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Nicholls-bound Doctor Dino session-topper a long-term bet for the Stewart family

Scott Burton reports from Wednesday's NH yearling session in Deauville

The top lot during Wednesday's National Hunt yearlings session at Arqana was a son of Doctor Dino, bound for Paul Nicholls and owner Andy Stewart
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Andy Stewart has made a career in the City out of being able to take the long-term view.

On Wednesday his representative adopted a similar stance in the outdoor sales ring at Deauville as agent Joffrey Huet went to €97,000 to secure a Doctor Dino yearling colt (lot 708), bred and consigned by the Garcon family's Haras de l'Hotellerie. 

Dam Jane didn't reach the racecourse but her sister Jambalaya was Listed placed in Germany, while her daughter by Soldier Hollow, Joplin, was fourth in the Group 1 Prix Rothschild over a mile before making €300,000 at Arqana last December when sold as a breeding prospect to Japanese interests. 

Thyme White has already shown plenty of talent for Paul Nicholls and Andy Stewart and his yearling half-brother by Doctor Dino will he heading to join him in time after making €97,000 at Arqana on Wednesday

By that time Jane had been bought by Hotellerie, and Stewart had privately acquired her son by Anodin, Thyme White, who won the Scottish Triumph Hurdle in February and was an impressive winner at Chepstow on his reappearance this season. 

"For me he was really the horse of the sale and when I saw him a few weeks ago I really fell in love with him," said Huet. "He has been bought for Andy Stewart and will be trained by Paul Nicholls.

"I really liked him a lot and I'm very happy to have been able to get him. He will be a chaser in time but you should see him late on at three, or certainly as a four-year-old."

Martaline legacy lives on

Next week will mark the first anniversary of the death of Haras du Montaigu stalwart Martaline, who was pensioned from covering duties at the start of last year and eight of whose final crop passed through the ring on a day dedicated to jumps-bred yearlings. 

Four of those horses featured among the top ten lots for the day and leading the way was Montaigu homebred Part Exit (lot 648), who was secured by Bertrand Le Metayer for €87,000. 

Part Exit is out of a winning full-sister to Amarantine, successful at Listed level over hurdles at Auteuil as well as the Enghien chase course. 

Part Exit, a yearling son of Martaline, was sold to agent Bertrand Le Metayer at Arqana on Wednesday for €87,000

Le Metayer said: "Martaline unfortunately left us too soon and it is our regard for him as a sire that swayed us once again. He will be trained by Arnaud Chaille-Chaille and will carry the colours of Ecurie Hub de Montmirail, who enjoyed such success with Martaline's Nirvana Du Berlais."

The same owners can also look forward to racing the Channel Consignment's son of Doctor Dino, Saint Savinien (lot 783). 

Le Metayer said: "We are looking for horses with the profile to run in the good three-year-old races at Auteuil and, while we've bought a number of the last Martalines this week, we need to look at diversifying into some of the other top stallions, of which Doctor Dino is certainly one."

And Chaille-Chaille will also train another well-bred son of Doctor Dino after Huet paid €72,000 for Gold Dancer (lot 799), a half-brother to Al Dancer from Haras de Maulepaire. 

Basquin surfs the wave for leading sires

The top end of the market was largely dominated by progeny by Martaline and Doctor Dino - who also accounted for four of the top ten sales - and Paul Basquin of Haras du Saubouas was in no mood to miss out. 

Basquin gave €80,000 for Haras de l'Hotellerie's Martaline colt (lot 743) out of a winning sister to Moises Has, who landed the Grade 1 Prix Renaud du Vivier just last Sunday.

The late Martaline's final crop of yearlings proved popular at Arqana on Wednesday

"He's a lovely Martaline and Coastal Path is interesting as a damsire," said Basquin. "He's from a family which is doing very well at the moment. He is a good walker and has exactly the right build for a jumps horse."

Also heading back to Basquin's south-western nursery for pre-training will be Madara (lot 645), a Doctor Dino colt presented by Domaine de l'Etaing. 

"He's a very good looking son of Doctor Dino and the dam had a bit of class on the Flat before showing talent when sent jumping," said Basquin. "She is by Nombre Premier, who I see as a very good damsire."

Woods digs deep for De Bon Coeur relative

De Bon Coeur was one of the outstanding hurdlers to race in France over the decade and Franny Woods went to €62,000 to buy into the family with a son of Kapgarde.

Yet another success for Hotellerie, Kap Boy (lot 655) is out of the Pistolet Bleu mare Bumble, the granddam of De Bon Coeur. 

"We'll bring him home, let him grow and then send him to a sale in Ireland as a three-year-old," said Woods. "He's a grand horse, a lovely colour and has a great pedigree.

"We've been very lucky with the stallion, and I like the stallion a lot, so it made a bit of sense. I didn’t think I’d have to give €62,000 for him but I’ve gone and done it now and that’s the way it is."

Figures show buyers belief in the future

While the last eight months have been tough for the industry and the future remains uncertain, the market sentiment on Wednesday towards horses that will not see a racecourse before 2022 at the earliest was positive. 

In all, 121 yearlings were sold for a total of €2,584,500 at a clearance rate of 68 per cent.

While that marks a 22 per cent drop from 2019's record turnover, it is actually slightly up on 2018. 

More from Arqana this week

Sceau Royal brother rings the till as jumping prospects take centre stage

Mullins and Nicholls share €200,000 session-toppers as big jumps owners wade in

Sale-topping filly by Bouquetot newcomer Al Wukair bound for Britain 

For me he was really the horse of the sale and when I saw him a few weeks ago I really fell in love with him
E.W. Terms