Media Centre

Arqana December suffers from economic downturn

comparative figures: arqana december breeding stock
2007 891 825 530 64 17,636,000 33,275 14,000
2008 734 656 464 70 12,077,500 26,029 10,000

THE Arqana December Sale closed on Monday with declines across the board, mirroring the downward trend seen at Keeneland, Goffs and Newmarket this winter.

The sale, which was reduced by a session to three days this year, saw 464 of the 656 horses offered sell for a total of €12,077,500, a decline of 32 per cent compared with 2007. The average dropped by 22 per cent to €26,029 from €33,275, while the median fell by 29 per cent to €10,000. However, the clearance rate increased slightly fom 64 per cent to 70 per cent.

Delloye satisfied
Despite the sale's decline in fortunes, Olivier Delloye, managing director of Arqana, was satisfied with the results, saying: "We're not insulated from the outside world so there was no way that we could escape the general trend. However, the French market once again showed resilience at a testing time.

"The main indicators are down, but we sold 70 per cent of the lots presented to us and it appears that confidence in the French market has not eroded as much as seen in other markets this year.

He added: "At every level of the market, the consignors were realistic and it was encouraging to see several new buyers at Arqana, including those from Turkey."

Monday's session was only minimally down, with 141 horses selling for a total of €1,505,500, down four per cent, and an average of €10,602, down three per cent. The median remained static at €6,000.

Grade 1-winning sister to Royal Rosa sells for €300,000
The top-class jumps mare Royale Athenia, winner of the Grade 1 Renaud du Vivier last season at Auteuil in the colours of Gilbert Gallot, dominated the final session, selling in foal to Poliglote for €300,000 to Madison du Berlais' breeder Jean-Marc Lucas.

The seven-year-old daughter of Garde Royale, who is a sisterto Andrea and Graham Wylie's high-class jumper Royal Rosa, was offered by Haras d'Etreham and will now join Luca's select broodmare band at Haras du Berlais.

"She is for a partnership which includes myself and Robert Collet," said Lucas, who despite only owning ten mares currently lies in the second position on the French jumps breeders' list.

"I only came to this sale to buy this mare. We want to upgrade our stock and as Royale Athenia was top-class and from a very good family, we decided to focus on her.

"I also like the covering - Poliglote gets a lot of winners on the Flat and over jumps."

Bozo strikes for Sakza
Members of the Aga Khan's draft were again in demand, with the Listed-placed Sakza falling to Ghislain Bozo's Meridian International on behalf of owner Ralhpy Meahjohn for €57,000.

The daughter of Sakhee, whose second dam is Prix Jacques Les Marois heroine Miss Satamixa, will remain in the care of Mikel Delzangles, for whom she ran second in the Listed Prix Casimir Delamarre at Longchamp in October.

"She's a good filly who will hopefully improve," said Bozo. "She's out of a young mare who's own dam is Miss Satamixa. It's an excellent Lagardere family which is now with the Aga Khan, and you always hope with these kind of families that something will come out of them later on."

Nyevelt buys back dam of Voix Du Nord
The session was opened by the 24-strong dispersal of Baron Thierry de Nyevelt's Haras de Varaville, which was headed by Dame Edith, dam of the Prix Lupin and Criterium de Saint-Cloud winner Voix du Nord.

Although Michael Donohoe of the BBA Ireland tried hard to secure the 13-year-old daughter of Top Ville, who was in foal to Sinndar, she was eventually bought back by trainer David Smaga on behalf of the Baron for €80,000. Baron de Nyevelt later expressed his disappointment at Arqana's decision to place his horses at the start of the third session.

However, the Baron had better luck with Highest Height, a Listed-placed daughter of Highest Honor who was sold to Alain Decrion for €35,000. The half-sister to Listed winner Grandes Illusions was sold in foal to Lando.

Near the end of the session, Guy Petit paid €42,000 for Kapricia Speed, a half-sister to Nicky Henderson's Christmas Hurdle winner Geos. The daughter of Vertical Speed was consigned by Haras du Bois Roussel in foal to Super Celebre.

The Arqana December Yearling Sale startson Tuesday at 11am local time.

Patricia Boutin, Suprina
: "It's an unforgiving, selective market. The good ones are making money - nothing is going cheap. But while I couldn't get anything I wanted in Newmarket, I've been able to buy three here."

Richard Kent, Mickley Stud: "There is a bigger choice of quality mares on offer in this catalogue than I've seen before - we spent €58,000 on a King Of Kings mare from the Aga Khan Studs because she was a quality mare who stood out. We got only one filly in Newmarket but two here."

Federico Barberini, agent: "It has been very selective like all the markets this autumn but quality never goes out of fashion. I thought the middle market - which has been struggling elsewhere - was a little sounder than at other sales and I think the local French market played a big factor in that.





King's Theatre £1,143,037
Presenting £1,059,143
Beneficial £986,639
Oscar £896,303
Milan £863,940
Westerner £839,346
Flemensfirth £755,621
Kayf Tara £657,982
Midnight Legend £595,809
Stowaway £503,470