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Another Loi relation stars as Arqana closes

A HALF-sister to yesterday's sale-topper Land Star followed suite when making €64,000 to Laurent Benoit on the final day of Arqana's December Breeding Stock Sale on Tuesday.

Consigned by Haras de Clairefontaine, Lapland was offered in foal to Lawman, also the sire of her close relative Loi. Trained by Jean-Marie Beguigne, the colt won the Group 3 Prix de Conde in September, and is being aimed at the Epsom Derby next season.

"I have bought her for Haras des Sablonnets," said Benoit, "and she is a nice young mare with a good covering. I thought we might get her for a little less."

Guy Petit was another who was active, signing for three lots on behalf of Louise Kemble, previously the part owner of talented chaser Kauto Stone. The most prominent of these was the Listed hurdle-winning mare Fortana for €38,000.

In foal to Al Namix having retired from racing last year, she was offered by her trainer Guy Cherel. The daughter of Cadoudal is a half-sister to Grade 2 Hurdle placed Pauillac, as well as promising three-year-old chaser Mazuelo.

A four-day sale following the move of the traditional yearling session to November, the overall figures ended up similar to those of 2010. The aggregate rose two per cent to €17,363,000for 788 horses sold including private sales while the average increased three per cent to €29,705. The median decreased by €1,000 to €11,000.

Most noticeable was the drop in clearance rate, which finally ended at 69 per cent. This was at its lowest on Tuesday at 59 per cent, having decreased seven points from last year.

The foal trade is still under close scrutiny with just over half (55 per cent) of those offered were sold. Arqana president Eric Hoyeau said: "France does not have a culture of pinhooking, and there isn't a big market for them here. It is also to do with the issue of premiums, as if the foal is exported it will not be eligible.

He added: "Overall we are satisfied with the trade. Today's market was difficult, especially as the National Hunt sector is suffering.

"The catalogue did not have any particular obvious standouts like last year, but we have shown we can attract clients from the world over. It is encouraging that half the mares bought for €100,000 or more will be staying in France."




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