The New Zealand Karaka yearling sale concluded on Wednesday with yet another day of robust selling. Karaka was slightly down on last year, but with good reason.
The final sale average was NZ$127,072, a 7.5% decrease from 2005 but up 14% from 2004. And the reason this is significant can be attributed to one phenomenon – Danehill. It was at Karaka this time last year that the final 20 of his babies sold in the Southern Hemisphere. This reason alone meant record levels were achieved in every category in 2005, so the results this year, while down, are the second best ever.
For example, if you looked at the sale average last year after not adding the Danehills, the average was a healthy NZ$120,630. On that score, this year's average reflects a 5% increase on that figure.
The clearance rate was 81% (down from 82% in 2005), and the sale median was NZ$80,000, down from $90,000 in 2005 and up 10% from $72,500 in 2004. The gross revenue was NZ$49,558,000 for 390 lots sold, down from NZ$53,446,500 for 389 lots sold last year.
Perennial big ticket buyer Graeme Rogerson, went higher than the others to secure the top lot on day three, a handsome Zabeel colt from Cambridge Stud out of Miss Power Bird that fetched NZ$1.6 million. He is from the family of champion racehorse Might and Power (by Zabeel), and Hong Kong champion performer, Lucky Owners (by Danehill). Overall, the big colt came in second highest over the three days.
New Zealand Bloodstock marketing and public relations manager Petrea Vela summed up the premier sale results: "Leading into the sale we knew that the absence of Danehill, and the reduced number of yearlings by Zabeel that we had to sell would likely prevent the final statistics from reaching the record-breaking heights of last year, which saw the sale average up 23% on the previous year. The catalogue wasn't as strong this year overall, so what we hoped for was to see an increase from 2004. We are, therefore, very pleased to achieve the results we have over the past three days.
"Importantly, the buyers were here in force and had plenty to spend on good quality individuals. A good barometer of the strength of a sale is always the buyers reaction to how easy or difficult it is to buy the horses they like, and by all accounts it was extremely competitive ringside.
"We were particularly pleased to see such strength from the Australian and New Zealand buyers. To have David Ellis and Graeme Rogerson the leading two buyers this year is an enormous boost to our domestic industry. We were also very pleased to see Japanese buyers so active this year, securing a total of 11 yearlings."
Hong Kong buyers accounted for more than 50 yearlings, with the Hong Kong Jockey Club the fifth leading buyer of the sale having secured another 10 yearlings for the HKJC International Sale in Hong Kong in December. These included a colt by Cape Cross out of Showzeel, purchased for NZ$250,000.
The leading vendor by aggregate for the 25th year in a row was Sir Patrick Hogan's Cambridge Stud, with 39 yearlings sold for NZ$8,363,500.
The leading consignor by average was Peter and Philip Vela's Pencarrow Stud, with 18 yearlings sold for an average of $311,806.
Two select sessions are scheduled for Thursday and Friday.