Invincible Spirit filly the star on third day of August Sale
James Thomas reports from the third day of trade in Deauville
There is nothing quite like a notable catalogue update to capture the interest of buyers, and that seemed to have been borne out during the third day of Arqana's August Sale on Monday as an Invincible Spirit half-sister to recent Group 3 Prix du Calvados winner Polydream topped the session at €400,000 to the bid of David Redvers.
However, Redvers - seated in the restaurant behind the auctioneer's rostrum with Ghislain Bozo of Meridian International - explained that this filly had been on his radar even before her unbeaten relative had begun to make a name for herself.
"I saw her at the farm [Ecurie des Monceaux] two weeks ago, and it's rare you see something at home that looks exactly the same, if not better, once they get to the sales, and she looked even better. She has so much quality and is so light on her feet," he said.
"When I first saw her I must confess I was unaware of Polydream and just how good she is. With that update it makes this filly exactly what we're looking for; a filly that's very racy and athletic that'll be a broodmare of the future. We now have the fun of the autumn watching Polydream win her Group 1 and not having to be quite so worried that she'll be beating us!"
The purchase of the Invincible Spirit filly takes the number of new acquisitions due to carry the colours of a burgeoning partnership between Qatar Racing and new Chinese investors to three, with Redvers and Meridian having also signed for Wings Of Eagles Kingman half-sister for €750,000 and a daughter of the same first-crop sire out Monceaux's foundation mare Platonic for €300,000.
The Freddy Head-trained Polydream has won both of her starts since the catalogue's publication, giving the dam Polygreen, a daughter of Green Tune, a third black type performer after the Listed-winning Evaporation and Listed-placed Ankle.
Hong Kong haul
The Hong Kong Jockey Club's Mark Richards was busy sourcing stock for the 2019 Hong Kong International Sale throughout the Deauville auction. And, having bought the very first lot through the ring during the opening session of this year's August Sale - a Frankel colt for €310,000 - he continued his activity on Monday when he added a second lot by the sire to his haul for €300,000.
"I'm very happy to have got two Frankels - I'd have bought one last year if I could have but they were too expensive," he said. "This colt is a very immature horse, which obviously suits us ideally as we're not in any rush as there's no way he'll need to be a two-year-old or anything like that. He'll come over for our sale which is 18 months away, he'll be a three-year-old by then and that gives him the time he needs. He's a perfectly athletic horse but just needs to mature. Fingers crossed he's got enough ability to make a name for himself."
The Monceaux-consigned colt is out of Noelani, a dual Group 3-winning Indian Ridge sister to Prix de l'Abbaye winner and useful sire Namid, meaning this colt is bred on the same cross as the unexposed three-year-old Swiss Storm.
Soon after the Frankel had exited the ring Richards re-entered the fray when going to €240,000 for a striking son of Siyouni offered by Haras de Montaigu.
"I've been looking for a Siyouni for a while and this one fits the bill perfectly," he said. "He's a sire I know our CEO [Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges] is very keen on, so hopefully that'll keep him happy! This colt is a nice athletic type of horse. He won't do anything for a while, we'll let him get over the sale first and then start chipping away with him."
The dark grey colt is out of the Unbridled's Song mare Peinted Song, a Listed-placed performer for Alain de Royer-Dupre. Further back on the page are a host of well-known Wildenstein family stars, including Peintre Celebre and his closely related half-sister Peinture Rare.
The rapid start made by Dabirsim's first two-year-olds, with ten of his 25 runners having already scored, was mirrored by a member of his second crop in the Arqana ring on Monday when a filly consigned by Haras des Capucines fetched €270,000 from Nicolas de Watrigant.
"She's the filly of the day," said the Mandore International agent. "I haven't bought many at this sale, but I tried my best to put a new syndicate of owners together for this filly and that's what happened. She'll stay in France but I don't know who'll train her yet. The sire is a plus, but physically she's something very special."
The scopey filly is the second foal out of the winning Sakhee mare Mi Vida Loca, a sister to dual Listed winner Shujoon whose further family includes the stakes-winning two-year-olds Blaine and Bogart.
Over the three days of trade four lots by Haras de Grandcamp resident Dabirsim changed hands for €492,000 and an average of €123,000, which rank as mightily impressive returns for horses bred from a fee of just €9,000.
Oceanic parts with €260,000
Late in Monday's session Michel Zerolo of Oceanic Bloodstock stretched to €260,000 for an Iffraaj filly bred by Lady O'Reilly's Skymarc Farm and Ecurie des Monceaux on behalf of owner Martin Schwartz.
"I liked her because she's an Iffraaj - a good sire of fillies - and she has a good pedigree," said Zerolo. "She's a good-looking filly and will go to Jean-Claude Rouget, so it's business as usual."
The filly is the first foal out of the winning and Listed-placed High Chaparral mare Delhi, who descends from the family of 1991 Beverly Hills Handicap winner Alcando.
This filly now has some big shoes to fill, as the famed Wall Street trader Schwartz has enjoyed plenty of notable successes with the fillies he has owned, including 2005 Coronation Stakes Stakes winner Maids Causeway and, more recently, Beverly D Stakes winner Sea Calisi.
Master trainer Jean-Claude Rouget may have suffered a heavy blow with stable star Almanzor being forced into a premature retirement, but there is no shortage of new talent on the way to his Pau base after this week's Arqana action.
Rouget finished the three-day sale having made 12 purchases for a total spend of €1,510,000, with the most expensive of his buys on Monday coming in the shape of a Le Havre filly offered by first-time August Sale vendors Haras de Castillon who cost €180,000 signed for with Sylvain Vidal. The filly is a daughter of the unraced Sunday Break mare Pacific Queen, whose family includes Poule d'Essai des Poulains winner Style Vendome.
Rouget's other purchases included a Siyouni filly from the further family of Group 1 winner Maximova at €160,000; a colt from the first crop of Anodin at €150,000; and a colt by Almanzor's sire Wootton Bassett for €130,000.
Varian steps in
The first major blow of the final August Sale session was landed by Roger Varian, bidding through Arqana's head of bloodstock Freddy Powell, after the trainer went to €180,000 for a Kodiac filly out of Lucrece, a Pivotal half-sister to Prix Maurice de Gheest winner Signs Of Blessing from the draft of Haras du Mezeray.
"She's a very racy filly and I liked her very much," said Varian, who had already left Deauville to put the finishing touches to his team for York, which includes Pretty Polly Stakes winner Nezwaah.
"She has been acquired on behalf of an existing client," he added.
The Kodiac over a Pivotal mare cross has already produced three runners from five winners, including Varian's smart five-year-old sprinter Ateltico.
Trade on day three returned an aggregate of €9,379,500 - down seven per cent but from 22 fewer offered lots than in 2016, an average of €85,268 - up three per cent, and a median of €65,000 - up €4,000 from last year, while the clearance rate was also marginally up to 74 per cent.
Cumulatively the three days of selling registered an aggregate of €38,440,500 - down four per cent from 35 fewer lots offered in 2016, the average was up nine points to a record €166,409, while the median remained at €110,000. The clearance rate remain steady at 76 per cent, with 231 of 305 changing hands.