Arqana’s August Yearling Sale at Deauville was even more keenly anticipated than usual for a couple of reasons this year. Not only was there the opportunity to buy a full sister to dual Arc winner Treve, there were also the first yearlings by Frankel to go under the hammer. Treve’s sister ended up returning home unsold after the bidding reached €1.2m but Frankel’s yearlings all found buyers. The one who fetched the highest price was his filly out of Platonic who sold for €1.15m.
The ‘Frankel factor’ doubtless played a part, but it would be wrong to underestimate the influence of the filly’s distaff side in breaking the million-euro barrier. Indeed, just eight lots earlier, the first foal of Platonic’s daughter Pacifique, a colt by Dubawi, smashed the sale’s record when knocked down to John Ferguson for €2.6m.
That means that the total of seven yearlings by Platonic, Pacifique and another of her daughters Prudenzia to go through the ring at Deauville in August in the last four years have collectively made more than €8m, averaging more than €1m each.
Platonic (by Zafonic) failed to win in nine starts in Britain for Luca Cumani and it took another seven attempts in the French provinces as a four-year-old before she finally won a race worth just €2,500 to the winner at La Gacilly in Brittany for Guy Henrot. Her daughters Prudenzia (by Dansili) and Pacifique (by Montjeu), on the other hand, had considerably more ability, both gaining black-type victories at Longchamp. Prudenzia won the listed Prix de la Seine, while Pacifique also won in listed company at Vichy before gaining her biggest success at the Paris track in the Group 3 Prix de Lutece.
Besides Prudenzia and Pacifique, Platonic’s other winner is current three-year-old filly Prudente, a full sister to Prudenzia. She made a winning debut at Chantilly in July and made it two from two in a conditions race at Deauville just days after the sale of her two relatives.
Prudenzia was Platonic’s first foal and all four of Prudenzia’s foals were sold at Deauville as yearlings, each of them making a significant impact. First up was her Montjeu filly who made €600,000 in 2011. Bought by Paul Makin and named after a champion filly in his native Australia from the 1940s, Chicquita went on to win the Irish Oaks after chasing home Treve in the Prix de Diane. But it was Chicquita’s subsequent sale later at three, as part of the dispersal of her owner’s bloodstock interests at Goffs, which really made headlines. She became the most expensive thoroughbred ever sold in Ireland when selling to race for the Coolmore partners for €6m.
Back at Deauville, Prudenzia’s next two yearlings to sell there were daughters of Galileo. Later named Sinnamary and Truth, they fetched €1.1m and €1m respectively. Sinnamary’s only win to date came on her debut in the Prix de la Chapelle at Longchamp, a two-year-old newcomers race also won by her dam and in which Chicquita also made her debut, finishing third. Three-year-old Truth is in training with Aidan O’Brien but has yet to race. Prudenzia’s two-year-old, a colt by Invincible Spirit named Craven’s Legend, finished sixth on his debut at Deauville in July for Andre Fabre after selling for €1.1m there last summer.
Platonic was bred by the Cumani’s Fittocks Stud out of their Ascot listed winner Puce who also finished third in the Park Hill Stakes at Doncaster. Puce’s best winner was the Barathea filly Pongee whose biggest win came in the Lancashire Oaks at Haydock in 2004, while two years later her dam was sold for 750,000 guineas at the Newmarket December Sales.
Puce was by Shirley Heights’ son Darshaan, but her close relative Shouk, by Shirley Heights himself, proved a still better broodmare, and yet another mare from this family whose offspring have lit up the sales ring. Shouk’s 2003 Sadler’s Wells filly sold for 420,000 guineas at Tattersalls as a yearling. Named Alexandrova, she went on to win the Oaks, Irish Oaks and Yorkshire Oaks for Aidan O’Brien and is now dam of the good stayer Alex My Boy who won the Prix de Barbeville at Longchamp earlier this year.
Alexandrova followed on from her close relative Magical Romance (by Pongee’s sire Barathea), though she was much speedier, winning the Cheveley Park Stakes. Magical Romance had made 125,000 guineas as a yearling, but it was when she was sent to the December Sales as a four-year-old that she made fireworks, selling for what was then the European record price for a broodmare of 4.6m guineas. Her broodmare career got off to an unfortunate start when her first foal, a filly by Pivotal, arrived prematurely in late December. Liel raced in 2010 (when officially a four-year-old) but failed to make the first three in six starts. Magical Romance’s current four-year-old Tall Ship (by Sea The Stars) has done well since being sold to race in Australia and has won his last four races there, the last of them a listed contest in May, and has been given a Melbourne Cup entry.
But back to the three broodmares we started with, all of whom belong to the Ecurie des Monceaux broodmare band in partnership with Skymarc Farm. Platonic’s foal this year was a filly by Intello, Prudenzia had another filly by Galileo, while Pacifique’s foal is a colt by Redoute’s Choice. If family history is anything to go by, any of these offered at Arqana next August will be well worth keeping an eye on. Another member of the clan who has joined the Monceaux broodmare band is Pacifique’s four-year-old sister Paratonnerre, a thrice-raced maiden. She was reportedly covered by Oasis Dream this year.
[Ecurie des Monceaux silks courtesy of JockeyColours]