The Grey Panel


Strong National Hunt session caps record-breaking Breeding Stock Sale

The final day of the Breeding Stock Sale, featuring the Munir/Souede dispersal, returned a set of solid figures significantly up from the corresponding session a year ago. The aggregate reached €3,032,500, a 42% jump from 2017, while the average price of €25,062 was up 35%. The clearance rate of 70% was the only indicator not to improve on the previous renewal. The dispersal of the breeding stock owned in partnership by Simon Munir and Isaac Souede attracted the cream of the Irish, British and French National Hunt breeding industry to Deauville and live up to the hype that had surrounded this unique event. The 21 mares that went through the ring grossed €1,287,500 and averaged €61,310, with three of them breaking the €100,000 barrier.

Burke secures star act MA FILLEULE for €220K via Richard Aston

Warwick Hurdle and Topham Chase scorer MA FILLEULE (lot 932), who won a total of 8 races and was also placed twice at Grade 1 level, was one of the definite highlights of the 21-strong dispersal consigned by Richard Powell's Haras du Lieu des Champs. Peter Molony of Rathmore Stud tried to stun the opposition by offering an opening bid of €100,000 but Richard Aston was not to be denied and went to €220,000 to secure the daughter of Turgeon who unfortunately slipped to Martaline this year.

"The first thing was to buy her", replied Aston when asked about what attracted her to the beautiful grey. "We've admired her for five years probably and never thought we would have the opportunity to own her. The opportunity arose so we dug deep and bought her. It's a definitive project, we want to try and breed something of her looks and ability. It's not a commercial proposition. She's going to breed racehorses we hope, and they will race".

Grade 1 winner GITANE DU BERLAIS sells to Peter Molony for €220,000

Having been outbid on MA FILLEULE, Peter Molony was determined not to let go of GITANE DU BERLAIS (lot 934). The daughter of Balko won the Gr.1 Scilly Isles Novices' Chase in the famous double green colours as well as a pair of Gr.3 events in France and Ireland. A half-sister to Velka Pardubicka hero TZIGANE DU BERLAIS, she is also closely related to top class racemare LET'S DANCE. She was offered carrying her third foal by Martaline.

"Those type of mares don't come on the market normally", said Molony, "so you have to take the opportunity when it comes along. We've been here for three days and I wanted to buy either her or Ma Filleule. We ended up being underbidder on Ma Filleule so I am delighted to get one of them. She has been bought by a client in the UK to breed to race".

Highflyer scoops Utopie des Bordes for €210,000

Anthony Bromley had the last word at €120,000 for UTOPIE DES BORDES (lot 942) on behalf of another client of Highflyer Bloodstock, whom he couldn't name. The ten-year-old won the Gr.1 Prix Maurice Gillois and is a full or half sister to three Listed or Group winners over jumps. She was offered in foal for the third time, to Gitane du Berlais's sire Balko.

Highflyer also secured Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle scorer UNE ARTISTE (lot 938) carrying to Martaline for €85,000. The same price was reached by Listed victrix LOXLADE (lot 936), in foal to Saint Des Saints, who was knocked down to Hervé Bunel's Agence BHB on behalf of Ecurie Papot, and Gr.3 performer DARING ROSE (lot 941), carrying to the same sire, who went the way of Ryan Mahon.

Winning daughter of Princesse D'Anjou brings hammer down at €90,000

Thierry Cyprès has had some year to remember on the track, with his breeding operation having been represented by dual Prix La Haye Jousselin scorer BIPOLAIRE as well as fellow Auteuil Listed/Group scorers POLIRICO, LOU BUCK'S, ELUDY etc., and he reinvested some of the resulting breeders' premiums in the €90,000 purchase of FELICIE (lot 848).

The five-year-old had some big shoes to fill when she was born, being a daughter of Champion National Hunt sire Saint Des Saints out of the diminutive dual Grand Steeple Chase heroine PRINCESSE D'ANJOU. She duly added to the family's credentials, winning over fences at Auteuil and running 4th in the L. Prix Mirror. The Martaline cover she carried around the ring added to her commercial appeal.

Jean-Marie Callier signed the docket on behalf of Cyprès and commented: "Thierry Cypres is always looking at upgrading his broodmare band and this mare ticks a lot of boxes. She is by the best stallion in France, out of a champion racemare and was a good performer herself".

Quality National Hunt foals in demand

Foals by the best jumps sires proved consistently popular and three of them commanded prices north of €70,000. Laurent Benoit's Broadhurst Agency forked out €85,000 for the sole colt foal by Saint des Saints in the catalogue (lot 1012b), a half-brother to Auteuil Listed winners ULTRA LUCKY and GOOD LUCKY offered by Haras de la Placière.

Early in the day, Haras de Montaigu's Kapgarde colt (lot 854), a full brother to the Gr.3 winner and Gr.1 Prix Ferdinand Dufaure runner-up DALIA GRANDCHAMP commanded €75,000 from Paul Basquin's Saubouas Bloodstock. That price was matched minutes later by an Authorized half-brother to the top class chaser SCEAU ROYAL (lot 865) in which co-breeder Guy Vimont bought out his partners.

ARQANA CEO Eric Hoyeau commented on the 2018 renewal of the Breeding Stock Sale: «It was very heartening to see such a deep, international buying bench and for them to find the products they had been looking for. We must take our hats off to those bold breeders who keep upping their games and investing in quality mares in order to upgrade their production, breed winners and meet the buyers' expectations at the yearling sales. Our wholehearted thanks go their way, as well as to the buyers who supported the sale. The Breeding Stock Sale brings to an end our 2018 sales season, which despite its record figures delivered a number of warning messages which we are not considering lightly. We will start 2019 by putting a lot of thinking into analyzing the state of the market and working hard to identify everything that could be done to ensure our sales keep meeting the buyers' and vendors' expectations. In the meantime, let me wish all our clients a very happy end of the year and extend my thanks to our dedicated team for all their hard work."

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