The New Zealand National yearling sale at Karaka continued its record-setting pace during its fourth session Thursday. There were new all-time highs in all categories on day two of the select portion of the auction.
Leading the charge was the record top price paid for a colt by freshman sire Scaredee Cat, a troubled but powerful sprinter on his day who won in Australia up to the group II level and now stands at Waikato Stud. The colt is out of the Mi Preferido mare My Kinda Girl, a nine-time winner and the dam of just one to race. Offered by Valachi Downsof Matamata, the colt was purchased by Auckland owner Peter Walker for NZ$300,000 (approximately $221,000 in U.S. funds).
The previous record price in the select section of the sale was NZ$230,000, brought last year by the No Excuse Needed colt from the Centaine mare Cymbidium. So far this year that figure has been equaled three times and surpassed by another three hips.
Patrick Biancone was active again. He paid NZ$75,000 for a colt by Australian-bred freshman sire Dane Shadow (Danehill -- Slight Chance) out of the What a Guest mare Lady Guest. The yearling is handsome, rangy, black colt, almost perfect in conformation, and the only one by his sire in the entire book.
"All my horses I have bought at this sale will stay in New Zealand for a year then will come to the U.S. to me for breaking and preparation," Biancome said. "After that, we will determine whether they will stay and race in America or be moved on to Hong Kong. It just depends on where they will be best suited. But a good horse is a good horse anywhere, and the ones I have bought here are very strong boned."
Biancone said he would most likely attend the upcoming Magic Millions yearling sale on the Gold Coast in Australia in March also. He has purchased at least one horse on every day of the New Zealand sale thus far.
The soaring prices have been indicative of the strength of the auction. For example, during the select portion last year, just one yearling made over NZ$200,000. So far this year, with a day to go, there have been 13 to breach that mark. The gross from the first four days of selling is already past the total for entire seven days of selling in 2007, which was a record.
With one-day of the select sale to go, the gross was NZ$20,405,000 for 326 lots sold. The median was NZ$50,000, and the average was NZ$62,592. The clearance rate held steady at a healthy 80%. All the figures are than better last year's marks.
The leading buyer was Paul Moroney Bloodstock, with 10 yearlings purchased for NZ$912,000.
The top sire is Coolmore Stud's first season sire Lion Heart. His three progeny that sold averaged NZ$183,333. One was bought by Biancone. Palmerston North based Michael Breslin purchased the son of Tale of the Cat 's highest-priced lot, a chestnut filly from Lyndhurst Farm for NZ$230,000.