It’s been a season of mixed fortunes at the breeze-ups, with the only sale in Europe to have shown significant growth being the recent Arqana auction, held for the first time in Deauville instead of Saint-Cloud. The move from Paris, prompted by renovation work at Longchamp which led to the relocation of the first two French Classics of the year to Normandy, was seemingly greeted with widespread approval but is unlikely to extend beyond next year.

The unbeaten La Cressonniere and previously unheralded The Gurkha posted impressive victories in the Poule d’Essai des Pouliches and Poulains respectively, while Jemayel’s Prix Saint-Alary success just 24 hours after Mekhtaal’s all-the-way romp in the Prix Hocquart gave Al Shaqab Racing a weekend to remember. Sheikh Joaan’s operation also purchased the record-breaking €800,000 Frankel filly who topped the Arqana Breeze-up Sale in addition to securing a Group-race double.

Just a head behind Jemayel in second in the Prix Saint-Alary was Camprock, making her first start in Group 1 company for teenage French-based breeder Moa Sundstrom, whose grandparents Jan and Maja bred Prix du Jockey-Club winner and prominent French stallion Le Havre (who sired his second French 1,000 Guineas winner in just three crops with La Cressonniere).

Unbeaten before the Saint-Alary, Camprock, who has won at Listed and Group 3 level this year, is co-flagbearer for a decent season for her sire Myboycharlie, whose daughter Euro Charline was runner-up to Belardo in the Lockinge Stakes on the same weekend. Myboycharlie is also represented in Europe by the G3 Prix Djebel winner Cheikeljack, who is likely to appear next in the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot, while 2015 VRC Crown Oaks winner Jameka, one of two Australian Group 1 winners for the shuttle stallion, continues to run creditably at the highest level.

Myboycharlie is not the only son of Danetime currently enjoying a purple patch. No sooner had Bushranger taken up covering duties at the Jockey Club of Turkey’s Izmit stallion station than he started to fire in a rash of winners in Britain and Ireland. Cammidge Trophy winner Mobsta and two-year-old Stringybark Creek got the ball rolling with their respective victories at Doncaster and Kempton on April 2, while Ridge Ranger won the Listed Kilvington Fillies’ Stakes at Nottingham on May 7, swiftly followed by Now Or Never’s triumph in the G3 Derrinstown Stud 1,000 Guineas Trial.

She has subsequently been sold privately to Qatar Racing and, at the time of writing, was second favourite for the Irish 1,000 Guineas. Ross Castle added to the stakes-winning tally when winning the Group 3 Prix Texanita at Maisons-Laffitte on May 13.

Bushranger, the winner of the Prix Morny and Middle Park Stakes in 2008, covered at a fee of just €2,500 in the last of six seasons at Tally-Ho Stud in 2015. His move to Turkey was doubtless prompted by the fact that, despite being given support in numbers in his early days in Ireland, he had failed to sire a stakes winner prior to 2016. This year is a different story, however, with a winning strike-rate of just over 30% and four individual black-type winners in Britain and Ireland.

A winning strike-rate of just over 30% and four individual black-type winners in Britain and Ireland

His and Myboycharlie’s sire, the Stewards’ Cup winner Danetime, retired to stud without a stakes victory to his name, though he was placed in both the July Cup and Haydock Sprint Cup during his days with Neville Callaghan. The breeding world was prematurely deprived of his talents when he died on shuttle duties at Alwyn Park Stud in Western Australia in 2005.

Tally-Ho Stud was the northern hemisphere home to Danetime prior to his untimely death and while it may have lost the services of homebred Bushranger, the Co Westmeath farm still has another of Danetime’s sons, Baltic King. Myboycharlie – the first sire purchase of the now burgeoning stallion-owning operation SF Bloodstock back in 2007 – shuttles to Vinery Stud in Australia and stood just two seasons in Newmarket at the National Stud before being switched to Haras du Mezeray in Normandy.

Farewell to Janet Sexton
In May, we bade farewell to Janet Sexton, a small breeder who enjoyed great success under both codes. With her late husband Jeremy she bred Supreme Novices’ Hurdle winner Shadow Leader and, more recently, Janet was responsible for Enjoy Yourself, whose impressive debut victory for John Oxx last season led to her sale to America, where she has also won and finished second in the Florida Oaks.

Janet’s legacy extends to the breeding of one of the best young pedigree analysts and bloodstock writers of our time, her daughter, Nancy, to whom we extend our sincere condolences.