THE French sales company Arqana celebrated three Group 1 wins at the weekend, with foal purchase Al Riffa, yearling graduate Sweet Lady, and a classic win with Eldar Eldarov, who was sold at their breeze-up sale.

Al Riffa has been reviewed elsewhere on these pages. The Kirsten Rausing-bred Eldar Eldarov won the Group 1 St Leger, a 53rd top-level winner for his sire, the champion-in-waiting Dubawi (Dubai Millennium), and he had earlier this year given that Dalham Hall sire a landmark 150th group winner when he landed the Group 2 Queen’s Vase at Royal Ascot. By the way, Dubawi’s tally of group winners now stands at 159.

There is simply no need to delve into the female side of this family here as you will all be able to recite it by heart at this stage. It has been one of the most successful in the stud book, and this is for the most part due to Lanwades, St Simon and Staffordstown Stud owner Kirsten Rausing. In spite of the family success, she ‘gave away’ Eldar Eldarov as a yearling for £110,000 as a yearling after persuading Norman Williamson to take a chance on him.

Classic winner

That gamble paid off when Williamson sold Eldar Eldarov for £480,000 at the Arqana Breeze Up Sale, and now the former leading National Hunt jockey can claim a classic winner on the flat to add to his growing list of high-class graduates of Oak Tree Farm. In short form, the St Leger winner is out of three-time stakes winner All At Sea (Sea The Stars), a daughter of the champion Albanova (Alzao).

Winner of three Group 1 races in Germany, Albanova has four stakes-winning offspring and is grandam of the possible Arc winner, but already five-time Group 1 winner, Alpinista (Frankel). I could go on, but I think you get the message – this is a class family. Incredibly, this was a first British classic success for Miss Rausing as a breeder.

Sweet Lady, a €100,000 yearling buy at Arqana, won the Group 1 Prix Vermeille at the weekend, her sixth success and taking her winnings to almost €600,000. She also gave her sire, Lope De Vega (Shamardal), his third Group 1 winner of the year, joining Dreamloper and Hypothetical, and his 16th in all.


Bred by Chris Wright’s Stratford Place Stud, Sweet Lady is one of two stakes-winning daughters from High Heel Sneakers (Dansili), a stakes winner at three in England and at five in the USA when trained by Paul Cole and Ben Cecil. At stud High Heel Sneakers had just seven foals, five ran and the three that won were all fillies. Wright sold the other stakes winner, Toujours L’Amour (Authorized).