Red Ransom Colt Shines in New Zealand

The first day of New Zealand Bloodstock's ready to run sale of 2-year-olds showed resilience in troubled economic times. The results at Karaka held up well against those posted at last year's record-setting auction.

The average price was NZ$61,128 (compared to NZ$61,134 in 2007), and the median price was NZ$32,500 (NZ$36,000 in 2007). The clearance rate was 61% (70% in 2007). The gross was NZ$6,907,500 for the 113 horses sold.

A Red Ransomcolt topped the session, bringing NZ$400,000 from Singapore-based trainer Stephen Gray. Produced from Lady Circles (by Ascot Knight), a half-sister to Elvstroem and Haradasun, the colt was consigned by Esker Lodge and breezed up in a speedy 10.66 seconds

"He's a good looking colt with a strong stallion pedigree and was great value at the price,” Gray said. "We'll send him down to my parents’ place (in Palmerston North) to mature and will race him in New Zealand before we look at taking him to Singapore. We're in no hurry with him and will look to start him as a late 2-year-old/early 3-year-old."

The second-highest price of the day, NZ$320,000, was brought by a Zabeel colt out of Macanudo (by Kingdom Bay). Graeme Rogerson purchased the colt, which didn’t breeze up, from Phoenix Park.

Rogerson was also the leading buyer of the day with four horses purchased for NZ$965,000.

"This is our first sale since world financial pressures have come to bear, and we are very pleased by how well the market here is holding up,” said Petrea Vela, New Zealand Bloodstock’s managing director of sales and marketing. “We are by no means immune, but certainly today's results are heartening under the current circumstances.

"There is clear strength at the top of the market, but as we anticipated, buyers are selective in their purchasing, and the clearance rate reflects this. We've seen good competition on the sought after lots, but it's a buyers' market and there is still plenty of opportunity to acquire some good quality young stock over the course of tomorrow."

The sale received a notable boost from the large turnout of international buyers, who were active ringside. They included shoppers from Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Australia, and Korea. The Seoul Racehorse Owners Association has been among the most prolific international buyers with 10 2-year-olds purchased so far.