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Alix Road tops a selective day at Arqana

ALIX Road, who finished third in the Prix Saint-Alary two years ago, topped the first session of the Arqana December Breeding Stock Sale on Saturday when knocked down to Xaviar Bozo's Intercontinental Bloodstock for €310,000.

Offered out of training as a racing or broodmare prospect by Haras des Capucines, the daughter of Linamix is a half-sister to Listed winner Fils de Viane.

"She's been bought on behalf of Jean-Etienne Dubois of Haras de la Perrier. I don't know whether she will race again," said Bozo. "She's got good form and I like the fact she's by Linamix."

Gulf Breeze has date with Astronomer Royal
Near the end of the session, Jean-Louis Branere of France Pur Sang paid €300,000 for Gulf Breeze, an unraced granddaughter of Fall Aspen. As well as hailing from the family of Dubai Millennium and Mehthaaf, the three-year-old daughter of Dubai Destination is a half-sister to Racing Post Trophy winner Medaaly.

"She has been bought for the same syndicate that is standing Astronomer Royal at Reboursiere et de Montaigu next year," said Branere. "They want to invest in France because they believe the infrastructure of racing and prize-money is better than anywhere else. So far, we've bought 20 mares to visit the horse, including 16 in the US, and this filly is from an exceptional family."

Sole foal entry by Galileo realises €300,000
The only foal in the sale by champion sire Galileo naturally drew plenty of admirers, eventually selling to agent Robert Nataf of Horse France, who was standing with Paul Shanahan, for €300,000.

"He's the best foal in the sale," said Nataf of the French-bred colt, who is out of the Woodman mare Arazena and a half-brother to the Listed-placed City Of Troy. "He was obviously a very attractive commodity for pinhooking and will probably stay in France because of his French-bred status."

Aga Khan Studs' draft in demand
The session's leading buyer was Laurent Benoit's Broadhurst Agency, who purchased two lots headed by Dee Flawless, a winning sister to the Group 1-placed Diamond Mix from the Aga Khan's draft who cost €220,000. Although lightly-raced, the daughter of Linamix is likely to be retired to stud.

"I'm a big fan of Linamix as a broodmare sire and I like to buy from the Aga Khan," said Benoit. "This filly will probably stay in France and her pedigree means that she will be very easy to cross."

The Aga Khan Studs was also responsible for Honorlina, who is likely visit Mount Nelson in his season at stud next year after falling to Johnny McKeever of McKeever St Lawrence on behalf of Newsells Park Stud for €200,000.

The winning daughter of Linamix is a sister to the Poule d'Essai des Poulains winner Vahorimix and hails from the top-class Lagardere family of Vadawina and Val Royal.

"She is a lovely filly from a very good family," said Julian Dollar, manager of Newsells Park Stud. "She is a sister to a Guineas winner and Linamix is a wonderful broodmare sire. We bought her to go to Mount Nelson next year, and I think Linamix and Danzig cross very well."

Stroud strikes for Group 3 winner
As the session came to a close, Anthony Stroud paid €265,000 for the Group 3 Prix Vanteaux heroine Just Little. The daughter of Grand Slam will join the broodmare band of an undisclosed small Irish breeder.

"That's about as far as we would have gone," said Stroud, alluding to the price. "The market here is like everywhere else this year - very selective."

Notable buybacks
However, as with every major breeding stock sale around the world this year, the first session saw major decreases across the board with the aggregate falling 34per cent, from a catalogue increased by 13 per cent, to €5,653,000 and the average dropping 39 per cent to €38,196. Suffering the biggest decline was the median, which crashed 43 per cent to €16,000.

The session was also notable for several high-priced buybacks including Natagora's dam, Reinamixa, who was retained for €320,000 in foal to Anabaa.

Another who failed to change hands was Poule d'Essai desPouliches runner-up Toupie. The daughter of Intikhab was bought back at €260,000 in foal to Dansili.

The sale continues today at 11am local time.




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