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The 2017 sale season got off to a pleasing start with the February Mixed Sale registering gains in most of its key indicators. Despite the number of horses led through the ring having been reduced by 30 lots, the one-day auction grossed €2,075,900, up 21.4%, for an average price of €10,402, up 45.7%. The clearance rate fell short from last year’s 80% figure but remained a healthy 75.6% for 199 horses sold.

Fireworks from Ecurie Sagara’s dissolution of partnerships

The dissolution of partnerships between National Hunt owner-breeder Ecurie Sagara and some of his partners, including jumps trainer Francois Nicolle, was the headline act in the catalogue and lived up to all expectations by providing the day’s top two lots, both for six-figure prices.

Luc Gabeur, who operates Ecurie Sagara, bought out his partners in six of the eight lots who went through the ring, headed by the five-year-old top class chaser ROI MAGE (lot 106) who commanded a final bid of €210,000. The son of Poliglote is among the leading chasers of his generation, having filled the runner-up spot in last year’s Prix Ferdinand Dufaure (Gr.1), where he was only beaten a short head by Punch Nantais, and run 3rd in the Prix Duc d’Anjou (Gr.3).

The dark bay was preceded by the four-year-old Anglo-Arab GIANICOLO (lot 105), a winner over hurdles in the provinces and over fences at Auteuil. The son of Balko, also the sire of Group 1 winning jumper GITANE DU BERLAIS, was knocked down for €150,000 with Gabeur signing under the name SOFIGA.

Among the other horses in training offered by François Nicolle as part of the dissolution of partnership with Ecurie Sagara, the unraced three-year-old filly ELLEN DES MOTTES (lot 103), commanded €40,000. The daughter of Marresca Sorento, who is out of a half-sister to the multiple Group-winning chaser FARLOW DES MOTTES, will now race exclusively for Ecurie Sagara and is set to join Gianicolo at Jean-Paul Gallorini’s stables in Maisons-Laffitte.

Ecurie Sagara also offered €36,000 to buy out its partners in IVRESSE DU BERLAIS (lot 100), a Listed winner over fences at Cagnes-sur-Mer and offered carrying her third foal by first season sire Bathyrhon.

The horses in training section also featured the four-year-old filly CATALINA BAY (lot 190), a Listed winner in Italy as a juvenile consigned by trainer Maurizio Guarnieri and bought for €47,000 by compatriot Federico Barberini. Former Poule d’Essai runner-up PRESTIGE VENDOME (lot 198), now a gelding but still rated 104 at the age of six and placed three times at Listed or Group level in 2016, was knocked down for €40,000 to Guy Pariente, who bred the grey and bought out his partners in the Nicolas Clément trainee.

High demand for quality breeding stock both for flat and jumps

There was strong competition for the higher-standard fillies and mares on offer, including for the well-bred DESERT RED (lot 163), offered by Coulonces Consignment in foal to leading young sire Zoffany, who sold for €81,000. The eight-year-old is a daughter of the late Green Desert and a half-sister to Stakes winner WHATDOIWANTTHATFOR, from the family of Gr.1 winners WHITE HEART, RAINBOW CONNECTION and TEMPERA. Jan Sundström of Team Hogdala signed the docket under the name NaCl Associates and said: “She has a gorgeous page and will stay in France for some New Zealand clients of ours who have horses in training in this country.”

Earlier in the day, agent Guy Petit offered a closing bid of €41,000 for LIANE DE POUGY (lot 91), a triple winner over jumps and full sister to the Listed-winning hurdler LIBRANOUS as well as to Gr.3 winning juvenile STELLA BLUE. The second dam of the daughter of Ballingarry, who was offered by Elevage des Trois Rivières in foal to leading jumps sire Saint des Saints, is the prolific BAINO BLUFF, whose legacy include successful sire TAKE RISKS and talented staying fillies BAINO HOPE and BAINO ROCK among others.

Emerald Bloodstock was the winning bidder at €40,000 for another regally-bred young mare in SELVA REAL (lot 198), who was offered by The Channel Consignment carrying to Mastercraftsman. The six-year-old unraced daughter of Royal Applause is out of the top-class juvenile filly SILCA CHIAVE, who placed in both the Gr.1 Moyglare Stud Stakes and Gr.1 Cheveley Park Stakes. Already the dam of a black type winner, Silca Chiave is herself a half-sister to Gr.1 Prix Morny heroine SILCA’S SISTER and Irish 1,000 Guineas runner-up GOLDEN SILCA.

Yearling half-sister to Group winner HOME OF THE BRAVE to Agence FIPS

36 short yearlings were also offered with 81% of them changing hands, headed by a filly from the first crop of Haras de Bouquetôt’s Olympic Glory. Brought to the ring by Coulonces Consignment, she is a half-sister to the multiple Group winner HOME OF THE BRAVE. Their dam BLISSFUL BEAT sold for €235,000 on earlier this year.

Hervé Bunel of Agence FIPS emerged as the winning bidder and commented: “She is for an existing client who was determined to secure her. She may be re-offered later in the season or retained to race, we are keeping both options open. She is a beautiful filly with an attractive pedigree and we knew we would have to go to this price level.”

ARQANA President Eric Hoyeau reflected on the sale: “It was a very satisfactory renewal of the February Mixed Sale, best evidenced by the solid clearance rate and increase in average price. The return to a one-day sale worked well, as did the well-balanced mix of flat and National Hunt pedigrees in the catalogue. It helped bring together a broad buying bench and demand was strong in all market segments. We now look forward to the Breeze Up sale, which will this year again take place in Deauville on the eve of an exciting French Guineas weekend.”


Next Sale: Breeze Up Sale

May 11-12 – Deauville