Bobby Zen

A €210,000 daughter of Too Darn Hot (GB) headlined what was a predictably tricky two-year-old section to the Summer Sale at Arqana as the curtain definitively came down on the 2024 breeze-up season. 

It was Brendan Holland’s Grove Stud who consigned the day one top lot, who was bought by bloodstock agent Arthur Hoyeau on behalf of MyRaceHorse. 

“She’s been bought for MyRaceHorse and will go to the United States,” said Hoyeau. “She’s a very interesting filly with lots of qualities and has the perfect profile to go to the States. She breezed well yesterday and we’ve had very positive feedback on her preparation. We’re very happy.”

The Tuesday sale-topper was sourced by Holland from the Book 1 session of the Tattersalls October Yearling Sale for 80,000gns. She is out of the winning mare Formidable Kitt (GB), who belongs to the well-known Chasemore Farm family and is a half-sister to black-type performers Arthur Kitt (GB) (Camelot {GB}) and Eartha Kitt (GB) (Pivotal {GB}).

Formidable Kitt has already produced a classy type herself through Kitteridge (GB) (Camelot {GB}), who won her maiden at Newcastle before gaining black-type when third in the Listed Pretty Polly Stakes at Newmarket earlier this year.

Explaining how he ended up bringing lot 47 to the Summer Sale at Arqana, Holland said, “She wasn’t ready for an earlier sale so we gave her the time and thankfully it has worked out. I didn’t even enter her in any earlier sale than this. We were pretty confident coming here that she would go down well and, since we have bought her, we couldn’t have wished for the sire to have progressed like he has. He’s been having Classic winners and of course this filly’s sister got black-type this year as well, so the whole thing has fallen into place.”

He added, “It’s unusual that something of this quality gets presented here at this sale. It was slightly by default but I just felt that she had a strong pedigree and, if she needed the time, she needed the time. We’d no choice but to come here and it has worked out in everybody’s favour.”

Renowned breeze-up handler Willie Browne of Mocklershill also featured among the top lots when selling a Kodiac (GB) colt for €52,000 to trainer Yann Barberot. Like Holland, Browne described this year’s trade as respectable rather than memorable.

He said, “We sold a Kodiac on behalf of a client but he actually lost money. Blarney got a touch there today, and fair play to him, but we were under no illusions whatsoever coming over here for this sale.”

Browne added, “Tattersalls Ireland was a complete one-off this year. They had the people there to bolster up that sale and, consequently, they had a 90 per cent clearance rate. That was night and day compared to all of the other breeze-up sales this year. Outside of Fairyhouse, there was no middle and no bottom to the breeze-up market this year.

“I had two or three horses who made a substantial amount of money and that steadied the ship but I wouldn’t have made any money. Relatively speaking, I did okay. I didn’t do too much damage but it has been a really tough year for a lot of people. I’d say I only washed my face.”

Holland agreed with Browne’s summary that a lot of handlers felt the going tough, particularly in the middle to lower end of the market, and stressed that there is a finite number of horses that can pass through the breeze-up system in a given year. 

“It [the market] feels tough and the consensus is that it was tough this year,” Holland explained. “The amount of money spent at the breeze-up sales this year was certainly on a par to last year but there was a slight increase in the number of horses offered. There was a similar amount of horses sold so that number has remained static. Like any other market, the breeze-up sector is a finite market and everyone within the sector and within the industry needs to be mindful of that.”

The Summer Sale at Arqana will not be the only alternative that breeze-up consignors will have when it comes to offering horses that either missed a slot or failed to find a suitor at one of the earlier sales. Goffs is set to enter the market in 2025 while Goresbride has stated its intention to return to the breeze-up sector as well. 

Suddenly, from one breeze-up sale in Ireland, there could potentially be three, and Holland revealed that the Breeze-Up Consignors Association will be meeting to discuss this very proposition in the coming weeks. 

Asked how he would be approaching the yearling sales in light of this year’s trade and considering the new dimension to next year’s breeze-up circuit, Holland said, “I have no intention of changing anything drastically. We try to do things better every year. My numbers have stayed the same for over 10 years now-I never sell more than 25 horses. I’m the same as everyone else, I just try to buy the best horse I can for the money I have.”

He added, “But there is plenty to think about ahead of next year. We are getting very close [to the limit of horses passing through the system] and there were roughly 1,100 breeze-up horses offered before this sale today and 750 of them were sold. 

“Those numbers are very similar to last year. Everyone is thinking about it [the two new sales] and it will be discussed formally amongst ourselves as an association in the coming weeks.” 

Of the 93 breeze-up horses offered on Tuesday, just 46 were sold, representing a clearance rate of 49%.

The post Holland Ends “Tough” Breeze-Up Year On High With 210k Too Darn Hot Filly At Arqana appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.

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