Australian Thoroughbred

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$1.3m Frankel Adds Flourish to Superb Karaka Premier Sale
Tuesday, Jan 26, 2016

The first yearling to be auctioned in the Southern Hemisphere by the world’s highest rated racehorse of all time, Frankel, lit up the sale ring on the final day of a superb Karaka 2016 Premier Sale, knocked down for $1.3m.

To view the Karaka Premier Sale Highlights Video, click here.

On a day that saw significant gains to all key figures, the colt out of Our Echezeaux (Zabeel), catalogued at Lot 445, stole the show with Adrian Nicoll of BBA Ireland landing the final blow after a bidding duel with Peter Moody.

A syndicate of high profile international identities combined to purchase the colt from Pencarrow Stud, including Nicoll, Tom Magnier of Coolmore Stud, Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Maktoum from Dubai, the Niarchos family from France and Apollo Ng from Hong Kong.

“The two best Frankels I have seen have been this horse here and the filly at Goffs that sold for $1.7m Euro,” commented Nicoll.

“He’s a lovely horse, he’s got immense presence and we started trying to make this happen about three days ago.”

The $1.3m colt helped drive significant increases to the aggregate, average, median and clearance rate from last year’s Sale.

With 316 horses sold, 18 more than last year, the aggregate for the two-day Sale finished at $55,687,500, a whopping increase of 24% from last year and the highest figure for the Premier Sale since 2011.

The average price for the Sale was $176,226 compared with $150,881 last year, another big increase of 17% and the highest average price since 2010. Also increasing by 17% was the median price as it reached $140,000, up from last year’s figure of $120,000. All of these milestones were achieved at a clearance rate of 78%, better than last year’s 75%.

Another sign of strength was the number of horses sold for over $500,000 with 10 horses reaching or surpassing that mark, compared with just three last year. Further to that, there were 45 horses sold for $300,000 or more, up from 29 last year.

“We are delighted with the results that have been achieved over the past two days,” commented NZB's Managing Director Andrew Seabrook. “An extremely diverse buying bench was active leading to some great bidding spectacles in the ring.

“We achieved the best average since 2010 and the best aggregate and median since 2011 which shows the depth of the catalogue. Credit must go to our vendors for putting together a catalogue of great strength and for presenting their horses in immaculate condition.”

Also creating headlines was David Ellis of Te Akau Racing as he became the leading buyer for a record 11th consecutive year at the Karaka Premier Sale. Ellis purchased 17 horses for a total of $4,775,000 with his highest priced purchase coming at Lot 200 for $775,000, the top lot on Day One of the Sale.

The diverse buying bench was underpinned by 12 countries purchasing horses at the Sale including Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Singapore, Ireland, Japan, Macau, Netherlands, United Kingdom, USA, South Africa and Malaysia.

Featuring in the top 10 individual buyers were China Horse Club and the Inner Mongolia Rider Horse Group (both China), Chris Waller and Ultra Thoroughbreds (Australia), the Hong Kong Jockey Club, the international syndicate that purchased the top lot, along with kiwis David Ellis, Team Rogerson, Go Racing and Bruce Perry.

Australia was the leading country by spend, purchasing 135 horses for $22,870,000, an increase of 12% from last year’s spend of $20,412,500. The resurgent Australian market increased its spend for the second consecutive year.

Just before missing out on the top lot of the day, Peter Moody struck by purchasing the second highest price of the Sale in partnership with First Light Racing and Paul Willets for $825,000, a Savabeel colt out of O’Reilly Rose (O’Reilly) catalogued at Lot 442. Offered by Beltana, the colt is the highest priced Savabeel to ever be sold at auction.

Savabeel grossed $11,545,000 which is over 20% of the Sale aggregate. He provided the second and third-equal highest prices of the Sale with Lot 301 purchased for $775,000 by Ultra Thoroughbreds today, the same price outlaid by David Ellis for Lot 200 yesterday.

The home of Savabeel, Waikato Stud, was the leading vendor by aggregate for the third consecutive year, selling 45 horses for $8,257,500. The top price of $775,000 achieved for Lot 200 was a record price for Waikato Stud.  

“We came here with a lovely draft and there was a great buying bench present, they really accepted the Savabeels along with the first crops of Ocean Park and the Rock ’n’ Pops,” commented Waikato Stud’s Mark Chittick.

“We had 50 horses in the Premier Sale and to get through with the result that we did, we’re extremely happy."

The leading vendor by average was Curraghmore with 18 horses sold at an average $268,333, with their highest priced horse also purchased by Ellis who paid $510,000 for the Fastnet Rock colt out of Myrrh (Nassipour) catalogued at Lot 432.

Selling continues at Karaka tomorrow with the first session of the three-day Select Sale, the source of five individual Group 1 winners last season.  Selling commences at Lot 448 from 11am, with the Sale streamed live online at To view the passed in Lots from the Premier Sale, click here.