A COLT by American Pharoah topped Saturday's Arqana Breeze-Up Sale when sold by Brendan Holland's Grove Stud to Coolmore Stud for €1.1 million.
Holland purchased the colt for $275,000 at Keeneland last September. The two-year-old is out of a half-sister to Leroidesanimaux, from the Juddmonte family of Dansili, Banks Hill and Champs Elysees. He is from the first crop of American Pharoah, the US Triple Crown winner, who stands at Coolmore's Ashford Stud in Kentucky.
Aidan O'Brien already has a number of American Pharoah two-year-olds in his care, including recent Naas winner Monarch Of Egypt. However, this latest purchase will reportedly be trained for Coolmore by Andre Fabre.
Willie Browne's Mocklershill Stables sold the second highest priced lot, a Kingman half-sister to Group 1 winner Rizeena, for €800,000 to Godolphin.
Grove Stud was on the mark again when selling a Lope De Vega half-brother to Here Comes When for €700,000 to trainer David Simcock.
The buyer, who was standing with jockey Jamie Spencer, said: "We have been trying several times today, so it is nice to finally get our hands on a horse. He is a lovely athlete by a proven sire and out of a proven broodmare. He is the first one I have bought for a new client."
A protracted bidding battle took place a daughter of No Nay Never from Mocklershill, and Kerri Radcliffe had to shell out €575,000 to see off the opposition. The bay hails from the family of Group 1 winner Wuheida.
"I have bought her for Peter Leidel and George Bolton, who were both into Lady Aurelia, so this filly has a bit of pressure on her shoulders," Radcliffe joked. She will go to a new trainer in Joseph O'Brien. We loved her breeze and she is obviously by a very hot sire. I had seen her few times in Ireland and she has developed exactly as I thought she would."
Joseph O'Brien will also train a Starspangledbanner colt bought for €270,000 by Phoenix Thoroughbreds.
The sale saw 114 of the 145 horses offered sold, for a clearance rate of almost 79%, up from 75% in the past two years. The average price of €129,798 was almost exactly the same as last year, and the median was down from €80,000 to €75,000.
FULL REPORT IN THE IRISH FIELD NEXT WEEKEND