Wootton Bassett has the golden touch at Arqana’s October Yearling Sale
Coolmore’s shuttler Wootton Bassett (Iffraaj) dominated proceedings on the opening day of the Arqana October Yearling Sale as he accounted for three lots who fetched in excess of €200,000 (approx. AU$312,200) from the first 50 through the ring. But that was just a taster of what was to come.
Anthony Stroud secured all three, with a well-bred pair of the sire’s progeny both going to James Fanshawe and Alison Swinburn, while the €420,000 (approx. AU$655,625) early pacesetter was bought for an unnamed client.
Brought to the ring by perennial Deauville favourites Ecurie des Monceaux, the colt, who was listed as lot 49, boasts an outstanding pedigree, being out of an unraced Frankel (Galileo) half-sister to QEII Stakes (Gr 1, 1m) and Prix du Moulin (Gr 1, 1600m) hero Charm Spirit (Invincible Spirit). Other notable racing performers in the immediate family include Poule d’Essai des Pouliches (Gr 1, 1600m) heroine Dream And Do (Siyouni) and Greenham Stakes (Gr 3, 7f) runner-up Mehmento (Mehmas).
“He was expensive!” said Stroud, who said no decision had yet been made about where the colt would be trained. “He comes from a very good family and an excellent farm. I liked him a lot, though that goes without saying.”
As darkness fell it was another case of the agent being seduced by the sire, with Stroud going to €310,000 (approx. AU$484,000) for a colt (lot 153) bred by Lady O’Reilly’s Haras de la Louviere.
From a mare out of one Prix d’Aumale (Gr 3, 1600m) winner, Top Toss (Linamix), and thus a sister to another in Lesstalk In Paris (Cape Cross), the May-born colt will be trained by Simon Crisford.
Stroud’s earlier trips to the Wootton Bassett well reflected the success of a previous Arqana purchase for Swinburn.
Audarya – who adorns the cover of the catalogue this week – was bought by Stroud for €125,000 four years ago, having been bred by Francois and Elizabeth Doumen’s Haras d’Ecouves at a fee of €4,000.
That purchase came in the wake of Almanzor’s (Wootton Bassett) trailblazing success for the stallion and he has covered ever-better books in the intervening years, with the 2019-conceived yearlings going through the ring this week – Wootton Bassett’s penultimate crop from his time in France – the results of €40,000 covers.
Swinburn’s emerald green, red and yellow silks will be carried by a €210,000 (approx. AU$327,800) filly (lot 14) out of Harem Lady (Teofilo) from Etreham and a €270,000 (approx. AU$421,475) La Motteraye-consigned colt from the rich Wildenstein family of Loup Breton (Anabaa) and, before her, Loup Sauvage (Riverman) and Loup Solitaire (Lear Fan).
Tinkler aiming at Royal Ascot with Wootton Bassett filly
While Stroud and his varied clients proved near-insatiable in their quest for the produce of Wootton Bassett, other operations were able to buy examples near the top of the market.
As the rain poured out of the Normandy night it was Oceanic Bloodstock’s Michel Zerolo who landed a colt from La Motteraye Consignment out of an unraced Frankel daughter of Juddmonte’s Nassau Stakes (Gr 1, 1m 2f) heroine Winsili (Dansili).
Zerolo left the ring to start working the phones but, with such extraordinary demand for the sire, he would have been confident of finding interested parties pretty quickly.
Even later in the piece Jamie Piggott and trainer Nigel Tinkler got in on the act when paying €350,000 (approx. AU$546,350) for a Wootton Bassett daughter of the Acclamation (Royal Applause) filly Broken Applause, who was Group 3-placed at two.
“The Wootton Bassetts seem to be as expensive, if not more expensive than gold,” said Piggott. “She’s a wonderful filly. Nigel keeps saying she’s an Ascot filly and I truly hope he’s right.
“She looks forward, she looks sharp and I don’t think we’ll have to wait too long for her.”
Al Shaqab were able to win out at €220,000 (approx. AU$343,450) for another Monceaux offering by the sire, a filly out of the South African stakes performer Olma (Dynasty).
At the end of the session Wootton Bassett had accounted for a staggering seven of the 14 lots to make over €200,000
Coolmore strike for €440,000 Camelot colt
On a day when Coolmore’s 2021 recruit Wootton Bassett dominated the upper end of the Arqana scoreboard, a protracted battle late in the session propelled a Camelot (Montjeu) colt to top lot.
Mandore Agency’s Nicolas de Watrigant struck the decisive bid at €440,000 (approx. AU$687,000), making the son of Prix de l’Opera (Gr 1, 2000m) runner-up Board Meeting (Anabaa) the highest-priced yearling sold here in October since 2017.
Presented by Ecurie des Monceaux, the colt hails from a blue-chip line of mares who raced for the late Daniel Wildenstein and his family, Board Meeting’s sister Bright Sky (Wolfhound) landing both the Prix de Diane (Gr 1, 2100m) and an Opera at three.
De Watrigant stood with Coolmore’s French representative Hermine Bastide, explaining: “I bought him for MV Magnier and he’s a beautiful colt by a proven sire. I bought one horse for them previously, also by Camelot, and he was Mythical, who was Group 1-placed.”
McEvoy-Mitchell, Roll The Dice Racing in the market
Australians were prominent at Monday’s opening session, with McEvoy-Mitchell Racing, Roll The Dice Racing and John Foote all active, as well as Danny O’Brien.
McEvoy-Mitchell Racing, via agent Niall O’Connor, stuck for two fillies, beginning early in the day with Lot 12, a filly by Le Havre (Noverre) from the family of dual Australian Group 1 winner and Mapperley Stud stallion Contributer (High Chaparral) for €105,000 (approx. AU$164,000).
She is the first foal out of Gouville (Rajsaman), a half-sister to stakes winner Sotteville and the stakes placed Crisolles, who are both by Le Havre.
They were then forced to go to €180,000 (approx. AU$280,000) for Lot 91, a filly by Camelot and the first foal out of the Redoute’s Choice (Danehill) mare Pink Paint, a daughter of Listed winner Peinture Rose (Storm Cat) and granddaughter of Group 2 winner Peinture Bleau (Alydar), who is dam of three-time Group 1 winner-turned sire Peintre Celebre (Nureyev) and two other stakes winners.
Roll The Dice Racing added to their Tattersalls purchase last week with a colt by the late Mastercraftsman (Danehill Dancer), who is brother to dual US Grade 1-winning filly A Racing Beauty, as well as the stakes placed A Racing Beauty.
Catalogued as Lot 183, the colt, already named A Blue Star, was purchased in conjunction with John Foote and Arthur Hoyeau for €65,000 (approx. AU$101,500).
John Foote and Arthur Hoyeau also teamed up for a filly by Le Havre, as they parted with €100,000 to prize Lot 142.
The filly is out of the Group 2 winner Tamazirte (Danehill Dancer), who was placed second in both the Poule d’Essai des Pouliches (French 1,000 Guineas) (Gr 1, 1600m) and Prix De Diane. She is already the producer of stakes winners Into The Mystic (Galileo) and Chachnak (Kingman).
Brummitt and O’Brien continue European shopping spree
Jeremy Brummitt and Danny O’Brien have been busy at the European yearling sales and the pair were again active on Monday when they swooped to land Lot 97, a Tamayuz (Nayef) colt for €87,000 (approx. AU$103,000).
Offered by Coulonces Sales, the colt is out of the winning Street Cry (Machiavellian) mare Quenching, making him a half-brother to the Reliable Man (Dalakhani) siblings Quiet Times, a Listed winner in France and World Famous, a two-time winner in Hong Kong.
Featuring an international pedigree, the colt is also from the family of New Zealand Oaks (Gr 1, 2400m) winner More Than Sacred (More Than Ready), who derives from fourth dam Fruition (Rheingold), producer of dual US elite-level winner Northern Spur (Sadler’s Wells) and two other stakes winners.