Waikato Stud reigns supreme
Not that the progeny of the resident didn’t meet favour with buyers, headed by an O’Reilly fillies from Make A Wish and Etoile du Nord that fetched $400,000.
All up, the 40 Premier yearlings sold by Waikato realised a total of $6,860,000, more than $2 million more than the next highest on the vendors’ table, Curraghmore Stud, with Cambridge Stud in third spot with just over $4 million in receipts. Waikato Stud also topped the table at the second-tier Select Sale, with 22 yearlings sold for $1,567,500.
‘‘It’s tremendously satisfying to get some a good result again,’’ commented Waikato Stud principal Mark Chittick.
‘‘It doesn’t happen overnight, it’s the result of more than two years of planning from the time these horses were conceived and foaled.
‘‘Most of all though, it’s a huge team effort. Through the year everyone does their bit in the various operational areas of the stud and come sale time there are something like 50 people at Karaka combining to make it all happen. We simply couldn’t do it without the big team around us.’’
Savabeel, who has risen to the top of New Zealand’s staying sire ranks, proved the most popular of the Waikato trio with some outstanding results. His best individual sale was for a colt offered by Curraghmore Stud and sold for $425,000 to the Hong Kong Jockey Club, while he topped the standings for New Zealand-based stallions with a Premier average of $189,342 for 38 yearlings sold.
Other local operations to come out of the Premier Sale with plenty to savour included Blandford Lodge, who made the top 10 on the vendors’ table with total returns of $1,565,000 headed by a top price of $340,000. Valachi Downs took its biggest draft to Karaka and achieved a perfect Premier result, selling all 10 yearlings with half of them making six figures headed by a top price of $170,000.
Mapperley Stud also had a successful sale with a top price of $210,000, which equalled Bradbury Park’s best individual result, while Rich Hill Stud did even better with a return of $240,000 for a colt by veteran resident stallion Pentire. Just as pleasing for studmaster John Thompson was his operation’s second best return of $135,000 for a son of Rich Hill’s first season sire Jimmy Choux.
Progeny of the former champion three-year-old and Horse of the Year struck a chord with buyers, eight selling in the Premier Sale at an average price of $105,000.
‘‘We were optimistic that his first crop would be in demand and to achieve such good results was a thrill. Best of all they were bought by some of the best stables in Australia and New Zealand, so that definitely augurs well for the future,’’ John said.
In the continuation of the pattern established over the past decade or more, Te Akau Racing principal David Ellis was again the dominant force on the buyers’ bench.
Waikato Stud’s $600,000 yearling held the lead until late in the two-day Premier session, but when David Ellis and Victorian trainer David Hayes went headto-head on Lot 429, a new mark seemed imminent.
The Fastnet Rock filly from the former champion two-year-old Il Quello Veloce was finally knocked down to Te Akau at $800,000, heading a total of 22 Premier purchases totalling $3,570,000. Add to that another six yearlings at $242,000 from the Select Sale, and it’s clear that another crop of fresh racehorses will keep the Te Akau name to the fore.
Local agent Paul Moroney also made a big splash at Karaka, signing for 10 Premier lots at $1,932,500 and a further eight at Select costing $440,000.
TOP PERFORMANCE: The 50-strong Waikato Stud team celebrate another job well done after topping the Karaka Premier Sale for the second consecutive year.
SALE TOPPING: From left, David Ellis, the leading buyer yet again at the National Yearling Sales, Shelley Treweek (Lyndhurst Farm) and Mark Walker (Singapore based trainer), pictured with sale-topping Fastnet Rock filly, purchased for $800,000.