By Ric Chapman
Finally the runaway train known as Karaka 2005, New Zealand's yearling sale slowed on day two of the select session Friday.
Day two didn't manage to topple the top price set on day one by Lot 637, a colt by first season sire, Black Minnaloushe, but it wasn't a bad day of selling none-the-less. Lot 944 topped the day, he a roan colt bred in Australia by former multiple group I winner Diatribe from the mare Guardian Miss (by Hector Protector). This is Diatribe's (Brief Truce -- Gabbing Gloria) debut crop. There are five individual Australian group winners on this colt' s page. Active buyer Robert Priscott made the purchase for NZ$90,000.
There was a strong New Zealand presence on the buying bench, but international buyers, particularly from Australia including John Morrissey and Aquanita Bloodstock, were also very active.
The leading Select sale buyer was also the Premier Sale's leading buyer, Graeme Rogerson. Rogerson, a Kiwi who now calls Australia home, supplemented his 27 purchases from the Premier session with a further 15 at the Select Sale for NZ$682,500. His top priced buy in this session was Lot 699, a colt by first season sire, Keeper, from Startling Lady (Gold and Ivory) purchased for NZ$100,000.
Other leading buyers included New Zealand Bloodstock as agent with 24 yearlings purchased for NZ$678,000, Paul Moroney Bloodstock with 14 purchased for NZ$589,000, and Lance O'Sullivan with 7 purchased for a total of NZ$363,500.
The leading vendor by aggregate was Windsor Park Stud with 24 yearlings sold for NZ$1,001,500. The next highest was Rich Hill Stud with 20 sold for NZ$629,000.
The success of the Premier Sale has had a flow-on effect into New Zealand Bloodstock's Select Sale as it concluded with increases in aggregate, average and median. Significantly, with just two sales sessions completed (Premier and Select), the sale has already grossed in excess of the combined aggregate for all three sales sessions last year.
The combined aggregate of the Premier and Select sales last year was NZ$60,631,650, and leading into the Festival sale, the third and final session of the National yearling sales at Karaka, the aggregate is already NZ$64,445,500. This shows a significant increase in returns to vendors this year for fewer lots sold so far, and with 443 horses still to be offered.
The sale median was stable at NZ$30,000 right to the end of the Select sale, a 15% increase on the final sale median last year of NZ$26,000. The average recorded an 11% increase on last year's final average, at NZ$33,740. The aggregate for the Select sale was NZ $11,539,000 (U.S.$8.2 million) for 70 fewer lots catalogued.
There was an active market for good quality yearlings, but buyers were still selective in their choices. The final clearance rate was 73%, up slightly on the previous day, but down 6% on last year's clearance rate.