The opening session of the 2018 Autumn Sale, which catered for horses in training under both codes, witnessed solid trade illustrated by an 89% clearance rate and average price almost identical to last year at €23,520. There was an air of Babel around the Deauville sales grounds with buyers having flocked from every corner of western, central and eastern Europe as well as North Africa – and investors from Australia, America and China also getting their names on the scoresheet.
Jukebox Jury’s son VALAJANI (lot 160) showed plenty of stamina under the care of Markus Klug, placing twice in Listed company over 2200m and 2800m and running 2nd in the St Leger Italiano on his last outing before going through the ring as a Wild Card. His solid credentials whetted the appetite of several talent scouts for the National Hunt game and it took a protracted bidding duel between Harold Kirk and Hubert Barbe for the hammer to finally come down at €265,000 in favour of the latter.
Barbe, who was bidding alongside Jonjo O’Neill and Charlie Swan, had earlier gone to €190,000 for three-year-old gelding PAGERO (lot 152), a dual winner over 2000m for trainer Henri-Francois Devin and fifth in the Grand Prix du Nord on his latest attempt before going through the ring.
Horse Racing Advisory spent a cumulated €483,000 on three horses.
FRANCOIS the horse (lot 224) was bred by a partnership comprised of François Rohaut, Marc de Chambure and Maurice Lagasse. He went into training with his co-breeder and namesake, for whom he won at Saint-Cloud. Yet it is under the care of another Francois, Nicolle this time, that he showed his true potential when making an impressive winning debut over hurdles last month.
This performance didn’t go unnoticed and Hubie de Burgh had to repel numerous challenges to secure the son of Muhtathir courtesy of a €210,000 bid on behalf of American interests.
“What I liked about him is that he’s got a very good turn of foot,” commented De Burgh on his purchase. “He goes on the top of the ground and he is not an overly heavy horse but has a beautiful action, which will suit American racing. My client has been very successful on the flat and he also has a number of very good jumpers. He likes to buy out of France as he’s had a lot of luck buying of France before as well as racing in France. Let’s hope this is another one of those lucky ones!”
Guy Petit ended the day as leading buyer, signing for 9 horses for a cumulated €487,500 on behalf of a variety of clients. Top of his shopping list was Wild Card entry CAT TIGER (lot 190), a highly consistent chaser who won the Prix The Fellow and ran 3rd in both the Prix La Perichole and Prix Orcada before taking a commanding 4th in the Prix Maurice Gillois. The son of Diamond Boy holds an entry in this Sunday’s Prix Morgex, after what he will cross the Channel.
“I have bought him for amateur David Maxwell and he will join the stables of Paul Nicholls after Sunday’s race,” commented Guy Petit. “The plan for him is to go hunter chasing, although he doesn’t qualify for the current season so we will start him in novice races over hurdles before going for the hunter chases.”
The session featured a reduction sale of 32 young horses formerly trained by suspended trainer Guy Chérel, 29 of which sold for a cumulated €784,500 making Chérel the leading vendor.
The sale continues tomorrow with a day dedicated to National Hunt yearlings and two-year-old stores, starting at 1:00pm.