Wafic Said arms himself with two blue-bloods

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Wafic Said, who bought his two Classic heroines, Bosra Sham and Lady Carla, at the Houghton Sales two years ago, was one of the leading players at Europe's premier yearling auction yesterday when his shopping list included two blue-blooded 1998 Derby prospects at a cost of 900,000 guineas.

He paid 500,000 guineas for a handsome bay colt by Sadler's Wells out of a daughter of the leading US racemare Sangue, and 400,000 guineas for a son of Nashwan and Music And Dance, whose dam was a French Group One winner, Producer.

Trade, as forecast, has been buoyant, as the industry's best and richest judges fought for possession of the cream of the commercial crop, and when the auction finishes in the Tattersalls arena in Newmarket after racing tonight average prices and turnover will be far in excess of last year's.

At the first session Michael Tabor had to go to 500,000 guineas to outbid Sheikh Mohammed and Fahd Salman for possession of a Shirley Heights half- brother to the Arc second favourite Darazari.

The colt was offered by Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber, and the price recouped at a stroke the 470,000 guineas the impresario ventured two years ago at an Irish auction to buy the Prix Vermeille winner, Darara, with the half-millionaire inside her, as a foundation mare for his Watership Down Stud.

Last night a chestnut colt by Kingmambo was knocked down to Demi O'Byrne - who represents Michael Tabor - for 880,000 guineas.