A powerful collection of leading buyers from around the world helped contribute to a memorable renewal of the Arqana August Sale in Deauville last weekend.

With major increases recorded across-the-board during its three-day run, the August Sale ensured the European yearling sales season opened in record-breaking style, mirroring the strength of trade seen earlier this month at the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Sale in New York.

In all, 283 yearlings went through the ring with almost 87% of them changing hands for an average price of €232,445, an 11% increase on the record edition of 2022. The overall turnover reached €56,949,000, up 15% on 2022.
Following the sale, Arqana’s Chairman Éric Hoyeau and Executive Director Freddy Powell commented: “Last year we changed the format of the August Sale, which now offers three days of sales of the same level. This year’s results have been excellent and we are more than satisfied. We would like to express our sincere thanks to all the vendors who entrusted us with colts and fillies of exceptional quality. We had the pleasure of welcoming major international owners and buyers from all over Europe, Australia, the United States, Japan and the Middle East, who were very active during the three days of sales. We would also like to thank all our teams who worked tirelessly to make the sale a success. The yearling sales season is off to the best possible start and we look forward to seeing you next Tuesday for the v.2 Yearling Sale.”

Four yearlings made €1 million or more headed by a Dubawi daughter of the multiple Group 1 producer Frida La Blonde offered by Haras d’Etreham on behalf of breeder Gestut Zur Kuste. Already a half-sister to Prix de l’Abbaye winner Wooded when the catalogue went to press, she received an almighty update in the days leading up to the sale when another half-brother, Bucanero Fuerte, landed the Phoenix Stakes at the Curragh.

As such, she became the subject of a heated duel between the heavy-hitting Oliver St Lawrence and Anthony Stroud, eventually falling to the former agent for €2.4 million.

Oliver St Lawrence signed at €2.4 million for this Dubawi filly. Photo – Arqana/Zuzanna Lupa

“She’s a lovely filly,” said Oliver St Lawrence. “I’ve bought her for a Bahraini owner. Her dam has already produced two fantastic performers that have won Group 1s and we hope she will be just as good on the racetrack. She’ll come back to England and we’ll decide later on where she’ll going into training. We’re very happy.”

As ever, perennial leading vendor Ecurie des Monceaux was never far from the action. Their powerful draft included two million euro lots lead by a Siyouni relation to Shamardal, for whom MV Magnier and Peter Brant’s White Birch Farm paid €2.2 million. Out of the Galileo mare Hourglass, he was offered by Monceaux on behalf of breeder China Horse Club, who had bought the mare off the Coolmore partners for $1.1 million back in 2019. Similarly, the Club’s other high-profile offering, a Wootton Bassett colt also bought by MV Magnier and White Birch, in his case for €800,000, was also out of a former Coolmore-owned mare in Holy Roman Empress.

“They’re lovely horses,” said M.V. Magnier about the two colts. “We sold their dams a few years ago and have now come back to buy their progeny. Ecurie des Monceaux is an incredible stud and they do an excellent job.”

Godolphin struck for Monceaux’s other million euro lot, a Dubawi colt out of the Invincible Spirit mare Pretty Spirit, a half-sister to Classic-winning miler Persian King.

Monceaux were once again the sale’s leading vendor thanks to 35 yearlings who sold for a total of €15,810,000.

Japanese interests made their presence felt, notably trainer Yoshito Yahagi, who came away with €1.14 million worth of lots including a Wootton Bassett colt out of the Group 3 winner Magic America for whom he gave €1 million.

Ramiro Restrepo’s Marquee Bloodstock was also among those American buyers active at the top end of the market, going to €700,000 for a Siyouni filly out of a half-sister to Group 1 winner Charm Spirit.