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Arcano sister on top as Book 1 ends with decline

THOSE at Tattersalls this week were given some inkling of what a bloodstock market not reliant on Sheikh Mohammed might be like.

Racing's biggest-ever investor has not been at a sale he has habitually attended in recent years and his team, headed by John Ferguson, have been investing at a noticeably reduced level during the October Sale's Book 1 with his 3.28 million gns expenditure less than half its 8.16 million gns 2009 level.

There was no shortage of demand for the many choice lots but the sale's average dropped by 5.7 per cent to 107,445gns, the lowest Book 1figure since 2004, the 48,243,00gns aggregate fell by 10 per cent, as did the 70,000gns median.

But Hamdan Al Maktoum very much made his presence felt, spending 700,000gns via racing manager Angus Gold on a full-sister to Arcano, sold by James Egan's Corduff Stud. A trainer for the Oasis Dream filly will be finalised after the sale.

Gold, who spent 5.15 million gns during the week, also secured a 480,000gns colt by the same sire out of Canadian Grade 2 winner Siringas, bred jointly by vendor James Hanly's Ballyhimikin Stud and Sir Tony and Lady O'Reilly.

"He's a beautiful horse, he's a different type of Oasis Dream and not as sharp as some of them. He has a bit more scope and is the sort that looks like he will get a mile or even more. He reminds me a bit of Aqlaam, who did well for us last year," said Gold. "He was well up with the best individuals here and the mare looked a world-beater at one stage."

A different Dubai-based buyer, Scotsman Jim Hay, also made his mark when spending 600,000gns on a Galileo filly out of the dual Flower Bowl Invitational winner Riskaverse, who changed hands for $5 million at Fasig-Tipton in 2005.

"She was a beauty and will go to Paul Cole. I bought a couple for Dr Hay last year, including the top lot at Goffs, and very luckily he asked me to identify a couple for him here including this filly," said agent Hugo Merry, who signed the buyer's ticket. "He keeps a few mares with me at Kilshannig Stud and is getting into the breeding a bit so hopefully this can be a nice broodmare eventually."

The Coolmore team had another busy day with its spending headed by a 525,000gns Montjeu colt out of Dahlia Stakes winner Tarfah sold by the week's highest grossing vendor Highclere Stud while South African agent Jehan Malherbe of Form Bloodstock - acting for Mike de Kock - ensured the sale's best pinhook via a 360,000gns Dubawi colt who had cost vendor Eddie O'Leary 72,000gns as a foal.

There are a colossal 1,540 yearlings catalogued in Books 2 and 3 next week and few are anticipating a huge depth to the market.

Gold said: "Things have been fine at the top this week, it's pretty healthy at that level, but below that is a worry, especially with so many horses here next week. These are worrying times because of the number of horses about and we'll have to hope that a lot of people emerge in the 60-80,000gns category." 





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