THE curtain-raiser to this year’s round of European yearling sales started with a bang at the Arqana August Sale on Saturday when Tony Nerses, racing manager to Derby-winning owners Saleh Al Homaizi and Imad Al Sagar, parted with the blockbuster sum of €1.2 million for a stunning filly from the final crop of Monsun.
The filly’s pedigree received a timely update earlier in the day when her Dalakhani half-brother Seismos, who is a Group 1 winner in Germany, struck in the Geoffrey Freer Stakes at Newbury.
The session-topper, who was consigned by Henri Bozo’s Ecurie des Monceaux, also had the attraction of sharing her page with a host of talented runners, including five-time Group 1 scorer Schiaparelli and last month’s runaway German Derby winner Sea The Moon.
“She was my pick of the sale – an absolute standout,” said Nerses, who was making his first appearance at Arqana since 1990. “Pedigrees like this don’t come on the market very often – it was the best page in the catalogue. I just had to have her.
“We will take her back to Blue Diamond Stud in Newmarket and make a decision on a trainer after that.”
Derek Brugman, acting on behalf of the South African syndicate Mayfair Speculators and bidding through Anthony Stroud, also hit the seven-figure mark, going to €1m for a daughter of Galileo.
Consigned by Haras de la Reboursiere et de Montaigu, the filly is the first foal out of the Danehill Dancer mare Dance Secretary, who was a winner and Group 3-placed for John Oxx.
“She’ll stay in France,” said Brugman. “She’ll eventually join the broodmare band, but we hope she can become a black-type performer before that. She was a cracking filly – we just loved everything about her.”
Earlier in the session Brugman, bidding through Peter Doyle, went to €700,000 for a Monceaux-consigned Sea The Stars filly out of an unraced Selkirk half-sister to Group 2 winner Vadamar.
“It’s my first time in Deauville and I love France,” said Brugman, who was acting on behalf of Markus Jooste, owner of Group 1-winning globetrotter Variety Club. “Sea The Stars is doing very well, she’s a good filly and we’re hopeful. She’ll stay in France although we haven’t decided on a trainer yet.”
Brugman’s spending was not done there, he also parted with €650,000 for a daughter of Monsun out of a Listed-winning half-sister to the Pretty Polly Stakes scorer Hanami.
Monceaux also consigned a daughter of Invincible Spirit who went the way of MV Magnier for €850,000.
The March-born filly is a three-parts sister to the St James’s Palace Stakes winner Most Improved and a half-sister to Ectot, who won the Group 1 Criterium International last year for Elie Lellouche.
“Most Improved was a very good horse and that was a big attraction,” said Magnier. “I remember Kieren Fallon always saying how good Most Improved was and he’d be a decent judge.
“She was also a really good-looking filly and the lads were all very keen on her.”
Magnier also paid €480,000 for an Oasis Dream colt out of the triple Group 3 winner Soneva.
The sale continues on Sunday at 4pm BST and you can watch the live stream here.