Classic success and record turnover for French sales house
Five per cent increase in aggregate sales to €136 million in 2017
Arqana enjoyed a memorable 2017 with its graduates on the track, including dual Classic winner Brametot and Derby hero Wings Of Eagles, and the success was mirrored in the sales ring with its ten physical and four online sales contributing to record annual turnover of €136 million - a five per cent increase on last year.
That figure represents an 81 per cent increase on the same figure recorded in 2010, when the global recession resulted in depleted foal crops and declines in sales.
This year also posted a record number of horses sold at Arqana, with 3,387 horses offered at the company's three venues in Deauville, Saint-Cloud and Chantilly. Of those, 2,684 were sold, 84 more than last year, with the average price rising by around one percentage point to €50,646.
Wings Of Eagles became the first Deauville sales graduate to win the Epsom Classic. Bred by Haras de Montaigu, the colt was bought at the August Yearling Sale for €220,000.
Just 24 hours later, Brametot, sold as a foal at the Arqana Breeding-Stock Sale for just €26,000 and already the winner of the Poule d'Essai des Poulains, followed up in the Prix du Jockey Club.
Arqana graduates Le Brivido and Sea Of Grace also placed during French Guineas weekend at Deauville in May.
Some 28 per cent of the company's annual turnover stemmed from the August Yearling Sale, the sales for which declined by only four per cent despite ten per cent fewer lots on offer. The second part rose considerably by 22 per cent to €4.2m, while total sales for the October Yearling Sale rose by nine per cent to €21m.
The first part of a remarkable pinhook took place when the Dabirsim filly Different League was picked up for €8,000 at the 2015 Arqana December Breeding-Stock Sale. She went on to win the Albany Stakes at Royal Ascot and was subsequently sold for €1.5 million at the Tattersalls December Sale.
Another incredible pinhook took place when Walk In The Sun, a Street Sense colt, went from a $15,000 Keeneland September yearling to selling for €1.4m at this year's Arqana Breeze-Up Sale - making him the most expensive breezer sold in Europe this year.
A quintet of 2017 Cheltenham Festival winners had previously made an appearance at Arqana, namely Labaik, Let's Dance, Arctic Fire, Flying Tiger and Un Temps Pour Tout, with Whisper a live contender in Tuesday's King George VI Chase and next year's Cheltenham Gold Cup.
Total store sales at Arqana this year broke the €3m mark - up 30 per cent on last year.
Talented AQPS hurdler Djingle was the most expensive online purchase, when selling for €350,000 to Tom Malone.
"2017 saw some great vitality from all the Arqana sales, with the remarkable fact that there was growth at all market levels." said Eric Hoyeau, chief executive of Arqana.
"Top-drawer offerings attracted highly competitive demand but the middle market rose even faster, as shown by the brilliant results from the October Yearling Sale and Part 2 of the Breeding-Stock Sale.
"In other words, all vendors who made the decision to sell at Arqana in 2017 proved rewarded, which is what we strive for. Moreover, trade was fuelled by demand from a host of long-standing supporters of our auctions as well as a significant number of fresh investors, both from France and abroad, for the Flat and the jumps.
"These are positive signs for the future of the French racing and breeding industry, and vindicate the major investments made by French breeders to upgrade their stock as well as by Arqana to consistently enhance its customer service.
"From 2018, we will be able to rely on a fabulous showcase for French racing and breeding in the renovated Paris Longchamp – a most exciting outlook."