Lively trade drove increases in aggregate, average, and median on the first day of New Zealand Bloodstock's select yearling sale Jan. 29 at Karaka.
The day's highest price $190,000 (US$156,989) was for a colt by Coolmore sire Dylan Thomas
out of the Montjeu mare Mon Beau Cheval
. The buyer was Hong Kong-based bloodstock agent Dan O'Donnell.
The session topper was among 151 horses to change hands at the opening day for total sales of $7,378,500 ($6,097,245), up 11.5% from the same session in 2013.
The average price of $48,864 ($40,364) showed a 3.4% improvement while the median of $40,000 ($33,049) increased 2.6%.
Sale company officials were encouraged by the day's clearance rate, which improved from 69% last year to 72%.
Windsor Park Stud consigned the New Zealand-bred Dylan Thomas colt. He is the second foal from his dam, who is a daughter of two-time New Zealand group I winner Prized Gem. Mon Beau Cheval is a full sister to 2008 Australian Derby (Aus-I) winner and young stallion Nom Du Jeu, New Zealand's champion stayer of 2009.
"Most horses are just horses, but every so often there is one with a little bit extra and he has that," O'Donnell said of the session topper. "He has an individual personality; he is relaxed and moves very smoothly.
"Essentially he has a stayer's pedigree, but with his dam being a Montjeu mare he should perform over shorter distances as Montjeu has an element of electricity to his offspring.
"He will remain in New Zealand for two years and will likely be owned by (Hong Kong cosmetics mogul) Simon Kwok, who I also purchased (2011 Hong Kong champion miler) Beauty Flash for."
Waikato Stud's champion sire O'Reilly (NZ) led the session's sire list, with four horses sold for $372,500 ($308,277), an average of $93,125 ($77,069).
New Zealand Bloodstock's select yearling sale continues with the second of three sessions Jan. 30.