Qatar royals boost sales at premier French auction

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Sheikh Juan Bin Hamad Al Thani (left) crowning Nikolay Davydenko (right) winner of Qatar ExxonMobil Open 2010. Photo – Yousef Shahin/Qatar Olympic Committee

A Qatar royal family member has buoyed this year’s premier French auction which was otherwise a very unexciting affair, an Australian newspaper reported on Monday.

Sheikh Joaan bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani emerged as the leading buyer over four selling days at the 2012 Deauville, through the French-based bloodstock agency Mandore International, spending a whopping €3.5 million ($4,212,000) for 21 yearlings.

The Australian newspaper said the Qatari royal’s buys were highlighted by the €1.2 million sale topper, a colt by former European champion racehorse Sea The Stars.

The paper added that Sheikh Joaan ended his visit with 10 of his 21 buys secured at less than €100,000.

Sheikh Joaan first bought at the Arqana-staged August sale last year, outlaying €287,000 for five yearlings.

Sheikh Joaan is one of 11 sons of the emir of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani.

The Qatari royal family has emerged as a new thoroughbred power in recent years through its company Quipco which sponsors the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, Europe’s showcase race, at Longchamp on 7 October, and the Champions day at Ascot, England, on 20 October.

Sheikh Joaan’s half-brother Sheikh Fahad is the principal of Pearl Bloodstock and owner of the 2011 Melbourne Cup winner Dunaden.

The report published in The Australian disclosed €3.5m invested by Sheikh Joaan contributed 12.3% to a sale turnover of €28,439,000 for 290 yearlings that sold.

The 21 yearlings he bought averaged €166,762 against the overall sale average of €98,046.

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