NZ Select Sale's Gross, Average Remain Steady

The median price declines 10.3% while the clearance rate improves a little bit.

New Zealand Bloodstock’s select yearling sale ended its three-day run at Karaka Feb. 3 with a gross of NZ$19,114,500 ($15,930,800 in U.S. funds) and an average price of NZ$46,069 ($38,387), both up less than 1% from a year ago. The median price declined 10.3% to NZ$35,000 ($29,170).

New Zealand Bloodstock reported a clearance rate of 74% compared to 73% in 2011. The number of horses that were sold was 415 compared to 418 last year.

Petrea Vela, New Zealand Bloodstock co-managing director, was pleased with how the results held up.

"After a particularly strong session yesterday (Feb. 2) we were prepared for today to be a quieter day,” she said. “But to have exceeded last year's aggregate and average while maintaining a stronger clearance rate is a great result. Selling felt solid right throughout the three days with a good number of international buyers staying on to compete with the locals. Overall, I think we can be very satisfied with how the week has gone given the current climate.”

A son of Pentire brought NZ$230,000 ($161,691) during the final session to become the auction’s most expensive horse. Hawkes Racing purchased the bay yearling from Haunui Farm.

The colt is out of the Zabeel mare Sunshine Gold, who finished second once and third once during her six-race career. He is a half brother to the winners Adict (by Green Perfume) and Sungirl (by Kilimanjaro). Another sibling, Luck of Smiling (by Elusive City), began racing last year and finished third in his only outing.

“We bought Luck of Smiling for NZ$40,000 as a yearling and he went up to Macau and he’s about the fourth best horse up there,” said Wayne Hawkes. “Dad (John Hawkes) took one look at this colt and said we had to have him. He’s a better sort than Luck of Smiling and he’s by a proven sire, Pentire, so we were sold.

“We like the Pentires. We bought the highest-priced Pentire in New Zealand last year for NZ$520,000, out of Platinum Blonde, and we really like the way he is coming along. We always love coming to New Zealand and buying those ‘kiwi’ staying horses and are really happy with what was there this year.”