The premier portion of the New Zealand national yearling sale series ended on Wednesday with gross revenues of $37,468,340 (approximately $15,849,108 U.S. funds) and an average price of $102,935 ($46,503) for the 364 horses sold. The gross was down by 21.4% and the average was down by 15.6% from last year's comparable figures of $47,666,150 and $122,000, respectively.
According to a press release issued by New Zealand Bloodstock Ltd., which conducts the auction: "In light of similar downward trends at other major sales in recent months, today's (Wednesday's) final result was considered satisfactory. The mood amongst both vendors and buyers at the conclusion of the sale was good, with the comment coming repeatedly from leading buyers that they regarded the sale as very competitive throughout and particularly strong at today's final session."
The top price on the last day was the $800,000 ($338,400) brought by a Danehill colt out of the Australian and New Zealand champion Tristalove (by Sir Tristram). He is a full brother to Viking Ruler, winner of the 2001 Spring Champion Stakes (Aus-I).
Of interest to North American breeders: Red Ransom was the leader among stallions with their first Southern Hemisphere crops, with four offspring averaging $145,000 ($61,335). Tale of the Cat ranked second, with 52 sold for $105,913 ($44,801). In other results for stallions, Hennessy ranked third among all sires, with three averaging $219,167 ($92,708), and Unbridled's Song ranked sixth, with five averaging $129,500 ($54,779). The leading sire was Danehill, with six averaging $410,000 ($173,430).