The offspring of first-season sires generally sell at a premium at the yearling sales. While the stallion’s ability is unproven, his reputation has not yet been tarnished in any way.

Irish Derby winner Soldier Of Fortune stands in France

This autumn there will be plenty of hype surrounding the first yearlings of Sea The Stars. The Aga Khan Studs resident has already topped the Arqana August Sale, his grey colt out of the Linamix mare Alpine Rose selling for €1.2 million, and he beat his half-brother Galileo into second place when setting an average of €416,000 for five sold.

The siblings will go head-to-head again during Book 1 of Tattersalls’ October Sale, which contains 42 Galileo yearlings and 30 by Sea The Stars.

In the meantime, however, other freshman sires have been put to their first major test, with the two-day DBS Premier Sale in Doncaster followed immediately by the BBAG Yearling Sale at Baden-Baden.

The second major European yearling sale of the season was topped by a freshman sire when a colt by Mastercraftsman out of Weekend Fling completed a good sale for Denis Brosnan’s Croom House Stud by becoming the most expensive horse sold at the Premier Sale. He fetched £185,000 to ensure that his sire had the top average among the new boys – £72,500 for four sold, though that was only half the number of yearlings by Mastercraftsman catalogued for the sale.

Bushranger’s stock – generally pretty strong and forward-looking – found plenty of favour with those in search of yearlings at Doncaster. He was the best represented of the first-season sires, with 25 included in the sale, and 24 of those sold for an average of £31,687. That figure is almost six times the son of Danetime’s initial stud fee of €7,000.

Art Connoisseur also set a respectable average of £34,250 for four yearlings sold, as did Dandy Man, whose 10 sold averaged £26,700. Myboycharlie, another son of Danetime, who started out at the National Stud in Newmarket but has already been relocated to Haras du Mézeray in Normandy, had five yearlings sell for an average of £26,000 and all three of Winker Watson’s yearlings offered changed hands at an average of £16,666 from a 2010 fee of £3,500.

Haras de la Cauvinère’s Le Havre is one of the most exciting stallions to be retained for stud duty in France in recent years and, while only six of his yearlings have been through the ring so far, he has made an encouraging start. The three sold at Arqana averaged €76,000 headed by a €120,000 colt bought by Shadwell, while two sold in Baden-Baden on Friday for €110,000 and €15,000.

Another interesting addition to the French ranks is Galileo’s Solder Of Fortune, who is at Haras du Logis St Germain. Well made and good looking, the dual Group 1 winner is clearly transmitting some of that quality to his young stock as he has had 10 yearlings sell in Deauville for an average of €48,300 (top price €80,000) and a half-sister to the Group-winning stayer Askar Tau sold for €125,000 in Germany.

In Europe, the yearling sales season continues with the DBS St Leger Festival Sale (September 13-14), the ITS and SGA sales on consecutive days in Milan (September 20 and 21), Tattersalls Ireland’s September Sale (September 25-26), Goffs Orby and Sportsman (October 3-5) and Tattersall’s three-book October Sale (October 9-19). In America, Keeneland’s mammoth September Sale gets underway on the evening of Monday, September 10.