Last Zabeel offering stirs Karaka memories

15 Jan 2015

Seen on Wednesday of this week with handler Mark Forbes is Lot 102 for the Karaka Premier Sale, a colt by Zabeel from Organdy who will be the last yearling by his famous sire to ever be offered through New Zealand Bloodstock's Karaka Sales Centre.

The sale of this colt on Monday week will bring the curtain down on an illustrious two decades of sales by the sire who, arguably, is the best New Zealand has ever seen.

The first crop of Zabeel sold at Karaka in 1994 and amongst them was none other than Octagonal, a champion racehorse for his young sire who went on to win 10 Group One races including a W S Cox Plate.  From that same first crop of Zabeel offered at Karaka were two other subsequent Group One winners, namely Jezabeel (Melbourne Cup) and Cronus (Adelaide Cup).

The National Yearling Sales Series moved from Trentham to Karaka in 1988 and it's an undoubted fact that no other sire has made more headlines than Zabeel in the years since.

The stock of Zabeel consistently created fireworks at Karaka, year-in-year-out bringing huge averages and eye-watering top-end prices.

Karaka's record yearling price of $3.6m was achieved by a colt by Zabeel from Diamond Lover; his name of course was Don Eduardo and he went on to become an Australian Derby winner before a stud career of his own.

New Zealand Bloodstock were kind enough to supply me with an all-time leading seller list today and, not surprisingly, Zabeel dominates that schedule of horses to make the really big bucks.  To be precise, 10 of the 24 horses to have sold for $1m or more at Karaka have been by Zabeel.

Karaka will never be quite the same after Lot 102 walks through the ring on Monday week, but the memory of Zabeel's hundreds of fabulous yearling graduates from one of the world's great selling venues will live on. 

By Adrian Clark (