The third lot into the ring provided the highlight at the Goffs November Foal Sale on Wednesday when a stunning filly foal by Galileo out of Inca Princess and a full sister to Group 1 winner and Melbourne Cup runner-up Johannes Vermeer (Lot 541) sold for €1.1 million. Purchased by Hugo Lascelles on behalf of American interests, the filly - now named Ghaiyyath - was one of three Galileos on offer on Wednesday and the only foals by the Champion sire to be sold at public auction anywhere in the world this year. Ken Bolger purchased the remaining two Galileos including a colt out of Australian Group 1 winner Melito (Lot 569) for €625,000, along with a filly out of New Zealand Gr2 winner Fix (Lot 732) who was knocked down for €400,000. A total of 50 lots made €100,000 or more compared to 31 in 2016 with 10 foals making €250,000 plus compared to just four in 2016. Trade was consistently high as the third highest and very last lot of the day saw a Sea The Stars colt (Lot 752) knocked down for €460,000 to Peter Vaughan on behalf of Capital Bloodstock. Commenting on the conclusion of Part 1 of the foal sale, Group Chief Executive of Goffs, Henry Beeby said: "It is rare for any foal to realise over 1 million at any sale but there was something very special about the sale topping Galileo filly that headed today's incredibly strong sale at €1.1 million…now named Ghaiyyath he heads into the winter as one of the market leaders for next year's Epsom Derby."
NZB’s Bloodstock Sales Manager Danny Rolston said he was pleased with the results on Day 1 and is looking forward to today’s offerings. “The buying bench at Karaka has reinforced how important the Sale is on the international sale calendar,” commented Rolston. “A reduction in the number of horses catalogued contributed to a healthy clearance rate on par with 2015. With key indicators better than last year, the vendors have been well rewarded for their hard work.” The Australian buying bench continued to strengthen throughout the day with their purchases accounting for 34% ($5,302,500 for 50 horses) - marginally ahead of Hong Kong at 32% ($5,063,000 for 24 horses). The presence of domestic buyers’ was similar to last year purchasing 47 horses for a total spend of $3,884,500 and accounting for 25% of the aggregate. The leading buyer of the day was Te Akau Racing’s David Ellis who purchased nine horses for $1,510,000, with a top price of $350,000 paid for Lyndhurst Farm’s Lot 192. For the second consecutive year Lyndhurst Farm were the leading vendor by average (three or more sold) with five horses sold for an average of $286,000. The leading sire by average (three or more sold) was Fastnet Rock with three lots sold for an average of $203,333.
A steady start set the tone of Day 1 at the New Zealand Bloodstock Ready to Run Sale Breeze Up’s with 199 two-year-olds breezing at Te Rapa Racecourse. The youngsters breezed up on a Dead 6 track with gusty south-westerlies throughout the day. Last year’s leading vendor by average, Lyndhurst Farm, presented six horses including a Fastnet Rock colt (Lot 49) who breezed in a time of 11.02 seconds. He was partnered by a Smart Missile gelding (Lot 80) who performed in a time of 10.78. Earlier in the day a duo of Shocking’s offspring, prepared by Landsdowne Park, breezed up smartly with a dead-heat time of 10.94 seconds for the colts (Lot 300 and Lot 421). Lot 300 is a half-brother to recent Gr3 Hawkes Bay Gold Trail Stakes winner Dijon Bleu. The fastest time of the day was recorded by Karaka Million nominated Lot 17, a Poet’s Voice colt prepared by Riversley Park in the respectable time of 10.53 seconds. Diamond Lodge presented the first of the Snitzels with a filly (Lot 87) clocking a time of 11.33 seconds. She was partnered with the white Reliable Man filly (Lot 182) who recorded 11.31 seconds. Champion NZ sire Savabeel was also represented today with Kilmore Farm’s Lot 200 breezing in at a time of 11.21 seconds. The colt breezed up with a son of Sizzling (Lot 310) who recorded a time of 11.35 seconds. Day 2 of the Breeze Up action will take place today at Te Rapa Racecourse from 10am. Click here to view Breeze Up times.
Two yearlings, a filly and a colt, shared top honours on day eight of Keeneland’s 12-day September Yearling Sale when selling for US$325,000. On Tuesday, Keeneland sold 285 yearlings for gross sales of US$15,571,000, at an average of US$54,635 and a median of US$40,000. Cumulatively, 1,740 yearlings have been sold for US$288,869,000 at an average price of US$166,017 and a median of US$100,000. The filly by Warrior’s Reward out of Unbridled mare Unbridled Appeal sold to Charlotte Weber’s Live Oak Plantation, while the colt by Stay Thirsty out of Candy Ride mare Candy Trophy, and hailing from the family of Gr1-winning sire Twirling Candy, went to Robert B. Hess Jr. Keeneland Director of Sales Operations Geoffrey Russell said of the day’s trade: “European pinhookers in particular were very active today; it was a good mix of domestic and foreign participation.”
Belmont in Perth hosts tomorrow's highest quality race of the day, the Gr3 Hyperion Stakes (1600m), and it would be a travesty of justice if the topweight were beaten. Rated Triple A Grade for consistency (he's never missed a place in 15 runs), Scales Of Justice (Not a Single Doubt) has achieved his 14 quinella results at the pointy end of town. Runner-up in his seasonal return in the Gr3 Belmont Sprint, and beaten a lip in the Gr1 Kingston Classic before that, Scales of Justice's two prior starts produced victories in the Gr1 Railway Stakes and Gr3 RJ Peters. Drawn to get a gun run over the mile, the boom WA galloper could, with hindsight, be over the odds at $1.45 in the weight-for-age feature.
Meanwhile, the broodmare session of the NZB National Weanling, Broodmare & Mixed Bloodstock Sale, held exclusively on the second day of the sale, provided the ideal format for Australasian breeders to invest in quality broodmares in foal to popular stallions. Lot 374 delivered the top broodmare price of the day. Offered by Windsor Park Stud, the four time winning Captain Rio (Pivotal) mare was sold to Ric Wylie Bloodstock for $87,500. A half-sister to Group winner Fully Fledged and dam of Listed winner Bassett, Fledgling carries a foal to Windsor Park's multiple Group 1 champion sire Charm Spirit. "I bought her for Australian clients. The price was fair but that was my last bid. Bassett is a serious racehorse, so she's doing the job right," said Wylie. The broodmare session closed with a gross of $1,303,300 for 109 Lots sold (75% clearance). The average price for the day settled at $11,957 and the median was just $500 shy of the 2016 figure at $4,000.
The 2017 edition of the National Yearling Sales Series: South Island Sale drew to a close at the RDA Building in Christchurch on Friday with a total of sixty-one horses selling for $1,070,000 to a strong domestic and international buying bench. Internationally renowned bloodstock agent John Foote led the buying, purchasing a total of four yearlings for $116,500, including Lot 1 a colt by Jakkalberry out of Ultra Explosive purchased in partnership with Darren Weir. The highlight of the day came when Beltana Stud principal Richard Rutherford secured the filly by Rock 'n' Pop out of The Glitter (Lot 100) for $87,000, the highest price paid at the Sale since 2012."It was a rare opportunity to secure a quality bloodline. She will be nominated for the Karaka Million Series and ultimately will join our broodmare band," said Rutherford. White Robe Lodge was once again crowned leading vendor, selling twelve yearlings at an average of $19,500. Leading sire by average (three or more sold) was White Robe's Raise the Flag, achieving an average of $19,833 for six horses sold. The final result of the Sale saw an aggregate increase of 61% on the 2015 edition, but behind last year's record-breaking result. "The quality of the Southern product is going from strength to strength and we are delighted to have achieved the results we did for our vendors," said NZB Managing Director Andrew Seabrook.
The annual Victoria Owners & Breeders Raceday at Caulfield Racecourse on Saturday was hailed as a success with Victorian racing industry participants sharing in over $1.6 million in VOBIS prize money and bonuses. The ultra-consistent Burning Front kicked off the first of the VOBIS races for the day by dominating his rivals in the $250,000 IRT VOBIS Gold Mile (1600m) to become the highest VOBIS prize money earner of all time with $1.08 million. The Darren Weir-trained gelding surpassed former stable-mate Trust In A Gust's VOBIS earning record of $1.03 million and claimed his sixth win from his last seven outings. The inaugural $300,000 Swear At Spendthrift VOBIS Gold Sires (1200m) went to the powerful Lindsay Park team of David and Ben Hayes and Tom Dabernig. Pure Scot's fighting win secured the family training partnership an astonishing 29th 2YO winner this season. Next was Malibu Style who lived up to his name in the $120,000 Listed Thoroughbred Breeders Victoria Bel Esprit Stakes (1100m), cruising to an easy 2.25 length win. The gelding's victory proved one of the biggest upsets of the day with Steven Parnham riding the galloper to victory for his father Neville. Earlier, racing fans were shown a glimpse of the future, with two young Victorian stallions paraded in the mounting yard prior to race one. Both Nostradamus (of Rosemont Stud Farm) and Swear (of Spendthrift Australia) were in attendance at Caulfield, with both set to stand this season for $8,800 and $5,500 respectively.
With some uncertainty as to whether Houtzen will stay home or head south to tackle the reigning Golden Slipper favourite at Royal Randwick, the 63kg the daughter of I Am Invincible has been lumped with in the Winning Edge Presentations Handicap at Eagle Farm in Brisbane tomorrow has fallen on deaf ears as far as bookmakers are concerned. The unbeaten Magic Millions 2YO Classic heroine, who will need to emulate her Gold Coast run where she did a jump and run under regular pilot Jeff Lloyd, will see her class carry her a long way but at $1.40 the bagmen could see her as the potential lay of the day. The 1000m scamper with that weight will tax her far less than 1200m however, and there will be plenty of admirers happy to make a 40 percent return in less than a minute. Carrying 9kg less than Houtzen, debutante Miss Exfactor, by emerging young sire Your Song, has been specked at longer odds to cause an upset.
Roger James is favouring Ellerslie as the venue for the next appearance of his smart debut winner Monrecour (Zacinto-Udiditagain, by D'Cash), reports NZ Racing Desk. The Cambridge trainer has accepted for today's NZB Insurance Pearl Series Race at Avondale, but Sunday is his preferred option. Monrecour caught James off guard when she was successful at the Te Aroha trials last month before she repeated the dose on race day at Tauranga. "I've nominated her for the special conditions 1400 and that's where she'll go if she gets in," James said. "She surprised me in her trial because she hadn't showed anything out of the ordinary, but her trial was the quickest of the day including Xtravagant." Monrecour is a daughter of Inglewood Stud's beautifully bred Gr2-winning & Gr1-placed stallion Zacinto (Dansili-Itacha, by Distant View), sire of last season's Gr1 New Zealand 2000 guineas winner Ugo Foscolo. Zacinto's Gr3-placed dam Ithaca is a daughter of dual Gr1-winner Reams Of Verse, whose half-sister Midsummer produced Champion UK mare Midday (6 Gr1 victories).
The second day of the Tattersalls December Mare Sale was, as ever, a truly international affair with buyers from four continents represented by the top ten lots. The headline act of the day was Hazariya, the dam of dual Derby winner Harzand, who topped the session when bringing 2 million guineas. A total of 186 lots sold for 25,512,500 guineas with an average of 137,164 guineas and median of 60,000 guineas. A packed sales ring turned out to see Hazariya, in foal to Invincible Spirit, knocked down to Coolmore's MV Magnier, standing with Michael Jooste of South African-based Mayfair Speculators, for 2 million guineas. "She is a lovely mare, and any mare who breeds a Derby winner is special. Dermot Weld trains the two-year-old Haripour and he was full of praise of him to me," Magnier said. "She is for my parents and Michael and Derrick - and she will go to Galileo."
Conquest Enforcer, a 3YO stakes-winning son of Into Mischief, sold to Zach Madden, agent for Ron Paolucci’s Loooch Racing, for US$785,000 to be the highest-priced offering from the Complete Dispersal of Ernie Semersky and Dory Newell’s Conquest Stables on Tuesday to lead the eighth session of the Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale. Horses from the dispersal accounted for the three highest prices and 13 of the 20 highest prices of the day, contributing to significant increases in gross sales and average price. In total, 287 horses sold for US$10,833,700, up 49.59 percent from the comparable session last year when 253 horses brought US$7,242,300. The average of US$37,748 was 31.87 percent above last year’s US$28,626, while the median of US$20,000 was 9.09 percent below the US$22,000 realised in 2015. Through eight sessions of the 13-day sale, Keeneland has sold 1,695 horses for US$204,011,000, nearly even with the US$205,177,000 grossed for 1,715 horses through the same period in 2015. The average of US$120,360 is slightly above last year’s US$119,637, and the median of US$52,000 equals last year.
Sheikh Mohammed's global racing powerhouse Godolphin will have five runners in today's $6 million Gr1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington as it seeks to end a 20-year drought in Australia's most famous race, reports the West Australian. The blue army's bid for a maiden Cup victory will be led by race favourite Hartnell ($5.50), third favourite Oceanographer ($8.50), Geelong Cup winner Qewy ($23), Secret Number ($31), and Beautiful Romance ($71). Godolphin have been trying to win the Melbourne Cup since 1998 but the closest it has come is second with Central Park (1999), Give The Slip (2001) and Crime Scene (2009). Godolphin chief executive John Ferguson said success in the Melbourne Cup would mean the world to Sheikh Mohammed. "At the end of the day, I don't mind who wins," he said. "All I care about is that His Highness Sheikh Mohammed, who has put so much into the world of horse racing and has committed so much time, energy and finance into creating this global team, I personally and all the team would just love to do it for him."
At Bendigo in Victoria, former Coolmore shuttler Danehill Dancer (Danehill-Mira Adonde, by Sharpen Up) added a Group success when 7YO Irish-bred gelding Francis Of Assisi (Danehill Dancer-Queen Cleopatra, by Kingmambo) scored by 3 lengths for trainer Charlie Appleby in the $300,000 Gr3 Bendigo Cup (2400m) for 3YO+, over 6YO gelding Second Bullet (Encosta de Lago-Private Steer, by Danehill Dancer) & 6YO Irish-bred gelding Our Century (Montjeu-Mixed Blessing, by Lujain). The Godolphin-owned Francis Of Assisi improved his record to 7 wins (including the Listed Knockaire Stakes at Leopardstown) and 2 placings from 17 starts for $306,740 earnings. James Ferguson, stable representative for Godolphin, said Francis Of Assisi was likely to have his next Australian start in either the Gr3 VRC Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2600m) on 5 November, or the Listed Sandown Cup (3200m) on 12 November. "He is in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes and also the Sandown Cup, so there are plenty of options which Charlie and the team back home will look at but at the end of the day Sheikh Mohammed will make the final decision," Ferguson told racing.com.
The Tattersalls Autumn Horses in Training Sale made a strong start with a wide representation of international buyers all contributing to an opening day which saw increases across all key indicators. Twelve lots made 100,000 guineas or more and two lots shared top billing at 270,000 guineas. A total of 247 lots were sold for 6,424,800 guineas, at an average of 26,011 guineas and a median of 13,500 guineas. The clearance rate was 91%. The joint top lot on the opening day was the 2YO colt Sincil Bank (Hat Trick) who was secured by SackvilleDonald's Alastair Donald for 270,000 guineas after fending off competition from Stuart Bowman as well as eventual under bidder Stephen Hillen. Later in the evening, the second lot to make 270,000 guineas was 3YO colt Imperial Aviator (Paco Boy) who attracted a number of potential purchasers including Guy Mulcaster and Roger Charlton, but it was Johnny McKeever sitting with Gai Waterhouse's co-trainer Adrian Bott who came out on top. Trained by Roger Charlton, Imperial Aviator has been placed in six of his nine runs and has a 'Timeform' rating of 108. "He is a gorgeous horse, the outstanding lot of the day. He is an attractive stayer and we could not leave him behind," McKeever commented. "We have been lucky here for Gai before, and bought Group 1 winners Glencadam Gold and The Offer, let's hope the luck continues with this horse." The Tattersalls Autumn Horses in Training Sale continues at 9:30am on Tuesday, October 25.
The Star Witness colt was the stand out lot of the two day Gold Coast 2YOs in Training Sale which returned a gross of over $10 million - an increase of about $1.9 million on last year's record breaking edition. The clearance rate continued to improve and rounded out at 73 per cent for 212 lots sold at an average price of $48,910. The second top priced lot of the day was Washpool Lodge's So You Think colt from Morning Light who was knocked down to Les Kelly for $220,000. "There were buyers at every level at this sale. This led to our leading consignors being well rewarded," Magic Millions Managing Director Vin Cox said. "The Gold Coast's own training partnership of Bryan and Daniel Guy purchased the top lot for $450,000 again highlighting that the optimum dollar is delivered at Magic Millions." Cox added: "The leading international jurisdiction by spend was Singapore with 34 lots at a spend of $2.17 million while buyers from Macau (19 lots), South Korea (16), Hong Kong (12) and China (10) were also very active."
A filly by Galileo has taken out top honours at Tuesday's opening session of the Goffs Orby Yearling Sale which saw both the average and median prices increase by eight per cent from last year. Turnover was also up by five per cent to €20,547,000. Consigned by Ballylinch Stud, the filly is out of the 14-year-old Theatrical mare Green Room and is a sister to Gr1 Fillies' Mile winner Together Forever and half-sister to Gr1 Prix Jean Prat winner Lord Shanakill. Coolmore's MV Magnier outbid Amanda Skiffington to secure the filly for €900,000. "It seems that with anything regarding Galileo, you can't go wrong," Magnier told Racing Post. "Whether it's seven-furlong horses or Derby types, two-year-olds, three-year-olds or older horses, he gets them all. And as a broodmare sire he seems to work with anything." The other major highlight of the day was the Frankel half-brother to Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe winner Bago and dual Gr1 winner Maxios which was knocked down to Adrian Nicoll for €750,000. Bred by the Niarchos family, the colt is out of the Nureyev mare Moonlight's Box, a daughter of champion 2YO filly and blue hen Coup De Genie.
Saturday's Keeneland's September Yearling Sale continued to register strong results on the final day of Book 2 with a colt by Uncle Mo topping the session when knocked down to Lane's End Farm for US$750,000. Consigned by Clement "Bo" Hirsch Jr.'s Columbiana Farm as agent, the colt is out of the winning stakes-placed Victory Gallop mare Magical Victory, a half-sister to Hirsch's Gr2 winner Papa Clem. "He's a really nice colt," Bill Farish of Lane's End said. "We knew he was going to be one of the feature lots of the day, and we went a little further than we wanted to but we got him." A total of 224 yearlings were sold for US$30,383,000, down 5.33 per cent from the same session last year when 267 yearlings grossed US$32,095,000. The average of US$135,638 was 12.84 percent above the US$120,206 realised in 2015, while the median of US$100,000 remained unchanged from last year. Through the first five days of the 13-session auction, Keeneland sold 812 horses for US$189,506,000, down 7.52 percent from the US$204,918,000 grossed for 968 horses during the same period last year.
Stephen Marsh's Group One hopes will be spread on Saturday with top-flight contenders on both sides of the Tasman, reports NZ Racing Desk. The Cambridge trainer will be at Caulfield where Sofia Rosa opens her spring campaign in the Memsie Stakes (1400m) while he will be hoping No More Tears can draw first blood in the Hawke's Bay Triple Crown series in the Makfi Challenge Stakes. Sofia Rosa will be making her first appearance since winning the Australian Paks in April, and while 1400 metres will be well short of her best Marsh is confident of a bold showing from the mare. "She hasn't quite turned in the coat yet, but she is doing really well and looks great," he said. Marsh also can't fault the progress of No More Tears, who was runner-up when resuming in the Gr2 Foxbridge Plate. "She just missed the kick at Te Rapa and got a fair way back," he said. "Against the pattern of the day, she got home well and she's done great since."
The Australian racing industry will celebrate Jockey Celebration Day this Saturday, 6 August. Held nationally on the first Saturday in August each year, the day celebrates the achievements of former and current jockeys. It commemorates those who have lost their lives and raises awareness and funds for the National Jockeys' Trust (NJT) to help support injured or ill jockeys and their families. To help mark the occasion, National Jockey Trust colours will be carried by the top weight in each race at all metropolitan race meetings on Saturday. "Jockey Celebration Day is a significant day in the racing calendar, a day to remember the fallen, and to recognise the role jockeys play in the racing industry," said Paul Innes, Chairman of the National Jockeys Trust and Chief Executive of the Australian Jockeys Association. "Raising awareness of the National Jockeys Trust which has provided nearly $3.0 million assistance to more than 290 jockeys, is an important component of the day." Some of the Jockey Celebration Day meetings on Saturday include:
New Zealand Bloodstock graduates achieved an incredible one-two-three-four finish in the S$1.15 million Gr1 Singapore Derby headed by Well Done (Falkirk), but their dominance of Sunday's Kranji meeting was not limited to the feature race as they won nine of the 11 races on the card - an impressive 82% winning strike rate. It started with the first race of the day when Mark Eclipse (Nicconi) scored by half a length for trainer Steven Burridge. Mark Eclipse was offered by 888 Bloodstock Ltd at the 2014 Ready to Run Sale and sold to Mr I Hartono for $85,000. The other Karaka graduates to salute on the day were:
"This is a very impressive Singapore Derby Day result for NZB graduates," said NZB Director of Business Development, Mike Kneebone. "New Zealand breeders and vendors continue to produce and prepare top quality horses for our international markets. I look forward to welcoming a spirited buying bench at Karaka for the two-year-old sale in November." The 2016 NZB Ready to Run Sale is on 16 & 17 November at Karaka with Breeze Ups held at Te Rapa Racecourse on 17 & 18 October.
Star jockey William Pike broke the long-standing West Australian city record of Paul Harvey when he guided Socially Unique to victory in the Fast Track To Membership 2016/17 Handicap (1400m) at Belmont on Saturday, reports the West Australian. Pike moved to 117 wins for the season, eclipsing Harvey's mark of 116.5 set in 1999/2000, when Socially Unique scored by 1.5-lengths for trainer Alana Williams, before extending his tally to 118 when the exciting State Solicitor cruised to an easy 3.25-length victory in the final race of the day. "It hasn't sunk in yet," Pike said. "Now I have set the record I am thinking, 'How the heck will I be able to do it again next year.'" He added: "I am happy I got to here. I set a goal of 100 city wins at the start of the season and to get that I was pretty happy."
Meanwhile, New South Wales based nursery Amarina Farm snapped up a couple of exciting prospects including the second top seller on the day - the Not a Single Doubt-Wilde Irish Song colt - from Bell River Thoroughbreds for $280,000. That colt is the first foal of a Magic Albert winning half sister to Gr1 Australian Oaks winner Once Were Wild. One of the day's other top sellers was the I Am Invincible-Radiant Star colt also from the Bell River Thoroughbreds Dispersal and purchased by Sheamus Mills Bloodstock for $250,000. "I thought he was one of the nicer colts in the sale," Mills said. "He's by a proven sire who's a horse on the up. He's a nice horse who can come back here and hopefully make $400,000 or $500,000." A number of first season sires enjoyed positive results, none more so than Zoustar, a former star galloper who interestingly was sold at the same sale as a weanling. The dual Gr1 winning son of Northern Meteor had two colts sell for $250,000. The Armanjena colt from Kambula Stud sold to Amarina Farm, while James Bester secured the Sun Maid colt from the Bell View Park Stud Dispersal. "I loved him. I thought he was the best of the Zoustars. He was an outstanding walker - there's no question that he's the best mover in this sale," Bester said. At the close of trade, 152 lots had been sold for a gross of over $8.3 million at an average price of $54,625. The clearance rate was climbing and is well up on last year's corresponding opening day. "The National Sale has got away to a good solid start with a very healthy clearance rate of 84 per cent," Magic Millions managing director Vin Cox said, noting that 28 lots sold for $100,000 or more. "Competition was extremely strong for the desired lots. While the turnover and average are down on last year we expect that to improve tomorrow," he added.
As predicted, stock by Cambridge Stud's boom young sire Tavistock (Montjeu) proved popular on Day One of the 2016 New Zealand Bloodstock National Weanling, Broodmare and Mixed Bloodstock Sale, with his weanling colt out of the Volksraad mare Sentura (Lot 40) providing the highest price of the day when knocked down to Lyndhurst Farm for $170,000. From the Curraghmore draft, the bay colt hails from the family of dual Gr1 winner Clifton King and Gr3 winner Clifton Prince and (both by Volksraad). The exciting pin-hooking prospect was hand-picked by some of the best in the business with Mark and Shelley Treweek's Lyndhurst Farm pleased to have secured him. "He has a great walk and a great way about him and being by Tavistock is obviously a big attraction," commented Mark. "He's got a lovely pedigree and is out of a Volksraad mare which is a proven cross already with Tavistock." He added: "Nine times out of 10 Curraghmore sell the best horses out of the weanling sale and we picked him as the nicest type in the sale. He ticked a lot of boxes for us and we had to have him." Leading vendor of the day by average and aggregate was Curraghmore, who have done so at this sale for the past 10 years with proprietor Gordon Cunningham pleased to again be leading the way. "We brought a quality draft to this sale again and expected our horses to sell well," he said. "The interest we'd had leading into the sale was good and that's translated into results today that we're delighted with." Rider Horse NZ were the most active of the day's buyers, securing 20 lots for total receipts of $498,000 and striking early to secure Lot 9. From Dan Myers' popular weanling draft the I Am Invincible filly is the first foal from the handy imported mare Pipette and fetched $130,000. In addition to the strong domestic buying bench which accounted for 81% of purchases, investors from Australia, Hong Kong and Singapore were also active. Selling continues today with more Weanlings from Lot 171 at 10am through to Yearlings, Two-Year-Olds, Unraced stock and Racehorses. Supplementary weanling lots will follow on from the Weanling Session and Mixed Bloodstock supplementary lots will follow on from the Racehorses Session. The full Broodmare offering and Stallion Shares will then conclude the Sale on Wednesday from 10am.
A filly by Vinery stallion Mossman topped the final day of the Magic Millions Gold Coast March Yearling Sale when sold for $180,000 on Tuesday. The filly, consigned as lot 363 by Oakwood Farm, was purchased by Gr1 winning trainer Mick Mair after healthy competition from around the ring. “She’s a lovely filly,” Mair said. “I’ve had a lot of luck with the family and I’m hoping she can continue that.” The top horseman added: “Mossman is a leading sire and she has the looks and conformation to make it on the track." The Mossman filly is the last foal from The Spear, a Brisbane winning Lion Hunter mare, who has already produced the group performer Fast Arrow. She was one of three individual lots to sell for $100,000 or more – the other star filly of the day was the Hussonet-Morinda youngster from Jorson Farm who sold to David Vandyke for $120,000. A colt by Real Saga from Lyndhurst Stud Farm sold for $100,000 to Norm Stephens earlier in the afternoon. Some eight yearlings at the auction sold for six figure prices.
At Flemington in Melbourne, Coolmore's deceased dual Derby-winning shuttler & 6-time Gr1 victor High Chaparral (Sadler's Wells-Kasora, by Dashaan) added a Group success when 3YO colt Tivaci (High Chaparral-Breccia, by Fastnet Rock) scored by 0.1-length on protest for trainer Mike Moroney in the $150,000 Gr3 CS Hayes Stakes (1400m) for 3YO c&g, over fellow 3YO colt Palentino (Teofilo-Palatine Hill, by Palace Music) & 3YO gelding and stable-mate Tulsa (Sebring-Morning Dews, by Peintre Celebre). This was the first stakes victory for Tivaci who took his record to 3 wins and 2 placings from 7 starts for $152,800 earnings. Stewards upheld a protest by Tivaci's rider Craig Williams alleging interference at the 900m mark. The stewards were satisfied that the interference caused by Palentino shifting out on Tivaci was enough to reverse the placings given the narrow short-head margin on the line. "The problem we have is the short-head margin," chief steward Terry Bailey said. "We believe the interference suffered to Craig Williams' mount exceeds that margin and at the end of the day, we're of the view had it not been for that interference that Tivaci would've won the race." Trainer Mike Moroney was thrilled with the performance of Tivaci who will head to the Gr1 Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington on 5 March. "When that happened Tivaci got left out there and probably had to make his run a bit sooner than we normally would've and he stuck on great I thought," Moroney said. Tivaci, who hails form the family of Gr1 Toorak Handicap winner Allez Wonder and is a direct descendant of Melbourne Cup winning mare Rainbird (7th dam), was a NZ$250,000 purchase by Paul Moroney Bloodstock at the 2014 Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale from the draft of Princes Farm.
With 316 horses sold, 18 more than last year, the aggregate for the two-day NZB Premier Yearling Sale finished at NZ$55,687,500, representing a huge increase of 24 per cent from last year and the highest figure for the Premier Sale since 2011. The average price for the Sale was NZ$176,226 compared with NZ$150,881 last year, another big increase of 17 per cent and the highest average price since 2010. Also increasing by 17 per cent was the median price as it reached NZ$140,000, up from last year's figure of NZ$120,000. All of these milestones were achieved at a clearance rate of 78 per cent, better than last year's 75 per cent. Another sign of strength was the number of horses sold for over NZ$500,000 with 10 horses reaching or surpassing that mark, compared with just three last year. Furthermore, there were 45 horses sold for NZ$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." He added: "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." 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 NZ$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. Selling continues at Karaka today with the first session of the three-day Select Sale, the source of five individual Gr1 winners last season. Selling commences at Lot 448 from 11am (local time).
Strong competition from a diverse buying bench drove the average price on day one of the New Zealand Bloodstock Premier Yearling Sale at Karaka to NZ$177,832, an increase of 22 per cent from last year's opening day figure of NZ$145,866. The median also rose dramatically, ending the day at NZ$150,000 - an increase of 36 per cent from last year's NZ$110,000. At the close of trading on Monday, 158 horses sold for an aggregate of NZ$28,097,500 - an increase 26 per cent from last year's opening session gross of NZ$22,317,500. These results were achieved with a clearance rate of 76 per cent, up from 74 per cent on day one last year. There were 27 horses sold for NZ$300,000 or more on day one, nearly double last year's number of 14. The top price on day one came with Te Akau Racing principal David Ellis securing the outstanding colt by Savabeel out of the O'Reilly mare Bling (Lot 200) for NZ$775,000. Consigned by Waikato Stud, the colt is a full-brother to Gr1 winner Diademe and hails from the female family of dual Gr1-winning New Zealand sprinter Sacred Star and last season's Gr1 ATC Spring Champion Stakes winner Vanbrugh. The colt is the highest priced horse ever sold by Waikato Stud, the leading vendor at the Premier Sale for the past two years. "This Savabeel colt is quite outstanding, he is one that Te Akau had on the must-have list and to get what you want sometimes you have to exceed your budget," commented Ellis. Click here to watch a video highlights reel of the day one.
Last season's New Zealand Oaks winner Savaria (Savabeel-Amathea, by O'Reilly) will have her next run in the Gr1 Herbie Dyke Stakes at Te Rapa, reports theinformant.co.nz. The 4YO Savabeel mare was prima facie disappointing when finishing 8th in the Gr3 Anniversary Handicap (1600m) at Trentham last Saturday, but trainer Roydon Bergerson said the pattern of the day did not suit her get-back racing style. "The way the race was run didn't really suit her, and horses were struggling to come from the back all day to be fair," Bergerson said. "Plus she likes a really rock-hard track. The ground was a bit shifty and she wasn't very comfortable in it." He added: "But she's come through the run really well and we'll carry on to the Herbie Dyke Stakes at Te Rapa and then the Avondale Cup." The NZ$300,000 weight-for-age Gr1 Herbie Dyke Stakes (2000m) will be run at Te Rapa on Saturday 13 February.
Te Akau trainers Stephen Autridge and Jamie Richards are putting Xtravagant's (Pentire-Axiom, by Zabeel) defeat in Saturday's Gr1 Levin Classic (1600m) down to unsuitable track conditions, reports NZ Racing Desk. The New Zealand 2000 Guineas hero was a dominant favourite for the Trentham feature, but could only manage fourth (beaten 2.1 lengths) behind Bachelor Duke gelding Dukedom. "We're just blaming the run on the track at this stage," Autridge said. "The track was called a Dead 6 which is not meant to be too bad but by the middle of the day they were racing on the outside half of the track and he just couldn't get a footing or accelerate and I don't think racing off the fence suited him." Autridge confirmed the plan was still to travel to Australia for the Gr1 Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington on 5 March. "We'll just run some tests on him over the next few days and make sure that everything's alright," he said. "If we're very happy with them then at this stage we'd have to consider the same plan which is a race at Te Rapa in four-weeks and if we're happy with how he runs there then he'd still be on his way to Flemington."
Meanwhile, the second top seller on the day was the Fastnet Rock-Dream Play filly from Kia-Ora Stud who was purchased by Paul Perry on behalf of the Gillard family for $750,000. The filly, catalogued as Lot 168, is a full sister to VRC Sires' Produce Stakes winner Zululand and is from a Gr2 winning daughter of Hennessy. Another of the day's stars was Lot 139, the Street Cry-Dances on Waves colt consigned by South Australia's Mill Park. The attractive bay colt was secured by Michael Wallace for $725,000 after outbidding the Hong Kong Jockey Club. "He's been a proven international sire for a long time and sadly we're not going to see any more of them. He's from a very talented mare and they've got a good opinion of the two-year-old who is with Gerald Ryan." He added: "This colt has been purchased by the China Horse Club in partnership with Winstar Farm in America." First season sires were well sought out on Day One with the highlight being the $510,000 sale of the All Too Hard-Factor of Safety filly to James Harron Bloodstock. The day concluded with over $29 million traded on 158 lots sold at an average price of $184,332. The clearance rate was over 80 per cent. "The highlight has to be the big jump in average price," Magic Millions Managing Director Vin Cox said of the 11 per cent rise in the average price. "That's just fantastic." He added: "The 80 per cent clearance rate and turnover of over $29 million is a good foundation to start the sale from. As we know when sales go on they can get stronger, so let's hope it is the case with this sale." Day Two of the Gold Coast Yearling Sale will commence at 10am (Qld time) today.
Trade was consistently strong on the third day of the Tattersalls December Mares Sale on Wednesday. A brace of fillies sold for 190,000 guineas, the highest price of the day and a further 12 lots were sold for over 100,000 guineas. A total of 198 lots made 6,632,000 guineas at an average of 33,495 guineas and a median of 20,250 guineas. The first lot of the day to make 190,000 guineas, the joint highest price of the day, was the Listed winning filly Toujours L'Amour who sold to Richard O'Gorman Bloodstock. Whilst in training with William Haggas, the daughter of Authorized won as a 2YO before going on to win the Listed Oaks Trial Stakes at three. She is out of fellow Listed winner High Heel Sneakers who was also second in the Gr2 May Hill Stakes. O'Gorman was buying the filly for Deerfield Stud, the breeders of Derby winner Motivator, and commented on his purchase from Stratford Place Stud: "She is nice filly with decent form and goes to stud." It was the Rock Of Gibraltar mare Farandine who matched the top price later in the day when selling to Sara Cumani's Fittocks Stud for 190,000 guineas. The two-year-old chesnut filly was part of the dispersal of the Late Sarah J. Leigh's bloodstock that was made up of a total of six lots including Seat who sold for 1.1 million guineas on day two and is a half-sister to Rivara, the dam of Farandine. The family also traces back to Gerald Leigh's outstanding foundation mare Brocade, herself a Gr1 winner and the dam Irish Guineas winners Barathea and Gossamer. Catalogued as Lot 2247, the filly has won once and been placed twice as a two-year-old in training with Luca Cumani where she will remain in training. "It is a great family and something of a memento. We have trained most of the family and she is potentially a black-type performer," Luca Cumani said. As ever, the Juddmonte draft was a highlight of the Sale on Wednesday. A total of 30 lots were sold for an aggregate 1,550,000 guineas for an average of 51,667 guineas. Three fillies were sold for more than 150,000 guineas including Coral Garden, sister to Gr1 winner Reefscape who sold to Rabbah Bloodstock for 160,000 guineas.
Monday's opening session of the Tattersalls December Mare Sale began strongly with an international buying bench and the top lot Incahoots selling for 420,000 guineas to Wertheimer Et Frere. In total, 200 lots sold for 11,577,000 at an average of 57,885 guineas and a median of 38,000 guineas. Incahoots is a 3YO filly by Oasis Dream out of the Gr3 winner In Clover (Inchinor) and is a half-sister to Gr1 Prix de l'Opera winner We Are (Dansili). James Wigan's West Blagdon Stud, who topped the Tattersalls December Foal Sale last week with the 800,000 guineas Dubawi filly out of High-Heeled, consigned Incahoots on behalf of owner/breeder George Strawbridge. Pierre-Yves Bureau, the racing manager for Wertheimer Brothers, carried out the bidding and commented: "It is a family we know well. We had Bellarida and sold her to London Thoroughbred Services in 1997 and we have been trying to get back into the family." He added: "We will probably send her back into training, she is very close to getting good black-type. And she will go back to Freddy Head, he knows her and the family well." The second highest priced lot of the day was the 11YO Sinndar mare Night Visit who was purchased in foal to Dawn Approach by Diane Nagle of Barronstown Stud for 300,000 guineas. Night Visit is the dam of Irish Derby winner and consistent Gr1 performer Trading Leather (Teofilo).
First season sires continued to be popular during a strong session of trade on Day 2 of the Tattersalls December Foal Sale with a colt by Cheveley Park Stud's dual Gr1 winning sprinter and freshman sire Lethal Force (Dark Angel) topping proceedings when selling to Mick Flanagan for 110,000 guineas. Consigned by Ian and Kathryn Hutchinson's Yorkshire-based Battlefield Stud, the colt out of the Erhaab mare Ha'penny Beacon is from the family of dual Oaks winner Sariska and became only the second foal ever to break the six figure barrier on the Wednesday of the Tattersalls December Foal Sale. "He is by a good racehorse, who is a grandson of Acclamation, and he has a strong page too with some good European black-type," said Flanagan. The second highest price of the day was achieved by a son from the first crop of Gr1 Champion Stakes winner Farhh out of the Cadeaux Genereux mare Stoneacre Sarah which made 85,000 guineas when selling to Glenvale Bloodstock's 'Flash' Conroy. Presented by Charlie Mason's Silfield Bloodstock and sired by Darley's dual Group 1 winning freshman sire, the April foal is from the family of the Gr3 Phoenix Sprint Stakes winner Tropical, Golden Shaheen Stakes runner-up Tropical Star, and Gr1 Prix de l'Abbaye winner Move In Time. Overall a total of 179 lots sold for 2,592,600 guineas at an average of 14,484 guineas and a median of 9,500 guineas.
The top price of the day was for a colt by Sebring (Lot 184) which was purchased by Poletti Corporation from Sydney for NZ$340,000, to be trained by Mauro Poletti and Amanda Turner. Offered by Prima Park, the colt is out of the stakes performed Danzero mare Brilliant Jewel and was knocked down to NZB's Danny Rolston who was bidding on behalf of Poletti. "He was Mauro and Mandy's top pick from the Breeze Up videos," commented Rolston. "They love the stallion and he inspected super. They are great supporters of the Sale and have had success of late." The second top price of the day came early in the Sale when Lot 23 was purchased for NZ$300,000 by NZB as agent. The colt was offered by Mana Park and is by New Zealand's Champion Sire Savabeel out of Quatro (Rock of Gibraltar), a daughter of Gr1 winner My Brilliant Star (Copper Kingdom). Hong Kong buyers were the most active on Day 1 of the Sale, with the collective Hong Kong buying bench purchasing 21 horses for NZ$3,197,500. The leading buyer from Hong Kong was trainer Ricky Yiu having bought three horses for NZ$500,000. The overall leading buyer was Mr Lang of the Inner Mongolia Rider Horse Group, purchasing 14 horses for NZ$744,000 destined for both China and New Zealand. The top price paid by Rider Horse was NZ$180,000 for a colt by Sepoy out of the stakes winning mare Ten Churros (Lot 89). Australia is second to Hong Kong as the leading buying bench and a large number of Australian buyers were active on Day 1 with the likes of Ciaron Maher, Gai Waterhouse, Blue Sky Bloodstock, Bill Mitchell, Bjorn Baker, Chris Waller, Australian Thoroughbred Bloodstock and DGR Thoroughbred Services among the purchasers.
Connections of Melbourne Cup favourite Fame Game have issued an ominous warning to his rivals claiming the star Japanese galloper has improved since his eye-catching ruin in the Caulfield Cup, reports AAP. The 6YO son of Heart's Cry is currently a dominant $3.80 favourite for Australia's most famous race after an excellent Cup trial in which he stormed home from last on the turn to finish sixth behind Mongolian Khan in the Caulfield Cup. Speaking via an interpreter, assistant trainer Masato Tamaya said Fame Game was in better shape than he was prior to his Caulfield Cup run. "The best thing I know is his action," Tamaya said. "Usually he gets a bit stiff and tired after the race but he wasn't even tired after the Caulfield Cup run. His action is really nice and smooth." Tamaya said he was surprised by Fame Game's short price for the Melbourne Cup. "We are surprised at the odds but at the same time the odds have nothing to do with the racing," Tamaya said. "We have to leave it up to the jockey and the horse at the end of the day."
Qatar Racing secured the highest price lot of the day during Wednesday's second session of the Arqana October Yearling Sale at Deauville with David Redvers purchasing a colt by Manduro for €140,000. Consigned by Anna & Etienne Drion's Coulonces, the colt is the first foal out of the Dansili mare Adjudicate, a full-sister to Australian Gr2 Chairman's Handicap winner Permit. "For me he was one of the standout horses in the sale. He looks a very good middle-distance horse in the making. I was expecting to pay a fair bit for him as he is such a nice horse, but I had to stretch my budget a bit more! We haven't decided on his future yet," Redvers said. Overall, the session gross was up 8 per cent on last year to €3,284,000, while the average was also higher at €32,693, a jump of 14 per cent.
Wellington businessman Lib Petagna will be well represented at Randwick tomorrow with smart racemare Lucia Valentina lining up in the Gr1 George Main Stakes (1600m), as well as promising filly Sofia Rosa lining up in the Gr2 Tea Rose Stakes (1400m) on the undercard, reports NZ Racing Desk. Petagna is likely to fly to Sydney to watch the pair race, though only if both run, as his racing manager Bruce Perry said Lucia Valentina was not certain to run unless there was rain. The dual Gr1-winning mare made an eye-catching return in the Gr2 Tramway Stakes (1400m) at Randwick 11 days ago, when she flashed home for sixth (beaten just 1.6-lengths) and recorded the fastest closing sectionals of the day. "There is rain forecast and we are hoping she will run but backing her up after two weeks on a firm track would be asking a bit much of her and she could wait another week and head to Caulfield for the Underwood Stakes instead," Perry said. "Her second-up record is only so-so but Kris [Lees, trainer] said there was no real reason for that. She's very well and a lot stronger this time in. We can see no reason why she can't be right in it on Saturday." The Stephen Marsh-trained Sofia Rosa will make her Australian debut in the Tea Rose Stakes, having travelled to Sydney earlier this week. The 3YO daughter of Makfi is coming off a brilliant first-up win at Hastings last month. "Stephen was a bit concerned about going to Sydney. She's still a bit immature and doesn't carry a lot of condition but she's put on weight since that run, she's travelled well and settled straight into her routine. He's happy with her," Perry said. "If she runs up to her Hawke's Bay form, she can win it." Should Sofia Rosa perform up to expectations she will remain in Sydney for the Gr1 Flight Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on October 3.
A colt by Dubawi smashed the 13 year-old record price for a yearling sold at Deauville in August when knocked down to Sheikh Mohammed for €2.6 million on Sunday, reports Racing Post. The colt (Lot 111) is the first foal of the Gr3-winning Montjeu mare Pacifique, a half sister to grand producer Prudenzia, dam of Irish Oaks winner Chicquita. "It's nothing to do with breaking records and big prices," said Sheikh Mohammed's bloodstock adviser John Ferguson. "I work for Sheikh Mohammed and he wanted this colt." He added: "He is a great-looking horse and we're delighted to get him. He is a remarkable athlete, one of the best I've seen, and by an exceptional stallion out of an exciting young broodmare. The colt had it all." Another anticipated highlight of the day was the sale of the sister to dual Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe heroine Treve who was offered by the Head family. The Head family gave buyers a rare opportunity to purchase such a beautifully bred filly but the market did not meet her reserve with no one willing to bid higher than €1.2 million. The daughter of Motivator and Anabba mare Trevise will return home to the Heads' Haras du Quesnay. Criquette Head said: "She'll come back to Quesnay and then join me, but people are already trying to buy her privately." Asked whether the filly was still for sale, she replied: "Only if people are prepared to give me what we want."
American Pharoah had his final workout for Saturday's US$1.75 million Gr1 Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park with an easy six furlong breeze at Del Mar on Tuesday, reports Blood Horse. "It's more about keeping him happy," trainer Bob Baffert said of the Triple Crown winner's third timed workout at Del Mar in 10 days. "He'll be ready for anything that gets thrown at him." According to Baffert, American Pharoah has been an easy horse to manage post his Triple Crown success, which helps but doesn't allay connections' nerves. "Of all my horses, he's handled it (best)," Baffert said. "Point Given came out of (the Triple Crown) pretty good, but this guy has been pretty solid the whole way...Pharoah is easy to manage. These other ones are hard, just getting 2-year-olds going. We work Pharoah, and we won't even discuss him the rest of the day." After the Haskell, Baffert said American Pharoah will head back to Del Mar on either Sunday or Monday, but beyond that would not comment on future plans. "We'll assess him after (the Haskell), but right now we're not talking about that," Baffert said. "We're going to do one race at a time and hone in on that one."
Swettenham Stud has announced that its 2015 Stallion Parade will be held on Sunday, 30th August at its farm on Northwood Road, Nagambie, Victoria at 11:00am. Gates will open at 10:00am. RSVP by Wednesday 26 August - firstname.lastname@example.org. One of the highlights of the day will be the introduction of exciting Gr1-winning freshman sires Toronado and The Wow Signal, who are both owned by Sheikh Joaan's Al Shaqab Racing, as well as dual Gr2 winner and four-time Gr1-placegetter Puissance de Lune.
Kentucky-based Taylor Made Farm has purchased a 30 per cent interest in dual Classic winner and reigning US Horse of the Year California Chrome, reports Blood Horse. The 4YO son of Lucky Pulpit is currently sidelined with a cannon bone bruise that has derailed his 2015 campaign, but connections are hoping he can return to racing next year before retiring to stud in 2017. "The problems California Chrome has are not significant, so hopefully we can get him back to the races," said Ben Taylor, vice president of Taylor Made Stallions. "The plan is to keep him racing and then stand him." Duncan Taylor, president and CEO of Taylor Made, said: "California Chrome is simply the all-time leading earner from the A.P. Indy sire line, and he's a tremendously good-looking, athletic, and well-balanced horse who possesses great speed." he added: "Remarkably, he became the fifth Kentucky Derby winner from his deep female family, and he embodies the incredible toughness and soundness of the throwbacks from his family. You won't find many horses of his quality that made 18 starts in 23 months. He's just now getting his first break from training." Dr. Larry Bramlage of Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital near Lexington said that the chances of California Chrome making a successful return to the track were high. "California Chrome's x-rays showed all of his joints to be remarkably clean. He has the early signs of bruising to the bottom of the cannon bones. Horses training at high levels for long periods of time, like California Chrome has, gradually get behind in the bone's response to the stress because we train them and then ask them to stand in the stall for most of the day." He added: "The return rate for horses with this problem is very high. When we researched prognosis for distal cannon bone bruising, we found that recovery rate was 95% after giving time in the paddock to heal."
Trainer Robert Smerdon has nominated the Cox Plate as the "dream" race he would like to aim Noble Protector (Haafhd-All Glory, by Alzao) at in the spring, reports racenet.com.au. The 5YO UK-bred mare, who is owned by Qatar Bloodstock, enjoyed a profitable autumn campaign winning the Gr2 Sunline Stakes (1600m) and Gr3 Schweppervescence Trophy (1600m), before rounding out her prep with an excellent third behind Amanpour in the Gr1 Queen Of The Turf Stakes (1600m) at Randwick. Although she is yet to win at the elite level, Smerdon likened Noble Protector to 2011 Cox Plate winner Pinker Pinker who went into the weight-for-age championship without a Gr1 next to her name. "The dream is obviously a Cox Plate so you put her on a path to head towards that then you make a judgement on whether she'll make it," Smerdon said. "It's still a great race the Cox Plate and at the end of the day, she's a Group II winner and Group I-placed – is that good enough to win a Cox Plate?" He added, "Most Cox Plate horses have won three Group Is. Then you get a Pinker Pinker and you probably think she's at that level."
With 69 fewer horses catalogued this year, the 2015 NZ Bloodstock South Island Yearling Sale saw 63 horses sell for an aggregate of NZ$655,250 at an average of NZ$10,401 on Friday. The median closed at NZ$6,000 with the clearance rate at 64 per cent. All yearlings purchased at the South Island Sale are eligible to be nominated for the Karaka Million Series with entries closing at 5pm on 18 May. The top price of the day was a colt by hot young sire Per Incanto (Lot 50) - already the sire of a Gr1 winner from his only crop to race courtesy of Dal Cielo's victory in last month's Diamond Stakes at Ellerslie - which was purchased by Matamata horseman Paul Shailer for NZ$82,500 from the draft of Berkley Stud. The brown colt is out of the unraced Centaine mare Silver Cent and is a half-brother to stakes placegetter Posh Bec (Le Bec Fin), runner-up in the Listed Soliloquy Stakes. "He was the standout horse in the Sale, both on type and pedigree," commented Paul Shailer. "I think he will be a precocious horse who is by an in form sire and is bred on a similar cross to Dal Cielo. He will be a Karaka Million horse and we will have shares available for anyone interested." Along with Shailer's leading purchase, Lot 90 (Uncle Mo colt) and Lot 65 (Choisir colt), the next two highest priced lots of the Sale fetching NZ$35,000 and NZ$30,000 respectively, have been entered in the Karaka Million Series. New Zealand buyers accounted for 60 per cent of the total spend at the Sale while buyers from Australia, Singapore, Macau, Indonesia and Hong Kong all featured on the buyers list. "There was good competition for the quality horses, in particular the top lot by hot sire Per Incanto," commented NZB's Bloodstock Sales Manager Danny Rolston. "There was an enthusiastic local buying bench competing for the quality horses."
Meanwhile, the connections of top-class Victorian mare Suavito are breathing a sigh of relief after the 4YO secured the final spot in the 20-horse field for Saturday's $3 million Gr1 Doncaster Mile at Randwick. The Thorn Park mare will carry just 50kg in the time-honoured event and will be ridden by proven big-race jockey Corey Brown, who will fly in from Singapore to take the ride. "It's a big relief. We were confident that she'd make the field so we took the punt and thank goodness its come off so far," trainer Nigel Blackiston told racing.com. Blackiston said he was happy with Suavito's inside barrier draw and also seemed unconcerned about the prospect of Easter rain in Sydney. "Barrier one is better than 24, that's for sure," Blackiston said. "The good thing about this mare is that she has handled a soft track before. I don't think it will pose a problem. She's got no weight on her back, a top jockey riding her, and at the end of the day from barrier one you dictate to those around you. So hopefully she gets on to the back of the right horse and gets out at the right time." Blackiston said Suavito had enjoyed the perfect preparation and was in excellent condition ahead of her latest assignment. "She's done terrific. This race was always our main target. She'll be 100% come race day," he said. "She had a very nice gallop this morning (Tuesday) on the steeple grass (at Flemington). That will pretty much be the last of her gallops. She travels up (to Sydney) tomorrow night (Wednesday). It takes a bit out of them - it's ten hours on a truck, so she'll have a quiet time in Sydney...hopefully she'll be bright and fit on race day."
News out of Ballydoyle that John F Kennedy will follow the same Derby path as Galileo and High Chaparral has prompted bookmakers to shorten the colt's odds even further for the June 6 Classic, reports racingpost.com. The son of Galileo and Gr1 winning Danehill mare Rumplestiltskin, who has won 2 of his 3 starts including the Gr3 John Deere Juvenile Turf Stakes at Leopardstown, is one of seven Aidan O'Brien trained horses which are responsible for the first 8 in Derby betting. "Aidan O'Brien has stated that John F Kennedy will head to Epsom via the Ballysax Stakes and Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial, the path his first two Derby winners - Galileo and High Chaparral - took, and that news seems to have prompted further support for the ante-post favourite," said David Stevens from Coral, who have the colt listed at 4-1. John F Kennedy was part of a large Ballydoyle string that worked at the Curragh on Sunday at the conclusion of the day's racing with Ryan Moore giving a positive report about the colt.
The Inglis March Thoroughbred Sale recorded an excellent clearance rate of 90 per cent in Melbourne on Friday, which is expected to rise as private sales are processed on passed in lots. 197 lots of racing and breeding stock realised an aggregate of $1,746,450, up from last year's $1,495,350. "We are delighted at the results from today's sale which reinforced the strength of the Victorian auction system with good competition by buyers from all states of Australia and New Zealand," said Victorian Director Peter Heagney. "Racehorses were the highlights of the day with both the Darley and Team Williams horses creating particularly good interest," Heagney said. Two Lots shared the highest price honours at $50,000, both sold from the Lloyd and Nick Williams reduction selling under the Hudson Conway Banner. Lot 139, the impeccably bred listed winner Wales, by Redoute's Choice out of a half-sister to Makybe Diva, sold to Inglis as agent for a Queensland client, while the stakes-placed gelding Practiced (Encosta de Lago x Liberty Walk) was secured by Shane Morrissey. Darley sold their complete draft with three-year-old gelding Rostock (Exceed And Excel x Soda Water), who descends from the family of Gr1 winner Ortensia, topping the offering when selling to Brian Markovic for $40,000. Catalogues are now available for the Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale on 7, 8 and 9 April in Sydney and the VOBIS Gold Yearling Sale on 19 and 20 April in Melbourne.
There's every chance the Auckland carnival success of trainers Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman will continue at Ellerslie today, reports NZ Racing Desk. Fresh from Mongolian Khan's victory in the New Zealand Derby, the Cambridge-based horseman have Saavoya and Charmont in the Gr3 Sunline Vase, classy mare Diademe in the Gr3 Westbury Classic, and the progressive stayer Show The World in the feature race of the day, the NZ$500,000 Gr1 Auckland Cup (3200m). While Baker believes Diademe and Show The World would be better suited with some give in the track, he has no concerns with their younger stable-mates. "They are two good fillies and we can't really separate them," he said. The dual Gr2 winner of the Eight Carat and Sir Tristram Fillies' Classics, Saavoya was a last-start second to Vavasour in the Royal Stakes with Charmont third. "They are both very fit and ran well at Te Rapa where they were beaten by a better one," Baker said. "We hope to get them to the Oaks at Trentham, they are both bred to stay." Saavoya and Charmont hold nominations for the New Zealand Oaks on 14 March, and the stable's hand could be strengthened if a late payment is made for Pipi Beel. The promising Savabeel filly finished third on Saturday behind the dead-heaters Platinum Witness and Savaria in the Gr3 Lowland Stakes. "It was a good run and she got beaten by a couple of good ones," Baker said. "She raced a bit greenly the first time in blinkers." Saavoya, Charmont ad Pipi Beel are all entered in the $1 million Gr1 Australian Oaks at Randwick on 11 April.
At Ascot in West Australia, Mungrup Stud's Gr3-winning stallion Oratorio (Stravinsky-Express A Smile, by Success Express) added a restricted stakes success when 2YO colt Lucky Street (Oratorio-Rumours, by Umatilla) scored by 2.5-lengths for trainer Trevor Andrews in the $250,000 Magic Millions Perth 2YO Classic (100m), over 2YO filly Light Up The Sky (Big Brown-Christmas Offer, by Belong to Me) & 2YO gelding Dickey (Alfred Nobel-Moonstrummer, by Stravinsky). Lucky Street took, who was purchased for $75,000 from the Mungrup Stud draft at last year's Magic Millions Perth Yearling Sale, took his record to 2 wins from 3 starts for $211,500 earnings. The colt emerged as a leading contender for the Karrakatta Plate and gave his half-brother a timely boost ahead of the Magic Millions Perth Yearling Sale which begins on Wednesday at the Belmont Park Sales Complex. Catalogued as Lot 290, the brown colt will be offered by Mungrup Stud draft and is by Irish stallion Hala Bek out of the Umatilla mare Rumours. Trainer Trevor Andrews said Lucky Street would now be aimed at the Karrakatta Plate at WA Sires' Produce Stakes. "He's always shown us an electrifying turn of foot," Andrews said. "He's a super colt. I loved him at the sales. We put a great group of people together. It's good to go to the sales and buy a nice horse and you break the product in and you trial it and you realise you've got something you wish for." He added, "He's a beautiful colt. The Karrakatta and the Sires' (Produce Stakes)...I'm looking forward to those. You'll probably leave him an entire now and he could cover a few mares at the end of the day."
Strong trade on the second day of NZB's three-day Select Sale at Karaka has the average and median tracking ahead of last year's edition. The average for the first two days of the Select Sale sits at NZ$50,036 with one day of selling to go, 8 per cent higher than last year's final average of NZ$46,212. The median is also tracking well, at NZ$38,500 for the day and currently NZ$36,750 overall, up 5 per cent on last year's figure of NZ$35,000. Turnover so far is NZ$13,309,500 for 266 horses sold, at a clearance rate of 74 per cent. The highest priced horse of the day came early at Lot 657, purchased by Tony Pike for NZ$210,000 for his Australian, Central Coast-based owner Colin Keane whose horses all carry 'Eagle' in their name. The colt becomes the fifth horse to reach NZ$200,000 at this year's Sale, including Wednesday's record breaking price of NZ$525,000. Last year, only one horse fetched NZ$200,000 or more. Offered by Kirkwall Thoroughbreds, Lot 657 is by New Zealand's four-time Champion Sire O'Reilly from the winning Zabeel mare, Saheel. "He's a colt we picked out a couple of days ago and we liked him from the start," commented Pike. "He cost enough but compared with what nice O'Reillys were selling for in K1 he was reasonably priced." He added, "It's a good cross with an extremely proven broodmare sire and I've had some luck with O'Reilly's progeny in the past with the likes of Sacred Falls, so hopefully this one turns out something like him." Selling continues from Lot 851 to 1035 today from 11am (NZDT) at Karaka.