SELECTIVITY is the byword for almost every recent sale, and that trend continued on Saturday when the Arqana Breeze Up Sale took place at Deauville.

Even so, the sale outcome was close to matching last year’s, and the latest edition had a remarkable result for Norman and Janet Williamson’s Oak Tree Farm near Athboy, Co Meath. A new European record price for a horse sold at the breeze up sales, €2,300,000, was achieved for a son of Justify that Williamson acquired last September for just $150,000. This, and another son of the Ashford-based sire who sold for €1 million, helped boost the sale turnover to €21,880,000, a rise of almost 3%.

This was the second time that the sale aggregate topped €20 million, and the average rose 10% to €166,004. The median fell back slightly, by €5,000 to €100,000.

Arqana president Olivier Delloye and managing director Freddy Powell jointly commented on the sale outcome. They said: “The day ended with good results, in line with last year’s very fine edition. The quality of the horses on show was outstanding, thanks to the exceptional preparation work of our vendors, together with the bloodstock team’s selections.


“The market was very selective, following the trend of other sales. However, we did see some very fine pinhooks, led by the two sons of Justify, one of whom achieved an historic top price for a European breeze up.”

Millionaires Justify the sire’s popularity

TWO sons and a daughter of Justify achieved three of the top four prices at this year’s sale. The highlight came just over halfway through the session. This was a colt out of the graded stakes-placed Inchargeofme from Oak Tree Farm, bought by Godolphin through Anthony Stroud who was in company with Charlie Appleby and David Loder.

“He’s a colt that really stood out,” said the agent of his €2.3 million purchase. “We really liked his breeze and we really wanted to bring him back to Moulton Paddocks. The sire, Justify, has had very good results and he’s a remarkable stallion. We’re very happy.”

The Godolphin team had to see of a sustained challenge from Coolmore for the sale topper, and they will be hoping the they have found another Native Trail, sourced from the same vendor and who went on to be an unbeaten European champion juvenile and a classic winner. The Justify colt is out of a full-sister to the Group 1 Racing Post Trophy runner-up Johann Strauss.

A couple of hours earlier, another son of the Triple Crown winner and sire of City Of Troy was sold for €1,000,000 to bloodstock agent Alex Elliott, bidding on behalf of Amo Racing. Consigned by Eddie and Wendy O’Leary’s Lynn Lodge Stud in Co Westmeath, and purchased through Mags O’Toole for $135,000 at Keeneland, the colt is out of an own-sister to the Group 1 winners Churchill and Clemmie. Once again, the Coolmore team occupied the runner-up spot.

“He’s a lovely colt that ticks all the boxes,” said Elliott. “His dam has a great pedigree and his sire has exceptional results. We don’t have a trainer in mind for him yet. We’re very happy, and we hope he’ll be as good as he appears to be!” Towards the end of the day, Elliott also struck for a daughter of Justify out of the Grade 1 Canadian International Stakes heroine Sarah Lynx from Lynn Lodge Stud.

This time the agent was bidding on behalf of Coolmore, going to €800,000 for the filly who hails from the immediate family of pattern winners Steel Princess, Steel Prince, Sugar Boy, and Counterparty Risk, and again purchased by Mags O’Toole for $110,000 at Keeneland. “She’s a beautiful filly,” commented Elliott. “She breezed very well and showed a lot of speed and is well balanced. I think she has the potential to be an exceptional filly.”

Amo Racing proves to be Too Darn Hot

TWO fillies shared the honour of being the best-priced members of their sex, the Justify daughter of a Grade 1 winner, and one of the early lots in the sale, a daughter of Too Darn Hot.

Bidding on behalf of Amo Racing, Robson Aguiar signed the docket for the granddaughter of Group 1 Matron Stakes winner Emulous, from the family of Grade 1 Kentucky Derby winner Mandaloun.

Offered from Tom Whitehead’s Powerstown Stud and already named Cathedral, this €800,000 sale filly cost the vendor 110,000gns last October. “She’s a lovely filly,” said Aguiar, “She moves very nicely and did a very good breeze on Thursday. I think she has all the qualities to run in the classics. She’ll be trained by Dominic Ffrench Davis.”

Days later Amo Racing removed a number of horses from Varian’s yard and placed them with Ffrench Davis.

Another daughter of Too Darn Hot, Bloodstock Connection’s first foal of a Galileo mare, sold for €400,000 to Fabrice Chappet.

Hoping the colt lives Up To The Mark

BLANDFORD Bloodstock’s Richard Brown bought 11 lots during the sale, including a son of McKinzie offered from Malcolm Bastard. He signed the docket at €650,000, and the colt cost Wycombe House Stud $200,000 last October at Fasig-Tipton. He is a half-brother to multiple Grade 1 winner Up To The Mark and a grandson of Grade 1 scorer Capote Belle.

Brown spent €550,000 to secure a son of Blue Point, sire of last year’s Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint winner Big Evs, from Willie Browne’s Mocklershill. Bought as a yearling for €150,000, the colt is out of the stakes-placed Dark Angel mare Maggies Angel.

Federico Barberini provided Brown with plenty of competition for a son of the leading US sire Not This Time from Jim McCartan’s Gaybrook Lodge. Purchased for only $62,000 as a yearling, the colt’s value soared to €460,000 this time. He is out of an Invincible Spirit half-sister to Group 3 Jersey Stakes winner Gale Force Ten.

Another active agency was Stroud Coleman Bloodstock, and among their purchases were a Sea The Stars colt for €430,000, and a Bolt D’Oro colt for €400,000. The former, sold by Johnny Hassett’s Bloodstock Connection, is a full-brother to a Group 3 winner, and this €160,000 yearling buy at Goffs will be trained by Roger Varian for Shaikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa.

Anna Calder’s Leamore Horses, based in Newcastle, Co Wicklow, had their best result when selling their $95,000 yearling buy by Chad Schumer, for €400,000 to Stroud. The Bolt D’Oro colt will be trained by Simon and Ed Crisford.