Five femmes fatales to follow in Deauville
The fillies and mares set to dazzle at December Breeding Stock Sale
The Arqana December Breeding-Stock Sale takes place over four days in Deauville starting on Saturday at 11am local time (10am GMT).
The auction offers broodmares, foals and a select number of National Hunt offerings, and has been a rich source of top-class racehorses and blue hen producers.
Here is a selection of some of the lots who could be hitting the headlines in the days ahead.
Lot 136 Bugie D'Amore
8yo b m Rail Link-Asmita (Efisio)
Consigned by Haras de Saint Pair
“Dark Angel's third cousin would sell well at the moment,” remarked Paul Thorman after selling a colt foal by the white hot Yeomanstown Stud sire at Tattersalls last week. There was substance to the joke, as Dark Angel progeny have been in strong demand since he added three new Group 1 winners – Battaash, Harry Angel and Persuasive – to his record this year.
So Bugie D'Amore, carrying a precious foal by Dark Angel, is sure to be popular when she is put on the market by her owner Haras de Saint Pair in Deauville in the coming days.
It is not only the cover that makes her a valuable prospect though. She was a Group 3 winner at two in Italy who showed she could put it up to Europe's finest when a fair fifth to Fallen For You in the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot. She has already produced Newmarket maiden winner Dubai Hero to Dark Angel, as well as the placed €470,000 Arqana breeze-up graduate George Of Hearts.
Lot 174 Haggle
4yo ch f Pivotal-Barter (Daylami)
Consigned by Henri-Francois Devin
Haggle is the subject of a highly significant update, as she was a comfortable winner of the Group 3 Prix Fille de l'Air at Toulouse before catalogues for the sale went to press.
The filly looks like a good bit of business for Stephen and Becky Hillen, who bought her for 125,000gns from her breeder and previous owner, Luca and Sara Cumani's Fittocks Stud, at Tattersalls last year.
Since being transferred from Cumani to Henri-Francois Devin, she has won the Listed Prix Maurice Zilber for the Hillens and gained Group 2 and Group 3 placings besides her recent Group 3 success.
What enhances Haggle's broodmare appeal even further is the fact she hails from the famous Fittocks Stud family of Souk, also responsible for Alexandrova, Chicquita, Magical Romance and Rekindling.
Lot 184 Sortilege
9yo b m Tiger Hill-Sahel (Monsun)
Consigned by Ecurie des Monceaux
Here is an opportunity to buy a Group 1 heroine from one of the very best German families, with a cover by an exceptionally exciting young sire to boot.
Premio Lydia Tesio winner Sortilege is out of a winning Monsun sister to German Classic winners Salve Regina, Samum and Schiaparelli and to the dam of runaway German Derby scorer Sea The Moon. Bidding reached €1.5 million for another of her high-class relations, Samba Brazil, at the Arqana December Sale three years ago.
Furthermore, Sortilege is in foal to champion miler Kingman, whose first-crop yearlings have been setting sales rings alight this year.
Sortilege cost the shrewd Gestut Karlshof just €30,000 at this sale in 2011 before she notched her top-level victory, and she should make plenty more on her second trip through the ring.
Lot 189 Troarn
3yo b f Wootton Bassett-Darkova (Maria's Mon)
Consigned by Jean-Claude Rouget
That Troarn is a sister to a European champion in Almanzor entitles her to sell for a pretty penny, so the fact she also managed to gain that all-important black type is the icing on the cake.
Almanzor's trainer Jean-Claude Rouget sent her out to win a maiden at La Teste de Buch and to finish second in the Listed Derby du Midi in the spring, although her form tailed off a little thereafter.
Another selling point for Troarn is that she has no instances of the ubiquitous Sadler's Wells and Danehill in her pedigree, and will therefore be easy to mate in her paddocks career.
Lot 197 Zakia
3yo b f New Approach-Zarkasha (Kahyasi)
Consigned by Aga Khan Studs
Aga Khan consignments at Arqana have proved to be an absolute gold mine for other breeders. The dams of Almanzor, Capri, Shakeel, The Pentagon and Vadamos were all bought in Deauville in December in recent years and those nuggets were available at all levels of the market: Darkova, the dam of Almanzor, cost just €16,000 while Vadawina, the Group 1-winning source of The Pentagon, was purchased for €600,000.
The Aga Khan Studs consigns around 40 mares to Arqana in the coming days and one who is bound to be at the more expensive end of the scale is Zakia, the unraced New Approach half-sister to Zarkava and an incredibly rare chance to buy a female sibling to the Aga's unbeaten wondermare who has produced Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud winner Zarak in her own paddocks career.
Zakia is also a half-sister to Prix Minerve winner Zarshana and top hurdler Zarkandar from a family that bears top-class fruit with remarkable regularity.
And not forgetting...
No fewer than 319 foals have been catalogued for Deauville, and history tells us there are serious bargains to be had. This season's dual French Classic hero Brametot cost just €26,000 three years ago, while Albany Stakes winner Different League – sold for 1,500,000gns in Tattersalls this week – was sourced by Con Marnane for a scarcely believable €8,000 in 2015.
Different League's exciting young sire Dabirsim, along with other elite French sires Le Havre and Siyouni, feature in the sires' index in the Arqana catalogue, as do the ever popular Kodiac, Lope De Vega, Sea The Stars and Teofilo.