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Arqana's October Sale concludes as Zelzal filly tops session at €41,000

All the news from the final session of Arqana's October Yearling Sale

Arqana's October Yearling Sale concluded on Friday
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The fifth and final session of Arqana's October Yearling Sale saw a filly by Haras de Bouquetot's burgeoning first-season sire Zelzal take top-lot honours when selling to Mandore International Agency for €41,000.

Consigned by JK Thoroughbreds, the filly, named White Cliff, was the sole lot by the sire on offer and is out of the Pivotal mare Write A Classic and from a family that includes Prix d'Arenberg scorer Villadolide, Phoenix Sprint Stakes winner Girouette and Zetland Stakes winner Max Vega. 

Nicolas de Watrigant said of his new purchase: "Both John Hammond and I liked her a lot. Her brother is in training with Adrien Fouassier, who likes him a lot. She'll run for a partnership between Al Shaqab Racing and Gerard Augustin-Normand.

"We've bought three yearlings together at this sale. The association between Al Shaqab Racing and Gerard Augustin-Normand has been very successful with the likes of Ectot and Brametot. Al Shaqab Racing is supporting its young stallions and Zelzal is having a remarkable start on the track."

The sale continued the son of Sea The Stars' fine run of form on and off the racecourse, with nine individual winners headed by recent Prix Saraca scorer Zelda, while Jean-Claude Rouget went to €80,000 to secure Haras de Castillon's colt out of the winning Sunday Break mare Texalila earlier in the five-day sale. 

The clearance rate on Friday was a respectable 85 per cent, with 84 of 99 lots offered finding a buyer, although the session aggregate of €940,500 was down 18 per cent on 2020. The average slid by 19 per cent to €11,196 from €13,765, while the median dipped 17 per cent to €10,000 from €12,000.

Figures for the sale as a whole, however, told a far more positive tale and continued the buoyancy of the yearling season.

Aggregate sales, including private deals, amounted to a record €27,214,500, up 46 per cent from the 2020 figure of €18,617,000. From 694 lots offered, 582 were sold at a clip of 84 per cent, against a 2020 clearance rate of 81 per cent. The average weighed in at €45,946, up 47 per cent, and the median rose 40 per cent to €28,000. 

Family ties saw French agent Paul Nataf go to €33,000 earlier in the session to secure Haras de la Louviere's Mayson filly out of Wootton Bassett mare Saharan Rose. 

The yearling holds a particularly attractive pedigree, being out of a half-sister to Xaarienne, the dam of Prix Six Perfections winner and Prix de Sandringham runner-up See The Rose. Further back in the page are Ribblesdale Stakes heroine Sahara Slew and Prix Cleopatre winner and Prix de Diane third Sandbar.

Nataf explained: "She's a niece of Xaarienne who I bought some years ago. The horses from this pedigree aren't always very pretty, but they gallop. I know, because I've already bought five or six from this family!"

John Hammond, the leading buyer on Friday, made his presence felt when purchasing the Haras du Grenat-consigned colt by Haras du Logis's first-crop sire Cloth Of Stars for €30,000.

The colt, named Bandastar, is out of the winning Bandaneira, the dam of multiple winners Bandanetta and Bandariva, and a half-sister to black-type scorers such as triple Group 3 winner Banyumanik, the stakes-winning and American Grade 2-placed Banyu Dewi, and Listed winner Bella Amica. 

Hammond said: "He's a really nice colt. We've seen some lovely yearlings by Cloth Of Stars at this sale. He's an exciting young sire bred on an excellent cross - Sea The Stars and Kingmambo - and he looks to have plenty of quality. Time will tell!"

The former multiple Classic-winning trainer also went to €28,000 for Haras d'Ellon's Dariyan colt out of the stakes-producing Mtoto mare Berceuse. The April-born yearling is a half-brother to three black-type performers including Prix Petite Etoile scorer Cartabianca and the Listed-placed Toni Blue.

Berceuse is in turn out of Prix d'Aumale winner and Prix Marcel Boussac runner-up Kindergarten, who is also responsible for the New Zealand Group-placed Bruxaar and is the granddam of Wellington Cup scorer Gorbachev and Italian stakes winner Extremely Vintage. 


Eric Hoyeau, president of Arqana, and Freddy Powell, executive director, said in a joint-statement: "After last year’s sale that produced mixed results in an uncertain environment, we can only be satisfied with these figures. They have exceeded all our expectations.

"A total of 63 horses were sold for €100,000 or more and demand remained very strong from start to finish, as evidenced by the 84 per cent of horses sold and with French and international purchases from England, Ireland, USA, Scandinavia, Australia, Germany, Spain, Japan and Eastern Europe. 

"We would like to thank all of our buyers, who never stop increasing, for their confidence. We must also salute the work and endurance of our consignors. All this would not be possible without them, and since August more than 900 yearlings have been sold. A final session devoted to the Flat, followed by the cream of the National Hunt yearlings, is still to come at the Autumn Sale next month."

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We've seen some lovely yearlings by Cloth Of Stars at this sale. He's an exciting young sire bred on an excellent cross
E.W. Terms