American Girl: daughter of Triple Crown winner Pharoah stars in first session
Coolmore's MV Magnier buys daughter of American Pharoah and has big plans ahead
Deauville will welcome a galaxy of Hollywood stars for its American Film Festival at the end of the month but before then it is the Arqana August Yearling Sale that takes over the town.
This year's renewal had its own touch of US glamour as a filly from the first crop of Triple Crown hero American Pharoah stopped the show in the opening scenes on Saturday.
The half-sister to Yorkshire Oaks and Prix Vermeille winner Shareta, as well as three other stakes performers, was presented by Haras d'Etreham on behalf of breeders Barronstown Stud and was knocked down to Coolmore's MV Magnier for €750,000.
Barronstown have been rewarded for two bold choices for the mating. They bought the dam, the Listed-winning Barathea mare Shawara, for €550,000 as a 15-year-old from the Aga Khan Studs draft at the Goffs November Sale in 2013, and they then decided to send her to Kentucky for a tryst with American Pharoah, who wowed the world with his champion juvenile season and victories in the Kentucky Derby, Preakness, Belmont and Breeders' Cup Classic – but never raced on turf.
Magnier is in agreement that the stallion, who stands at Coolmore's Ashford Stud, will be an effective sire of turf horses, saying after he signed the docket: “I remember Bob Baffert [trainer] saying to me that he always thought American Pharoah would have also made a good grass horse, and this was just a lovely filly who'll probably head to Ballydoyle.”
Magnier later added: "My grandfather founded Ballydoyle on American dirt horses - that’s where Galileo comes from, that’s where Sadler’s Wells came from. It all goes back to the American Classic horse. And we strongly believe in American Pharoah. He really could be the next big thing.
"Be it him, or Justify, we think that a horse of that type can once again have a transforming impact on European bloodlines. So that’s what we want to do: to get the best American Pharoahs we can, put them in Ballydoyle, and try to make him a new Northern Dancer. Remember Scat Daddy was an all-American hero, too, and look what he has been able to do on turf in Europe."
There is one other chance to buy a yearling by American Pharoah at Arqana this weekend – the filly out of Grade 3 winner Marbre Rose who will be offered by Ecurie des Monceaux as lot 158 on Sunday.
The session's top lot will head in the opposite direction across the Atlantic, as US agent Justin Casse went to €810,000 for a Galileo filly out of Tender Morn offered by Haras des Capucines.
The filly is a sibling to four black-type performers, including the Group 3 Prix d'Aumale winner Zantenda and last year's Killavullan Stakes scorer Kenya, who is also by Galileo.
"She's from a very good family, has a lot of quality to her and has a lot of substance for a Galileo," said Casse. "She had a tremendous walk and every time I went out to see her she was the same horse; her temperament is great.
"She'll go to America and be trained by my brother [Mark]."
Casse has enjoyed success with previous Arqana purchases, including Zayat Stables' stakes-winning Frankel colt Gidu - a half-brother to Marbre Rose, the dam of the other American Pharoah filly - who finished a creditable sixth in the Commonwealth Cup.
Buyers did not have to wait long to get stuck in to the catalogue, as Emmanuel de Seroux of Narvick International went to €600,000 to land the sale's opening lot, a Galileo filly out of Naissance Royale offered by perennial leading vendor Monceaux.
De Seroux, bidding from the restaurant behind Eric Hoyeau's rostrum, said his clients wished to remain anonymous, but explained the well-related filly would be heading abroad to begin her racing career.
"She's been bought to go to Japan," he said. "She's the perfect outcross for the Sunday Silence-line stallions out there. She's a very good-looking filly and obviously her catalogue page is perfect."
The February foal is out of Naissance Royale, a daughter of the late, great Giant's Causeway who won three Grade 2s while in training with Christophe Clement. Since retiring to the paddocks she has bred four winners, including this filly's Group 3-placed sister Jadhaba, herself a €620,000 yearling at the 2014 August Sale.
The €600,000 mark was matched for another Monceaux offering later in the session when Oliver St Lawrence struck a winning bid of that sum for a Frankel colt out of the Listed-winning Oasis Dream mare Sabratah.
St Lawrence was acting on behalf of longstanding client Fawzi Nass, the Bahraini owner of stars such as Krypton Factor and Jordan Sport, both of whom he also trained.
“He's a lovely, big scopey horse who should make up into a nice three-year-old,” reported St Lawrence. “He'll return to England and eventually go into training with George Peckham.”
The colt's dam was a dual-Listed winner for trainer Henri-Alex Pantall and breeder Guy Heald, and from two foals to have raced she has produced the dual winner Muttrah Fort, who was not sold as a yearling for €650,000 at Deauville in 2015.
His first three dams are all Listed winners – Sabratah, Marika and Nordica, going back in time – and it is the family of Group 1 performers Best Of The Bests and Shaanmer.
A breakthrough year for Camelot's progeny on the track translated into a big result in the Arqana ring on Saturday, as Magnier also parted with €560,000 for the colt out of Rock My Soul offered by Coulonces Sales to set a new high mark for the sire.
The athletic grey, a half-brother to Chester Vase winner Young Rascal, was bred by Elisabeth Fabre's Ecurie Peregrine.
"He's a half-brother to a good horse," said Magnier. "He's a very good mover and Camelot is absolutely flying at the moment, be it colts or fillies, and it looks like we've got a good few smart two-year-olds by him. Hopefully this colt can be another."
Coulonces' Anna Sundstrom went a step further with her praise for the colt, even going as far as to compare him with her operation's most famous graduate.
"He's the male version of Laurens," said a delighted Sundstrom after celebrating with her team. "It's not often you get a yearling like this where everything comes right; pedigree, sire, breeder, x-rays, everything was perfect. He loved being at the sale, he came in here and thought he was the king, just like Laurens thought she was the queen.
"We loved him and he was actually stabled in the same box as Peace Envoy, who we also sold to Coolmore. It's difficult to come in this early in the sale even when you know you have a good horse, but that takes a little bit of the pressure off."
Camelot has supplied a brace of top-flight winners this year, with Latrobe landing the Irish Derby and Athena claiming the Belmont Oaks.
Muhaarar a la mode
Monceaux cash machine Prudenzia has produced four seven-figure yearlings at Arqana in August, including this season's Ribblesdale Stakes winner Magic Wand but not including Chicquita, who made €600,000 before winning the Irish Oaks and selling for an Irish auction record of €6 million.
This year's offering out of the Listed-winning Dansili mare was a colt by Muhaarar and he made a commendable price as a son of a first-crop sire, selling to David Redvers for €420,000.
"He's a very athletic horse and, as usual, he's a credit to the stud he's come from,” said Redvers. “He's been bought for Sheikh Fahad's Qatar Racing. We're trying to buy colts to fill a few of the gaps we have in our racing programme. He's a horse that very much has a stallion's pedigree and that's what we're all after."
Expanding on the first crop of champion sprinter Muhaarar, he added: "They're very strong-topped, speedy looking horses with big actions. We've got a nice one at home and I'm sure we'll see many more nice ones as he had some lovely foals that made a lot of money.”
Muhaarar had three other lots sell on Saturday and they also included a filly out of Prudenzia's Group 3-winning half-sister Pacifique who went to Langlais Bloodstock for €250,000, and a colt out of Group 3 winner African Skies knocked down to Al Shaqab Racing for €280,000.
Those prices provided fine returns on the covering fee of Muhaarar which has stayed at £30,000 since he retired to Nunnery Stud.
The sale continues on Sunday with a session starting at 5.30pm local time (4.30pm BST).