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Aga Khan draft boosts sticky trading at Arqana

 Year  Cat  Off  Sold  % sold  Aggregate  Average  Median
 2009  241  205  115  56  2,502,000  21,757  12,000
 2008  257  224  130  58  3,480,000  26,769  15,000

AS expected, proceedings at yesterday's Arqana Summer Sale at Saint-Cloud were dominated by the draft from the Aga Khan Studs, which sold Triumph Hurdle winner Zaynar at last year's renewal.

Results for its 12-strong consignment underpinned the sale; all of its horses were sold, for an aggregate of €688,000 at an average of €57,333, and they supplied the top lot and three other of the five most expensive horses. Those figures are quite removed from those for the whole sale, where, including the Aga Khan horses, the clearance rate stood at just 56 per cent (down from 58 per cent last year), and the average was €21,757 (down from €26,769 last year). Turnover dropped 28 per cent to €2,502,000.


The top lot, the four-year-old Red Ransom gelding Sceptre Rouge, a four-length winner at Saint-Cloud on Sunday, was sold to Nicolas de Watrigant's Mandore International Agency for €180,000.

Peak Bloodstock, who sourced this year's dual Grade 1-winning hurdler Solwhit, splashed out €345,000 on five horses at the sale, €283,000 of which went on four from the Aga Khan Studs draft, including €115,000 for Darban, athree-year-old Kalanisi half-brother to Prix de Diane heroine Daryaba who has been placed on the Flat, and €100,000 for Zarkamar, a winning three-year-old half-brother to the dam of Zarkava.

All of their purchases were on behalf of Sizing Europe's owners Ann and Alan Potts, and will be trained in Maisons-Laffitte by Jean-Paul Gallorini.

Peak Bloodstock's Sean Tiernan said: "We were looking for nice horses who would suit jumping in France and these fitted the bill. Another Aga Khan horse we bought a few seasons ago, Mirpour, did well by winning a Grade 3 chase and finishing in the money in some valuable races."

Highflyer Bloodstock purchased the third most expensive lot of the sale, Highest Start, a dual-winning son of the recently deceased Highest Honor from the stables of Mikel Delzangles. He was one of eight Highflyer purchases, and cost €100,000.

The sale opened with 86 store horses coming under the hammer. Supply definitely seemed to outweigh demand in this sector of the market, with only 37 registered as sold. Best of those was the three-year-old colt Al Sterix, a son of Linamix stallion Al Namix from the family of tough chaser Spring Margot, who sold to Highflyer Bloodstock for €44,000.

Trade was slightly brisker for the 27 two-year-olds in training who followed the stores through the ring. Seventeen were sold, with a top price of €67,000 paid by Paul Nataf for a Breeze-Up Bonus-nominated son of Bahamian Bounty consigned by Mark Dwyer's Oaks Farm Stables.




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