Smaller catalogue yields bigger return at February Mixed Sale
Aggregate, average and median figures all show year-on-year gains
Arqana’s season-opener was lifted by some spirited bidding surrounding several highly desirable jumping lots which have, up until now, carried the colours of the Gabeur family’s Ecurie Sagara and were trained and part-owned by Francois Nicolle.
With that association coming to an end it was Roi Mage, a five year-old son of Poliglote and runner-up in last year’s Grade 1 Prix Ferdinand Dufaure at Auteuil, who was the most keenly contested prize in the eight-horse draft.
Ecurie Sagara came out on top at €210,000 and are also now the sole owners of Gianicolo after paying €150,000 for the Balko four-year-old gelding, who is out of the Anglo Arab mare Muscade.
As well as the top two lots Ecurie Sagara spent €36,000 to secure the Poliglote broodmare Ivresse Du Berlais - who is in foal to Haras de la Hetraie’s Bathyrhon - as well as two of her daughters.
“We have been able to hang on to the fruits of our breeding - for example we have Ivresse Du Berlais and all of her produce as well - and I thought we might have to go higher,” said Baudouin Gabeur. “Ellen Des Mottes will go to Jean-Paul Gallorini, as will Gianicolo. Roi Mage is on a six-month break at the moment and will go to either Jean-Paul or Isabelle Pacault afterwards.”
Irish and British buyers chase jumping prospects
Cleaboy Stud were also on the lookout for future jumping stock when snapping up Liane De Pougy, a Ballingarry sister to the Auteuil Listed winner Libranous who is carrying to Saint Des Saints.
Agent Guy Petit signed at €41,000 and Cleaboy’s Sean Gorman said: “She’s for an existing client and we’ll take her home to the farm. The pedigree is current, the cover is current and she is a nice-looking mare.”
A bid of €32,000 from Joffret Huet secured the Montmartre four-year-old filly Valise Au Taillons, who will be heading to Britain from trainer Charles Gourdain’s base at Pau.
“She's a winner on the Flat and her last run [over hurdles] was fine,” said Huet. “She’s for a client buying their first French horse and I don’t think I’ve taken too many risks there. She will be trained in England.”
Speed pedigrees to the fore
The other end of the stamina spectrum was on the minds of Jan Sundstrom and agent Marco Bozzi, who duelled for the right to take home Desert Red, a half-sister to Listed St Hugh’s Stakes winner Whatdoiwantthatfor in foal to Zoffany.
Sundstrom came out on top for the mare - consigned by his daughter Anna Drion - at €81,000.
Sundstrom said: “She’s for a client in New Zealand and she will foal here before being sent over. The foal will be French born. It’s a fantastic pedigree and may be one of the last Green Deserts. I'm so happy for my client.”
Federico Barberini was returning to familiar territory when paying €47,000 for the Pastoral Pursuits filly Catalina Bay on behalf of Ballyhane Stud. The filly will now head for a liaison with Ballyhane resident stallion Dandy Man.
Barberini pointed out that the cross had already showed promise with Catalina Bay’s half brother, Mr Scarlet.
“Joe Foley and I very nearly bought her as a yearling at Doncaster but she went unsold,” said Barberini. “I knew her very well, while Joe sold Mr Scarlet, who is very highly regarded, so Dandy Man makes a lot of sense. She is very good looking and I actually bought her at the Breeze-Ups. I'm delighted to buy her again.”
Home Of The Brave half tops yearling offerings
It was late in the day when the highest price for a yearling was set, with an Olympic Glory three-parts sister to Home Of The Brave from the Coulonces Consignment, who went to Herve Bunel of FIPS Agency for €70,000.
Home Of The Brave recorded a peak Racing Post Rating of 118 when winning a Haydock Group 3 last May and went on to be runner up in Group 2s at Goodwood and Newbury later in the same campaign.
“She's for an existing client and it’s possible she could come back here for the August sale, or she could be kept and put into training,” said Bunel. “She's a beautiful filly and I have been waiting all day to buy her.”
The Gold Away mare Princesse Jasmine made an impact at this sale in 2016 when her daughter Plaisanciere was third top lot at €42,000.
In foal to Intello, Princesse Jasmine herself went through the ring 12 months later and was knocked down to Petit for €30,000.
Classic-placed Prestige Vendome races on
Karakontie embarks this week on his second season standing at Gainesway in Kentucky but Prestige Vendome, who finished just a neck second to him in the 2014 Poule d’Essai at Longchamp, will continue to race on at the age of six.
Guy Pariente’s Haras de Colleville bred the son of Orpen and Pariente has retained a 25 per cent share in Prestige Vendome ever since.
After winning out at €40,000, Colleville’s Guillaume Vitse said: “He’s a homebred and a horse we’ve always loved so Monsieur Pariente wanted to keep him to run for pleasure. Yannick Fouin will train him but he will stay on the Flat.”
February sale fulfills “important role”
Despite a smaller offering than in 2016 the clearance rate dipped from almost 81 per cent to 76 per cent but the Sagara activity - which accounted for €477,500 of business across eight lots - ensured that turnover cleared the €2 million barrier.
Arqana president Eric Hoyeau said: “It is a more than acceptable clearance rate, which is not easy. By having this mix of Flat, jumping and breeding we can attract a bigger number of potential buyers and we're very satisfied that the sale has fulfilled its important role.”
Trade concluded with an aggregate of €2,075,900 - a year-on-year increase of 21 per cent, an average of €10,328 - up 45 per cent, and a median of €5,000 - up from €4,500.