THE first Arqana sale of the year, the two-day February Mixed Sale, opened on Tuesday with a selection of flat and National Hunt horses-in-training, followed by two-year-olds and some breeding stock lots.

Three-quarters of the horses on the day sold, and it was a wild card entry who stole the show. Le Kerry drew a lot of attention from potential buyers around the ring. Bidding on behalf of Écurie Sofiane Benaroussi, it was Jérôme Glandais from Écurie De Launay who had the final say at €200,000 for the colt offered from Karwin Farm. The unraced three-year-old son of Gemix is a half-brother to Auteuil listed winner Funny Berry and the Grade 2-placed hurdler Great Snow.

The well-related colt is out of a half-sister to Le Berry, winner of the Grade 1 Prix Maurice Gillois at Auteuil. “We’re very happy to get him,” said Glandais. “It’s a great family and we bought his half-sister by Doctor Dino at the sales in November. We haven’t decided on his trainer yet, but he will stay in France. The objective is to put him into training rapidly and then decide on his future programme. He has the sort of profile that could see him eventually become a stallion one day, depending on how he does on the racecourse.”

Princess Child

One of the very first lots in the sale was Princess Child, winner last year of three races in Spain at two, and runner-up in the Listed Prix Herod at Saint-Cloud on the last of her eight starts. She was knocked down for €80,000 to Stuart Boman of Blandford Bloodstock.

The Laura Lemière-trained daughter of Dariyan is a half-sister to Group 3 winner Chilean and she is to be trained by Joseph O’Brien this season.

Rue Barbizon was purchased for a partnership between Andrew Peake and the Bryant Family. Offered by his trainer Régis Schmidlin, the four-year-old filly was sold for €80,000. Bidding on behalf of Highflyer Bloodstock, Benoit Gicquel, accompanied by Richard Powell, signed the docket for the dual winner over fences at Fontainebleau last year. “We’ve bought her for the same partnership as In Love, who won the Grand Prix de Pau at the beginning of February,” said Gicquel. “She’s a lovely filly and we really liked her attitude. She has a profile that could suit a number of races and we think she’ll improve a lot. She’ll stay in training with Régis Schmidlin.”

Ciaran Murphy

Consigned by Alessandro and Giuseppe Botti, Le Titanium was also sold for €80,000 to David Skelly of Rathmore Stud for Ciaran Murphy. A very consistent sort, he was placed in the Listed Prix Altipan at Saint-Cloud last year and has won his last two starts. The five-year-old is a son of Zarak and will be aimed at premier handicaps at around a mile.

The second day of the sale offered the majority of the breeding stock, and more than 80% of the lots offered were sold. Standing with her stud manager Mathieu Alex, Pauline Chehboub, signing as Yellow Agency, struck for the top two lots during the session. They will go to Haras de Beaumont and are set to be covered by Ace Impact. She paid €62,000 for Damkena, sold in foal to Galiway by Haras de Grandcamp. A sister to group winner Kendam, Damkena is from the family of Group 1 winners Snowland and Myboycharlie.

Later in the day, this time standing beside John Hammond, Chehboub went to €60,000 for Grand Victory, a sister to the Group 1 Grosser Preis von Baden winner Zagrey, consigned by Haras de Castillon.