Top price paid to keep colt in NZ
Trading at any National Yearling Sale is a two-way street between vendors and buyers, on which score Matamata interests came away from Karaka last week with plenty to be satisfied about.
The headlines from the New Zealand thoroughbred breeding industry’s biggest week of the year belonged to David Ellis of the omnipresent Te Akau Racing operation, after he had fought off stiff overseas competition to secure the gem of the Premier catalogue, the Fastnet Rock-nureyev’s Girl colt, for $1,750,000. Fastnet Rock is the red-hot stallion across Australasia, while Nureyev’s Girl is already the dam of Te Akau’s 2010-11 New Zealand Bloodstock Filly of the Year King’s Rose and the Red Ransom colt that had topped selling at last year’s National Sale at $850,000 to the bid of – you guessed it – David Ellis.
All pre-sale predictions were that the colt put forward by Cambridge Stud on behalf of Hong Kong resident Dr Gene Tsoi would top the offering and so it proved.
Bidding opened at $400,000 and took no time to reach $1 million but it wasn’t until the $1.4 million mark that David Ellis winked at auctioneer Joe Walls for the first time.
Peter Moody, the Melbourne trainer of champion race mare Black Caviar, and Tom Magnier of the global Coolmore operation had been trading bids to that point but then it came down to Ellis versus Magnier.
‘‘I thought I might have got him at $1.5 million but the Coolmore boys stuck in there,’’ David said afterwards. ‘‘I was determined to have him and I was happy when the hammer came down at $1.75 million, although I would have gone higher if I’d had to. I wanted this horse for New Zealand; it’s absolutely essential that we retain horses like this.’’ The pricey colt was lonesome on the sale-toppers’ leaderboard, with the next best price $800,000 for So You Think’s three-quarterbrother.
Like the majority of Te Akau’s purchases he will be syndicated and go into training with Jason Bridgman at the operation’s Matamata stable headquarters.
All told, David Ellis successfully bid for 30 lots across the Premier and Select catalogues at a total value of $6,487,500, which surpassed his 2011 spend by almost $2 million.
Other local buyers who played a significant part in proceedings included Paul Moroney, buying for domestic and Australian clients, who signed for 17 lots to a total value of $959,000, while Matamata trainers Graham Richardson and Lance Noble took part right through to Sunday’s final Festival session, where their purchases included the equal top-priced lots at $70,000.
On the other side of the ledger, the district’s biggest operators Waikato Stud and Rich Hill Stud headed those whose 2012 yearling crop produced some pleasing results.
Waikato took fourth place on the vendor aggregates table with receipts of $4,162,500 over 52 sales, the best of them a colt by Savabeel from Ugachaka at $310,000.
Rich Hill’s sale produced income of $2,770,500 for 42 lots, while Blandford Lodge took $1,735,000 for 16 lots and Mapperley Stud, back in the sales action under new manager Simms Davison, sold 21 lots for $1,482,000.
Back on the racing front, Ken and Bev Kelso had a rewarding day out at Te Rapa on Saturday, bookending the programme with wins by Won’t Lie Down and Wisecrack and missing a treble by inches with their fresh-up runner C’mon Cuba. Wisecrack, now the winner of five of his 10 starts, is entered for the 3200-metre Auckland Cup in a month’s time but before that he has to convince his connections that he is ready for such a test.
Also at Te Rapa, Czechout Girl made it two wins this preparation for her trainer Karyn Mcquade and owners Gary and Linda Hodel when she dug deep to beat the Graham Richardson-trained Jubilate.
Czechout Girl was a clever purchase for $7500 on the advice of Karyn’s husband Hamish at a Karaka mixed sale last autumn, having already shown what she was made of when beating Anabandana at Te Rapa in late 2010.