THE ARQANA - AFAC PUREBRED ARABIAN SALE : 2-year-olds to the fore


THE ARQANA - AFAC PUREBRED ARABIAN SALE : 2-year-olds to the fore

The Haras de Mandore topped the vendors’ list, and Paul Basquin did likewise in the buyers’. category. Moreover, Gérard Larrieu signed the docket for the top lot in the sale after acquiring a regally bred juvenile consigned by the Watrigant family.

Better than expected. The portents preceding the Saint-Cloud PA sale, organised in partnership with Afac, weren’t good: as the Covid-19 crisis meant that prospective buyers from the Gulf States and Maghreb countries couldn’t travel. Furthermore, the catalogue had been up against strong competition posed by horses being sold privately throughout the season, and this strongly impacted (negatively) on the supply of quality horses in the catalogue. So it’s with a certain relief when the final session of the 2020 sale drew to a close, as certain vendors and buyers concluded that that the market had proved much stronger than expected. By way of comparison, the results of Goffs Orby Yearling Sale (for English thoroughbreds) which were taking place in Britain at the same time proved disastrous, as the average price plummeted by almost 40 per cent. Seen in this context, the fall in prices relative to the PA market seems reasonable by comparison.

Comparisons are difficult to make. This sale groups together a great diversity in terms of profile of the horses offered for sale: horses-in-training, 2-year-olds (which in English thoroughbred terms equate to yearlings), endurance horses and broodmares... So comparisons are superfluous as the number of horses for sale in each category varies year on year…and this also applies to the quality on offer. The total number of horses finding buyers dipped from 73.64 per cent to 67.65 percent, with the average price (all categories) decreasing from €28,204 to €25,870. The combination of the two elements explains the decrease in turnover which reached €1,785 million – compared to €2,284 million in 2019.

The average price for PA juveniles rises by 9.000 €. However, on closer inspection, the two-year-old market – the one of most direct concern to French breeders – was buoyant. By way of comparison, 33 of the 48 PA juveniles (68.75 per cent) on offer were sold for an average of €21,045 in 2019. This year, 27 of the 38 (71.05 per cent) of the PA 2-year-old stock changed hands, which accounts for why the average rose to €30,444. Given the costs of producing PA horses (PA stallion covering fees are lower compared to English thoroughbreds), these figures are encouraging. The results of the sale as a whole reveal that the average price paid for a PA juvenile equates to 6.7 times the stallion covering fee (PA covering fees tend to average €4,000). The equivalent figure in 2019 was 8.7. The sale of an English thoroughbred is deemed to be satisfactory when the final price is three times that of the covering fee.

The endurance market is a hive of activity. Endurance horses, based on pedigrees and compatibility in terms of physique, were also a positive factor when it came to propping up the market, as four horses fetched €40,000 or more. Éric Hoyeau, the chairman and managing director of Arqana, said: "We must highlight the support of the bloodstock agents at the sale, the smooth running of the Arqana Online platform, plus the enthusiasm shown for horses with endurance profiles. These three factors have partially compensated for the absence of a large number of foreign buyers due to the health crisis."

Sheail Bin Khalifa Al Kuwari acquires the first foal of Sahabba

#38 (M2)        Munjiz ex Sahabba (Nizam)           €125,000

Buyer: Chantilly Bloodstock Agency

Vendor: Haras de Mandore

Breeder: Haras de Mandore

#29 (M2)        Munjiz ex Nalika (Dormane)          €50,000

Buyer: Chantilly Bloodstock Agency

Vendor: Haras de Saint-Faust

Breeder: Marie-Claude Biaudis

Gérard Larrieu was responsible for paying the top price at the sale: €125,000. He was acting on behalf of Sheail Bin Khalifa Al Kuwari, a leading Qatari owner, and, via the middle man, the latter availed himself to the first foal of the classy performer Sahabba (Nizam). On behalf of the same owner, the Chantilly Bloodstock Agency supremo has previously unearthed (and the list isn’t exhaustive) the local Qtari champion The Blue Eye (Dubawi), Easter de Faust (Mahabb), Al Malhouf (Dutch Art), Lady Princess (General) and Hadi de Carrère (Nieshan). The latter, incidentally, won the Al Rayyan Cup - Prix Kesberoy (Gr1 PA) in good style. These are the same colours that the sister of Trêve (Motivator) will carry after her €520,000 purchase at the Arqana September sale.

From a great ‘Watrigant’ line. The dam of the above lot 38, Sahabba, is a quadruple winner, whose successes comprised the Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup (Gr3 PA) - for the trainer-owner combination of Damien de Watrigant and Jean-Marc de Watrigant. He’s a son of the late and lamented Munjiz (Kesberoy): a great stallion who sadly passed away recently, and one that acquired a reputation as a sires’ sire. The grandam Djesabelle (Dormane), was a six times winner, including the Prix Dragon (Gr1 PA).  She went on to produce Bel'Izam (Nizam), second in at Gr1 PA race during the winter at Abu Dhabi, before capturing the Gr3 PA Prix Damascus (on his return) and the Gr3 PA Shadwell-Coupe du Sud-Ouest des Pur-Sang Arabes.

The great grandam Cherifa (Chéri Bibi) excelled as the winner of the Dubai Stakes and the Coupe du Cheval Arabe (Grs1 PA). Around 20 of her descendants have gained black type, including Mushrae (Arabian World Cup & Arabian Trophy des Poulains, Grs1 PA). This is the much vaunted line of the Watrigant breeding academy, which has been responsible for producing the stallion heavyweights: Dormane (Manganate) and Manganate (Saint Laurent).

Cocktail du Loup becomes the property of Sheikh Mohammed Al Thani

#90      COCKTAIL DU LOUP (F3)         €100,000

Divamer ex Aurore du Loup (Darike)

Buyer: Bertrand Le Métayer Bloodstock

Vendor: Charles Gourdain

Breeder: Jean-Marc Saphores

Second in the Prix Mona Lisa in the colours of Gérard Larrieu, the Charles Gourdain runner Cocktail du Loup (Divamer) subsequently carried the colours of Sheikh Mohammed Al Thani (Al Shahania Stud) in the Qatar Arabian Trophy des Pouliches (Gr1 PA) (fifth) on Friday, October 3rd. Bertrand Le Métayer signed the docket and he said of the €100,000 purchase: "The filly will now race in the silks of Sheikh Mohammed Al Thani in the Gr1 PA [fifth] race for fillies [Saint-Cloud, Oct 3rd]. She will be campaigned during the winter in Qatar. A superb physical specimen, she’s also a deep-bodied sort that moves very well. She gives the impression that there is more in the locker. The dual Gr1 PA winner Rajeh (Jaafer Asf) has been involved in some good battles with her brother Rodess du Loup (Dahess)!" Bred by Jean-Marc Saphores, she’s the sister of two classy PA performers: Photon du Loup (Dahess), third in the Derby des Pur-Sang Arabes de 4ans (since elevated to Gr1 PA status), and Rodess du Loup (Dahess): the winner of the Derby des Pur-Sang Arabes and the President of The UAE Cup (Gr1 PA)... when trained by Charles Gourdain! This is the line of the great Nevada II (Djanor).

Guiness d'Vialettes changes owners on the eve of the Qatar Arabian Trophy des Pouliches

#95      GUINESS D'VIALETTES (F3)    €100,000

Af Albahar ex Usa des Vialettes (Akbar)

Buyer: Haras du Saubouas

Vendor: Mme Jean-François Bernard

Breeder: Jean-Pierre Raynal

The winner of her only start to date, the Premio Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Cup at San Sebastian, Guiness d'Vialettes (Af Albahar) was one of the wild card entries in the sale. Sold with an entry in the Qatar Arabian Trophy des Pouliches (Gr1 PA) at Saint-Cloud on October 3rd, she had previously raced for a partnership involving her trainer Mrs Jean-François Bernard and breeder Jean-Pierre Raynal. Paul Basquin went to €100,000 to buy her (privately) and said: "Guiness d'Vialettes impressed on her debut at San Sebastian over 1,600m (1m), particularly as this wasn’t her trip, having also shown signs of greenness in the closing stages. However, I liked her attitude as she raced like a filly with potential. I had seen the filly put through her paces by Mrs Bernard in the morning, and it was the trainer that recommended her. She’s an exceptional physical specimen. She bears the very distinct imprint of her sire Af Albahar (Amer). I bought her for Mohamed Fahad Al Attiyah and we’re hoping that she will deliver the best possible performance tomorrow [October 3rd]. I had already acquired the full brother Good des Vialettes (Af Albahar), a winner in France and third in the French Arabian Breeders' Challenge-Poulains (Gr2 PA). However, from a physical viewpoint, he’s less impressive than his sister." The sire, Af Albahar, is based at the Haras de Thouars. The grandam has produced Vikin des Vialettes (Akbar), the winner of 11 races in Morocco and third in the Grand Prix de Sa Majesté le Roi Mohammed VI (Gr3 PA).

The big ambitions of Mohamed Fahad Al Attiyah

#33      (M2) Nieshan ex Pamela de Syrah (Nehs d'Or Al Maury)          €90,000

Buyer: Haras du Saubouas

Vendor: Haras des Granges (on behalf of the Domaine de l'Aigle)

Breeder: Patrick Lombrail

#15      (M2) AF Albahar ex Cherazade (Dormane)         €82,000

Buyer: Haras du Saubouas

Vendor: Haras de Mandore

Breeder: Haras de Mandore

#13      (M2) Mahabb ex Breeze Class (Akbar)     €72,000

Buyer: Haras du Saubouas

Vendor: Écurie Yann Creff

Breeder: Pierre-Yves Juillard

#30      (F2) Munjiz ex Nelkia (Amer)         50.000 €

Buyer: Haras du Saubouas

Vendor: Haras de Saint-Faust

Breeder: Marie-Claude Biaudis

After signing the docket for lots 13, 15, 30 and 33, Paul Basquin added: "My client is a young Qatari owner that deserves to win big races. We’ve been working in partnership for a number of years. He’s in the process of building a big breeding operation, and one which has French and international ambitions. All his best mares board at the Haras du Saubouas. For example, he bought Munir du Soleil (Munjiz), who contested (fourth) the Qatar Arabian Trophy des Poulains (Gr1 PA). Guiness d'Vialettes (AF Albahar), entered in the Qatar Arabian Trophy des Pouliches (Gr1 PA) (sixth), is another such example after being acquired in partnership with Mr and Mrs Raynal. The owner has around ten year-olds which are currently boarding at his stud, and many of these are fillies. So my client decided to complement this by buying some colts. We’ve been very happy to have bought some good horses on his behalf. His colours have also been in evidence in the English thoroughbreds’ sector, as he had acquired ready-made horses at the top level in the mould of the Jean-Claude Rouget runner Mission Impassible** (Galileo). He also owned the full sister off the latter, Magic Attitude** (Galileo), in partnership, during the early part of her career. He has just acquired a 50 per cent stake in the Pascal Bary-trained Vaucelles (Le Havre)."

The brother of Shanghai Express. A €9,000 buy, lot 33 is a son of Nieshan (Akbar), a sire based at the Haras de Carrère, and recently responsible for siring his first Gr1 PA winner.

He was bred by a newcomer to the PA racing world, Patrick Lombrail. The dam has produced two black type performers: Matys (Volcano de Carrère), third in the President of The UAE Challenge Derby (Gr2 PA) at Ostend, and Shanghai Express (Orient Express). The latter filled an identical position in the French Arabian Breeders' Cup - Mâles de 3ans.

Costing €82,000, lot 15 boasts a superb pedigree and one which bears the hallmark of the Haras de Mandore. The sire, Af Albahar (Amer), is resident at the Haras de Thouars. He’s a grandson of the mighty Cherifa (Chéri Bibi), and is the brother of four black type class performers, including Cheker (Kerbella), the Prix Tidjani (Gr3 PA) victor, and R'Ezala (Nizam), the Hatta International Stakes (Gr1 PA) second.

Lot 13, a €72,000 purchase, was bred by Pierre-Yves Juillard and is closely related to Al Zahir (Madjani), a dual winner of the H.H. The President Cup, and also successful in the

Emirates Championship (Grs1 PA). Yann Creff was the consignor.

Lot 30 is a daughter of the late, lamented Munjiz (Kesberoy) and was consigned by the Haras de Saint-Faust on behalf of Marie-Claude Biaudis. She’s out of a sister to the dual Gr1 PA winning Rajeh (Jaafer Asf).

Bahrein… also makes a statement of intent in the PA sector!

#11      (M2) Madjani ex Berenice Royale (Dormane)      €58,000

Buyer: Endurance Team Spc

Vendor: Haras du Mazet

Breeder: Institut Français du cheval et de l'Équitation (Haras de Pompadour)

Bred to be a racing type and a strong colt to boot, Bali de Pompadour (Madjani) will be geared toward endurance racing. The (late) sire Madjani – very much a top notch PA performer in common with his sire Tidjani (Flipper) – has proven to be a much sought after sire of endurance horses. This stallion used to be part of the Shadwell draft of stallions, having covered from the Haras de Saint-Faust. Marion Wasilewski (Endurance Team Spc), signed the docket for this €58,000 purchase and she said: "I work on behalf of Bahraini interests and Sheikh Nasser in particular. He was keen to acquire the colt, having developed a liking for the progeny of Madjani. We previously bought a lot at the sale and the horse in question has shaped promisingly at equestrian endurance level. Bali de Pompadour bears the strong stamp of his sire." Bali de Pompadour hails from one of the quality Pompadour bloodlines, and namely that of Bergeronnette (Djouran).

Tops at the Deauville sales. Sheikh Nasser and his relatives have also acquired a reputation at the English thoroughbred yearling sales. As the man from Bahrain splashed out 2.5 million euros for a daughter of Dubawi (Dubai Millennium) and Starlet's Sister (Galileo), consigned by the Écurie des Monceaux, at the Deauville sales in September. Fawzi Nass told us in September: "She is, of course, a very attractive filly and with a pedigree to match. His Highness the Sheikh Nasser Al Khalifa [editor’s note: a member of the Bahraini Royal Family], acquired her in tandem with KHK Racing [a Bahraini racing stable]... She will be trained in Britain, but the identity of the trainer has yet to be determined. Obviously, the market is very strong for such a filly. Such quality is hard to come by."

Chalwa du Breuil

#57      CHALWA DU BREUIL (F8)

Mahabb ex Jamaa du Breuil (Djouras Tu)           €57,000

In-foal to Al Mourtajez

Buyer: Haras du Saubouas

Vendor: Haras de Mandore

Breeder: Wiljan Poels

Lisa and Pierre Deymonaz acquired Chalwa du Breuil (Mahabb) for €57,000. Two days later, Pierre Deymonaz said: "She’s a young mare in breeding terms. She has acquired black type by winning a Gr3 PA race. Her dam, too, won at this level. She’s also a half-sister to Vulcain du Clos (Monsieur Al Maury). A sturdy type and endowed with strong hind quarters, she really caught the eye of Paul Basquin at the sales. Chalwa du Breuil bears the stamp of the Haras de Mandore. They have forged a reputation when it comes to selling good broodmares. That’s what incited us to keep our hand-in for the mare until the fall of the hammer. Lisa and myself have been on the lookout for a new bloodline for our breeding operation. We only own one French mare by Dormane (Manganate) and she’s Balladore: the dam of Amyr du Soleil (Amer) and My Belle du Soleil (General). We’ve also two mares by Amer (Wafi), Theeba (the full sister of Ebraz and the dam of Methgal), and Rahab (the full sister of Général and the dam of the promising Munir du Soleil). Lisa’s expertise in PA breeding has led us to the conclusion that an injection of speed is called for regarding the Du Soleil Stud bloodlines. Chalwa du Breuil is a daughter of Mahabb (Tahar de Candelon), and the sire is himself out of the champion sprint distaffer Joyzel (Jaf Orphatyn). It’s the required missing piece of the jigsaw. The mare is in-foal to Al Mourtajez (Dahess), and she will board at the Haras de Saubouas. She will then be sent to the Haras de Thouars for the insemination process. Mating plans are still up in the air regarding the 2021 breeding season."

Chalwa du Breuil landed the H.H. Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Al Nahyan Ladies World Cup (Gr3 PA) at Duindigt. Her first foal is a filly by Dormane. Three of the progeny of the grandam have gained black type, including the globe-trotting Vulcain du Clos, a dual Listed winner and twice placed in the Malazgirt Trophy (Gr1 PA), plus Serouda du Breuil (Dormane), the Zaabeel International Stakes (Gr1 PA) third at Newbury. The great grandam has also been the source of three PA horses which have gained black type, and notably Makfoul du Breuil (Tidjani). He numbered the Coupe d’Europe et des Émirats Arabes Unis (Gr1 PA) and The President of The UAE International Challenge Derby (Gr1 PA) among his 12 wins.