Buoyed by the presence of several collectors items, the second session of the Arqana Select Yearling Sale in Deauville on Thursday witnessed an altogether livelier trade than on the opening day to provide some cause for optimism.

The top mark of €620,000 set on Wednesday was surpassed on five occasions, notably by a trio of seven-figure lots, an improvement from the two recorded overall in 2019.

As anticipated, the draft hailing from the sale’s perennial leading vendor Ecurie des Monceaux stole the show, with a Dubawi filly out of the stud’s star mare Starlet’s Sister leading the way at €2.5 million ahead of its Galileo brother to Magic Wand, who made €2 million. In all, Monceaux has turned over €9.835 million in total sales so far – 33% of the sale’s entire running aggregate of €30.152 million.

Such an upturn in the top end of the market pushed the average to €180,790 and thus not far off last year’s record level of €187,679 (although due to the differing nature of this year’s catalogue, the sales are not strictly comparable). The median, however, painted a stickier picture at €105,000 as did the clearance rate of 70%.

Magic Monceaux

The sale-topping filly is set to carry the colours of HH Sheikh Nasser al Khalifa and KHK Racing after falling to agent Oliver St Lawrence and owner Fawzi Nass for €2.5 million. The partnership had enjoyed a major payout earlier in the afternoon when their Line Of Departure, a yearling purchase through St Lawrence, struck in the £200,000 Weatherbys Racing Bank 2yo Stakes at Doncaster. The Sheikh also campaigned last year’s Rockfel and Albany Stakes winner Daahyeh.

The Dubawi filly is a true collectors item as a half-sister to the outstanding American turf mare Sistercharlie, the winner of seven Grade 1 races for Peter Brant and Chad Brown, and Sottsass, last year’s Prix du Jockey Club hero. Starlet’s Sister is also the dam of My Sister Nat, a Grade 3 winner for the Brant-Brown axis since the publication of the catalogue.

“She’s obviously a very nice filly with a pedigree,” Nass told Arqana. “She’s been bought on behalf of HH Sheikh Nasser al Khalifa along with KHK Racing, and hopefully she’ll go into training in the UK. We haven’t decided on the trainer yet but will do soon. 

“We knew the buying power was there [to purchase her] but it was just difficult to put a value on her. The market has a strong appetite for a filly like that and they’re scarce to come on the market.”

Lot 251 Dubawi x Startlet’s Sister Ecurie des Monceaux, 18/08/2020, photo: Zuzanna Lupa

Nass and St Lawrence also combined to purchase an American Pharoah colt for €320,000. Sold by Haras d’Etreham, the colt was pinhooked for $225,000 out of last year’s Keeneland November Sale and is a relation to Lammtarra.

Meanwhile, the sale of Monceaux’s Galileo colt for €2 million to MV Magnier continued a remarkable love affair between the Arqana Select Sale and the progeny of Prudenzia.

The Listed-winning Dansili mare, bred by Monceaux out of their 100,000gns purchase Platonic, had thrown five million euro yearlings prior to today’s transaction including this colt’s sister Magic Wand, Aidan O’Brien’s hardy and popular mare who gained a deserved success in last year’s Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes at Flemington. She cost the Coolmore partners €1.4 million out of the 2016 renewal. Three years earlier, the same connections had also gone to €1 million for another sister, Truth.

Prudenzia is also the dam of Irish Oaks heroine Chicquita, a €600,000 purchase by Badgers Bloodstock out of the 2011 sale, while her current two-year-old, the Dubawi filly Philomene, recently made an impressive winning debut at Longchamp after having topped last year’s sale at €1.625 million to Godolphin.

In all, yearlings out of Prudenzia have realised a total of €10.195 million at this sale since 2011.

“He was a lovely horse and Magic Wand been very good to us – hopefully this fella will end up being good too,” Magnier told Arqana after outbidding David Redvers. “He has a good hind leg and is a very good mover, all our guys really liked him. We’re happy to have got him.”

Monceaux’s Henri Bozo paid tribute to Prudenzia. He told Arqana: “It’s a fantastic result and a big thank you to Coolmore – it’s great to see them support the French industry. Prudenzia has been an amazing mare who has helped us develop Monceaux. And now Philomene looks very promising, having won a fancy maiden first time out at Longchamp.”

Lot 199 Galileo x Prudenzia Ecuries Des Monceaux, 13/08/2020, photo: Zuzanna Lupa

Rouget busy

An excellent afternoon for Monceaux also included the sale of a Siyouni filly out of stakes producer Polygreen for €700,000 to trainer Jean-Claude Rouget.

Rouget, who has bought 12 yearlings so far this week, revealed that he was buying on behalf of Kentucky operation Gainesway Farm.

Polygreen joined Monceaux as the property of a partnership headed by the farm when bought for ‘just’ €200,000 in 2015. A Listed winner for the Wertheimer brothers and already the dam of a Listed winner in Evaporation, she went on to hit greater heights thanks to her Oasis Dream daughter Polydream, whose four Group victories included the 2018 Prix Maurice de Gheest.

“Polygreen has been a fantastic mare,” said Bozo. “We own her in partnership with a great group of friends and small breeders – we were trying to bring in some new faces and smaller breeders to the game and we’ve had so much fun with her. She’s been a great mare.”

Henri Bozo: ‘Polygreen has been a great mare’: Photo – Tattersalls

Monceaux also hit a high note early on in the session with the sale of a homebred Frankel filly for €630,000 to Sebastian Desmontils.

Signing under his Chauvigny Global Equine banner, Desmontils was again acting on behalf of the Japanese client for whom he purchased a €480,000 son of Lope De Vega during the opening session.

“I bought her on behalf of Hisaaki Saito, who already has four horses in training in France – two with Fabrice Chappet and two with Henri-François Devin,” Desmontils told Arqana. “We do not yet know who she will go into training with. We were competing against one of the best breeders in the world, [underbidder] Juddmonte Farms, so we are delighted to have her.”

Her dam Militante has become a jewel within the Monceaux broodmare band since her purchase as a yearling at this sale in 2009 for €70,000 through Meridian International. Listed-placed for Monceaux, the daughter of Johannesburg has since gone on to produce the Classic-placed Wind Chimes for the farm as well as the Listed-placed Golden Fastnet.

Big strike for Godolphin 

After making a welcome foray into the market on Wednesday, Godolphin returned to the fray to purchase a Kingman colt for €1.1 million through Anthony Stroud.

The highlight of the Haras des Capucines draft, the colt is the first foal out of Speralita, an unraced Frankel half-sister to champion Stacelita, herself dam of Soul Stirring, a dual champion in Japan who was also Frankel’s first Group 1 winner.

Fabrice Chappet, meanwhile, is set to train the Motivator sister to Treve following her sale for €520,000 to Gerard Larrieu of Chantilly Bloodstock Agency.

The sale concludes with the third session on Friday.