08/17/2009 12:00AM

French sale encouraging


Arqana's Deauville yearling sale in Deauville, France, ended Monday afternoon with improvements in average and median prices, fueling optimism that the select sales are returning to

stability after losses last year and earlier this season.

The four-day auction sold 343 yearlings, slightly down from last year's 360, and saw a slight loss in gross, from 39,967,000 euros last year to 39,369,000, or about $55,510,290, this season. But the average price of about $161,837 was 3 percent higher than last year's, and the median, approximately $105,750, was up 7 percent.

When the sale's 32 private sales (up from 12 last year) were factored in, the gross actually was 1 percent higher than last year's gross with private sales.

Sheikh Mohammed al-Maktoum paid about $1,278,000 for the sale-topping Storm Cat colt, a half-brother to the 2006 Dubai World Cup winner, Electrocutionist.