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'We've got to think differently' - Taylor Made makes first foray into France

Leading US consignors have a draft of five in association with Haras de Gouffern

Duncan Taylor: accepts the Arqana initiative will require patience
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Working with French partner Haras de Gouffern and de la Genevraye, top American consignor Taylor Made Sales Agency will this weekend present a first draft of yearlings at the Arqana August sale in Deauville with plans to develop bigger consignments for the venue in the future.

Duncan Taylor, president and founder of Taylor Made, is on hand in Deauville to watch his ambitious vision of how to make the most of the global bloodstock market spring to life.

Although this year’s consignment is a relatively compact group of five yearlings, with three of those pinhooks acquired in Europe by Gouffern’s affiliate, International Thoroughbred Consultants (ITC), Taylor said he is going to work doubly hard in the future to send more yearlings to Deauville from America.

“I say we’ve got to think differently. You can’t always do the exact same thing,” Taylor declared.

Taylor Made tried in November to find some American-bred weanlings to pinhook at Deauville but found the prices in Kentucky too stiff for individuals that would have worked for European buyers, he said.

Additionally, the Taylor Made team discovered that it was more difficult than initially imagined to convince American breeders and sellers to incur the expense and risk of sending yearlings to be sold France. Yet the concept remains one that has strong and intriguing potential.

“For customers that have the right horses, it would be great - like a Kitten’s Joy yearling would have been a slam dunk,” Taylor said, noting that the well-established international sire’s progeny includes 2018 Cartier European Horse of the Year Roaring Lion.

Yearling prep takes place at the picturesque Haras de Gouffern

“But I couldn’t get anybody to do it. I even tried to buy a Kitten’s Joy [for pinhooking],” he related while noting that prices in general for suitable weanlings were too stout to provide much upside.

“I understand. People are used to doing a certain thing, and the wealthier you are, the more independent you can be,” Taylor said of some American breeders’ initial reluctance to participate in the French yearling sales.

Yet, as he has envisioned the initiative, there could be some multi-dimensional benefits for the right clients with appropriate horses.

Since Deauville is much like Saratoga Springs, New York, where Taylor Made has long been the leading consignor by number of yearlings catalogued in the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga select sale in early August, there are some parallels that should be appealing.

“A lot of people are in this business for other reasons. They want to make a little money - they want to make a lot of money if they can, but they’re also in it for other reasons. To have a few horses to go in on some pinhooks, travel to France and go to Deauville, that would be a nice vacation while having a reason to go over there, too,” Taylor said.

“We might end up trying to buy some weanlings this year and try to put some people in on them who want to go over there,” he added. “We have a lot of clients at Saratoga who say, ‘I want a horse at Saratoga - I just want to go up there and have something to do.’ I think Deauville is the same kind of place.

"It’s fun, great food, and the weather is great and there is great racing - it’s just a good place to be.”

For this year, the Gouffern Taylor Made consignment is made up of five colts. Two were bred in America by Marbat, the breeding establishment of Saudi Arabian Sheikh Abdullah Almaddah, which has worked in the past with both Taylor Made and Jean-Pierre de Gaste of Gouffern and ITC.

Lot 92 is a grey Giant’s Causeway colt bred by Marbat from the Empire Maker mare Grey Lina. The colt is a half brother to stakes winner Royal By Nature.

Marbat’s other yearling in the consignment is Lot 315, a Union Rags colt out of the stakes-placed Rahy mare Palazzo Babe.

One of the consignment’s most eye-catching yearlings by pedigree is Lot 184, a chestnut colt from the first crop by The Gurkha and from the family of many high-profile European Group 1 winners including Chicquita, Magic Wand and Magical Romance, as well as Melbourne Cup winner Rekindling.

Lot 184 was purchased by ITC for 40,000gns at the Tattersalls foal sale last year.

The other colts in the consignment are Lot 159, a son of Gutaifan out of a daughter of Italian champion Saganeca, who produced Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe winner Sagamix, Group 1 winner Sagacity and the dams of Group 1 winners Sageburg and Japan, and Lot 281, a son of Iffraaj who is a half brother to Group 3 winner Queen Of Bermuda.

While he would like to have a larger consignment at Deauville, Taylor said he knows this project is one that requires patience and diligence.

“It just takes time," he said. "I was looking back, trying not to be too discouraged, at our first consignments with Taylor Made back in 1978 and we had a bunch of $8,000 and $10,000 horses. It was hard at first convincing people to sell with us in America, so we know that you’ve just got to work hard and keep your nose to the grindstone and show opportunity.

Taylor Made is well established now as America’s top consignor by numbers and gross sales. And while Taylor doesn’t foresee doing huge business in Europe, Taylor Made will continue to sell at the Tattersalls December sale, as it did last year, in addition to the Deauville yearling sale.

“We’re never going to be as big over there like we are in Kentucky because our whole infrastructure is in Kentucky. But yes, if we think it’s good for our customers, we’re going to advise them that we can do this,” Taylor said.

This article first appeared in our Summer Yearlings supplement, which contains essential news, features and statistics for auctions at Arqana, Goffs UK and BBAG in the coming weeks.

To view the supplement online, simply click here

We know that you?ve just got to work hard and keep your nose to the grindstone and show opportunity
E.W. Terms