Olczyk Liking His Odds

By Perry Lefko

Eddie Olczyk is used to playing the odds as a horseplayer and handicapper, and now the popular broadcaster and former NHL center affectionately known as Edzo is giving himself a good chance to beat cancer.

Olczyk, who does horse racing and hockey broadcasts for NBC Sports, has done three of 12 rounds of chemotherapy as part of treatment since he was diagnosed with colon cancer earlier this year and subsequently underwent surgery.

“Conferring with my doctors, I would go ahead and put some money on my nose,” the 51-year-old Chicago native told Thoroughbred Daily News about his cancer battle. “I think with the medical support and all the prayers, I am going to beat this. I am going to win.

“But, yeah, I’m scared. Sadly, millions and millions of people deal with this. But this is something I’ll have to deal with the rest of my life. I’m prepared for that. Yeah, I want to get through this chemotherapy as fast as I can.

“As I mentioned to someone the other day, I’m three furlongs into the classic distance. I’m ready for the next nine furlongs. It’s been a battle.”

Olczyk first sensed something was not right with his health at the end of July. He had been scheduled to work the GI Haskell Invitational S. broadcast for NBC, but told his bosses he couldn’t do it because he wasn’t feeling well.

Three days later, he was being operated on for 5 1/2 hours and four days afterward it was explained what was discovered in the surgery. He was diagnosed as having Stage 3 colon cancer, four being the most significant. They removed 14 inches of his colon to take out a tumor and extracted 23 lymph nodes, seven of which were tainted. He said that is a good number comparatively speaking when battling and killing the disease.

“If you take 23 lymph nodes and they are all tainted, you are in a battle,” Olczyk said. “The oncologist said ‘I’m here to cure you, not treat you.’ My scans look clean. There’s nothing there they can tell right now. If they just went on looks I probably would not do any chemo, but they don’t know if something is sitting there festering.”

The chemotherapy treatments are every two weeks for six months.

“This is all foreign to us because we’ve had no one in our family go through it,” he added. “I’m glad it’s me and nobody else in my circle because I can’t imagine anyone else close to me going through this. I’d be a wreck. I’d just be devastated. So it’s me for some reason and, unfortunately, I’ve just got to battle it and listen to what the doctors say. The mental thing has probably been the greatest challenge. I’ve been to places I’ve never been before and it’s hard to get out of there sometimes, but when you’ve got family and support you’ve just got to believe.”

Olczyk has been married for 30 years and he and his wife, Diana, have four children.

“I’m scared, but the medicine is there to help me,” he said. “Yeah it hurts, it’s awful and it’s poison and everything else, but I’d like to think I’m trading in six months for 50 more years. If that’s the case I think I’d make a pretty good general manager.

“I’ve had incredible support obviously from my family, the Blackhawks, the National Hockey League, the hockey community and the horse racing community. I’m kind of overwhelmed. It’s been appreciated and needed.

“I’ve had enough quiet time to last me a lifetime the last 3 1/2 months. Hopefully I’ll come out on the better end of this and be an inspiration to other people that are or will be going through anything, whether it’s cancer or not. It’s been a catch-your-breath moment and put things in perspective a little bit clearer.”

Olczyk has been surprised and touched by the outpouring of emotion from the horse racing community that have contacted him with well wishes. Bob Baffert, who trains a horse that Olczyk owns, and his wife, Jill, have been supportive with kind words and a framed horseshoe that Arrogate wore in training before he traveled to Dubai for the G1 Dubai World Cup. The framed shoe came with an accompanying profound message from the Bafferts pertaining to Arrogate’s win in the race, starting off last and winning going away: “We all know what happened at the start of the race and we all saw what happened at the end of the race, and that’s the motto you will lead as well.”

The Bafferts’ son, Bodie, also wrote a note.

“They didn’t have to do that, but it means a lot,” he said. “It was obviously very cool. It’s up in my office and there’s not a day that I don’t go by there with the horseshoe upright and think about that. I just happened to hit it off with Bob over the course of the last three-plus years since I’ve been covering horse racing for NBC. Bob’s had his health issues as well.

“Whether it’s the co-owners of Always Dreaming, who are big hockey fans, texting me every other day, or bloodstock agent Steve Young, everybody’s reached out and it’s been very humbling and makes you feel good and it’s just something I will never forget.”

Horse racing has become a significant part of Olczyk’s life, and he’s been amazed how much the industry has appreciated his work. He pointed out that earlier this year he crossed paths with Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey in the tunnel at the GI Belmont S. and the conditioner said hello. Olczyk played for the New York Rangers in 1994-95 and had met McGaughey at the time, but didn’t think the conditioner would remember him.

“It was just one of those moments there where you kind of feel like you’ve arrived, like you’ve earned the respect of the industry, the respect of someone like that,” Olczyk said. “Whether it’s small trainers such as Mike Mattine up in Toronto or Mike Miceli in New York or Tammy Domenosky in Chicago, doors have opened and relationships started. Horse racing is more than a passion for me and I do miss it a lot, but I obviously stay in contact with a lot of people.

“Whether it’s my working with the people at Xpressbet, or getting to know people at TVG and the people I work with on a daily basis at NBC, I feel kind of fulfilled in a lot of ways.”

Olczyk has decided not to work NBC’s broadcast of the Breeders’ Cup, Nov. 3-4 at Santa Anita because he doesn’t know what his health will be at the time, combined with the significant travel and workload involved. He said his bosses, Sam Flood and Rob Hyland, would probably be okay even if he did just one race.

“That’s just not me,” he said. “That’s an intense weekend, an intense show. I just think the smartest thing to do is to take a rest and watch. Hopefully they’ll want a few of my picks on the weekend.”

Olczyk was asked by NBC for a pick for the broadcast of the recent GI Juddmonte Spinster S. and picked the winner, Romantic Vision, who paid $14.80. He also hit the $101.20 exacta with Martini Glass.

“I felt pretty good about myself, for a couple of hours anyway,” he said.

 

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Siyouni Colt Tops Arqana’s Second Session

By Emma Berry

With just a handful of lots to pass through the ring on Wednesday evening, the day’s bestseller, a colt by Siyouni (Fr) (lot 342), emerged from the Haras du Quesnay draft and was the top pick of Roger Marley at €140,000.

“He was the one I really wanted today and was the only one on my list,” said the breeze-up pinhooker who works in association with John Cullinan. “I love the stallion and have had a lot of luck with him. He’ll be reoffered next year through Church Farm and Horse Park Stud.”

The colt hails from the family of G1 Poule d’Essai des Pouliches winner Silvermine (Fr) (Bellypha {GB}) and includes the Mark Johnston-trained Listed winner Fire Fighting (FR) (Soldier Of Fortune {Ire}). His dam Sea Life (Fr) (Anabaa) has produced four winners including the ten-time scorer and Listed-placed Sea Trial (Fr) (Panis {Fr}).

While the number of horses sold through this truncated session exactly matched last year, the average price rose by 11% to €35,466 but the median dropped to €27,000 from €30,000. A clearance rate of 79% for 89 sold from the 114 offered brought turnover of €3,156,500, which was up by 10%.

Haras des Capucines consolidated its position as leading consignor at Arqana October with the sale of lot 321, a daughter of Evasive, for €115,000 to trainer Marc Pimbonnet.

Again acting on behalf of owner Fabrice Petit, Pimbonnet said of the half-sister to the Listed-placed treble winner Red Line (Fr) (Sageburg {Fr}), “She’s from a family that I know well and there’s precocity on both sides. Evasive has produced some good 2-year-olds and the dam’s current 2-year-old is a good filly.”

The daughter of the dual-winning Gone West mare Red Love hails from the further family of the dual Classic winner and Ballylinch Stud stallion Lope De Vega (Ire) and also caught the interest of trainer Jean-Claude Rouget, who was underbidder.

Sylvain Vidal of Haras de Montfort Préaux is known for supporting his home stallions at the sales and he played a leading part in Wednesday’s trade when signing for a colt by Rajsaman (Fr) (lot 235) for €90,000 and a filly by Le Havre (Ire) (lot 230) at €75,000 during the first hour of the session.

The former, consigned by La Motteraye, is out of Java Jazz (GB), a Sinsgpiel (Ire) half-sister to Puggy (GB) (Mark Of Esteem {Ire}) who has served the stud well as the dam of Gerard Augustin-Normand and Antonio Caro’s dual Classic winner Avenir Certain (Fr), a daughter of the Montfort Préaux’s flagship stallion Le Havre (Ire). This colt will race for the same partnership from the stable of Jean-Claude Rouget.

“This is a lovely and athletic colt by Rajsaman, who has done so much for us this year as the sire of Brametot,” Vidal said. “Obviously it is a family that is very special to us because of Avenir Certain but also it has been very successful recently with Mehmas (Ire). It is a very strong family.”

The family certainly has depth, with Java Jazz’s grandam being Lunda (Ire) (Soviet Star), the dam of dual Group 3 winner Blue Monday (GB) (Darshaan {GB}) and Mehmas’s dam Lucina (GB) (Machiavellian), while her third dam is Lucayan Princess (GB) (High Line {GB}), whose offspring include the Group 1 winners Warrsan (Ire) (Caerleon) and Luso (GB) (Salse).

Vidal added of the Le Havre filly, a daughter of the treble winner Influence (Fr) (Dansili {GB}) and consigned by Coulonces Sales, “She is a lovely filly, athletic with good bone and she is out of a mare by Dansili, who is a good broodmare sire. She doesn’t look precocious, I think that she will be a good 3-year-old.”

A filly by the top-class miler Charm Spirit (Ire), who has divided the first part of his stallion career between Tweenhills and the Aga Khan’s Haras de Bonneval, found favour with trainer Yohann Gourraud, who went to €82,000 for lot 297, another offering from Coulonces Sales.

“She is a strong filly who walks very well and looks quite powerful,” said Gourraud of the Team Hogdala-bred daughter of the unraced Morning Bride (Ire) (Danehill Dancer {Ire}), a sister to the G2 Railway S. winner Probably (Ire). The siblings are out of a Sadler’s Wells half-sister to the three-time Group 1 winner Moonlight Cloud (GB) (Invincible Spirit {Ire}).

He added, “She comes from a family of good milers and she will race for a syndicate of my owners.”

Nicolas Lefevre of Astute Bloodstock signed for lot 284, a Wootton Bassett filly from Haras de la Louviere for €77,000. The daughter of Misdirect (GB) (Darshaan {GB}) is a half-sister to three winners including the Listed-placed Mc Queen (Fr) (Silver Frost {Fr}).

“She’s a lovely filly, very athletic and looks pretty precocious. I bought her for a syndicate of friends and it’s a partnership with Astute Bloodstock and Haras d’Etreham. She will go into training in Chantilly but I’m not sure yet who will train her.”

The Stroud Coleman Bloodstock team has been busy throughout the first two days of the sale, signing for seven yearlings for €608,000. Heading the list on Wednesday was lot 244, a colt by Doctor Dino (FR), bought for €75,000 and consigned by Domaine de l’Etang for Haras du Mesnil.

“Doctor Dino is a really versatile stallion,” said buying agent Matt Coleman. “This colt was bred by Henri and Antonia Devin and has been bought for a partnership which will include them and Trevor Stewart. He will be trained in Chantilly by the Devins’ son Henri.”

The Arqana October Sale resumes today at 11am.

 

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TBA Hosts Canberra Event for Breeders and Australian Parliament

The message that Thoroughbred breeding plays a vital role in the rural economy and Australian society was echoed by Australian government ministers and senior politicians at a Thoroughbred Breeders Australia (TBA) event in Canberra Monday evening. Defence Minister Marise Payne and Leader of the Opposition Bill Shorten were both on hand at the gathering to reminisce about their interest in breeding and racing, as well as trainers James Cummings and Peter Moody who spoke about how the Thoroughbred industry has shaped their lives.

Breeders from all over Australia attended the event, among them Tom Magnier of Coolmore Stud, Antony Thompson of Widden Stud, Ron Gilbert of Highgrove Stud, Chris Watson of Mill Park, as well as Mark Webster of Inglis and Vin Cox and Barry Bowditch of Magic Millions. Also in attendance were foreign investors Zhang Yuesheng of YuLong Park, China, and Justin Fung, who heads Aquis Farm.

“We held our first Thoroughbred Breeders’ Australia event in Canberra last year and got a great turnout, but tonight surpassed our expectations,” said TBA chief executive, Tom Reilly. “We had our pitch prepared to sell our industry: jobs in the regions, investment from overseas, export opportunities, but by the time we got up to speak, leading politicians from all sides had made the point for us. It was very gratifying that so many politicians were so well informed that they advocated so strongly on our behalf.”

Defence Minister Payne called the TBA forum “a really important event on the parliamentary calendar,” and politicians thanked breeders for hosting the event.

“Thank you for what you contribute to the economy in Australia,” said Minister Payne. “Thank you for what you contribute, because your industry is a vital one to Australia.”

“Racing has events that create great interest and put us on the map, especially in Melbourne during the spring,” said Bill Shorten. “But without breeding, without the hard work that goes on at farms across Australia, we don’t have those races which are such a part of Australian society.”

Some of the other politicians who attended the event included Trade Minister Steve Ciobo, Veterans Affairs Minister Dan Tehan, Shadow Minister for Transport and Infrastructure Anthony Albanese, Small Business Minister Michael McCormack and Hunter MP and Shadow Agriculture Minister Joel Fitzgibbon.

“What an extraordinary job the breeding industry does in rural and regional Australia,” said Government Chief Whip Nola Marino, a co-convener (with Fitzgibbon) of the Parliamentary Friends of Primary Producers, which hosted the event with TBA and who also breeds and races horses in her electorate of Forrest, south of Perth. “It underpins, like so many agricultural industries do, so much of our regional economies.”

TBA representatives had spent the past several days in Canberra meeting one-on-one with Ministers, Opposition representatives, key advisers and senior bureaucrats, briefing them on key issues in the industry.

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Down To You

By Tom Frary

So impressive on her racecourse debut, TDN Rising Star‘ With You (GB) (Dansili {GB}) puts her reputation on the line in Wednesday’s G3 Prix des Reservoirs at Deauville. George Strawbridge’s full-sister to the top-class We Are (Ire) registered a six-length success without being fully extended over this trip at Saint-Cloud Sept. 21 and a convincing win would be a shot in the arm for the current crop of French-trained juveniles. No race of this nature goes by without respect being accorded to Andre Fabre’s chosen representative and in this case the responsibility falls on the shoulders of Baron Edouard de Rothschild’s Connivence (Fr) (Motivator {GB}), who enters the equation on the back of a debut win over this distance at Craon Sept. 23. They face two proven black-type performers in Auenperle (Ger) (Areion {Ger}) and Altea (Fr) (Siyouni {Fr}), who were second in the seven-furlong G3 Zukunftsrennen at Baden-Baden Sept. 3 and Listed Criterium de l’Ouest over slight further at Craon Sept. 2 respectively.

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Admire Deus Suffers Serious Injury

By Daithi Harvey

The Darren Weir trained Japanese import Admire Deus (Jpn) (Admire Don {Jpn}) has suffered a serious leg injury in training which has placed both his career and his life in jeopardy. The 6-year-old entire was being put through his paces in advance of Saturday’s G1 BMW Caulfield Cup, for which he was one of the favourites, when he broke down badly on his foreleg. “It was very upsetting for all involved,” Weir told racenet.com.au. “He ruptured all the ligaments off the back of his joint in the leg, the ones that hold the joint up. It is a very unusual injury, when I got to the vet he said he hadn’t seen one of these in a few years and the next 72 hours are very important for the horse,” he added. Admire Deus had yet to race for Weir but his Japanese form was high class. He landed a Grade 2 double in 2015 and although winless since he has run some solid races in the highest company, most notably on his last run in April when he finished fourth to Kitasan Black (Jpn) (Black Tide {Jpn}) in the G1 Tenno Sho at Kyoto in April.

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Behind the Scenes With the Longines World’s Best Racehorse Rankings Committee

By Amanda Duckworth

Come December, a lengthy debate will take place in Hong Kong among the members of the Longines World’s Best Racehorse Rankings Committee. It will last for days, and by

the time it is done, the end of year ratings will be set. These figures will serve as the final Longines World’s Best Racehorse Rankings of 2017, which will be published by the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities (IFHA) during the Longines World’s Best Racehorse and Longines World’s Best Horse Race ceremony in January.

“The Longines rankings are about the best sustainable performance in a calendar year,” said Phil Smith, who serves as co-chairman of the Longines World’s Best Racehorse

Rankings Committee, along with Nigel Gray. “You are asked to be on the committee if you are the senior handicapper in a Part I country, which are all the major racing countries in the world.”

Countries currently represented on the committee include: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Peru, South Africa, United Arab Emirates, Uruguay, and the United States.

While the rankings are released monthly from March through November, those interim ratings are meant to be a guide as the year progresses toward the final figures. To determine a rating, handicappers look at a variety of aspects of a race.

“We take as many factors into consideration as we can,” said Smith. “We look at the competition, we look at the pace of the race, we take the ground into consideration because we generally find on soft ground or dirt you can get elongated distancing between the horses, we look at the form of all the horses going into the race, and then the beaten opposition and whether they were in form or if they were out of form, and we

look at the distance of the race.”

“We will also ask did the horse win that easily, did the jockey really have to ask him a question or no questions, and did this horse get hampered in the race and therefore wasn’t able to do his stuff,” he said.

Once all of those things are taken into account, it becomes an exercise in math with opposition being a main key to the equation.

“I may say over a mile that such and such horse should be 126 because he’s beaten this horse who we’ve rated at 120 multiple times,” said Smith. “Therefore my interpretation of the victory, where he won by 2 1/2 lengths, but I thought it could have been three because the jockey didn’t really ride him out, I would call that six pounds, and he comes out at 126.”

When it is time to set the final rankings at the end of the year, the first day of debate may only cover 20 horses, Smith explained, because they are the top 20 horses. They take longer to settle, but it is easier if the committee starts at the top and works its way down.

The next day, because those figures are set, they can get through 50 horses since they have a level to start with courtesy of those top runners. As the days go by, they can rate

more and more horses. However, being on the committee is not enough to guarantee a vote.

“We have a rule about voting,” said Smith. “There is an opportunity there for any of those countries to put a figure on every time a horse runs in a pattern race, and there is obviously the opportunity for anyone to say whatever they believe in the debate in Hong Kong. You can only vote if you have put figure on the system or taken part in the debate. They have to be diligent.”

While the monthly rankings serve as a baseline, there is a lot of major racing in the latter part of the year that can dramatically impact the final rankings.

“We might have a horse we are publishing on 122 over and over again, and then maybe it runs in the international races in Hong Kong in December, and it gets beaten by a horse we thought was not as good,” said Smith. “That horse might leapfrog it right at the end of the year.”

The group most likely to experience a major change in ratings as the year goes on is the 3-year- old crop because, as Smith explains, handicappers are wary of one off performances.

“The opportunity is there for horses to improve, especially 3-year- olds,” he said. “We are always a little bit cautious with 3-year- olds early in the year because we want to see if they can keep on doing it as they get older and more mature. A lot of them do improve as the year goes on. For example, look at Enable. Her performance figures this year, in order, were 102, 109, 122, 122, 126, 123, and finally 128. You can see the progress. It isn’t perhaps as dramatic as that with others, but that would be typical of 3-year- olds because they are

still maturing.”

According to Smith, one of the more frustrating things handicappers experience from year to year, especially with progressing horses, is when a runner is clearly talented but gets injured before truly showing it, as they can only be rated for what they have done, not for their potential.

Then there are horses who go off form. Handicappers have found Arrogate (Unbridled’s Song) in particular to be an interesting riddle this year because although he has not returned to form since winning the G1 Dubai World Cup sponsored by Emirates Airlines, the horse who finished second, Gun Runner (Candy Ride {Arg}), has, and his success helps validate Arrogate’s performance in March.

“Unlike 3-year- olds, we wouldn’t be expecting much higher ratings from Arrogate because he’s a mature horse,” said Smith. “I’ll just be really happy if he produces what he did in Dubai again. I have a few doubts, but that would be great. Something we often say during the debates in Hong Kong is, ‘Ah yes, but he’s only done it once.’ A great thing is to be able to say this horse replicated that performance.”

The ratings are based on races held in a calendar year, not during an individual’s career. Smith pointed out that 2017 has been an odd one because from the very beginning Arrogate and Winx (Aus) (Street Cry {Ire}) have sat one-two, and no one else has gotten close to them. However, it is still possible for a horse to outperform them, and obviously, they could still outperform themselves.

“You know a lot more by the end of the year,” said Smith. “The monthly lists are only interim lists, but the end of year rating is a permanent historical record for the horse.”

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Insights: October 18

6th-KEE, $65K, Msw, 2yo, Abt. 7f, post time 3:51p.m. ET
A loaded field of 2-year-olds look to graduate in style Wednesday sprinting on Keeneland’s main track. Leading the way for the first time starters is MISSISSIPPI (Pioneerof the Nile), who comes in for top connections of Coolmore contingent and current Keeneland Fall Meet co-Leading Owner John Oxley. Purchased for $700,000 at Fasig Tipton’s Gulfstream Sale in March, the colt is out of MGSW Katz Me If You Can (Storm Cat), who took home the GIII Thoroughbred Club of America S. on the local oval in 2000. Second dam Cuddles (Mr. Prospector) was a MGSW with wins in the GI Hollywood Starlet S. and GIII Junior Miss S. The work tab for the Mark Casse trainee has been sharp in recent weeks, including a bullet four furlongs Oct. 7 in :47 (1/123) before a strong four-furlong breeze of :48 (3/38) over the Keeneland dirt.

Another interesting firster breaking from the far outside is San Juan Diego (Heavy Breathing). Out of Fortuesque (Fortunate Prospect), this $90,000 OBS June pickup for Southern Springs Stable is a half to MGSW MGISP Musket Man (Yonaguska), who took the 2009 GIII Tampa Bay Derby and GII Illinois Derby before a third place finish in that year’s GI Kentucky Derby.

The experienced runners in the field will be headlined by Sir Sahib (Fort Larned) for Stronach Stable. Out of the Ian Wilkes barn, he is coming off a late-running third-place effort in his debut at odds of 33-1 Sept. 17 at Churchill Downs. That event has produced four next-out winners, including two at this Keeneland meet; Promise Fulfilled (Shackleford) came back to win an allowance sprint, while Nanoosh (Paynter) graduated going long on the turf. Sir Sahib comes in with the best last race Beyer Speed Figure of 64.

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New October Record For Dabirsim Filly

By Emma Berry

Arqana’s four-day October Sale started in ebullient fashion with a new record price set three times during the afternoon, the third through the sale of a filly by France’s leading freshman sire Dabirism (Fr) for €500,000.

The Godolphin team made a concerted attempt to secure the first foal of the unraced Amour Eternel (Fr) (Elusive City {Ire}) (lot 147) but Charlie Gordon-Watson’s resolve was stronger and, bidding from the restaurant, the agent had the final say.

“She is an exceptional individual–a strong, powerful March foal with a great attitude and great conformation. She has everything,” said Gordon-Watson, who divulged that the filly from Dabirsim’s home farm of Haras de Grandcamp would go into training in Britain with Richard Hannon for a new client.

Just half an hour earlier, a Siyouni (Fr) half-brother to the GI Breeders’ Cup Filly Mare Turf winner Zagora (Fr) (Green Tune) had also brought a record price of €420,000 when selling to Godolphin.

The Haras des Capucines-consigned colt (lot 133) was the subject of some intense bidding between the two teams of Godolphin and Hong Kong Jockey Club, with the former throwing in an extra offer past the €400,000 mark set earlier in the day by a daughter of Galileo.

“It’s just great to be able to buy a really lovely horse by a fantastic sire. He’ll almost certainly stay in France to be trained,” said Anthony Stroud.

A son of the unraced Zaneton (Fr) (Mtoto {GB}), the colt’s six winning siblings include not only Zagora but also the Listed winner and Group 2-placed Asmar (Fr) (Cape Cross {Ire}) and the Listed-placed Zanet (Fr) (Enrique {Ire}).

The previous October record-holder at €400,000 for a matter of hours was the Galileo filly (lot 86) consigned by Ecurie des Monceaux and bought by Robert Nataf on behalf of MV Magnier.

Like the Siyouni colt, the filly, who will be trained by Aidan O’Brien, was out of a mare whose offspring are more usually found in Arqana’s August Sale. In this case, Sasuela (Ger), a Dashing Blade (GB) half-sister to the German Classic winners Schiaparelli (Ger), Samum (Ger) and Salve Regina (Ger), topped August in 2014 when her Monsun (Ger) filly, later named Fadillah (Fr) was bought by Tony Nerses for €1.2 million, while last year her Frankel (GB) filly was sold to Kenji Ryotokuji for €600,000.

“We wanted to give the filly a little more time,” explained Henri Bozo of Ecurie des Monceax, which unusually didn’t end the day in its customary position of leading vendor, giving best to Haras des Capucines, which sold 14 yearlings for €1,503,000.

He continued, “She’s from a late-maturing family–one of the very best in the German studbook–and she was was bred by Monceaux in partnership with Andreas Putsch of Haras de Saint Pair.”

Figures Climb
A session which brought 42 six-figure yearlings, just seven fewer than for the entire October Sale of 2016, also saw improved figures in all sectors except for a small drop in the clearance rate, which was 79%. With 166 of the 210 horses offered finding new homes, the day’s aggregate of €12,274,000 was up by 5%. The average also rose by 5% to €73,943 and the median was up from €50,000 to €58,500.

A Pair From Putsch
Andreas Putsch’s Haras de Saint Pair consigns solely at the Arqana October Sale and was rewarded with decent transactions for two colts from the six-strong draft.

Lot 106, a Dark Angel (Ire) son of the Group 3-winning Galileo mare Sub Rose (Ire) was initially led out of the ring unsold at €240,000 but a private sale at €300,000 was later agreed with Michel Zerolo of Oceanic Bloodstock. Sub Rose was herself the winner of the G3 Prix de Royaumont at Saint-Cloud and produced the G3 Prix André Baboin winner Subway Dancer (Ire) from a 2011 mating with Shamardal. That colt’s 3-year-old half-brother Secret Advisor (Fr) (Dubawi {Ire}) has won twice this season for Charlie Appleby and was third in the G2 Queen’s Vase at Royal Ascot.

Saint Pair also sold the only Frankel (GB) colt in the catalogue (lot 55) out of Putsch’s G1 Prix Vermeille winner Pearly Shells (GB) (Efisio {GB}). The half-brother to black-type winners Pearl Banks (Fr) (Pivotal {GB}) and Pearls Or Passion (Fr) (Monsun {Ger}) was knocked down at €250,000 to trainer Marc Pimbonnet on behalf of Fabrice Petit.

“The owner wanted a Frankel yearling and he really liked this horse,” said Pimbonnet. “The mare has already produced some very good runners so I didn’t think I’d be able to get him for this price.”

Family Affair For Coulonces
Godolphin enhanced its leading buyer claims with the purchase of lot 95, a colt by the ever-popular Darley stallion Iffraaj (GB) from Anna Sundstrom’s Coulonces Sales draft for €210,000.

Bred by Sundstrom’s parents Jan and Maja of Team Hogdala, the half-brother to the black-type earners Toofi (Fr) (Henrythenavigator) and Silver Meadow (Fr) (Teofilo {Ire}) is out of the winning Royal Applause (GB) mare Silver Bark (GB), a sister to the dual American Grade I winner Ticker Tape (GB).

“He’s a beautiful colt with a lovely pedigree and will go into training in France,” confirmed Godolphin buyer Anthony Stroud, who later went to €180,000 for lot 161, a Le Havre colt out of the winning Galileo mare Blue Blue Sea (GB) from Lady Chryss O’Reilly’s Haras de la Louviere.

Coulonces struck again later when lot 149 was another to go the way of Robert Nataf’s Horse France operation at €190,000. The Oasis Dream (GB) filly hails from the Wildenstein family of GI Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Arcangues (Fr) and G1 Prix de Diane winner Aquarelliste (Fr) and is out the unraced Alzao mare Angelita (Ire), a sister to GI Beverly D S. winner Angara (Ire).

Crisford Strikes Late
Four lots from the end of the session, Newmarket trainer Simon Crisford went to €220,000 to secure a Lope De Vega (Ire) colt from Haras d’Etreham (lot 220), which was bred by the stud in partnership with Eric de Chambure.

The neat chesnut is the second foal of the multiple winner and G3 Prix Allez France runner-up Harem Lady (Fr) (Teofilo {Ire}), a half-sister to two American graded stakes winners in Little Treasure (Fr) (Night Shift) and Keep Quiet (Fr) (Elusive City {Ire}).

Bright Start To Big Day
A sign of what was to come was given in the first few minutes of the sale when two of the first three lots through the ring returned six-figure prices.

Haras de Montaigu’s Dabirsim (Fr) half-brother to the Derby de l’Ouest winner Fauguernon (Fr) (Martaline (GB) (lot 1) will join the sizeable Al Shaqab Racing string after being knocked down to Nicolas de Watrigant at €100,000, while lot 3, a Siyouni filly out of the G3 Prix Vanteaux winner Just Little (Fr) (Grand Slam) was bought from the Haras des Capucines draft by Jean-Claude Rouget for €150,000. The trainer signed for a total of xx lots throughout the first session for a total of €xxx.

Trade continued in pretty consistent fashion, with Sylvain Vidal going to €140,000 for the first Australia (GB) yearling of the sale (lot 15).

“He will race in partnership for Gerard Augustin-Normand and Mr Marinopolous,” said Vidal, adding, “He’s a really good walker and the mare has produced some good horses already.”

The May-born colt is a son of the Quest For Fame (GB) mare Light Quest, whose seven winners include G3 Prix Fille de l’Air winner Skia (Fr) (Motivator {GB}) and dual Singapore Listed winner Tropaios (GB) (Excellent Art {GB}).

 

 

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Article source: http://www.thoroughbreddailynews.com/new-october-record-for-dabirsim-filly/

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‘Vermeer’ Primed For Caulfield Cup

By Daithi Harvey

This week could be a very significant one in the training career of Aidan O’Brien as he is within one Group 1 winner of equaling the world record of 25 wins in a year set by the late Bobby Frankel. Saturday could see the Ballydoyle trainer match that feat as he points last Saturday’s G1 Ladbrokes S. runner up Johannes Vermeer (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) at the G1 BMW Caulfield Cup. The 4-year-old came with a storming late run to get within a head of the winner Gailo Chop (Fr) (Deportivo {GB}) last weekend and TJ Comerford, who is overseeing the preparation of the Ballydoyle runners in Australia, reports the colt to have come out of the race in great shape. “Johannes Vermeer is going to run this weekend again, because he is very well and in fairness, the jockey never knocked him about, he came out of the race so well, it was actually like a piece of work for him,” Comerford told Racing.com.

Having won the G1 Criterium International in France as a juvenile Johannes Vermeer only made one start in 2016 but has come back well after a period on the sidelines, showing he retained his ability with a Group 3 win at The Curragh in July. His classy effort last Saturday on his first Southern Hemisphere start was no surprise to Comerford who added, “He ran very well, we thought as much, he was absolutely flying since he got here, I think since he got here his work has come on again. I don’t think we need to do a whole lot with him now, but we will think about going on the grass on Wednesday, just putting him back to his normal routine. He came back, ate up at night and that is where we are now, I’m 100 per cent happy with him.”

Should Johannes Vermeer win on Saturday it could set the scene for O’Brien to break the record at British Champions Day at Ascot, also on Saturday.

 

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Article source: http://www.thoroughbreddailynews.com/vermeer-primed-for-caulfield-cup/

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Juveniles Breeze At Te Rapa

By Daithi Harvey

The first of a two-day breeze show took place at Te Rapa Racecourse on Monday in advance of next month’s New Zealand Bloodstock Ready To Run Sale. The sale is scheduled for Nov. 22 and 23 and 199 2-year-olds were put through their paces on a dead track with gusts of winds not aiding those in action. A list of the times can be viewed here and the fastest time of the day was posted by lot 17, a colt by Poet’s Voice (GB) who clocked a time of 10.53. Also coming in sub eleven seconds was lot 80, a gelding by Smart Missile (Aus) from Lyndhurst Farm who completed his breeze in 10.78 seconds and a pair of colts by Shocking (Aus), both prepared by Landsdowne Park as lot 300 and lot 421 with both stopping the clock at 10.94 seconds. The second day of breezing will again commence at 10 a.m. on Tuesday at Te Rapa and video footage of the breezes will available at www.nzb.co.nz from this coming Friday Oct. 20.

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