‘The nicest foal I’ve seen’

Matamata Chronicle - - News - By AI­DAN RODLEY

David El­lis went to $425,000 to se­cure the ‘‘nicest foal I’ve ever seen’’ at Karaka yes­ter­day. The Te Akau Rac­ing boss was thrilled to get the Encosta de Lago-Ethe­real colt from the draft of Cam­bridge’s Pen­car­row Stud and said he would be one of four colts syn­di­cated among a group of own­ers.

‘‘I’ve seen this colt right the way through. He was 70 ki­los at birth, the nicest foal I’ve seen,’’ El­lis said.

‘‘I think he’ll have enough speed for a 2000 Guineas and then we’ll have a go at the stay­ing races.’’

By star sire Encosta de Lago, the colt is out of cham­pion stayer Ethe­real, who won four Gr I races in­clud­ing the Caulfield and Mel­bourne Cups dou­ble in 2001.

Pen­car­row studmas­ter Leon Casey said Ethe­real was in ex­cel­lent health at 15 years and since foal­ing the Encosta de Lago colt she had a Rip Van Win­kle filly at foot and was in foal to O’Reilly.

‘‘She doesn’t look her age at all,’’ he said.

El­lis was ac­tive on the first day, buy­ing 11 year­lings, in­clud­ing a Fast­net Rock colt out of Gypsy Princess from the draft of Hamil­ton’s Cur­ragh­more Stud for $410,000, a colt which will also be among the four for the syn­di­cate.

‘‘He’s a stun­ning colt and we’re buy­ing Fast­net Rocks for a pretty good price,’’ El­lis said.

‘‘He’s a ter­rific sire. We’ve had the best one in New Zealand in Rock ’ n’ Pop and he’s now at stud and that’s our hope for this horse.’’

Cur­ragh­more Stud en­joyed a bumper first day of sell­ing, with five of the top eight lots sold from its draft.

It led the first day with a com­bined sales to­tal of $6.27 mil­lion headed by the top-priced Fast­net Rock-Cele­bria colt mak­ing $1.975 mil­lion.

A Fast­net Rock-Episode filly was knocked down to Bart Cum­mings for $700,000 and the Hong Kong Jockey Club bought both a High Cha­parral-Bom­bay colt for $480,000 and a Fast­net Rock­Distinctly colt for $400,000. Cur­ragh­more studmas­ter Gor­don Cun­ning­ham was thrilled with his day’s re­sults.

‘‘Right across the board, we’re hav­ing a fan­tas­tic sale. We couldn’t be any more pleased,’’ he said.

Fix’s Gr II dou­ble over the Eller­slie Christ­mas car­ni­val was just the boost her half-sis­ter needed to make $800,000.

The Ken and Bev Kelso-trained Gr II Eight Carat Clas­sic and Gr II Royal Stakes win­ner’s Zabeel half-sis­ter was knocked to Aus­tralian owner Alan Bell, de­light­ing ven­dors Haunui Farm.

‘‘We knew Fix was a Group filly, but af­ter what hap­pened over the Christ­masNew Year pe­riod, it just gave her the black-type on her pedi­gree,’’ said Haunui studmas­ter Mark Chitty.

‘‘We’re rapt. We’d thought she might make $600,000 or $700,000 but the re­serve was $350,000 so ev­ery­one had the op­por­tu­nity. Des­tined is just a proper mare. All her prog­eny can run. She’s a really good type of Zabeel and she could pos­si­bly be an au­tumn two-year-old.’’

Bell was hop­ing for the same sort of early speed from the Zabeel filly, who will be trained by Syd­ney’s Tim Martin.

‘‘She’s the right ar­ti­cle. She’s a Zabeel and she’s a sharp Zabeel. She’s what we look for,’’ Bell said.

‘‘She’s got an in­ter­na­tional pedi­gree which is in­creas­ingly what this busi­ness is all about.’’

Waikato Stud made the leader­board when it sold an O’Reilly-Es­cada colt for $460,000 to the Hong Kong Jockey Club.

‘‘I’m rapt,’’ said studmas­ter Mark Chittick. ‘‘It’s hard to get that sort of money but he’s a qual­ity an­i­mal.’’

‘‘He had it all – great pedi­gree, lovely phys­i­cally and for him to sell well tops it all off.’’

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