Solid Start for Stravinsky Down Under

As many of the first northern 2-year-olds by Stravinsky are in various stages of pre-schooling, his first southern generation made a significant impact on the New Zealand Premier Yearling Sale.

Stravinsky, by Nureyev, has commuted to New Zealand's Cambridge Stud since entering Coolmore's Ashford in 2000. His first wave at Keeneland in September placed him only 11th of the freshmen by average, his $(US)59,240 for 25 a modest return on the $35,000 he commanded in the first season in his native Kentucky.

His results at New Zealand's major yearling auction were better on relative values, the US dollar buying $1.825 (NZ funds) on the first of three days (Jan 27-29). The Stravinskys didn't trouble the established studs such as Danehill and Zabeel, but his results, like the sale were fairly bullish in the circumstances. His $86,646 might seem a tad light in view of early expectations, but it was sustained for 41 yearlings -- not far off the freshman record numerically, and on a season cost of $30,000 (all amounts in New Zealand funds). The overall Premier average came in at $95,000 and change.

His was boosted in spectacular style as Sydney agent, James Bester -- a Coolmore consultant -- signed for the first to appear with the sale just 28 lots old. The colt in question realized $400,000 but the spell was perhaps broken when the first filly exited the ring sold for less than a tenth of that.

Two other colts, from grade I winners, brought $200,000 on the second day for the 26 males to average $96,634. Dearest of the 15 fillies was $220,000 from Auckland Cup (NZ-I) winner Royal Tiara, enabling them to average $69,333. His medians weighed in at $72,0000, $47,500 for the fillies and $62,500 overall.

Leading freshman was Shadwell's Marju with a dozen averaging $124,791. It placed him ahead of high class Danehill son Redoute's Choice on $118,333 for four. The Australasian branch of Shadwell bought the second most expensive Marju colt at $350,000, for a half brother to Melbourne Cup winner Ethereal -- both from Hong Kong Cup (HK-L) winner Romanee Conti. That sale early on the final day was subsequently eclipsed by the $400,000 paid by Bart Cummings for a male sibling to two leading Asian earners Bocelli and Magic Hands.

Marju is based at Sheikh Hamdan's Derrinstown Stud in Ireland and worked the 2000 season at the defunct Ra Ora Stud near Auckland, before moving to Australia. His 2002 season at Collingrove was cancelled when the Last Tycoon son developed travel sickness in quarantine.

There was just one representative of the small crop of 31 left from Marquetry's single southern season. English agent Richard O'Gorman paid $190,000 for the colt from Last Tycoon mare Angel Lorraine on behalf of a Singapore client. The only Real Quiet at Karaka went unsold.

Two of a half dozen from the second of three southern generations by the deceased End Sweep realized $90,000 for an overall average of $55,000. There was just one of Red Ransom's second Australian crop and the well-related colt made $210,000 to the bid of Tony Bott, collecting for a Hong Kong client.

Spinning World spent his third Australasian season at New Zealand's Windsor Park, and 20 results of that one-off season's 134 covers at $25,000 yielded $1,437,500. His average was $71,875, both sexes within a $100 of that, the nine males sold to $190,000 and the fillies $20,000 less.