The Arqana February Sale got underway in Deauville yesterday and the day’s highlight was Hardi Du Mesnil, a half-brother to Dublin Festival Grade 1 winner and Ballymore Novices’ favourite Gaillard Du Mesnil.

Owned in partnership by Nicolas Canteloup and Matthieu Palussiere (the latter best-known in the UK as the trainer of Different League, who won the Albany at Royal Ascot in 2017), the four year old had won a bumper for Palussiere at Vittel in the summer and recently added an impressive hurdling success at Pau for Erwan Grall.

A €32,000 purchase at the Osarus mixed NH sale in October 2019, his half-brother’s exploits ensured there was plenty of interest in him at Arqana yesterday and he was sold to Highflyer Bloodstock for €250,000, with their representative David Powell getting the better of a host of agents representing clients from Ireland and the UK.  A son of the Yorton Farm-based stallion Masterstroke, Hardi Du Mesnil will be running in future in the colours of Robert Waley-Cohen, owner of 2011 Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Long Run.

The opening session’s figures saw a sharp rise on those recorded in 2020, in no small part due to the dispersal sale of the late Fabrice Petit’s racing and breeding interests.  There was a plenty of interest in the 17-strong consignment, with Petit’s former trainer Marc Pimbonnet signing for the most expensive of them, the four-year-old Cleod’Or.  The son of Anodin won a class 1 contest at Marseille Vivaux last spring before going on to further success in handicap company at Chantilly and has a UK mark of 91.

Another notable sale from the Petit draft was Woot City, who was purchased by Anne-Sophie Yoh of YOHEA Bloodstock.  A winner of one of his 16 starts to date, the Wootton Bassett gelding looks a potentially well-handicapped sort for the season ahead for his new connections.

The sale concludes today with a mix of yearlings and breeding stock.