Australian Thoroughbred

A-Z of Australian Horse Racing and Breeding.

High Praise for International Premier Sale
Tuesday, Jan 31, 2017

This year’s edition of New Zealand Bloodstock’s Premier Sale held steady off the back of last year’s record-smashing Sale.

After 17% increases in median and average last year this year saw the average settle at $172,803, down 2%, while the aggregate rose 5% to $58,407,500 ($2,720,000 more than last year’s figure).  

Clearance equalled last year’s figure of 78% with 338 horses sold and Managing Director Andrew Seabrook confident vendors and buyers alike should be pleased with the overall results.

“While we couldn’t match last year’s record average, the more important median has stuck firm at $140,000 and turnover is up.”

“We’ve offered more Premier Sale horses this year and had a buying bench with enough extra depth to compete for them.”

“The sale clashing with Chinese New Year wasn’t ideal however increased participation from Dubai countered its effect.”

“Again, we are grateful to our domestic buyers and overall leading buyer David Ellis and his Te Akau Racing team who continue to really bolster the Sale.”

In total international investment accounted for 70% ($41.1 million) of the Premier Sale turnover with Australian buyers set to take home just over half the horses sold and their spend accounting for 53% or $30.9 million in receipts. New Zealand buyers secured 122 of the Lots on offer spending $17.3 million.

The depth of the buying bench was one of the highlights of the Sale with big-hitters including China Horse Club, BBA Ireland, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Khalifa Al Maktoum and Godolphin’s Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum among those to secure some of the 10 Lots to sell in excess of the half-million dollar mark.

David Ellis’ combined spend over the two days cemented his spot as the leading buyer by aggregate ($4,197,500) with 26 yearlings set to be prepared by Champion NZ Trainers Jamie Richards and Stephen Autridge. His highest priced purchase saw Ellis fend off fierce international competition for Cambridge Stud’s Lot 312 with the Exceed and Excel colt knocked down for $625,000. He will form part of the historically successful Te Akau Stallion Syndicate with Burgundy, Darci Brahma, Hall of Fame, Kings Chapel, Rock ‘n’ Pop and Xtravagant graduates of this.

“That list of horses is the reason we keep coming to Karaka and our owners demand that we do,” commented Ellis.

“I think it’s been an enormously successful Sale and I take my hat off to the team at New Zealand Bloodstock for bringing together such a strong buying bench.”

“To have three Sheikhs investing in New Zealand horses is a credit to the company and the vendors and I must say the Sale’s been a lot of fun.”

China Horse Club racing and bloodstock manager Michael Wallace was again a busy man taking home today’s top Lot for $640,000 in Cambridge Stud’s daughter of Savabeel and Love Diamonds at Lot 260.

“We rated this filly amongst the best physical types in the sale and that combined with her pedigree and knowing her sister had plenty of ability made her an attractive proposition for us.”

Wallace also combined with Ciaron Maher to secure Windsor Park Stud’s much-talked about white son of Shamexpress from The Opera House at Lot 449.

“The Shamexpress colt was an interesting one even when you look past his colour.”

“He has great muscle, strength and an amazing temperament - having been under immense scrutiny all week he handled the spotlight and extra pressure like a true professional.”

Wallace secured the colt after a bidding duel with David Ellis that showcased some of retiring New Zealand Bloodstock auctioneer Joe Walls trademark brilliance and humour. A rousing and emotional farewell, including a standing ovation, saw Walls bring down his gavel on Karaka’s rostrum for the last time after 45 years of service however he will still remain an instrumental industry figure as the company Chairman.

The Shamexpress colt’s $510,000 price tag along with seven other Lots by the Windsor Park Stud sire selling in excess of $100,000 cemented his position as the leading first season sire to please stud master Rodney Schick.

“There are some nice young sires starting to emerge here in New Zealand and we’ve got a lot of faith in Shamexpress so it’s fantastic to see our confidence backed up by some good judges.”

“He’s been well-received by the Australian buyers who got to see first-hand what an explosive sprinter he was and to average $192,500 off the back of a $15,000 service fee is a nice reward for those that have supported him.”

Thrilled to maintain their standing as the leading vendor by aggregate for the fourth year running was Waikato Stud’s Mark Chittick with 45 horses sold for an aggregate of $8,415,000.

“The main thing for us is to sell as many as we can because we own the majority of them outright.”

“An incredible amount of hard work is put into getting to the past two days and it’s nice to now be able to sit down with our team and friends to celebrate another successful sale.”

Sir Patrick Hogan’s Cambridge Stud finished just $65,000 behind Waikato Stud on aggregate with 36 Lots traded.

“It’s been an absolutely fantastic Sale with new international buyers from far and wide giving our industry a huge profile boost,” commented Sir Patrick.

“I think most people should be very pleased with the results from the top to bottom.”

“Of particular note from what I’ve seen is that there has been a kick up from the domestic market which is great with the likes of David Ellis, Albert Bosma and other syndicators bringing new people into racing and giving the industry a boost.”

Richard Rutherford’s boutique North Canterbury stud Beltana maintained their standing as leading vendor by average (three or more sold) after topping the sale with their full brother to Shamexpress who sold for $825,000 at Lot 10 yesterday. 

The focus now turns to the three-day Select Sale, the source of five individual Group 1 winners last season, with selling commences at Lot 466 from 11am.