Bloodlines: ‘Savabeel feast’ predictions come true at Karaka sale

This week’s NZ National Yearling Sales at Karaka proved a little predictable, with a drop in turnover plus the country’s gun stallion Savabeel dominating the four main sessions.

New Zealand’s biggest buyer David Ellis was also prominent, purchasing a massive 41 lots.

Kiwi No.1: Savabeel goes from strength to strength as New Zealand’s top stallion.Credit:Ray Kennedy

NZ Bloodstock sales manager Danny Rolston told Bloodlines last week the sale would be ‘‘a bit of a Savabeel feast” and, like many Karaka attendees, expected the Savabeel colt from Make A Wish would be the top seller.

Ellis said you didn’t have to be a genius to know the colt was a standout and put his money where his mouth was by paying $NZ1.4million ($1,330,000) for the stunning brown colt.

Ellis outlaid $NZ7,825,000, which included 10 lots by Savabeel. His purchases varied from as low as $NZ20,000 to the sales-topper and he will syndicate his yearlings through his powerful Te Akau group.

It was the 14th successive year Ellis was the leading buyer at the country’s major sale and he was in fine form after winning his third successive Karaka Millions last Saturday with a Savabeel colt.

The aggregate turnover at the sale was $NZ67,206,500 compared with $83,549,000 in 2018, with the latter sale selling an extra 50 lots.

The average was $NZ137,437 compared with $NZ155,007 a year earlier and the clearance rate 77 per cent from 83 per cent in 2018.

Managing director Andrew Seabrook said after the final lot sold on Wednesday, “I believe the market has held up well considering the lack of pinhook activity, the drop-off from Singapore’s falling prizemoney and the continual lack of local market support”.

Seabrook said that more than 50 Australian trainers had crossed the Tasman in search of stable additions and signed for 178 lots.

Another anticipated winner at Karaka was Mark Chittick’s Waikato Stud, which stands Savabeel. Waikato recorded their sixth successive victory as the leading farm selling 71 yearlings for $NZ16,115,000 – an average of $NZ226,972.

Savabeel had six of the top 10 yearlings sell and finished with an aggregate of $NZ13,960,000 (average $NZ297,021).

The $NZ1.4million seller was the highest-priced yearling sold by Waikato Stud with their previous best being $NZ875,000 in 2013.

There were a number of Kiwis who did their best to bolster the purchases which will remain in New Zealand.

All told 233 of the 489 lots to sell were signed for by locals and highlights included:

❏ Graeme Rogerson – spent $NZ2,510,000 on 13 yearlings and was underbidder on the top-priced Savabeel colt.

❏ Bruce Perry – signed for 15 lots for $NZ2,565,000 and is renowned as the country’s major bloodstock agent.

❏ GO Racing – a highly successful New Zealand syndication firm and they were extremely active with 15 yearlings for $NZ1,885,000 (av $NZ125,667).

❏ Trainer Tony Pike – a most successful yearling buyer who bought seven lots for $NZ1,445,000 (av $NZ206,429).

❏ Brendan and Jo Lindsay, who purchased Cambridge Stud from Sir Patrick Hogan 12 months ago, were in the limelight as vendors and buyers at Karaka. The super-keen racing and breeding duo were responsible for selling 53 yearlings over the four days with a return of $NZ7,505,000 (av $NZ141,604). They played up their returns purchasing seven yearlings for $NZ1,220,000 (av $NZ174,286) with their major purchase the lone Frankel filly to sell for $NZ500,000.

One of their yearling sellers was a Tavistock filly from Lovetessa with Sir Patrick winning a tough bidding duel to win the day at $NZ300,000. The filly hails from the Eight Carat family that was made famous in breeding circles under Hogan’s expertise.

Chris Waller added seven more yearlings bought in conjunction with his bloodstock adviser Guy Mulcaster for $NZ1,125,000 (av $160,714).

Ciaron Maher, who has added stables at Warwick Farm, had nine yearlings knocked down for $NZ1,150,000.

International buyers Shadwell Farm and Godolphin were active.  Shadwell arranged for noted European agent Hubie de Burgh to select its four purchases outlaying $NZ1,560,000. Their buys were sired by I Am Invincible, Savabeel, Redoute’s Choice and Iffraaj.

Godolphin outlaid $NZ950,000 for three lots, paying $NZ600,000 for a Zoustar filly, $NZ250,000 and $NZ100,000 for yearlings by freshman sires Contributor and Exosphere.

Dean Hawthorne, buying for Jonathan Munz, was hunting for fillies and did not make a move until session three when he bought a Savabeel and Tavistock for $NZ800,000 and $NZ400,000.

I Am Invincible followed on his Magic Million dominance by being the leading Karaka sire (for three or more yearlings to sell) with an average of $NZ353,333, his top price being $NZ500,000.

Zoustar was the second-leading sire with an average of $NZ326,250 for four lots, and Savabeel was third.

The leading freshman sires were Pride Of Dubai (av $160,000) and Vancouver ($NZ142,222) with Kermadec and Mongolian Khan both having strong sales with six-figure averages.

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