‘You Need To Zig When Others Are Zagging’

American bloodstock agent Liz Crow, best known for selling Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf winners Aunt Pearl (Ire) (Lope De Vega {Ire}) for 280,000 gns and British Idiom (Flashback) for $40,000 , Jack Christopher (Munnings) for $135,000 and the mighty Monomoy Girl (Tapizar) for $100,000, says her first trip to Arqana in October was a success after picking up four well-behaved fillies this week.

Crow bought Aunt Pearl in Book 1 in Tattersalls for 280,000 gns in 2019, but in anticipation of brisk trading at Park Paddocks that year decided to bypass the sale that has served her so well in the past.

Instead, a maiden voyage to Deauville for the October auction was entered in the diary and, having left France safe in the knowledge of securing value at a time when prices for well-bred yearlings have been skyrocketing, Crow insists that Arqana be considered in plans for the foreseeable future.

She explained: “I’ve really enjoyed the sale and I see next year we’ll be back with more customers. I’m trying to think outside the box here. You need to figure out how to grow your business and zigzag when others are zigzagging. That’s what it felt like. It felt like an opportunity.”

Crow added: “I wanted to go to Goffs and Tattersalls but they had record sales and record prices – it was just too difficult. Our customers like to shop within the $300,000 range.”

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The influx of American buyers at Goffs and Tattersalls bidding to take advantage of the dollar’s strength may have been excellent news for sellers, but buyers have found it difficult.

Revealing that she regretted the fact that she had not chosen European-bred mares to bring back to America this season, Crow made the late decision to travel to France and is confident the trip will pay off in the long run .

She said: “I had heard the Arqana October Sale was a bit like the Fasig-Tipton October Sale in that there was a mixed bag of physicals and pedigrees but if you did the work and were willing to look at a lot of horses , you might find value.

“I regretted shopping at Goffs and Tatts, so I figured if I wanted to have some fillies with European ancestry, maybe that’s the way to go.”

Crow added: “Freddy [Powell, chief executive at Arqana] was nice enough to accommodate me and Lindsay Schultz. She’s a young coach who got off to a fast start in America and she just wanted to experience that. We have never been to Arqana and really enjoyed it.

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“Deauville is a beautiful place full of history and atmosphere. The October sale was my kind of sale – lots of horses to browse through and some nice physical items and prices that I felt were worth something.

“Everything we bought was between 160,000 and 170,000 euros. That’s great value to me because you still have to spend $20,000 to get them to America. I felt like I had found added value for my customers.”

Well-mannered mares were what Crow came to France for, and that’s exactly what she got. From a Siyouni (Fr) filly [lot 239] from Montjeu (Ireland) mare Cherriya (Fr) who has already sired two black performers, to a stockier Waldgeist (GB) filly out of Deauville Shower (Ireland) (High Chaparrall) who comes from the family of Eagle Rise (Ire) (Danehill) and Eye Of The Tiger (Ger) (Tiger Hill {Ire}) amassing four Group 2 winners in Germany together, Crow feels she’s got the job done.

All but one of the four fillies she selected have already been assigned trainers, and Crow says she’s excited about the new recruits.

“We bought a Siyouni whose yearlings cost an average of €400,000, but we bought a filly by him for €170,000. She was really pretty.

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“Siyouni did really well in America and we had Etoile (Fr), which we sold, from him. I thought this filly would have similar characteristics to Etoile but with some power and speed. It also reminded me of Aunt Pearl (Irish) (Lope De Vega {Irish}) – that body shape.”

Crow added: “Almanzor (Fr) was a really interesting sire for me. We kept landing on a few of these and learned he’s in a “wait and see” phase at the moment. I see he had a big winner [Rajapour (Ire)] On Wednesday. I liked a lot of his physics and was able to buy one [321] for Stuart Grant.

“Wotton Bassett (GB) is another sire that did well in America so we looked at a lot of them and bought for several but I was happy to win one. This filly [97, signed for by Steven Rocco for €140,000] goes to Christophe Clement. The Siyouni goes to Chad Brown and is for Peter Brant.

“We also got a Waldgeist (GB) filly [260, signed for by NBS Stables for €160,000]. I had a client who was looking for a filly with two or three turns and I figured that’s what she is. She is coached by Kelsey Danner. This is the group.”


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