NZ Premier Sale Gross Already Tops 2003 Auction

The Premier yearling sale in New Zealand has posted very strong numbers for the first two days of the three-day auction, the gross already surpassing the entire sale of 2003.

The first two days has seen 330 yearlings sold for $35,918,000. Last year, the total for two days was $29,531,500 and the total for the three days was $34,209,500.

The average for the first two sessions is up 14%, from $95,263 to $108,842. Last year's three-day average was $95,291.

A bigger catalogue has certainly helped the gross, but the average and median being up conform besides numbers, the quality has increased. The median has risen from $67,500 to $72,500.

The buy back rate has held relatively steady, being 18% this year and 16% a year ago.

Australian buyers took the top lots during Tuesday's second session. Rob McAnulty went to $750,000 (U.S. $503,025) for the day's topper, a colt by Quest for Fame out of the Danehill mare Chimeara. This is the mare's first foal. The colt's second dam is New Zealand champion Tristalove, by Sir Tristram. He was sold by Pencarrow Stud.

Also on Tuesday, a Zabeel filly sold for $600,000 to DGR Thoroughbred Services, and a colt by Danehill realized $575,000 from leading Australian trainer Gai Waterhouse.

"Whilst we are thrilled to have three of today's lots exceeding the half million mark, we are also very pleased to see a strong interest in our middle market from both home and overseas buyers," New Zealand Bloodstock marketing and public relations manager, Petrea Vela said in a release. "Possibly one of the best indicators for us of a good sale is whether there is the demand for that middle part of the market. Today that was definitely so, with a very robust median. We were delighted that the market not only held up but gained even further from Monday. We still have a number of exciting yearlings to offer at the final Premier session Wednesday and all indications are that the sale should conclude on a high note."

The high price so far came on Monday, when a colt by Danehill out of the Shirley Heights mare Push a Venture brought $1 million (U.S. $671,510). The colt's dam is a half-sister to the dam of Rock of Gibraltar, the major runner and now stallion who is also by Danehill.

The colt is the fourth foal produced from Push a Venture, who has two foals to race (both by Danehill), both winners, including listed stakes placed Isle of Gibraltar.

The colt, purchased by Adrian Nicoll of the BBA (Ireland) was sold by Curraghmore Stud as agent.