08/16/2013 2:46PM

Arqana Deauville yearling sale: three-day boutique auction begins Saturday


The boutique Thoroughbred yearling market moves to the seaside town of Deauville, France, this weekend, where Arqana’s important August yearling auction will coincide with the Deauville racing festival’s Group 1 Prix Morny and Prix Jean Romanet.

The auction will take place in two sections and scales down to three days this year instead of last year’s four. Part 1, featuring 188 yearlings, will sell on Saturday and Sunday at night sessions starting at 5 p.m. local time, after the races. Part 2, also consisting of 188 yearlings, will sell on Monday afternoon, beginning at 1 p.m.

The August yearling sale’s 2012 results were mixed, but, at the end of its four-day run, largely suggested market stability. After the opening session posted a steep, 21 percent drop in median (but a nine percent uptick in average), the second night of 2012’s Part 1 rang up big gains in both categories, as average climbed ten percent and median 27 percent.

As a whole, the August yearling sale sold 290 yearlings for about $34,979,970, a decline of ten percent from the previous year, but the average (about $120,621) was up by two percent and the median (about $79,950) was level with the previous year, when compared year-to-year in the local auction currency of euros.

The 2012 sale saw lively international participation, with French-based Mandore -International Agency – usually representing Qatari interests – an especially notable player. The agency purchased the sale-topper, a Sea the Stars colt out of Group 1 winner Alpine Rose (Linamix), for 1.2 million euros, or about $1,476,000. Ecurie des Monceaux consigned the colt, a member of Sea the Stars’ first yearling crop. Mandore bought the gray colt, now named Edkhan, on behalf of Qatari sheikh Joaan al-Thani.

The 2013 catalog’s first-crop sires include 2010 Breeders’ Cup Classic winner and champion Blame, and also holds appeal for American buyers in other pedigrees, such as a Galileo half-sister to Zagora, North America’s champion turf mare last year. In addition, there are half-siblings to numerous Group 1 winners.

The auction has had some eye-catching graduates recently, many of them not expensive as yearlings. Toronado, who cost a mere 55,000 euros, proved a serious bargain when he took the Group 1 Sussex Stakes on July 31. Flotilla, winner of last year’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf and this year’s French 1,000 Guineas cost 120,000 euros, and 2013 French 2,000 Guineas winner Style Vendome went for 92,000 euros at this auction two years ago. Interestingly, all three of those runners are now campaigned by the al-Thani family, who likely will return to the well at Deauville this weekend.

To access an online catalog, click here.