With the Arqana August Sale taking place later this month, for those involved in horse-trading, the relentless slide towards Christmas begins as one bloodstock sale swiftly follows another.
For an auction that turned over almost €40 million last year, it would be wrong to take the August Sale any way other than very seriously but it does however provide a wonderful holiday-like feel to the start of the season, thanks predominantly to its glamorous seaside location. The stakes are likely to be even higher this year in Deauville where the first six Frankel yearlings are set to go under the hammer.
Despite the great horse having retired in 2012, there’s no sign yet of the interest in him abating. Since he left the racecourse, we’ve had the excitement of the first book of mares booked to Frankel, the first foals being born and a handful being offered for sale – with mixed results – and now we have the yearlings and the first hint of his stock as nascent racehorses.
Making full use of its early slot in the sales calendar, the Arqana team has not held back in its marketing of the sextet, with a special microsite (frankel.arqana.com) launched to flaunt the esteemed youngsters, which include a half-sister to the multiple Group 1 winner Stacelita, a half-brother to Group 1-winning two-year-old Naaqoos, and another filly whose half-sister, the Listed winner Prudenzia, has already produced the Irish Oaks winner Chicquita.
The ‘Frankels’ could well have their thunder stolen, however, with the inclusion in the catalogue of a rare jewel in the form of a full-sister to Treve
Four of the six are offered by Lucien Urano’s Ecurie des Monceaux, which has been the leading vendor at the August Sale for the last three years and surely must be odds-on to retain that title this time around.
The ‘Frankels’ could well have their thunder stolen, however, with the inclusion in the catalogue of a rare jewel in the form of a full-sister to Treve. The Haras du Quesnay homebred features as lot 176 and is scheduled to sell late on Sunday, August 16.
Treve herself didn’t make the cut for the August Sale of 2011, appearing instead in October and even then not garnering enough intersest from potential buyers to prevent her being bought back for €22,000. The figure attached to her subsequent private sale to Al Shaqab Racing can only be guessed at but her five Group 1 wins, including two Arcs, mean that she is now priceless and any of her relations or future offspring to be offered for sale will come under the closest scrutiny.
Frankel is of course not the only sire with first yearlings for sale this summer and autumn. Nathaniel, who was runner-up to Frankel on debut at two and third to him in their final meeting in the 2012 Champion Stakes, meets his nemesis again in the battle of the sales ring. He too has six on offer at Arqana, including a colt out of treble Group 1 winner Aquarelliste, while Excelebration, who was runner-up to Frankel on four agonising occasions, has 13 representatives.
There’s a distinctly Antipodean feel to some of the other freshman sires with yearlings on offer in Deauville. The Darley duo of Sepoy and Helmet are represented alongside Coolmore’s ten-time Group 1 winner So You Think, while the former Australian champion sire Redoute’s Choice has 15 of his first European-bred yearlings slated to sell following his two-year shuttling stint at the Aga Khan’s Haras de Bonneval.
Following a record-breaking sale in Japan in July, the scene is set for the European yearling season to start on a similar high.