Bidding Heated for Dubawi Filly at Arqana

James Harron landed highest-priced yearling for 1.5 million euros at Deauville.

A daughter of Darley sire Dubawi was the object of a lengthy bidding duel Aug. 18 at the second session Arqana Deauville August yearling sale before selling for the evening's highest price of €1.5 million ($2,000,094 in U.S. funds).

Australian-based bloodstock agent James Harron outlasted agent Nicolas de Watrigant, acting on behalf of Qatari Sheikh Joaan Al Thani, to secure the Irish-bred bay filly out of the unraced Cozzene mare Hit The Sky. Harron was bidding on behalf of an undisclosed buyer.

The session topper was offered by Anna and Etienne Drion's Coulonces consignment. Hit The Sky has produced four winners from five to race, including English group winner Memphis Tennessee, who was third in the 2011 Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby (Ire-I), and French group II winner Royal Bench, runner-up in the 2010 Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Mile (HK-I). The filly's second dam is French group I winner Cerulean Sky, a half sister to 2008 Darley Irish Oaks (Ire-I) winner Moonstone.

"She was the pick of the sale and you can't fault her," Harron told Racing Post about the session topper. "I thought she would be popular as she was physically outstanding and it's no surprise she made this much. You can't fault her sire, who has been extremely successful in both hemispheres."

An 11-year-old son of Dubai Millennium, Dubawi stands at Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum's Dalham Hall Stud in Newmarket. He currently ranks third by progeny earnings the English/Irish sire list.

Early in the session, a filly by Europe's leading sire Galileo out of French group I winner Alpine Rose, by Linamix, brought €1 million ($1,333,503) from Coolmore's M.V. Magnier.

The gray filly was consigned by Lucien Urano's Ecurie des Monceaux, which also sold a Galileo filly, who is a three-quarter sister to 2013 Irish Oaks (Ire-I) winner Chicquita, to Magnier at the opening session Aug. 17 for €1 million. The filly was the co-session topper on day one along with a Dubawi colt.

Magnier said his latest acquisition is a lovely filly.

"We really liked from the start," Magnier told Racing Post about the filly, the second foal out of 2009 Prix Jean Romanet (Fr-I) winner Alpine Rose. "Like yesterday's purchase, she will also come back to Ireland before we decide on her future."

The filly was bred in Ireland by Ecurie des Monceaux, Lady O'Reilly's Skymarc Farm, and Haras du Mezeray. She is a three-quarter sister to last year's Arqana Deauville August yearling sale topper, a Sea The Stars colt, named Edkhan, who sold for €1.2 million. He is training toward his career debut with Alain de Royer-Dupre.

As at the opening session for part 1 of the catalog demand for quality horses continued at second session.

Arqana reported double-digit increases in both total receipts and average price for the session as 58 horses sold through the ring and four private sales led to an aggregate of €12,399,000 ($16,531,107), up 14% from last year's second session. Average price rose 22.2% from last year's corresponding session to €208,741 ($278,370). Median price was unchanged at €140,000 ($186,705).

The session saw an improved clearance rate: 73.4%, compared with 69% in 2012.

Cumulative sales on 122 horses and eight private sales for the two days comprising part 1 of the catalog reached €26,625,000 ($35,508,543), which was up by more than 31% compared with 2012 figures. The cumulative average sale price was €212,893 ($283,921), marking an impressive increase of nearly 35%. The clearance rate 73.5% compared with 66% last year.

Overall, four yearlings sold out of part 1 for €1 million or more. Two are by Dubawi, and two by Galileo.

"The market proved very strong at the top end, with buyers coming from all over the world attracted by a very high-class catalog," Arqana chairman Eric Hoyeau said. "The great successes achieved on the track this year by graduates of this sale generated recognition for the status of the Deauville sales. Both French and European consignors, which we would very much like to thank, showed us real trust and were well rewarded."

Part 2 of the sale is set for Aug. 19 while the company's inaugural V2 yearling sale is set for the following day.