By Emma Berry

BADEN-BADEN, Germany–A German breeder, a British stallion, an American buyer. In a fully reopened world, the international participation that had been anticipated ahead of BBAG’s major yearling sale was played out as Jason Litt made a splash on his first visit to Baden-Baden when signing for the sole Kingman (GB) yearling in the sale, offered by the day’s leading vendor Gestut Fahrhof and commanding the top price of €450,000.

Along with Litt, buyers from Britain, China, Ireland, France, Italy, Dubai, Hong Kong, the Czech Republic, and of course Germany underlined a diverse and vibrant market which led to gains of 24% for both aggregate and average. Of the 204 horses offered through the one-day sale, 157 (77%) found a buyer, with the clearance rate dropping just slightly from 80% last year, but the average up to €53,258 with the overall turnover at €8,361,500.

Fahrhof to the Fore

It has been quite the week for the partnership of Gestut Fahrhof and Kingman, with the stallion reaching a new high of 50 stakes winners and 30 group winners courtesy of the stud’s homebred Habana (Ger), a ‘TDN Rising Star’ who went on the land the G3 Zukunfts-Rennen at Baden-Baden on Wednesday.

In the sale ring two days later, Kingman’s son (lot 62) from the family of this year’s G1 Deutsches Derby winner Sammarco (Ire) was the draft’s leading light when topping the sale, selected by a first-time visitor to the auction.

“I’m really happy right now,” said American agent Jason Litt. “We got the one we wanted. We came here trying to buy what we thought was the best horse in the sale, and we thought he was the best horse in the sale.

“He’s likely to stay in Europe but it is all to be determined. He has a great attitude and great balance.”

Litt added with a laugh, “He checked all the boxes, as everyone hates to hear.”

The colt’s relative Sammarco, who is now a dual Group 1 winner, returns to the track on Sunday to take on Torquator Tasso (Ger) in the G1 Grosser Preis von Baden, and plenty of other members of the close family have won stakes races in Britain, Ireland, France, and Australia. His dam Sarandia (Ger) (Dansili {GB}) was herself narrowly denied a Classic win when second in the G1 Preis der Diana, and three of her five wins came in listed races.

The Fahrhof draft was also represented among the top lots by a Frankel (GB) half-brother to Group 1 winner Potemkin (Ger) (New Approach {GB}), who will race in Germany for Eckhard Sauren, the President of the Cologne Race Club who bought lot 58 for €210,000. The colt’s dam Praia (Ger) (Big Shuffle) was herself a winner and listed-placed and is a half-sister to Paita (GB) (Intikhab), a former champion 2-year-old filly in Germany.

An international bidding skirmish was in play later in the day for another Fahrhof consignee, the first foal of Listed Diana Trial winner Realeza (Ger) (Maxios {GB}) by Darley’s Night Of Thunder (Ire). Anthony Stroud was involved for a while, but it was Andreas Suborics who had the last word at €325,000, with Michael Donohoe the unlucky underbidder from outside the ring. Suborics confirmed that he will train the chestnut colt (lot 156) for owner Jurgen Sartori.

The mixing of Dubawi and Monsun bloodlines has worked well in this family already, with Realeza’s three-parts sister Rumh (Ger), a listed-winning daughter of Monsun, having produced the multiple Group 1 winners Yibir (GB) and Wild Illusion (GB), both of whom are by Dubawi.

Gestut Fahrhof, which has also consigned yearlings at the Tattersalls October Sale in the past, offered all its yearlings for sale at BBAG this year, and was the sale’s leading vendor with 12 sold for €1,420,000 at an average price of €118,333.

Reflecting on a good day for his team, Fahrhof’s owner Andreas Jacobs said, “It is a fantastic sale, a boutique sale at a wonderful location. It’s wonderful because of great food, great restaurants, great hotels, but also a great sales crowd. This year we had some good genuine prices, so expectations from the vendors were reasonable, and I think the catalogue was better than last year.”

He continued, “On the Farhrhof side we had better horses in the sale because we didn’t send any to Tattersalls, so that helped our sale. I’m very proud to have sold the most expensive Kingman. I’ve loved Kingman since he was a racehorse and I think he was one of those that has everything you want to have–good character, a good scope, and he improved with the work every minute.

“The Night Of Thunder we sold was equally smart and everyone was on him which was why he generated an exceptional price. We’re very happy with the day’s results, and also with the Baden-Baden race results. To have a Kingman filly; there’s nothing better than to have a 2-year-old group-winning filly. I’m very excited about her and very proud.”

Prize Fillies for Owner-Breeders

Out of luck with bidding on Fahrhof’s Night Of Thunder colt, Michael Donohoe was successful only a short while later when buying the only Frankel filly in the catalogue for €250,000 for Yuesheng Zhang of Yulong Investments. Lot 161, who was offered by Ronald Rauscher, is the third foal of the Acclamation (GB) mare Vagabonde (Ire), a dual winner in France and a half-sister to a pair of Group 3 winners in Kalahara (GB) (Frankel {GB}) and Sasparella (Fr) (Shamardal).

“Mr. Zhang has had plenty of luck with the sire and I thought she was lovely,” said Dononhoe. The Yulong Investements silks have been carried to Group 1 glory in Australia by a homebred daughter of Frankel in the Chris Waller-trained Hungry Heart (Aus), winner of the Australian Oaks and Vinery Stud S.

He continued, “There’s a nice bit of Acclamation about her and she looks like she might be quite a forward Frankel. We loved the pedigree and thought she represented good value. I was underbidder for different clients on the Kingman and the Night Of Thunder. It’s a really strong market.”

A bidding tussle between Tina Rau and Ronald Rauscher saw the latter come out on top for Haras de l’Hotellerie’s filly by Sea The Stars (Ire) out of the listed winner Imagery (Ger) (Monsun {Ger}) (lot 44) at €250,000.

A pedigree with roots in Gestut Schlenderhan, which includes three black-type half-siblings for the yearling, and another four of the same for her dam, was enough to persuade Rauscher’s client, one of Germany’s leading breeders, to purchase the filly with her future broodmare career in mind.

“She’s been bought for my main partner, Christoph Berglar,” Rauscher confirmed. “He loves Sea The Stars and he loves that Schlenderhan family, and there’s Monsun in there. She’s very nice, I liked her a lot.”

Guillaume Garcon of Haras de l’Hotellerie offered the filly on behalf of her breeder Leopoldo Fernandez Pujals of Yeguada Centurion, who bought Imagery at Tattersalls four years ago for 95,000gns. The mare also has a colt foal by Sea The Stars.

A good day continued for the Hotellerie team when the Bated Breath (GB) half-sister to Group 3 winner Noble Heidi (Fr) (Intello {Ger}) sold for €130,000 to Stall Salzburg. Extra black type has been provided for their dam Noble Pensee (Fr) (Orpen) by her 3-year-old listed-placed daughter Noble Star (Fr) (Zarak {Fr}), while Noble Heidi, now four, added the Listed Baden-Baden Cup to her tally of victories on Wednesday. The granddam of lot 151, Turning Leaf (Ire) (Last Tycoon) was placed in the G2 German 1,000 Guineas.
Franco-Irish Alliance for Le Havre Filly

One of the ‘talking horses’ of the sale was the sole yearling by the late Le Havre (Ire), who, catalogued as lot 61, was offered by Stauffenberg Bloodstock on behalf of her breeder Gestut Honyhof. The flashy chestnut is a granddaughter of the G1 Preis der Diana winner Salve Regina (Ger) (Monsun {Ger}), who was also runner up in the Deutsches Derby, a race also won by her full-brothers Samum (Ger) and Schiaparelli (Ger). More recently, the family has been boosted by the yearling’s Group 3-winning half-brother Sea Of Sands (Ger) (Sea The Stars {Ire}), who triumphed in the Derby-Trial and is one of five winners for their dam Salve Haya (Ire) (Peintre Celebre).

The well-established partnership of Ireland’s Ballylinch Stud and France’s Ecurie des Charmes had the final say for the filly at €205,000, with Ghislain Bozo signing the docket in the company of John O’Connor.

“She was a really nice filly, we think Le Havre is a plus as well and it’s a very nice staying family, a very strong German family,” Bozo said. “She’s a lovely mover and well-balanced, the type of physique we like, and should be a lovely broodmare in the future. She may go to Ballylinch first, they have a really lovely pre-training facility.”

Bozo had earlier signed for Gestut Hof Ittlingen’s colt by the late Lord Of England (Ger) at €180,000. Bought for an undisclosed client, lot 47 is a half-brother to Loft (Ger) (Adlerflug {Ger}), winner of the GII Belmont Gold Cup S. in America as well as the G2 Oleander-Rennen is his home country. The pair emanate from Hof Ittlingen’s signature family of the homebred champion Lando (Ger), whose seven Group 1 wins included the Japan Cup, and who is a brother to the colt’s granddam Laurella (Ger) (Acatenango {Ger}).

Waldgeist Filly to Wohler

Gestut Ammerland’s half-sister to Blue De Vega (Ger) (Lope De Vega {Ger}) from the first crop of Arc winner Waldgeist (GB) (lot 79) is to be trained by Andreas Wohler for a “well-established French owner-breeder” after being signed for at €160,000 by Alexandra Saint Martin of ASM Bloodstock.

Unable to divulge the name of her client, the agent added, “She is a lovely filly with a great page and she has been bought as a broodmare prospect. She will be trained in Germany.”

The filly was the most expensive yearling of the day by Waldgeist, who was well represented at BBAG with eight of his yearlings sold for an average of €63,750.

Another of this year’s freshman sires, Darley’s Too Darn Hot (GB), featured just once in the catalogue but his yearling colt, who is a half-brother to the German champion 3-year-old sprinter Namos (GB) (Medicean {GB}), found favour with breeze-up pinhooker Tom Whitehead of Powerstown Stud.

“He’s a good, racy colt and I like the sire. I think he has a good chance,” said Whitehead, who has done well buying breezers from this sale in the past and paid €150,000 for lot 54 from breeder Gestut Brummerhof.

New Bay an Old Friend for Elliott

Alex Elliott is another regular visitor to BBAG and secured two six-figure lots on Friday, the first being lot 53, bought for the Chelsea Thoroughbreds syndicate at €120,000.

The colt by New Bay (GB) is to be trained by Ralph Beckett, a stallion with whom Elliott and Beckett have enjoyed previous success courtesy of his first-crop son New Mandate (Ire), winner of the G2 Juddmonte Royal Lodge S. as well as a pair of listed races.

There was plenty to recommend the Ronald Rauscher- consigned colt beyond his sire, however, as he is out of Nightlight Angel (Manduro {Ger}), a winning three-parts-sister to Dr. Christoph Berglar’s champion colt Novellist (Ire) (Monsun {Ger}), a Group 1 winner in three different countries who is now at stud in Japan. The family has been given another major boost this season by the Irish Oaks victory of Novellist’s half-sister Magical Lagoon (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}).

Elliott also went to €165,000 for Haras de Grandcamp’s Wootton Bassett (GB) half-brother to G3 Prix des Chenes winner Evasive’s First (Fr) (Evasive), who was appropriately, consigned as lot 165.

Holger Faust of the HFTB Agency was the sale’s busiest buyer, signing for 11 yearlings for a total of €568,000. The group included Intisar (Ger) (Isfahan {Ger}), who will race in the same Darius Racing colours as her sister, the G1 Preis der Diana runner-up Isfahani (Ger), and was bought from Gestut Karlshof for €120,000.