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Deauville Sales

An Invincible Spirit colt from Lodge Park Stud topped the sale at Arqana

  PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (  

€440,000 top lot at selective Arqana opener

A REVAMPED version of the Arqana Deauville Yearling Sale saw the opening session close on Monday with a top price of €440,000 and the feeling that the market proved “realistic” in difficult times.

The sale closed with an average of €133,303 and turnover of €8,798 000. As a general comparison to the different format of recent years, 2010 produced a first dayaverage of  €178,190 and 2009 an opening  €239,156.

But there was a note of realism among vendors with Nicolas de Chambure of Haras d'Etreham saying: "The market was very selective at the beginning, but I think it picked up a bit later on in the sale. So far we have sold six out of eight, and have been happy with their prices. The yearlings are making what they are worth, nothing more, so no real surprises."

One of the most active buyers was Prime Equestrian, with five purchases worth €445,000. "I don’t think that it is a weak market, more like realistic considering the current climate. The horses that looked good have made money, and luckily we have been able to afford the ones that we wanted," said its trainer Xavier Nakkchdji.

Although this was a challenging session for many vendors, the renowned Irish nursery Lodge Park Stud made it pay when selling a son of Invincible Spirit for €440,000 after a duel between agents acting for leading Australian owners Paul Fudge and Paul Makin.

Michael Goodbody, acting forFudge's Waratah Thoroughbreds, came out on top after a sustained challenged from Makin's representative, Grant Pritchard-Gordon of Badgers Bloodstock.  

The colt is the second foal out of the Listed-placed Elle Galante, a daughter of German champion Elle Danzig. "He was just a lovely horse," said Goodbody, "who I thought was the pick of today's yearlings. He's by an excellent sire from an excellent nursery and overall, ticked all the boxes. He'll be trained in France and we'll decide soon who'll have him."

Fudge has been a prominent player on the worldwide auction stage recently, most notably when paying a total of $2.92 million for seven lots at last year's Keeneland November Sale.

Eric Hoyeau, president of Arqana, said: "The sale finished better than it started and it was encouraging that we had 11 different buyers for 15 lots over €200,000, including some new players, some from Japan. Buyers were a little bit hesitant in the beginning and took time to enter the fray.

"But this is normal as it is the first European yearling sale and from the better activity this evening it looks like we could be in a position to improve tomorrow."




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