Courtesy of Racing Post
Arqana's four-day October yearling sale began with a glut of records being broken at the top end of the market, while overall trade for the expanded catalogue is already on course to dwarf previous editions.
More than €12 million of business was done as 210 lots went through the ring Oct. 17.
Albany Stakes (G3) heroine Different League made more than one set of Royal Ascot dreams come true this June and that meeting must be uppermost in the minds of the new owners of another daughter of Dabirsim, who became the third new record holder for the October sale in the space of one day's trading when Charlie Gordon-Watson had the last word at €500,000 (US$590,000).
Consigned as Lot 147 by Haras de Grandcamp who now stand Dabirsim, the filly will be going to Richard Hannon after Gordon-Watson saw off Godolphin.
She is the first produce from Amour Eternel, a half sister to listed winner Flash Dance and to the dam of the pattern-placed Stormy Victoria and was conceived from the two-time group 1 winner Dabirsim's second crop. Dabirsim also was the top sire by average selling price, with a figure of €171,667 ($202,567) for six yearlings.
Gordon-Watson listed a littany of assets in support of his purchase and said: "I thought she was an exceptional individual: big, strong, powerful; a March foal; very balanced; great walk, great attitude, great confirmation.
"She had everything. I paid more than I expected to but she is very special. She will be going into training with Richard Hannon for a new client."
Siyouni strike for Godolphin
The previous record price for the sale lasted no fewer than 15 lots, but here Godolphin was the last team left standing after seeing off the Hong Kong Jockey Club at €420,000 ($495,600) for Lot 133, a son of Haras de Bonneval's Siyouni.
The colt's dam Zaneton already has three black-type offspring to her name including 2012 Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare (G1T) heroine Zagora.
Standing with trainer John Gosden, it was Anthony Stroud who gave the winning bid for the colt, who hails from the Haras des Capucines draft. Gosden, Stroud, and David Loder representing Godolphin signed for four yearlings worth €925,000 ($1,091,500).
While Siyouni has made a big impact in the sales ring ever since his first yearlings were offered in 2013, there is never any harm in a recent group 1 success to prompt bidding and so the bet365 Fillies' Mile (G1) victory of Laurens Oct. 13 was timely.
"It's just nice to be able to buy a nice horse," said Stroud. "I think that's a fair price, and he will stay in France, though I don't know with which trainer yet. Siyouni is a fantastic stallion and has just had a group 1 winner in England."
Stroud and Godolphin also struck for Lot 95, a €210,000 ($247,800) son of Darley's own stallion Iffraaj, a half brother to the talented Silver Meadow and from the speed infused family of Brando and Reckless Abandon. The colt, bred by Team Hogdala and brought to market by Coulonces, is also destined to be trained in France.
Galileo filly proves to be gold for Monceaux
There was just one lot in the catalogue by Galileo (IRE) and there was predictably strong bidding for Lot 86, a filly who hails from Arqana heavyweights Ecurie des Monceaux.
As well as producing multiple stakes winner Seismos, dam Sasuela has plenty of prior history with Deauville, having twice had offspring light up the bid board during the August yearling sale here.
Her Monsun daughter made €1.2 million in 2014 while two years later another filly, this time by Frankel, was sold to Japan in this ring for €600,000.
Acting on behalf of Coolmore, it was Horse France's Robert Nataf who added another chapter to Sasuela's story when going to €400,000 ($472,000), erasing the previous record for this sale of €350,000.
"When you have a filly by Galileo with that pedigree and coming from that farm, there is no question she will be good," said Nataf. "She looks the part and resembles a lot of the good Galileo fillies. I bought her on behalf of M.V. Magnier and she will go to Aidan O'Brien."
Saint-Pair in demand
In recent years Andreas Putsch has made the October sale unique in at least one sense by consigning the entire yearling draft of his Haras de Saint-Pair during the one week of trade.
Lot 55, a colt by Frankel out of Prix Vermeille winner Pearly Shells (GB) was always likely to be highly sought after and so it proved.
Trainer Marc Pimbonnet was the man who gave the winning bid of €250,000 ($295,000), standing with his principal backer Fabrice Petit, who has invested heavily since the two men joined forces three years ago.
Two lots earlier, Pearly Shells' daughter, Pearl Banks, was represented in the ring by an Olympic Glory filly who went to the stallion's masters Al Shaqab after Mandore Agency's Nicolas de Watrigant paid €145,000 ($171,100) for her.
"She is well-bred, she is athletic, and we liked her origins on both sides of the pedigree," said de Watrigant, who was standing with trainer Francois Rohaut when the hammer fell. "Olympic Glory seems to be putting a bit of precocity into his stock as well as some size. Al Shaqab racing obviously like to support him while she is a beautiful filly."
There was initially disappointment for Saint-Pair when buying back Lot 106, a Dark Angel (IRE) colt out of Prix de Royaumont (G3) winner Sub Rose, but the colt subsequently changed hands privately after Michel Zerolo of Oceanic Bloodstock bought the colt for €300,000 ($354,000).
Turnover soars 41%
The three successive record lots rightly commanded plenty of attention but the overall trade Tuesday has put Arqana in position to push well past what they have previously achieved at this sale by the end of the week.
Even allowing for the expanded catalogue, a turnover of €12,274,500 ($14,483,900) means that the company is more than half way to passing last year's figure of overall business of €19,166,00 ($22,615,900) with three sessions remaining.
While the clearance rate was down slightly at just below 78%, the average and median both showed steep increases from 12 months ago. The average rose 5% to €73,943 ($87,253), while the median was up 17% to €58,500 ($69,030).
Eric Hoyeau, president of Arqana, said: "We have put a lot of effort into improving the top end of the market, and I think you can't be anything other than happy with a 41% increase in turnover."
There was also plenty of variety among the top lots, with the 11 horses to make €150,000 ($177,000) plus representing 11 individual sires and seven different buyers.
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