THE Arqana Vente du Grand Steeple 2022, scheduled to be held on the eve of the iconic race, contains 37 lots at the time of writing.
Due to be staged in Paris on Friday, May 20th, the catalogue contains, as you would expect, National Hunt prospects, horses with form, stores and fillies and mares with eventual stud value. The sale starts with some of the dispersal of stock formerly race and/or bred by leading owner Magalen Bryant.
There is a single flat entry in the catalogue, and she is a debut two-year-old winning daughter of Cotai Glory (Exceed And Excel). Successful over six furlongs at Chantilly for trainer Jessica Dupont-Fahn, in the colours of David Maughan, Cosmic Invasion was bred by Padraig Williams and purchased by her trainer at the Goffs Sportsman’s Sale last year for €16,000.
She represents an opportunity to buy both a racing and breeding prospect, coming as she does from a great female family. She is the fifth foal and third winner from Zelie Martin, a placed daughter of Invincible Spirit (Green Desert). She was bred and raced by Jim Bolger, and this is a family with which the Coolcullen maestro has enjoyed much success.
Zelie Martin is a full-sister to three-time winner Edge Of Sanity (Invincible Spirit), and they are out of a daughter of La Meilleure (Lord Gayle). Bolger trained the latter to win a listed race at the Curragh before she went to stud.
There she is responsible for 10 winners, nine of which were trained by Bolger. The one he didn’t handle the career of was Sholokhov (Sadler’s Wells), a Group 1 winner at two in Italy and runner-up in the Irish Derby for Aidan O’Brien.
Bolger’s nine winners from La Meilleure included three stakes winners and two other who were group-placed. Affianced (Erin’s Isle) won the Listed Debutante Stakes at two and her three stakes winners are headed by Soldier Of Fortune (Galileo), winner of the Group 1 Irish Derby and Group 1 Coronation Cup.
Another of La Meilleure’s stakes winners was Zavaleta (Kahyasi),and she has left her mark as the grandam of the Group 1 Dewhurst Stakes winner Intense Focus (Giant’s Causeway) and third dam of the champion and Group 1 Moyglare Stud Stakes winner Skitter Skatter (Scat Daddy).