The growing influence of European-based stallions on Australian racecourses and its bloodstock markets is set to fuel activity from southern hemisphere buyers at upcoming sales in England and France over the next week.
The Tattersalls July Sale, which begins its four-day run on July 11, is preceded by a select Arqana offering in France over the next two days, and will provide Australasian buyers with opportunities to tap into the increasingly lucrative market of breeding to elite sire Frankel and to a lesser extent the pre-potent Kingman and Siyouni.
Kingman and Siyouni have sired Group 1 winners in Australia this season, both of whom were bred to southern hemisphere time, while Frankel, as he is in the northern hemisphere, has been a revelation both on the racetrack and in the sales ring with limited numbers to date.
Harry McAlpine, who is the Tattersalls Australasian representative alongside his aunt Jenny McAlpine, had little doubt that southern hemisphere investors would be scouring the 963-lot July Sale catalogue for suitable mares to mate to the highly commercial European stallions.
“I’d say that is the angle this year with the July Sale well-placed in that you can go and buy a nice filly or mare there and breed them to southern hemisphere time and bring them back down,” McAlpine said.
“The way these northern hemisphere stallions have been performing down here, it’s probably a bit of a no-brainer if you’re wanting to play at the higher commercial end.
“You can bring them down here and you’re not competing against all of the same breed and they’re all going so well.”
To date, Frankel has sired 16 stakes winners in Australia from 83 runners, three of them being at the highest level – Hungry Heart, Converge and Mirage Dancer – while fillies Steinem, Miss Fabulass, My Whisper and Let’sbefrankbaby have all won at Group level.
Demand for the sire phenomenon’s stock has grown and mares in foal to southern hemisphere time have proven to be highly profitable for breeders who have been prepared to make the significant investment and carry the associated risks.
This year, 11 mares in foal to Frankel have sold at Inglis and Magic Millions auctions, averaging A$829,545 (£436,288/€509,260), while he also sired the three highest-priced weanlings sold in Australia in 2023, for A$925,000 (£486,491/€567,868), A$825,000 (£433,910/€506,495)and A$725,000 (£381,267/€445,043) respectively.
Victorian agent Sheamus Mills, who bought the dam of Yulong’s Group 1-winning filly Hungry Heart for Zhang Yuesheng, is on his way to the Tattersalls sale and he admits he has been caught off guard by the Australian success and demand of Frankel.
“Personally, I have been waiting for that bubble to burst a little bit, but I reckon I got that wrong,” Mills told ANZ Bloodstock News. “I thought that was a little bit of a passing fancy at one stage, but I think now, Frankel just keeps growing in stature.
“I think what’s really going to be interesting down here is when the number of yearlings he has come through [on the racetrack].”
Mills will be joined at Tattersalls by the likes of New Zealand agent Bruce Perry and Emma Pugsley, who works for Australian agent Craig Rounsefell of Boomer Bloodstock, fellow agent Brian McGuire and Lindsay Park co-trainer Ben Hayes.
While many Australasian investors will be looking for suitable mares to send to Frankel, Mills is “certainly open” to other commercial European stallions.
“There’s certainly some other good, young horses over there that you could use or, if you can get the mares on the plane quick enough, I am not opposed to bringing them home [to be bred to Australian stallions] as well,” he said.
“For me, it’s a longer-term play than just one cover. I’m going over there to find bloodlines that I’m keen to import rather than just a pregnancy to import.”
Among those options could be Frankel’s barnmate Kingman whose reputation in Australia received a massive boost last month when his juvenile son King Colorado took out the J J Atkins Stakes in Brisbane on just his third start.
Kingman has sired three Australian stakes winners from 21 runners.
Aga Khan Studs’ Haras de Bonneval-based Siyouni also has significant currency with the Australian market, having sired four stakes winners from 36 Australian runners headed by star Western Australian filly Amelia’s Jewel.
The Peter Walsh-bred-and-owned rising four-year-old, who is trained by Simon Miller in Perth, is set to display her wares on the east coast for the first time during the spring, which could also potentially add weight to the decision by those breeders sending mares to Siyouni to southern hemisphere time in September and October.
Sydney-based agent Louis Le Metayer purchased Amelia’s Jewel’s dam Bumbasina for 75,000gns at the 2018 Tattersalls July Sale, which offers a cross-section of bloodstock.
Ahead of the July Sale in Newmarket, the Arqana Summer Sale in Deauville began with a breeze-up session prior to the two-year-olds being offered on Wednesday, while a breeding and horses in training session is scheduled for Thursday.
The final day session sees a catalogue of 84 mares as well as 180 horses in training going under the hammer.
Belmont Bloodstock’s Damon Gabbedy, Arqana’s Australia and New Zealand representative, was hopeful Australian buyers could “snag a few” at the French sale.
“We have had enough interest from trainers and the Terry Hendersons [of OTI] of the world to drum up some interest,” Gabbedy said.
“The global market continues to plug on pretty strongly even with a few holes in it.”
Article thanks to Racing Post.