(Edited New Zealand Bloodstock press release)
A Tale of the Cat – Eyes Light Up colt sold for the top price of NZ$205,000 ($106,342) Jan. 30 as New Zealand Bloodstock’s select yearling auction ended its three-day run in Karaka. Australia-based trainer Lindsey Smith purchased the colt from Hallmark Stud.
"I've had a great time over here,” Smith said. "The sale was good for buyers, and the good horses still sold for good money. I'm a fan of fast horses, and I'm happy with the three I've purchased. The Tale of the Cat's an early running type and we'll give him a chance to settle in back home and break him in, then map out a plan for him."
The auction’s gross for the 456 horses that sold was NZ$17,039,000 (approximately $8,838,811 in U.S. funds). The average price was NZ$37,366 ($19,383), and the median price was NZ$30,000 ($15,562). Compared to a year ago, when 483 horses were sold, the gross was down 40.9% from NZ$28,839,500. The average dropped 37.4% from NZ$59,709, and the median fell 37.5% from NZ$48,000.
The clearance rate declined from 79% in 2008 to 73% this year.
"Although there's been good activity in the ring over the past three days, and the general consensus has been that it's hard to buy a nice horse, this sale has suffered from a lack of buyer confidence to buy on spec in this climate,” said New Zealand Bloodstock’s Petrea Vela. “This session has traditionally been underpinned by pinhookers selecting horses for our ready to run sale in November and while the top horses have sold just as well, without the pinhookers here in force, we've seen a softening of that middle market. After experiencing exponential growth here over the past couple of years, the tide has turned in buyers favor and there's a lot of good buying to be had."