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The newly-formatted session exclusively dedicated to National Hunt yearlings proved a definite success, registering increases across the board. 122 of the 164 youngsters on offer sold, a clearance rate just shy of 75%, and they changed hands at an average price of €24,152. Due to a different format in 2016 that mixed national hunt and flat-bred yearlings, comparisons require the following retreatment of last year’s results:

National Hunt yearlings

Offered Sold % Average Median Aggregate
2016 120 79 66% €21,300 €14,000 €1,686,000
2017 164 122 75%  (+9pts) €24,152 (+13%) €16,000 (+14%) €2,946,500 (+75%)

Highflyer on shopping frenzy take 22 home

Highflyer Bloodstock’s Anthony Bromley and David Minton have enjoyed countless successes with their French purchases and the team was out in force, notably in company with clients Dai Walters and Charlie Dingwall. The group showed a voracious appetite for yearlings and dominated the buyers’ standings with 22 purchases for a total spend of €623,000. Their shopping list was headed by a Great Pretender half-brother to Group 1 winning hurdler SRELIGHONN (lot 432), for which they paid €120,000. Srelighonn was purchased by Francois Nicolle for €55,000 as a two-year-old store at the 2015 Summer Sale and took the Gr.1 Prix Ferdinand Dufaure this season in the colours of Simon Munir and Isaac Souede. His steel grey sibling was consigned by Domaine de l’Etang, a young operation started a couple of years ago by former yearling manager at Haras des Capucines, Elise Drouet.

He is for Simon Munir and Isaac Souede who were extremely keen to have him” confirmed Anthony Bromley. “I’ve waited all day for him! He is the only horse they bought today after being outbid on the top lot yesterday. He is a gorgeous horse, very athletic, by a stallion I like and we’ve had success with the brother so there was really no reason for us to miss out on him.”

Nick Williams scoops full brother to LE ROCHER for €110K

In the early 2000s, Nick Williams was something of a trailblazer in the art of sourcing untried French-breds and turning them into Graded winners on the British islands as well as in their home country, courtesy of multiple raids over French racecourses. LE ROCHER, a €26,000 purchase at the 2011 Autumn Sale, was a perfect example of the success of this policy, winning two races in France before graduating to Gr.1 glory in the Future Champions Finale Juvenile Hurdle. Six years later, it took Williams a bid of €110,000 to secure his full brother (lot 404), also offered by Haras du Meheran. “He is for the same owners as Le Rocher [John White & Anne Underhill] but it was the individual rather than just the pedigree that appealed to me,” commented Williams. “I liked everything about him – and it seems like I wasn’t the only one! He will go to the UK and hopefully we will be able to run him in France as a three-year-old as we did with Le Rocher.”

Earlier in the day, Williams has signed at €70,000 for a Kapgarde half-brother to the top jumper PIERROT LUNAIRE (lot 336) offered by Haras des Brousses.

Half-brother to LET’S DANCE makes €100K to Macaire

A son of Martaline and the multiple Group-placed hurdler Baraka du Berlais (lot 401) commanded a final bid of €100,000 from trainer Guillaume Macaire. Offered by Jean-Pierre and Guillaume Garcon’s Haras de l’Hotellerie, he is a half-brother to Willie Mullins’ multiple Grade-winning mare LET’S DANCE and hails from the successful family of Gr.1 Scilly Isles Novices‘ Chase GITANE DU BERLAIS. Macaire indicated that the grey would ultimately carry the colours of John-Dawson Cotton. The pair will be hoping that this colt can follow in the hoofsteps of MAGIC SAINT, whom they bought for €90,000 at the same auction two years ago and has now won his last three starts at Auteuil. He was most impressive last Saturday when opening his account over fences by 8 lengths in front of his owner.

Rouget and Allaire relishing jumping ownership

Aside from his achievements in the training ranks on the flat, which saw him take Champion honours last season and win 12 Classic races in the space of eight years, Jean-Claude Rouget has also enjoyed remarkable success as an owner over jumps, in association with fellow trainer François Nicolle. Their tandem notably won a Listed race over fences less than 3 weeks ago courtesy of A MI MANERA, a filly they bought at the 2015 Summer Sale as a two-year-old store and who was registering her 4th win from nine starts. €90,000 purchase LE PRE SAINT LOUIS (lot 314), a son of Saint Des Saints also from the draft of the aforementioned Domaine de l’Etang, will surely be aimed at the same career path. The colt achieved a handsome pinhook for Pegasus Farms, which bought him for €44,000 as a foal at last year’s Breeding Stock Sale. “He is a gorgeous colt who really stood out,” commented Nicolle. “He really has the right conformation to jump.”

The son of Saint des Saints will race for a partnership involving Rouget and leading trotting trainer Philippe Allaire, another professional to have had a tremendous season in his quality as an owner of jumpers with François Nicolle, notably savouring a Listed victory at Auteuil courtesy of KING GOUBERT. The trio were also behind a son of Samum (lot 363) who was signed for by Frédéric Sauque for €75,000. Offered by Fairway Consignment, the loose walking chesnut will also be trained by François Nicolle. Rouget and Allaire left it to the toss of a coin to decide which of the two horses would carry their respective colours and Allaire explained in a broad smile: “We try to find good horses, we race them among friends and it just brings us a lot of fun. This is what it is all about!

Rouget bought eight yearlings in total for a cumulated €322,000, which placed him in the runner up spot on the buyers’ standings.

Philippe Allaire will also race a son of Martaline (lot 422) in partnership with his daughter Elizabeth, currently based in Ireland with Joseph O’Brien. From the draft of Haras de Montaigu, the bay required a closing bid of €90,000 from Frédéric Sauque. “Martaline offers solid guarantees and above all I liked the horse physically,” said Allaire. “I was on the phone to my daughter as he wanted to make sure I wasn’t going home without him!

The sale continues tomorrow with flat-bred yearlings from 11:00am

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