New Zealand Yearling Sale Continues Strong

Average and median prices at Karaka sale on track to exceed last year's figures.

Strong trade on the second day of New Zealand Bloodstock Limited's three-day select sale at Karaka Jan. 29 has the average and median tracking ahead of last year's edition.

The average for the first two days of the select sale sits at NZ$50,036 ($37,295 in U.S. funds) with one day of selling to go, 8% higher than last year's final sale average. The median is also tracking well at $36,750 ($27,392) overall, up 5% on last year's figure.

Turnover so far is $13,309,500 ($9,920,370) for 266 horses sold, at a clearance rate of 74%.

The highest-priced horse of the day came early when Lot 657 (17 lots into the sale) was purchased by Tony Pike for $210,000 ($156,526) for his Australian-based owner Colin Keane, whose horses all carry "Eagle" in their names. The colt became the fifth horse to reach $200,000 at this year's sale.

Offered by Kirkwall Thoroughbreds, the colt is by New Zealand's four-time champion sire O'Reilly from Saheel, a daughter of leading sire and prolific broodmare sire Zebeel, who has 23 group I winners as damsire to date.

"He's a colt we picked out a couple of days ago and we liked him from the start," said Pike. "It's a good cross with an extremely proven broodmare sire and I've had some luck with O'Reilly's progeny in the past with the likes of Sacred Falls, so hopefully this one turns out something like him."

International buyers have had a strong presence at the sale, with the Hong Kong Jockey Club, Jamie Walter's Proven Thoroughbreds, Morrisey, and Henry Dwyer all in the top 10 buyers list. Kiwi bloodstock agents Bruce Perry and Paul Moroney also are inside the top 10 buyers.

Among the interesting buyers at Karaka Jan. 29 was international trainer Luca Cumani, travelling from his base in Newmarket. Cumani was the successful bidder on Lot 840, buying in conjunction with local bloodstock agent Phill Cataldo. The pair went to $60,000 ($44,722) to secure the filly by Road to Rock from Little Avondale Stud.

The sale concludes Friday, Jan. 30.