spend for quality horses and helped drive a 22% rise in revenue on opening day of the Arqana October yearling sale Oct. 21.
Coolmore bloodstock adviser Demi O'Bryne went to the day's top price of €320,000 ($437,728 in United States funds) for a colt by their Irish-based freshman sire Mastercraftsman.
For the day, total sales on 133 of 164 horses offered were €7,585,000 ($10,375,455) as seven more horse sold than on opening day last year. The average price of €57,030 ($78,016) and median of €42,000 ($57,455) also were up double-digit percentage points at 15.5% and 10.5%, respectively.
"This first day of the sale is in line with the trend for the (Arqana) August yearling sale with a similar progression and activity at the top of the market," Arqana chairman Eric Hoyeau said. "This session has become a real goal for buyers. The quality of the individuals and their preparation has been rewarded with some great bidding wars, with 16 yearlings making €100,000 or more compared to 10 in 2012 on the same day."
The clearance rate also was in positive territory, rising to 81.1% from 75.5% at the corresponding session in 2012.
"The percentage of horses sold is also very satisfactory on this first day of the sale," Hoyeau said. "All this gives some impetus for the next three days which are still full of great-looking horses. The many buyers who were defeated on this Monday will therefore be able to satisfy their requests."
Bred by Mathilde Bozo and Kildaragh Stud and offered by Lucien Urano's Ecurie des Monceaux, the session-topping Mastercraftsman colt is out of the winning Fasliyev mare Pertinence and is a half brother to multiple French stakes winner La Peinture, who was group III-placed. Second dam Peace Signal is a half sister to 1997 European Horse of the Year and successful sire Peintre Celebre.
Mastercraftsman, a 7-year-old son of Danehill Dancer, currently leads the freshman sires list in England and Ireland by winners, with 22.
Coolmore's M.V. Magnier made headlines on opening day of Tattersalls October yearling sale when he purchased a Galileo colt out of Book 1 for 3.6 million guineas ($6,084,666), a European auction record for a yearling.
Qatari Sheikh Fahad Al Thani, whose Al Shaqab Racing bought the world-record-priced Galileo filly at the Tattersalls two weeks ago, forged a new partnership with his cousins–Qatar Racing principals Sheikh Fahad, Sheikh Hamad, and Sheikh Suhaim–and went to the day's second-highest price of €300,000 ($410,301) for a Galileo filly out of Premiere Creation.
Qatar Racing manager David Redvers signed the ticket for Coulonces Consignment's full sister to 2008 Prix Cleopatre (Fr-III) winner Leo's Starlet and a half sister to French stakes winner Anabaa's Creation, who placed at the top level in the U.S. and France. Premiere Creation, by Green Tune, was group III-placed in France and finished third in 2000 Del Mar Oaks (gr. I).
The Al Shaqab/Qatar Racing partnership bought eight horses in total for €1,800,000 ($2,461,901), including Haras d'Etreham's Invincible Spirit filly out of the stakes-placed Thunder Gulch mare Grenadia for €220,000 ($300,902).
Al Shaqab/Qatar Racing also landed a Duke of Marmalade filly out of Tipperary Honor, by Highest Honor, for €195,000 ($266,753). She, too, was offered by Coulonces Consignment.
With Sheikh Fahad's father, Sheikh Abdulla bin Khalifa Al Thani, purchasing Haras du Mezeray's colt by Invincible Spirit out of the Galileo mare Maid To Believe for €230,000 ($314,580) earlier in the day, the Qatari royal family landed four of the sale's five highest-priced horses.
Sheikh Abdullah also spent €180,000 ($246,236) for colt by freshman sire Sea The Stars out of the Kingmambo mare Katyusha, a full sister to 2004 St. Leger Stakes (Eng-I)) winner Rule of Law.
Both Qatar Racing and Sheikh Abdullah's Umm Qarn Farm were the underbidders on the top-priced Mastercraftsman colt.
The Arqana October yearling sale was expanded to four days from three last year, with part one of the sale comprising the first three days. Day two of the part one sale continues Oct. 22.