Sea The Stars filly takes centre stage at BBAG

The Sea The Stars filly who topped trade at BBAG at €500,000

PICTURE: BBAG Sea The Stars filly takes centre stage at BBAG
By Michele MacDonald 9:23PM 2 SEP 2016

LIVELY trade propelled by South Africa's Markus Jooste, who purchased an elegant Sea The Stars filly for a sale-topping €500,000 along with six other yearlings under his Mayfair Speculators banner, boosted the BBAG yearling auction in Baden-Baden on Friday well past last year's levels.

When the single-session sale ended, BBAG reported that 185 horses had been sold of the 235 offered for a total of €8,426,500, up a substantial 31 per cent compared to last year, when 156 yearlings were sold for a combined €6,433,250. The average price also increased a healthy ten per cent to €45,549.

Without doubt, the Sea The Stars filly – an Irish-bred half sister to German Group 1 winner Empoli and to a pair of other stakes horses – was the focal point of the sale, holding a crowd gathered in the pavilion at rapt attention as she paraded around the ring.

Consigned by Ronald Rauscher, agent for breeder Gestut Ebbesloh, the solid bay filly was the yearling that Jooste said he wanted most.

"She was our choice of the sale," declared a smiling Jooste, who led all buyers with his seven Mayfair Speculators purchases totaling €1,349,000. "We liked the conformation, the page, the breeding. I'm going to send her to Andre Fabre in France and we will take our chances from there."

Rauscher said the filly, catalogued as Lot 173, had filled him with confidence due to her quality, but he was unsure what the market would produce as the sale session started out somewhat slowly.

"I was hoping for that, but I didn't tell anyone," Rauscher said of the price. "I did think she was the class of the sale."

Sale officials were pleased with the robust trade at Germany's elite yearling marketplace, both from international and domestic buyers.

"We were very happy about the very international crowd here. We had loads of Scandinavians here and many known faces from England, Ireland and France. Even our Eastern European clients bought some horses for good prices. And it's very important for us that we had loads of German buyers and they bought some of the top horses," said BBAG Assistant Manager Klaus Eulenberger.

In reviewing the results, Eulenberger saluted Andreas Jacobs, owner of Gestut Fahrhof, for encouraging Jooste to return to Baden-Baden, where he had purchased two yearlings at the sale in 2013. Jooste's primary business, Steinhoff International Holdings, which is one of the world's largest sellers of furniture and home goods, also is sponsoring a race at Baden Racing's Iffezheim racecourse, the Group 3 Steinhoff Zukunftsrennen, on Sunday.

Like Jooste, Jacobs is deeply involved in the sport in South Africa as the owner of Maine Chance Farms, where he stands top sire and German-bred Silvano. Jacobs also owns Newsells Park Stud in Hertfordshire.

In addition to the Sea The Stars filly, Jooste also bought five other yearlings for prices that ranked among the sale's top 16 sellers, with his purchases including a well-made brown colt from the first crop of Maxios, lot 156 and named Woodmax, for €240,000 and a flashy chestnut colt by Exceed and Excel, consigned by Fahrhof, for €180,000. Jooste's group of yearlings encompassed four fillies and three colts and he was assisted in his buying by Peter and Ross Doyle.

Some of the horses bought by Jooste will stay in Europe, but others will be sent to South Africa. Eventually, he said he plans to have some of the fillies bred to European sires before sending them back to be based as broodmares in South Africa.

In partnership with Jacobs, Jooste also bought a Siyouni filly out of a half sister to Group 2 winner Santiago for €110,000. Consigned by Haras de Grandcamp and catalogued as Lot 151, the filly is out of the Doyen mare Sassicaia and was bred in France by Erika Muller.

Hollow victory for Ostermann

But Jooste wasn't the only buyer at the upper levels of the sale.
Just before Jooste purchased the Sea The Stars filly, prominent German owner Manfred Ostermann of Gestut Hof Ittlingen bought a filly by leading German sire Soldier Hollow for €300,000, which ranked as the second highest price of the sale. Catalogued as Lot 171, the filly is from the family of Group 1 Preis der Diana winner Enora and Group 2 winner Egerton

"I liked a lot about this horse, especially the way she moved-she is an excellent mover. And she has a very, very nice face," said Ostermann, indicating that the filly would be trained by Peter Schiergen, who was seated at the owner's right side.

"I expected to pay much more, not to buy her like this. She is not a bargain, but it is a fair price," Ostermann said.

Already named Egoistin, the filly was consigned by Gestut Rottgen.

Soldiering on

Soldier Hollow also sired the sale's third and fourth-highest priced yearlings: lot 157, a colt named Winston who is out of a half sister to British Group 2 winner Wild Coco and who was purchased by agent Jeremy Brummitt for €250,000 on behalf of a client he would not disclose, and lot 161, a colt named Accensus who is a half-brother to a trio of German stakes winners from the family of German champion Arcadio, bought for €240,000 by the Hong Kong Jockey Club.

Soldier Hollow stood atop the sire standings by aggregate for sale horses, with 23 sold from 28 offered for a total of €1.5 million and an average price of €65,217. Following him was first-year sire Maxios, with 17 sold from 18 offered for a total of €1.211 million and an average of €71,235.

Maxios makes a mint

Rauscher, as agent for Australian Bloodstock – which has raced German-bred Melbourne Cup winner Protectionist – bought a Maxios colt named Wild Max, lot 56, for €220,000, the sixth highest price of the sale.

Consigned by Getut Brummerhof, the dark bay or brown colt out of Group 3-placed Wildfahrte, by Mark of Esteem, is a half-brother to multiple Listed winner Wildpark.

"He's going to stay in Germany and be trained by Andreas Wohler, who knows the family well," Rauscher said. "I thought he was the most outstanding representative of Maxios at this sale."

Maxios stands at Fahrhof as the property of an international syndicate that includes British, Irish and German investors, said Alan Cooper, racing manager for the Niarchos family, for whom Maxios raced and won a pair of Group 1 races in France, the Prix d'Ispahan and the Prix du Moulin.

The Niarchos family, under the Flaxman Stables Ireland banner, partnered with Fahrhof to buy two yearlings by Maxios – lot 133, a filly named Mystic Sunshine from the family of German champion Monami and Oaks d'Italia winner Meridiana for €130,000, and lot 126, a colt named Lennox out of a half-sister to German champion Lady Marian, for €80,000.

    Read More at Racing Post Bloodstock

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