No picnic for Viaud as seaside charms await Osarus buyers
France's first breeze-up event of 2021 takes place on Tuesday
Physical breeze-up sales return to France for the first time in a couple of years on Tuesday, with Osarus managing director Emmanuel Viaud encouraged by the potential attendance at the firm's event at La Teste de Buch.
Almost 60 two-year-olds have been put through their paces at the Atlantic coastal town's picturesque racecourse at what has become a popular and more relaxed feature of the sale circuit.
Last year's sale was delayed for a month and a half before becoming the first of a steady stream of European online auctions, while Arqana has once again joined forces with Goffs UK to switch breezers from France to Doncaster.
"It's really important to us to be able to bring the horses and the buyers back onsite," said Viaud. "We still have the option to bid online for those who find it difficult to get here. But I think the majority of the bidding will be done in person.
"The dining arrangements are not quite as they were before, and meals are takeaway rather than people being able to sit around a table together.
"But apart from that the sale is organised pretty much like normal, with the breezes all filmed on Monday and videos of each horse, and then the auction following its usual routine on Tuesday but with a reinforced online option.
"It's great for us to be back at La Teste and the consignors are certainly happy about that."
The uncertainty has provided pros and cons but a benefit to Osarus is that a few glitzy-looking individuals have been kept on home soil instead of being sent across the Channel for the Arqana sale.
Among them is Yann Creff's Dariyan colt (lot 32A), a half-brother to the Listed Prix Policeman winner Bobbymurphy. He is one of the catalogue's cover stars, having been the €58,000 top lot when sold by the same leading French consignor and now jointly-owned by French-born Senegalese international footballer M'Baye Niang.
Creff also sells a colt by Exceed And Excel who is a half-brother to Grade 3 Santa Ana Stakes winner Elysea's World (12).
Ecurie de la Dentelle's Kodiac colt (41A), out of a half-sister to Prix d'Ispahan winner Sageburg, is another bonus arrival, while progeny by Siyouni, Wootton Bassett and his son Almanzor are all among the domestic offering.
Viaud continued: "It hasn’t been easy putting together the catalogue but we're very satisfied with the result.
"With Deauville moving their sale to Doncaster some French consignors have found it difficult and we have inherited some of their horses, and John Bourke of Hyde Park Stud has brought around ten horses over from Ireland, and it’s great that he's here.
"We’ve had plenty of trainers indicate they will be coming and I think it should all go well."
Viaud extended his gratitude to other Irish consignors too, with Micky Cleere consigning a daughter of Markaz (19) and Kildallan Farm supplying a Mehmas colt (52) and a filly by Ectot out of the Listed-class Sainte Opportune (38).