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Pinhooker Marley snaps up session-topper by Siyouni

Scott Burton reports from the October Yearling Sale in Deauville

The session-topping colt by Siyouni who is heading back to Arqana
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After a dynamic opening day that contained the cream of the catalogue, Wednesday's second session of the Arqana October Yearling Sale was always going to be a more low-key affair - but there was still good money changing hands for those lots the market settled on.

The session topper rewarded those who stayed on to the very end of trade, as Roger Marley beat fellow breeze-up specialists Michael Murphy and Paul Basquin at €140,000 for Haras du Quesnay’s son of Siyouni, with Mags O'Toole's name going on the docket.

Marley’s Church Farm Stables, working in conjunction with Horse Park Stud, scored two notable successes at the 2017 Arqana Breeze-Up Slae with offspring on Haras de Bonneval stallion, with lots selling for €550,00 and €260,000.

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Out of a sister to Listed winner Savoie who has already produced one prodigious winner in Sea Trial, the Quesnay colt is also destined for a return trip to the Normandy coast next May.

“I thought he was the nicest horse today,” said Marley. “Siyouni is a sire I really like and this one will come back for the breeze-Up next spring.”

Petit cash

Mark Pimbonnet gave €115,000 for a daughter of Evasive, who will race in the colours of Fabrice Petit. That represented a good return for Haras des Capucines, given Evasive’s covering fee at Haras de Grandcamp in 2015 was €6,000

The transaction brought the pair’s spending for the first two days to more than €650,000 on six lots.

Pimbonnet had signed at €250,000 for a colt by Frankel on Tuesday and would not be denied again.

Pimbonnet said: “I know the family well and when Monsieur Petit saw her this morning he said, if you want her, go for it. In view of her origins I hope she will be precocious.”

Vidal so soon

Sylvain Vidal went to €90,000 early in the session for a colt by Rajsaman - the stallion stands at Montfort et Preaux, which Vidal oversees - from the immediate family of dual Classic winner Avenir Certain.

Already named Avenue Classique and hailing from La Motteraye Consignment, the colt is out of a sister to Puggy, the dam of Avenir Certain.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Vidal revealed Avenir Classique will race for the same triumvirate that fashioned her celebrated relative’s career.

“It’s a super family on the dam’s side, and he is by Rajsaman, sire of Brametot. It’s for Monsieur Augustin-Normand in association with Antonio Caro and he will be trained by Jean-Claude Rouget.”

Gourraud charmed

Maisons-Laffitte based Yohann Gourraud won out at €82,000 for the right to train a Charm Spirit filly out of a sister to Railway Stakes winner Probably.

Consigned by Anna Sundstom’s Coulonces operation, the filly boasts Moonlight Cloud under her third dam Wedding Bouquet.

“You have Charm Spirit and then a good family on the other side too, and she should make a good miler if that’s anything to go by,” said Gourraud. “She is a very sound filly and a great walker. I had budgeted between €50,000 and €70,000 and had to go a bit higher. But I’ve been beaten a couple of times today and sometimes you just have to go above.”

Baker buys

Standing with agent Sebastien Le Forban, George Baker bought two lots in quick succession, securing a daughter of Wootton Bassett from Haras des Embruns for €60,000 before, eight lots later, snapping up a Sunday Break colt from Haras de Castillon for €50,000.

Always a keen traveller of horses, since his move to Robins Farm, Baker has increasingly targeted France and its attractive prize-money.

The Wootton Bassett filly has two winning siblings from the dam’s only two produce of racing age and Baker said of her: “After siring Almanzor, Wootton Bassett feels to me like a stallion that is on the up. Time will tell but I thought 60 was good value for a really well put together, easy-moving filly.

"She looks like she'll be early and I would love to be back here running her in March or April time.”

The Sunday Break colt received a timely update when half-sister Miss Melbourne won at Listed level recently for trainer Antoine de Watrigant before selling to Martin Schwartz at the Arqana Arc sale for €370,000.

Baker said: “I just loved the family, with Miss Melbourne being a Listed winner the other day. I have a couple of Sunday Breaks at home. They can have a bit of attitude but I don’t mind that where we train being so stand-alone.

“He was a beautiful horse when I first saw him and I thought we would have to go a bit further for him, especially with the update on the dam’s side. He won’t be wickedly early but he’s just a lovely type.”

With 16 fewer lots offered than in the same session a year ago, turnover was down around €150,000 but both the clearance rate and the average price were up slightly.

Click here to read our guide to the US breeding stock sales - containing absorbing features and essential statistics


I have a couple of Sunday Breaks at home. They can have a bit of attitude but I don’t mind that where we train being so stand-alone

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