Arctic monkeys with prices

Bought for just £9,450, Tracey Collins' grey faces a pedigree field at Newmarket

The season is just reaching its climax in Europe for the cream of the Classic and older generations and the elite hierarchy among two-year-olds is still unravelling itself. But such is the tempo of the game that the search for the stars of the future is already under way and starts in earnest in Newmarket next week.

If the recent yearling auctions in Kentucky and Ireland are a guide, it will be very much a buyers' market in the Tattersalls arena and the ringside battles that riveted audiences and produced seven-figure bids are likely to be a thing of the past. Sometimes the successful high-rolling bidder gets what they paid for – George Washington, for instance, cost 1.15m guineas (£1.2m) – but more often does not.

If any reminder, though, was needed that where horses are concerned cost is one thing and value quite another, take a look at the Middle Park Stakes, the next Group One shakedown of the pecking order among juvenile colts. Among the favourites for next year's Classics are such as St Nicholas Abbey, with a price tag of 200,000gns, Cape Blanco at €330,000 (£302,000), Coordinated Cut 325,000gns, Steinbeck 250,000gns and Al Zir at a cool $1.6m (£1m). And among the five runners at Newmarket tomorrow is Arctic, bought for just 9,000gns a year ago this month.

The grey, spotted at Tattersalls' third-tier auction by his shrewd trainer Tracey Collins, is unbeaten in three runs, most lately a comprehensive routing of one of the Ballydoyle middle order in a Group Three contest on testing ground at the Curragh. Tomorrow he will put his fine record on the line against four rivals, including three products of the world's most powerful breeding empires, Awzaan (Sheikh Hamdan's Shadwell), Poet's Voice (Sheikh Mohammed's Darley) and Showcasing (Khaled Abdullah's Juddmonte), the likely favourite.

When Arctic was offered as an 18-month-old, his sire Shamardal, now recognised as one of the best of the first-season sires, was an unknown quantity and the best of his six winning siblings was merely a good class-handicapper, Shanty Star.

It was as much Arctic's place in the market as his potential as an athlete that attracted Collins, who took over the family training business on the Curragh after the death of her father Con two years ago. "We looked at everything in the sale," she said, "and he just caught our eye. He moved well and seemed to take everything in his stride. But he was also in our price range; we always buy a couple of cheaper ones for my mum with a view to selling them on."

Arctic raced once for mum, Barbara, before transferring to the colours of Australian banker Richard Pegum. The two-year-old has already earned more than £83,000 and his connections have hazarded £15,000 of that to supplement the bargain from the basement to tomorrow's six-furlong race. He needs to finish at least third to recoup that; Collins is hoping for more. "Although his last two wins have been on heavy, I'd say he'd be a better horse on better ground," she said. "And he's in good order; all went very well with his final piece of work. It is a Group One race and there are some serious horses in it, but it's great to be going there with one with a realistic chance."

Given Sheikh Mohammed's predilection for acquiring ready-made juvenile talent for his Godolphin team – the 2,000 Guineas favourite Kingsfort is the latest headhunt, from the Kevin Prendergast yard – it would be deeply ironic if he was to be tempted by Arctic in the event of a clear-cut victory tomorrow. The colt was actually bred by Darley but deemed surplus to requirements, as was his dam Shawanni, sold for 78,000gns two years ago when what has now transpired is her best offspring was a foal. She, too, proved well-bought; the full-brother to Arctic she was then carrying, now a yearling, made €70,000 (£64,000) at an Irish auction two days ago.

Nine elite fillies are due to line up for tomorrow's other top-level Group One event, the Cheveley Park Stakes, headed by Lady Of The Desert. The first prestige autumn fixture on the Rowley Mile gets under way today, featuring a cluster of lesser, but potentially informative, juvenile contests and the return to action of the exciting late-developing three-year-old Manifest.

Turf account: Sue Montgomery

Nap

Caster Sugar (4.30 Goodwood) Has won three of her last five outings and has thus been creeping up the ratings, but is bred to stay middle distances and another step up in trip today could bring more progress.

Next best

Katehari (3.20 Goodwood) After taking her maiden in determined style, was backed on her handicap debut last time out but never recovered after a slow start.

One to watch

Exemplary (M Johnson) A clear and ready winner of the 10-furlong juvenile maiden at Bath earlier in the week.

Where the money's going

In Victor Chandler's Arc betting without hot favourite Sea The Stars, Youmzain was cut yesterday to 14-1 from an opening 20-1.

Chris McGrath's Nap

Arte Viva (8.45 Wolverhampton).

News
Bobbi Kristina Brown with her mother Whitney Houston in 2011
people
News
The actress Geraldine McEwan was perhaps best known for playing Agatha Christie's detective, Miss Marple (Rex)
peopleShe won a Bafta in 1991 for her role in Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit
News
peopleHere's what Stephen Fry would say
Sport
David Silva celebrates with Sergio Aguero after equalising against Chelsea
footballChelsea 1 Manchester City 1
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Caroline Proust as Captain Laure Berthaud in 'Spiral'
tvReview: Gritty, engaging and well-acted - it’s a wonder France’s biggest TV export isn’t broadcast on a more mainstream channel
Arts and Entertainment
music
Arts and Entertainment
Laura Carmichael in still from Madam Bovary trailer
film
News
i100
Sport
Serena Williams holds the Australian Open title
sportAustralia Open 2015 final report
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Online Media Sales Trainee

£15000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Now our rapidly expanding and A...

Recruitment Genius: Public House Manager / Management Couples

£15000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you passionate about great ...

Recruitment Genius: Production Planner

£20000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing reinforcing s...

Recruitment Genius: General Factory Operatives

£18000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing reinforcing s...

Day In a Page

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links