While Lexus Melbourne Cup (G1) heroine Verry Elleegant has been turning heads on the gallops in Chantilly, she is far from the only equine VIP summering in France’s horse paradise.
Surprise Saudi Cup (G1) winner Emblem Road has been sent by his owner Prince Saud bin Salman Abdulaziz to join the Alessandro and Giuseppe Botti yard and, while the move was initially described as a holiday, connections have been so pleased with the son of Quality Road that a plan has been hatched to aim at the Prix Jacques Le Marois (G1) via the Prix Messidor (G3).
With a growing race program at home, Saudi connections were extremely active throughout the breeze-up season on both sides of the Atlantic.
Emblem Road wins the 2022 Saudi Cup at King Abdulaziz Racecourse
But the Emblem Road team have decided to extend their relationship with the Bottis and Chantilly, striking for the two highest-priced lots in the 2-year-old section of the opening session June 30 in Deauville.
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The connection between Riyadh and Chantilly is a strongly Italian one—the prince’s racing and bloodstock interests are managed by Saudi-based Renato Geiger and it was compatriot Marco Bozzi who signed for both colts.
First up was Lot 33, a Medaglia d’Oro colt out of the Johannesburg mare So Stylish a half sister to One Cool Cat ..
Consigned by MC Thoroughbreds, Bozzi had been tracking his prime target throughout the spring and won out at € 220,000 (US $ 230,758), much to the delight of Botti, his prospective trainer.
“Marco Bozzi recommended the horse to us and has been bought for Saud bin Salman,” said Botti. “He will probably start his career here in France and could be campaigned abroad in time.”
“There was a lot of interest around the horse and he breezed well. We have been following him for a while and Marco and Renato have done their job well.”
Marco Bozzi (R) with the team of Prince Saud bin Salman Abdulaziz after signing for Lot 33 at the Arqana Summer Sale
Asked what he liked about the colt, Bozzi said: “The pedigree, of course, and they love Medaglia d’Oro.
“He’s a really nice horse and we were hoping to buy him at Goresbridge but he missed the sale so we’ve had to wait to get him here. We went to see him in Ireland a month ago and we really loved him.”
Knockanglass Stables’ son of Exceed And Excel (Lot 72) also caught the eye of Bozzi and the prince’s team, and was secured at € 110,000 ($ 115,379).
Out of the Intikhab mare Duquesa, the colt is a half brother to Born To Be and counts Prix Marcel Boussac Criterium des Pouliches (G1) third and black-type producer Love of Silver as his second dam.
Bozzi said: “We know this horse as we had already seen him and were excited to see him come through. He’s a lovely colt that has matured nicely since we last saw him. His future trainer likes him a lot.”
At € 77,000 ($ 80,765) BBA Ireland’s Michael Donohoe fought off strong competition to secure Lot 69, a daughter of More Than Ready consigned by Mocklershill.
The filly is the third product out of the winning Congrats mare Desire Street, whose Into Mischief daughter daughter Tulane Tryst was runner-up in the Whitmore Stakes (G3) at Oaklawn Park in March.
Donohoe was acting on behalf of Yuesheng Zhang’s Yulong Investments, whose green and white silks have been carried with distinction in both Europe and Australia by horses such as Lucky Vega and Hungry Heart..
“More Than Ready has had great success in both the northern and southern hemispheres and she just made a lot of sense,” Donohoe said. “She’s a filly I saw here in May when unfortunately she suffered from a bit of travel sickness.”
Key Indicators all Point North
Of the 205 horses offered, 169 found a new home for an impressive clearance rate of more than 82%, up from 73% for the same session last year.
Turnover rose by 60% at € 5,598,000 ($ 5,871,742), with the average price also rocketing from € 20,699 ($ 21,711) 12 months ago to € 33,127 ($ 34,746).
Friday’s concluding session is devoted to horses in training and broodmare prospects and begins at 11 am local time.