William and I have always loved buying horses in France and we enjoyed another successful trip to the Arqana February Sale earlier this week. As I’ve mentioned in the past, we were both very keen on Dabirsim when he retired to stud, and our early good impression of him on the track at Deauville was confirmed when William, Emma and I made our infamous road trip to Germany to see him last March at Gestüt Karlshof. It was therefore disappointing to have had two mares covered by him with no foal on the way: Plebeya scanned in foal to twins and after one was pinched she was then empty at a later scan, while Villabella had an early absorption For this reason I was particularly keen to look at the mares offered in foal to Dabirsim at Arqana and the one who really caught my eye was Stellar Rose (pictured), a very good-looking daughter of Royal Academy, who is of course a terrific broodmare sire. We were delighted to pick her up very inexpensively and to have set up a new breeding partnership with our great friends Gwen and Lucie of La Motteraye partnership. We also managed to buy three mares for one of our long-standing clients so it was a worthwhile trip for us. There were very few overseas agents there which made it a real buyers’ market, but it must have been fairly hard to swallow for those people selling mares for less than price of the fee of the stallion she’d been covered by. At home, we have three colt foals on the ground and another bunch waiting in the wings. I’m really looking forward to seeing Nut’s Rajsaman foal when he or she arrives. He’s a stallion who has been well received in France and he’s standing at Haras de la Cauvinière alongside Le Havre, who has made such a brilliant start at stud. Nut always throws a good-looking foal so I’m hoping that this one will be no exception. Holy Dazzle is heading to La Cauvinière herself this year and we’re very happy to have been able to book her in to Le Havre. Plebeya has already visited Anodin at Haras du Quesnay so I’m hoping that a Friday 13th cover proves to be lucky, and Villabella is now at Mickley Stud waiting to be covered by Richard Kent’s new stallion Heeraat.