Bromley secures €120,000 colt for Munir and Souede
Isabel Mathew reports from the second day of the Autumn Sale
After JP McManus's spending spree in Monday's opening session of the Arqana Autumn Sale in Deauville, it was the turn of fellow leading owners Simon Munir and Isaac Souede to dig deep as the auction continued yesterday.
Anthony Bromley of Highflyer Bloodstock – manager for Munir and Souede, prolific supporters of French racing in addition to finishing runner-up in the owners' championship in Britain last season – secured the session-topping yearling colt Le Grand Gae on behalf of the pair for €120,000.
Bromley said of the colt, a brother to the owners' Grade 1 Prix Ferdinand Dufaure winner Srelighonn who was consigned by Domaine de l'Etang: "I've been waiting all day for this lot. He's a gorgeous individual and we really like his sire Great Pretender as well."
The lot will eventually join Srelighonn's trainer Francois Nicolle.
Rouget jumps to it
Elsewhere in the session there was further evidence of Jean-Claude Rouget's increasing interest in the jumps game as he purchased eight high-profile yearlings at the auction, securing two lots including a €90,000 son of Saint Des Saints.
Named Le Pre Saint Louis, the Domaine de L'Etang-consigned yearling was bought by last season's champion French Flat trainer in association with Philippe Allaire after he saw off Guillaume Macaire in the final stages of bidding.
"He's an outstanding colt that really has something special about him," said Rouget's close friend Nicolle, who already trains the handler's Grade 3-winning chaser The Stomp and will also receive the colts purchased. "He's a great walker and is very strong. Jean-Claude said to me that the price was getting very high, but I think it was worth it."
Out of the placed Lavirco mare Miss Courteillaise, Le Pre Saint Louis is notably a brother to the Dai Walters-owned Sainlouis Des Pres who finished fourth on his only start in a Ffos Las bumper for Paul Nicholls in April.
Saint Des Saints finished runner-up in the French jumps sires' table last year and stood at Haras d'Etreham for a fee of €15,000 this season.
Macaire makes amends
A few lots later, it was Macaire who came out on top of a bidding battle when going to €71,000 for a gelding by Kapgarde from Haras du Logis Saint Germain under the name of Paul Basquin's Haras de Saubouas.
The scopey April-born yearling is a half-brother to the ill-fated Grade 1 Navan Novice Hurdle winner Pont Alexandre as well as Ponte Fortune, runner-up in a Listed Hurdle at Auteuil last year.
Williams wades in
At this sale 12 months ago it was Nick Williams who bought the yearling's half-brother by Martaline for €52,000. He didn't manage to secure this one, but instead spent €70,000 on another son of Kapgarde from Haras des Brousses.
A half-brother to Grade 2 winner Pierrot Lunaire, the yearling, already named Kapache, was bought by Williams for a longstanding client.
"All of the graded horses that I've bought have been out of winning mares," Williams said in relation to Kapache's dam, who won a Listed race on the flat. "I've had a lot of success buying here at this sale with the likes of Fox Norton, Aubusson, Me Voici, Agrapart, Pistolet Noir and Le Rocher, so it was natural that I've come back."
Later Williams, who runs Betway Bowl Chase winner Tea For Two in the Betfair Chase at Haydock on Saturday, went to €110,000 to secure a brother to Le Rocher on behalf of the same client. Already named Saint Du Roi, the colt was offered from Haras du Meheran.
The trainer had bought Le Rocher for just €26,000 at this sale in 2011, but due to his subsequent exploits, which have included winning the Grade 1 Future Champions Finale Hurdle, Williams had to fend off several parties for this yearling.
Macaire also struck again when going to €100,000 for a half-brother to last season's Grade 2 Trull House Stud Mares' Novices Hurdle winner Let's Dance for John Cotton.
Consigned by Jean-Pierre and Guillaume Garcon's Haras de l'Hotellerie, the Martaline colt is out of Listed hurdle winner and Grade 2-placed mare Baraka Du Berlais, making him a close relative to Gitane du Berlais.
Knocked down for €75,000 to Frederic Sauque, the March-born chestnut is a half-brother to the recent Fontainebleau Hurdle winner Energy D'Olivate from the family of Listed winning chaser Numero Special. Allaire also went to €90,000 for Martaline colt Marchand De Venise for himself, a three-quarter brother to Listed jumps scorer Pafadas.
The final figures for the day showed increases all around with marginally less yearlings sold, finishing with a higher clearance rate than last year's sale of just over 74 per cent, with the average of €24,152 up by 38 per cent.
This was also the case for the median of €16,000 in what proved to be a strong market for National Hunt yearlings from both domestic and overseas buyers that reflects the immense success of French-breds.
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