Qatari royals go on shopping spree at French sales
- BY:TONY ARROLD
- From:The Australian
- August 27, 2012 12:00AM
THOUGH the 2012 Deauville yearling sale returned the most modest of gains, the premier French auction confirmed the arrival of a Qatar royal family member as a new buying force in the bloodstock world.
Through the French-based bloodstock agency Mandore International, Sheikh Joaan bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani emerged as the leading buyer over four selling days, departing with a shopping bill of E3,502,000 ($4,212,000) for 21 yearlings.
His buys were highlighted by the E1.2 million sale topper, a colt by former European champion racehorse Sea The Stars.
But Sheikh Joaan was not simply concentrating on the silk department of the sale — the first two select sessions — as he stayed on for the final two sessions, or the non-select catalogue, winding up his visit with 10 of his 21 buys secured at less than E100,000.
Sheikh Joaan first bought at the Arqana-staged August sale last year, outlaying E287,000 for five yearlings.
This colt, now registered as a Fatih al Keir, was Sheikh Joaan’s first-ever runner last week and he won a newcomers’ race handily at the nearby Deauville racecourse.
Sheikh Joaan is one of 11 sons of the emir of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani.
This family has emerged as a new thoroughbred power in recent years through its company Quipco which sponsors the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, Europe’s showcase race, at Longchamp on October 7, and the Champions day at Ascot, England, on October 20.
Sheikh Joaan’s half-brother Sheikh Fahad is the principal of Pearl Bloodstock and owner of the 2011 Melbourne Cup winner Dunaden.
The E3.5m invested by Sheikh Joaan contributed 12.3 per cent to a sale turnover of E28,439,000 for 290 yearlings that sold.
The 21 yearlings he bought averaged E166,762 against the overall sale average of E98,046.
With 38 fewer lots sold last week, the sale aggregate was down from E31.463m in 2011 but the average price crept upwards by 2.2 per cent.
The median price flatlined at the E65,000 mark of 12 months ago, though making a strong recovery after being down 20 per cent after the first select session.
But the real disappointment for Arqana was the drop in the number sold — 440 were offered but 150 lots were passed-in under a vendor reserve price.
That left a 65.9 per cent clearance, a decline from 74.9 per cent in 2011.
Reference to the horror clearance was avoided in chairman Eric Hoyeau’s sale summary in which he saw the overall results as a “very good performance given the current economic climate”.
Stallion honours were with first-season sire Sea The Stars (by Cape Cross), with five lots fetching an average E416,000, and his reigning champion half-brother Galileo (by Sadler’s Wells) with eight yearlings averaging E354,625.
Demi O’Byrne, the buyer representative of Coolmore Stud, spent a quiet first session with a E280,000 Galileo-Secrete Marina filly his key buy. But he was on song on day two, claiming a Galileo filly at E260,000, two Montjeu colts at E650,000 and E520,000 and beating off rivals at E380,000 for a Fastnet Rock filly from the Sadler’s wells mare Dance To The Top.