The second and final session of the February mixed sale at Arqana Feb. 14 returned solid results, headed by the sale of three six-figure lots and topped by the €300,000 (US$370,620) purchase of Learning To Fly (IRE).
Over the two days of trade, 286 short yearlings, horses in training, and fillies and broodmares changed hands for €2,844,300 ($3,483,737), which includes private sales, resulting in a 37% rise on the 2017 renewal, which comprised a single session. The rise in volume didn't weigh on the clearance rate, which also progressed to just short of 80%. The average price only slipped marginally to €10,015 ($12,181).
The André Fabre trainee Learning To Fly (Lot 245) turned many heads last October when he notched a two-length victory at Lyon-La-Soie in his debut, in the colors of China Horse Club's Teo Ah Khing and Mayfair Speculators. The son of Oasis Dream is out of a half sister to group 3 winner Pacifique and stakes winner Prudenzia.
The hammer ultimately fell in favor of Anthony Stroud, who was represented by Sally-Ann Grassick, but the identity of the horse's eventual owner was not disclosed.
A former Al Shaqab color-bearer, the 5-year-old mare Lbretha stood out as one of the gems of the catalog as a listed stakes winner from a blue-blooded family. Bids sparked from all corners of the sales pavilion until Bertrand Le Métayer offered a deal-closing €260,000 ($321,204) for the daughter of Exceed And Excel (AUS) and granddaughter of Wildenstein stables' Action Francaise.
"She is for Samuel de Barros who is starting out as a Thoroughbred breeder," commented the agent. "This will be his second broodmare. I liked the fact that she has straits of Machiavellian and will be very easy to mate with Galileo (IRE) and his sons."
Samuel de Barros's wife Elodie operates Ecurie Delo, and is a significant owner-breeder in the trotting world. He recently branched out in Thoroughbred breeding and secured a nomination to Siyouni on ArqanaOnline.com in December.
Bermuda Thoroughbreds' Irish-bred Johnny Barnes, recently retired to Haras des Granges in France, is set to receive a choice partner among his first book in the regally-bred Lorgnette (FR) (Lot 353), for which John and Jake Warren paid €200,000 ($247,080). The daughter of Galileo is out of the Derrinstown Stud One Thousand Guineas Trial (G3) third-place finisher Dance Secretary, herself a half sister to grade 1 winner and sire Perfect Soul .
Lorgnette was offered by Ecurie des Monceaux, after racing for a partnership involving Mayfair Speculators.
"She is for the owners of Johnny Barnes who are keen to support their stallion," confirmed Jake Warren. "They have been looking for quality mares and she fitted the bill perfectly".
Another former Mayfair Speculators color-bearer offered by Ecurie des Monceaux, Emotion (Lot 336) commanded a final bid of €75,000 ($92,655) from Charlie Gordon-Watson's assistant Will Douglass. The daughter of Exceed And Excel failed to shine on the track, yet she retains broodmare value as a half sister to two black-type horses. She is out of a sister to group 1 winner Amonita and group 3 winner Cox Orange.