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The opening session of the October Yearling Sale had a hard act to follow, coming on the back of a record-breaking renewal that had seen turnover take a 41% leap from 2015. It was therefore no mean feat to register a 3% increase at €12,274,500 for 166 horses sold – a healthy 79% clearance rate. The average price also continued its rise, climbing 5% to reach €73,943 while the median was up 17% at €58,500.

The previous record price for an October yearling was €350,000 back in 2014 and that threshold was surpassed on three occasions, a clear reflection of the strength in depth at the top end of the market.

DABIRSIM to the fore with record top and average price

Simon Springer put his faith in Dabirsim since he laid his eyes on the son of Hat Trick at the 2010 August Yearling Sale and has been handsomely rewarded ever since. After winning the Gr.1 Prix Morny and Prix Jean-Luc Lagardère, which resulted in champion juvenile awards, the dark bay started his stud career in Springer’s native Germany at the reasonable fee of €9,000. His owner supported him with several of his former colour bearers and one of them, the unraced yet aptly named Amour Eternel, produced a filly (lot 147) which today chattered the previous record for the October Yearling Sale when knocked down to Charles Gordon-Watson for €500,000.

The filly was offered by Eric Lhermite’s Haras de Grandcamp, whose association with Dabirsim dates even further back than Springer’s as he consigned the colt as a yearling on behalf of breeder Michel Monfort and has stood him for the past two seasons.

Amour Eternel is a half-sister to the Listed scorer and former pacemaker to Goldikova FLASH DANCE, but it was the filly’s conformation that really caught the agent’s eye. “She is an exceptional individual, a big, strong, very balanced filly with a great attitude,” commented Gordon-Watson, before adding the Richard Hannon would take delivery of the bay.

Dabirsim also topped the stallion table by average selling price (with multiple yearlings sold), with a figure of €171,667 for six yearlings.

Half-brother to ZAGORA sets new standard at €400,000 for Godolphin

Team Godolphin represented by Anthony Stroud, David Loder and John Gosden were busy throughout the day, signing for four yearlings for a total €925,000. One of the best-bred individuals in the catalogue as a half-brother to a dual Grade 1 winner by leading sire Siyouni, lot 133 from Haras des Capucines was always going to be a star act and the handsome bay lived up to all expectations when commanding €420,000.

He is a gorgeous colt by a fantastic sire,” said Stroud. “He will stay in training in France.”

Earlier in the afternoon, the agent had made his presence felt with the €210,000 purchase of a son of Iffraaj (lot 95) from the draft of Anna Sundström’s Coulonces Consignment. The colt is a half-brother to two black type performers and their dam is a half-sister to the Gr.1 American Oaks Invitational victrix TICKER TAPE as well as 2017 Prix Maurice de Gheest hero BRANDO.

Anthony Stroud, this time under his Stroud Coleman Bloodstock banner, also signed the docket at €220,000 for a colt by Lope de Vega (lot 220) who will go to Newmarket trainer Simon Crisford.

€400,000 GALILEO filly sets Coolmore bound

The only filly by perennial champion sire Galileo (lot 86) in the catalogue was the first to reach a record-breaking €400,000 when commanding a final bid from Robert Nataf’s Horse France. She is a half-sister to Gr.1 Grosse Preis von Bayern SEISMOS and three-parts sister to Gr.3 Grosse Europa Meile SAMBA BRAZIL, with the second dam SACARINA having produced the Gr.1 winners SCHIAPARELLI, SAMUM and SALVE REGINA.

I have bought her on behalf of M.V. Magnier,” said Nataf. “She was very obvious to us and looks very much like the good Galileo fillies. She will go to Ireland.”

Pair of six-figure colts from Saint-Pair

Bred and offered by Andreas Putsch’s Haras de Saint-Pair, the sole Frankel colt in the catalogue (lot 55) was an early high price when selling for €250,000 to Lyon-based trainer Marc Pimbonnet on behalf of owner Fabrice Petit. The dark bay is out of the Gr.1 Prix Vermeille heroine PEARLY SHELLS, who has already foaled three black type performers led by Gr.3 winner PEARL BANKS and Stakes scorer PEARLS OF PASSION.

Pimbonnet, who started buying yearlings on behalf of Mr. Petit two years ago, explained: “My client wanted a son of Frankel and this one appealed to us. He is out of a proven mare. I wasn’t expecting him to offer that price though!

Initially unsold in the sales ring, a colt by Dark Angel out of the Gr.3 Prix de Royaumont scorer SUB ROSE (lot 106) was later the subject of a private purchase by Michel Zerolo’s Oceanic Bloodstock. His half-brother SUBWAY DANCER won the Gr.3 Prix André Baboin this year and ran 2nd in the Gr.2 Qatar Prix Dollar after the catalogue was printed.

ARQANA CEO Eric Hoyeau commented on the day’s trade “To have consolidated last year’s record-breaking figures is a very pleasing achievement. The quality of the French breeding industry is on a consistent upward curve which reflected in the quality of today’s offerings. This sale also keeps coming up with Group winners and with several French-based sires having gained a resolutely international profile, the buying bench was as diverse as ever as all the leading players, some of them more accustomed to the August sale, joined a large number of domestic investors.”

The sale continues tomorrow at 2:30pm with Part II