Iffraaj Filly Leads the Way at NZ Auction

She brings NZ$290,000 ($224,921 in U.S. funds) at Karaka Feb. 2.

An Iffraaj filly was the most expensive horse sold Feb. 2 during the first session of the three-day select portion of New Zealand Bloodstock's national yearling sales at Karaka. New Zealand trainer Roger James purchased her for NZ$290,000 ($224,921 in U.S. funds) from Trelawney Stud.

James conditioned the filly’s dam Sayyida (by Zabeel), who won two of her five career races. The bay yearling is a half sister to the winner Ruggaya (by Van Nistelrooy).

The opening day results reported by New Zealand Bloodstock included a gross of NZ$7,208,000 ($5,590,450) for the 139 yearlings that were sold. The average price was NZ$51,856 ($40,219), and the median price was NZ$44,000 ($34,126). The clearance rate was 69%.

Last year’s average and median for the entire select portion of the sales were NZ$52,346 and NZ$40,000, respectively.

This year's premier portion of the national sales was held Jan. 31 and Feb. 1.

"Buyers are reporting that the market is still very competitive at this session and quality lots are still tough to buy,” said Petrea Vela, New Zealand Bloodstock’s co-managing director. “A few more local buyers have made their presence felt today which is encouraging, but there are also a number of international buyers who have stayed on from the premier sale hoping to find some value. While buyers are being selective in their purchasing, we're hopeful the quality on offer will encourage some good competition over the next few days."