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BBAG Yearling Sale - Strength in depth with something for everybody



David Conolly-Smith


Ausgabe 683 vom Freitag, 27.08.2021

The BBAG Yearling Sale, by far Germanys most important bloodstock sale, takes place at the BBAG sales ring close to the Iffezheim racecourse on Friday September 3rd, commencing at 10 a.m. and probably lasting the whole day. 223 yearlings are catalogued, and up to the time of writing (August 25th) there are only seven withdrawals. The catalogue is, according to the BBAG (Baden-Badener Auktionsgesellschaft) itself, “the best ever”; sales companies usually claim this, but on this occasion it certainly seems to be true. The catalogue certainly has strength in depth with something for everybody.

All the top German breeders and consignors are represented, and there are also numerous entries from across the Rhine in France. Most of these are qualified for French premiums, and in any case all the lots are eligible for the lucrative series of BBAG sales races in 2022 (for 2yo´s ) and 2023 (3yo´s), which include Germany´s two most valuable juvenile races, and all of which have well above average prize-money going down to the seventh place. They are marked in the catalogue by the letters AR, while almost all lots are also EBF-qualified, and most of them Breeders´ Cup qualified as well. Despite the current pandemic restrictions, there should be no problems for people attending the sale as long as they are double vaccinated and recently tested negative; there is a testing station available in the beer tent opposite the nearby racecourse, while masks (indoors) and distancing regulations are in place.

What follows is a personal selection by this writer of the most interesting lots. It is based entirely on the catalogue page, i.e. the pedigree, with no reference to physical appearance or conformation. We apologise in advance to any breeder or consignor whose favourite lot gets no mention, but we hope to have identified some of the most interesting lots and also those likely to fetch the highest prices.

The obvious place to start is the group of yearlings by top international sires, in particular those by FrankelSea The Stars and Siyouni, all of whom command six figure fees and whose progeny will need to fetch 200,000 euros or more simply to cover the breeder´s costs. Frankel was not only the best ever performer by the late, great Galileo, but also is well on the way to assuming his sire´s mantle as the top stallion standing in Europe. He has two lots in the sale, but colts bred by Janet Ostermann´s Gestüt Haus Ittlingen, and both very closely related. Lot no. 67 is out of group race winner and Group One-placed Calyxa (Pivotal), while lot no. 176 is out of Calyxa´s own dam Chantra (Lando); this is a prolific winning family featuring numerous black type performers. It is also interesting to note that listed winner Chantra is a half-sister, among others, to Cherub (Winged Love), not only a listed winner on the flat, but also a Grade One winner at the Punchestown Festival over hurdles.

We are of course not suggesting that these Frankels will end up running over the sticks, but in view of the high prices being paid in the U.K. and especially Ireland for top N.H. performers, this is a beguiling alternative and it is worth mentioning that the top price at last week´s BBAG Hybrid Sale was for  the Röttgen-bred Adrian (Reliable Man), who was bought by agent Tom Malone, well known for sourcing potential N.H. stars, so his future career is almost certainly going to lie in that sphere. German-breds, and particularly Irish-trained horses with a German background, have been extremely successful over jumps in recent years (including winners of the Cheltenham Gold Cup and Champion Hurdle)and the market for potential performers in this sphere remains very strong.

Sea The Stars, a half-brother to Galileo, is having another great season and has been very popular with German breeders. He has five lots in the sale, including no. 192, a filly bred by Gestüt Etzean out of Monami (Sholokhov), and thus an own sister to Miss Yoda, sold here as a yearling for 280,000 euros to Blandford Bloodstock and winner of the 2020 Group One Preis der Diana in the colours of Georg von Opel (Westerberg). She is certain to attract a lot of interest, as is lot no. 54, a Sea The Stars filly from Gestüt Röttgen who is a half-sister to two recent winners of the Group One German Derby, Windstoss and Weltstar, This is not only one of Röttgen´s best families, with black type winners in every generation, but it also traces back to the great 19th century Hungarian mare Kincsem.

Two more of Sea The Stars progeny in the sale are fillies, lots no. 50 and 188. The former, offered by leading consignor Ronald Rauscher, is out of the Zamindar mare Topaze Blanche, who was runner-up in the Group One Prix Marcel Boiussac; she is descended from a top Wildenstein family whose most famous member was the champion stayer Westerner. The latter, bred by Gestüt Brümmerhof, is out of the Beat Hollow mare and listed winner Julissima, who has already bred two smart performers in Julio (Exceed and Excel), a group winning sprinter, and Juanito (Zoffany), a leading German 3yo this year.  The sole Sea The Stars colt in the sale is lot no. 173, consigned by Gestüt Auenquelle as agent, who is out of Group Two winner Ashiana (Mastercraftsman), herself a daughter of group race winner Ashantee, also dam of Group One-placed Ashrun (Authorized), a group race winner last year in Australia, and presumably being trained for another crack at the Melbourne Cup. This lot is clearly of interest, but it would be no surprise to see the Sea The Stars fillies fetch better prices.

The only Siyouni in the sale is lot no. 60, a colt bred by Gestüt Brümmerhof, always one of the most successful vendors at this sale; he is out of the German 1,000 Guineas winner Akua´da (Shamardal). Akua´da, from a very strong family, is also dam of the useful stayer Aldenham (Mastercraftsman), who runs in a listed race at Baden-Baden this Sunday.

Frankel, Sea The Stars and Siyouni certainly have the highest profiles of the sires represented in the catalogue, but there are plenty more of interest: among young sires who are already making their mark, we would mention Zarak, Ulysses, New Bay and Golden Horn, while among the more established sires are Nathaniel, Exceed and Excel and Lope de Vega, while there are several yearlings in the catalogue by Coolmore stallions such as Australia, Churchill, Footstepsinthesand, Gleneagles, Gustav Klimt  or Holy Roman Emperor. These are all known factors, and what could be really intriguing are the various yearlings by sires with their first crop. In this respect we mention in particular Cracksman, one of the best sons of Frankel, Cloth of Stars, Roaring Lion and Saxon Warrior (by Japanese superstar Deep Impact). Lot no. 190 is worth a special mention; he is a colt bred by Gestüt Ammerland by Saxon Warrior out of the unraced Frankel mare Lady Livonia, an own sister to Group One-placed Lady Frankel and a half-brother to champion racehorse and leading international sire Lope de Vega.

This is of course a German sale, so it is only natural that the majority of yearlings on offer are German-bred and by German sires. Last year´s champion sire Adlerflug (In The Wings), who sadly died this year at Easter after a heart attack, has six lots in the catalogue, while his paternal half-brother Soldier Hollow, the most successful German-based sire of recent years, has thirteen. The highly-regarded Amaron (Shamardal) has ten, so does Lord of England (Dashing Blade), his neighbor at Gestüt Etzean, who is enjoying a highly successful season. The amazing Areion (Big Shuffle) also stands at Etzean, he continues to deliver the goods every year even though he is now 26 years of age. Gestüt Röttgen is also home to three stallions, of whom Protectionist (Monsun) and Reliable Man (Dalakhani), are both well known down under, the former as the winner of the Melbourne Cup and the latter as he shuttles between New Zealand and Germany, and is equally successful in both countries. Lot no. 177 is a Reliable Man colt out of listed winner Desabina (Big Shuffle) from the extended family of Kentucky Derby and Dubai Gold Cup winner Animal Kingdom.

Arguably the best known current German stallion actually stands in Newmarket, Sea The Moon (Sea The Stars), the spectacular German Derby winner in 2014. He has been based at Kirsten Rausing´s Lanwades Stud ever since he retired and has been very well patronized by German breeders; he has 14 yearlings in the catalogue, the most of any sire, but he has done very well  right from the start, when he was the first son of Sea The Stars to retire to stud. It comes as no surprise to see that Gestüt Görlsdorf, who bred him and still own a chunk of him, have four yearlings by him in the sale, including lot no. 186, a colt ex Hey Little Görl (Sternkönig), who won the German St. Leger and is a member of a successful international family

Although the catalogue is almost evenly split between colts and fillies, it is quite possible that several of the top lots will be fillies, as there are several in the catalogue descended from the top German families who have proved so successful on the international stage. We would mention two in particular. Lot no.162, consigned by Ronald Rauscher, is a filly by Acclamation out of the Campanologist mare Waldblüte. The mare herself was nothing special on the racecourse, but she is a member of the celebrated “W” family which continues to produce Group One winners all over the globe, a notable recent example being 2019 Arc winner Waldgeist. Rauscher also consigns lot no. 113, a filly by The Grey Gatsby out of the unraced Angel´s Tears (Seeking the Gold), a member of the equally celebrated “A” family of Anna Paola, whose most recent star is Godolphin´s current champion, Derby and King George winner Adayer. There are several members of both these families in the catalogue.

The catalogue went tom press at the beginning of August, and there have been several significant updates, the most spectacular concerning lot no. 69, Gestüt Park Wiedingen´s  Soldier Hollow colt out of Dhaba (Areion), who won the Preis der Winterkönigin in 2015 for Helmut von Finck. This lot is the third foal out of Dhaba, and the first two, both fillies by Soldier Hollow, both ran at Hoppegarten on August 8th – and both won! Dijubaba , now a 3yo, won a listed race over six furlongsd and is now a leading candidate for Germany´s top sprint race, the Goldene Peitsche next week at Baden-Baden. An hour beforehand, her 2yo full sister Dishina had made her racing debut and won in very fetching style. What a double and what an advertisement for lot 69! Dishina is also clearly a black type prospect and hopes must be high that the next foal can carry on; this is in any case Park Wiedingen´s best family, going back to the Northern Dancer mare Diana Dance.

It is clearly impossible in this short space to give full justice to all 200+ yearlings on offer, but we hope that we have highlighted the top lots. As usual, BBAG have chartered a plane to bring over agents, owners and breeders from the U.K. As the Goffs Doncaster sale is already this week, the plane will depart from Cambridge nest Wednesday in the early evening, following the Tattersalls sale in the afternoon. It can certainly be assumed that those on board will play a leading part in next Friday´s sale. The sale is an important event in the German season and will give an accurate picture of the current status of the German bloodstock industry. We wish it every success.

David Conolly-Smith

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