A daughter of Stravinsky commanded NZ$740,000 ($609,790 in U.S. funds) Jan. 30 to top the opening session of the premier yearling sale in New Zealand. The auction is part of New Zealand Bloodstock’s 86th annual National Yearling Sales Series.
David Ellis of Te Akau Stud purchased the chestnut filly from Patrick Hogan’s Cambridge Stud.
“She is a beautiful filly with a lovely outlook and a lot of class, and we are thrilled to be training her,” Ellis said. “You have got to be prepared to pay for the best fillies and we were prepared to do that today. She was bought for a very good client who has had many fillies with Te Akau over the past 20 years.
“Stravinsky is a very good international sire of fillies,” Ellis continued, “and we are going to aim her for the New Zealand Bloodstock Filly of the Year Series, which Te Akau has a great record (in) with having won four of the last six titles.”
The yearling is a half sister to the winner Isle Be Ready (by Perfectly Ready), who finished second in the 2010 NSW Breeders’ Plate in Australia. Their dam, the unraced Magic of Sydney mare Jesmonds Gift, is a half sister to Australian champion Canny Lad, Australian group I winner Canny Lass, and Australian stakes winner Sister Canny (all by Bletchingly).
David Ellis was session’s biggest spender, paying NZ$2,402,500 ($1,979,760) for 14 head.
Two yearlings by High Chaparral each brought the session’s second-highest price of NZ$650,000 ($535,626). Hong Kong bloodstock agent Willie Leung, representing Hong Kong owner W.K. Lee, bought a colt out of Creil from Lyndhurst Farm. Gai Waterhouse and James Herron Bloodstock acquired a filly out of Diamond Like from Cambridge Stud.
The opening day results included a gross of NZ$24,817,500 ($20,450,600) for the 170 yearlings that were sold. The average price was NZ$145,985 ($120,297) and the median price was NZ$120,000 ($98,885).
Compared to a year ago, when 180 horses were sold, the gross declined 16.9% and the average fell 12%. The median dropped 7.7%.
New Zealand Bloodstock reported a clearance rate of 70% this year compared to 75% in 2011.
"There is no lack of firepower to the buying bench with good horses attracting plenty of competition, but the market is taking a bit of time to settle into a steady pace,” said Andrew Seabrook, co-managing director of New Zealand Bloodstock. “Many buyers are taking a wait-and-see approach, and from what I'm told, several leading buyers have their favorite horses in tomorrow. Like Magic Millions, which picked up significantly on the second day, we would expect to see improvement here tomorrow."