“Never outclass a horse in a sale.”
Eric Hoyeau, Arqana
There is an incurable belief among most of our colleagues, that a slot at the National Yearling Sale or at the Premier Sale is the silver bullet to a fortune. Many years at the ringside have tought us that these are not necessarily the venues for every horse. Placing your horse in a sale is no different to placing him in a horserace; you always want to be the big fish in the small pond, meaning that your entry should stand out among his peers rather than just be one of the chocolates in the box. Time and again, we’ve seen horses we’ve always thought were marginal National Sale’s entries fail to make their reserves at that sale (and often enough, falling well short of their reserves), only to make two or three times that figure when re-consigned at a later stage. The Emperors Palace Ready to Run Sale is a perfect alternative for those horses, as it’s often a matter of physical immaturity that determines their fate at the Premier or the Nationals. Given the time and the exercise that goes into the Ready To Run, horses develop quickly, and sometimes the transformation is close to miraculous.
Just last week, the president of Arqana (the Aga Khan’s major sales company in France), Eric Hoyeau, reminded us of the truth of what we’re saying. Asked what the best piece of advice was he had ever received in the sales business, he responded: “Never to outclass a horse in a sale. Rather downgrade it to show it to best advantage in a lesser sale.”
While the Ready To Run has grown to a point where it now averages the same as the National Yearling Sale, and must therefore be considered to be in the same class, it must be remembered that “lesser” in Eric’s example, can be translated into “later” as well. The fact is, France don’t have an equivalent of our Ready To Run, and their sales season concludes within a relatively short time scale.