08/24/2003 11:00PM

Business steady at Deauville sale

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The news was fairly bright for select sellers at the first two sessions of the five-day Deauville yearling sale in Deauville, France. The two select days, Saturday and Sunday, sold 79 yearlings for $13,957,772, for an average price of $176,681. Gross fell 13 percent, while average rose 4 percent. But the select sessions' buyback figure was 24 percent, suggesting sellers were largely content with prices.

A $980,000 Sadler's Wells-Sister Dot colt, a three-quarter-brother to former North American juvenile champion Dehere, was the top mark. Anthony Stroud, agent, signed the ticket for the colt on behalf of an unidentified buyer. The French nursery Haras d'Etreham consigned the colt.

On Monday, the first of three open sessions got under way. A total of 117 yearlings sold for $8,830,090, a gain of 19 percent over last year, when 143 sold. Average price rose even more dramatically, from $52,042 last year to $75,471 in 2003. The session topper, a $250,102 Diktat colt, was bought by Sheikh Mohammed al Maktoum's regular agent, John Ferguson. The colt is out of the Aloma's Ruler mare Catania.