The Arqana December Bloodstock Sale delivered across-the-board increases at Deauville this week.
Despite heavy downpours and strong headwinds, the four-day auction closed on Tuesday with percentage gains for turnover €31.78 million (36%) and average €45,444 (22%) on a clearance rate of 79%.
Sheamus Mills Bloodstock led the way for Federation of Bloodstock Agents Australia (FBAA) with 5 buys for €340,000 (AUD 529,385).
Topping the list was Godolphin’s Street Cry filly Bouquet De Flores (USA) at €160,000. She won the Prix Flambeau at Maisons-Laffitte, was stakes-placed in Germany, and is a half-sister the French stakes winner Inspiriter (Invincible Spirit).
Mills also bought Amberdeen (Exceed and Excel) for €50,000, Belfast (Manduro) for €35,000, Aquila (Raven's Pass) for €55,000 and Hidden Gem (Shamardal), sold in foal to Siyouni (Fr) on southern-hemisphere time, for €40,000.
“They are all examples of what we look for,” Mills told Thoroughbred Daily News. “Amberdeen was consigned by the Aga Khan Studs. Her dam is a sister to a Linamix mare who foaled Snitzel stakes winner Azazel in Australia.
“If you flip through the catalogue, you find pedigrees that are more familiar to an Australian audience. My clients are commercial breeders who need to make the figures work. There are lots of people in Europe who can afford to buy traditional bloodlines. I would love to go to Tattersalls but simply don’t have that sort of budget.
“I bought a horse out in Maryland last week, an Elusive Quality filly for $25,000. It’s a very good price. I look everywhere in the world for opportunities.”
Australian interest in European sales has grown in the last few years as the need for alternative bloodlines has become more pressing, partly because of the dominance of Danehill as a sire of sires. Outcross material and conformation types matching the Australasian speedy type are needed and Deauville, amongst other places, fits the bill.
“We put a great percentage of our foal crop through the sales,” Mills explained. “More than any country in the world, I think. So most Australian breeders are commercial breeders. I manage 220 mares for about 15 clients in NSW and Victoria. I would say that fewer than 20 of their offspring would not be up for sale.”
Mills and his partners are about to collect their first harvest as two yearlings catalogued for the Gold Coast Magic Millions are from mares bought during his first visit to Deauville.
Lot 367 is a Not A Single Doubt – Suspicieuse colt (Lot 367) being offered as agent by Kitchwin Hills. Suspicieuse (Fr) was stakes placed at Chantilly and cost €55,000 from Haras Etreham at Deauville in 2013.
Lot 689 is a Dissident – Elwaaryaa filly (Lot 689) on account of Amarina Farm. Elwaaryaa (GB) is a half-sister to the dam of Dubawi Group 1 winner Almanaar (Gulfstream Park Turf) and she was a €130,000 buy at the same sale.
Federation of Bloodstock Agents Australia (FBAA) was formed in 1988 to maintain, improve and develop the standards, status and services of bloodstock agents throughout Australia. Its members operate with the utmost integrity and professionalism and are bound by the strict Industry Code of Conduct.