Australian Thoroughbred

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Drop in Domestic Spend Hits Select Sale
Friday, Feb 3, 2017 Waikato Stud's Mark Chittick and Dave O'Leary with Lot 1097. Photo: Trish Dunell.

A clear drop in domestic spend has had a significant impact on this year’s New Zealand Bloodstock Select Sale and was the difference between matching last year’s healthy results.

After a tentative start on Wednesday, clearance strengthened throughout the sale to settle at 76% today with 437 individuals sold over the three days for total receipts of $20,679,500 and an average price of $47,363. The median price remained steady at $40,000, a 16% drop however on last year’s median price of $47,500.

“Our flat domestic racing industry has had a disappointing effect on the Select Sale and the negative impact it is having is even more evident when looking at the Premier and Select sessions from this week combined.”

“Over the past five days over $6.5 million less has been spent by domestic buyers who have historically underpinned the middle market,” commented New Zealand Bloodstock Managing Director Andrew Seabrook.

In the Select Sale international buyers accounted for 42% of the horses bought, spending $10.8 million (52% of the sale’s aggregate) while domestic buyers secured 252 horses for $9.86 million (48% of the sale’s aggregate). Australian buyers accounted for a quarter of the overall spend with activity also from Hong Kong, Singapore and Great Britain.

Today’s highest-priced Lot was fittingly the last yearling by Waikato Stud’s perennial champion sire O’Reilly to go through the Karaka sale ring. Having attracted feverish bidding from many parties, Cambridge-based conditioner Roger James proved too strong with a final bid of $200,000.

At Lot 1097 the colt is from the Zabeel mare Toss Up and from the family of dual Oaks winner Daffodil and with this in mind James has big Derby aspirations for him.

“There were only two colts I had earmarked as Derby types and he was at the top of that short list.”

“Because of the current situation with our domestic racing it’s been hard to attract owners and I’ve come with a significantly lower budget this year which has made it tough going.”

Musing after the sale Waikato Stud’s Mark Chittick commented “O’Reilly’s responsible for where Waikato Stud stands in the market now and it’s a sad moment because he was part of the family.”

“However, his legacy will continue on through his youngstock, broodmares and his sire-sons with the likes of Shamexpress being leading first season sire at Premier this year and our own Sacred Falls whose first yearlings will be sold next year.”

Waikato Bloodstock and Kangyu International Racing were strong throughout the Select Sale and were the eventual leading purchaser with nine bought for a combined price of $880,000.

Westbury Stud took top honours as the leading vendor by aggregate selling 40 Lots for $2,079,500 and their top price fetched being $135,000 for Lot 1024. The Swiss Ace colt is a half-brother to four winners and was bought by Singapore-based trainer Stephen Gray.

Stud manager Russell Warwick was pleased with the Westbury’s standing at the end of the sale.

“We were quite concerned after day one but were able to sell plenty out of their boxes and then during the course of the Sale it gained momentum and we got some healthy prices.”

“The buyers will be there for nice horses and today we had some good types going through and their prices reflected that.”

Marc and Sarah Devcich’s Henley Park emerged the leaders by average at the Select Sale, selling four for an average of $80,250 and their top price, a Denman colt at Lot 520, selling for $140,000 to Australian syndicators Champion Thoroughbreds.

Novara Park’s Jakkalberry, a first season sire, topped the leading sire table by average with three youngsters selling for an average of $92,500. Off the back of a $6,000 service fee the young sire also made headlines in the Premier Sale when his yearling from Refused the Dance at Lot 366, a half-brother to Victorian Derby and Melbourne Cup winner Efficient fetched $440,000.

The 240 Lot Festival Sale will commence with Lot 1107 at 11am on Sunday. Click here to view the passed in Lots from the Select Sale.