Karaka Book 1 Ends on a High

The final day of the reformatted four-day NZB Karaka Yearling Sale Book 1 ended on a high, with all key statistics rising from 2017. Of the 700 yearlings catalogued in Book 1, 539 sold (82.5%), grossing NZ$83,549,000–already higher than last year’s entire Premier, Select and Festival Sales combined. The average was NZ$155,007, while the median was NZ$110,000 at the close of sale on Wednesday. One of the most telling indices, was that the average for fillies was NZ$167,857, over NZ$20,000 above the colts’ average of NZ$147,504. A Tavistock (NZ) filly (lot 612) went the way of the China Horse Club to top the final session for NZ$975,000.

“This sale has already exceeded all expectations,” said New Zealand Bloodstock’s Managing Director Andrew Seabrook. “For the Book 1 turnover to exceed 2017’s total sale aggregate is remarkable. One of our ambitions in designing the new format was to retain international buyers onsite for longer, so to see today’s activity so strong right to the end, with a clearance of 85% for Day 4, goes a long way towards validating the new format.”

Tavistock/Cambridge Provide Top Two Lots…

The China Horse Club’s Bloodstock and Racing Manager Michael Wallace successfully acquired Wednesday’s topper from Sir Patrick and Lady Justine Hogan’s Cambridge Stud draft. Lot 612, by Cambridge resident Tavistock, is out of the unraced Special Diamond (NZ) (Zabeel {NZ}), a full-sister to G1SW Don Eduardo (NZ) and a half to MG1SW Tristalove (NZ) (Sir Tristram {Ire}). The bay’s second dam is G1 Railway H. heroine Diamond Lover (Aus) (Sticks and Stones {Aus}), while her third is the exceptional matriarch Eight Carat (GB) (Pieces of Eight {Ire}), the dam of Octagonal (NZ) (Zabeel {NZ}).

“Patrick is putting up his world-class pedigrees,” said Wallace. “You take these opportunities when they arise–world-class pedigrees, world-class type and from a world-class stallion. From a long-term perspective that’s very enticing.”

Another yearling by Tavistock and consigned by Cambridge, this time a colt (lot 667), drew the eye of Dean Hawthorne, who bid NZ$700,000 to take home the second-dearest lot on the day. The Aug. 28-foaled bay is out of dual winner Tricia’o (NZ) (O’Reilly {NZ}), a half-sister to MGSW & MG1SP La Sizeranne (NZ) (Stravinsky), as well as G1SP Imperial Lass (NZ) (Tavistock {NZ}) and GSPs Joy’s Choice (NZ) (Redoute’s Choice {Aus}) and Napa Sky (NZ) (Stravinsky). G1 Australian Derby hero Tavago (NZ) (Tavistock {NZ}) is also under the GSP second dam.

The Hogans, who have run Cambridge Stud for 44 years, were honoured before the start of the fourth session on Wednesday. New owners Brendan and Jo Lindsay will take up the reins of the historic stud in April and have been active during Book 1, shelling out NZ$1.365 million for five head, led by a NZ$520,000 filly (lot 695) by Lonhro (Aus) from the Jamieson Park draft.

Zoustar Filly Goes to Beemsterboer….

Lot 600, a filly by young Widden Stud sire Zoustar (Aus) from the Landsdowne Park consignment, caused some fireworks just a dozen hips earlier than the Wednesday topper, when Ger Beemsterboer extended to NZ$650,000. The fourth foal out of the unraced Snow Blitz (Aus) (Zabeel {NZ}), the bay’s second dam is G1 Golden Slipper S. heroine Polar Success (Aus) (Success Express).

“We paid a bit more than we thought for the Sacred Falls (NZ) [NZ$210,000 for Waikato Stud’s lot 426,] and got this one for a bit less–you have to be lucky,” said Beemsterboer of his two filly purchases. “Both of them will be entered in the Karaka Million.”

Yulong Lands Savabeel Filly…

Yuesheng Zhang’s Yulong Investments limited its spending to the final day of Book 1, but the operation still managed to rank 10th by aggregate on the buyers’ sheets, outlaying NZ$1.455 million for six lots on Wednesday. Leading the way was a NZ$625,000 daughter (lot 595) of Waikato Stud’s Savabeel (Aus), who also consigned the bay, on the bid of Yulong’s COO Sam Fairgray. The well-credentialed miss is out of a half-sister to four-time Group 1 winner Metal Bender (NZ) (Danasinga {Aus}). G1SW Keeper (Aus) (Danehill) is a member of the extended family.

“She is a quality filly, Mr. Zhang really liked her and we wanted to add her to our racing team,” said Fairgray. “Quality is hard to get and you have to pay the money for it. Hopefully we see the rewards on the racetrack. Mr. Zhang loved Zabeel (NZ), and now he loves Savabeel (Aus), so we came here looking to get one. It’s been great to secure a Savabeel filly from one of the best nurseries in New Zealand.”

Fairgray also parted with NZ$300,000 for a Milan Park-consigned colt (lot 700) by Savabeel out of Youtoofast (NZ) (Fast ‘n’ Famous {Aus}). The final lot in the ring on Wednesday, the colt is from the family of G1SWs Vision And Power (NZ) (Carnegie {Ire}) and Glamour Puss (NZ) (Tale of the Cat).

New Format a Success….

The Chittick Family’s Waikato Stud leads the vendors’ table at the close of Book 1, with 70 yearlings grossing NZ$12,845,000. Cambridge Stud sits second with 51 sold for NZ$9,762,500 followed by Haunui Farm which took third by average (NZ$218,217) and by gross (NZ$5,019,000) for 51 head. Highden Park led all consignors by average (NZ$238,333), with six yearlings bringing NZ$1,430,000.

Mark Chittick was pleased with the reworking of the Karaka Sales and commented, “The new format to me has just been a masterstroke and so successful. Everybody in the NZB team has been Group 1 quality.”

A strong buying bench–both international and local–continued to dig deep in their pockets through the fourth day of the sale, with representatives from Australia, Hong Kong and Singapore already exceeding their combined Premier and Select Sale spending of 2017. Australian Dean Hawthorne has purchased nine yearlings for NZ$3.875 million, while the Hong Kong Jockey Club has paid NZ$2.06 million for seven lots. New Zealander David Ellis of Te Akau Racing has also exceeded his 2017 spending, spending NZ$7,612,500 for 27 lots and is on track to secure his 13th consecutive leading buyer title. Among them is the NZ$1.025 million Book 1 sale topper, a Cambridge Stud-consigned colt (lot 301) by Savabeel (Aus) out of Katie Lee (Aus).

The two-day Book 2, which will offer lots 701-900, commences at 11 a.m. local time at Karaka.