Savabeel Colt Tops Strong Opening Day At Karaka

Savabeel Colt Tops Strong Opening Day At Karaka24 Jan 2016

The two day Karaka Premier Yearling Sale kicked off Monday, with a strong international buying bench fueling sharp increases across the board. A total of 158 lots sold (76%) from 209 offered–two points above 2014’s clearance rate–grossing NZ$28,097,500 (£12,722,944/€16,705,958), an increase of 26% on last year’s Day 1 gross of NZ$22,317,500. Foreign buyers–from such far off locales as Hong Kong, Singapore, Ireland, Japan, Macau, Netherlands, United Kingdom, United States, South Africa, Malaysia and, of course, Australia–accounted for 67% of the gross. Twenty-seven horses were hammered down for NZ$300,000 or above, compared to 14 in 2015. The average rose 22% to NZ$177,832 from NZ$145,866, while the median of NZ$150,000 was 36% above last year’s figure of NZ$110,000 from the same number of lots catalogued, at 230.

“There was a great atmosphere around the sale grounds today with plenty of interest from buyers, the general public and a hive of media,” commented Andrew Seabrook, Managing Director of NZB. “To achieve the results we have see today is very encouraging. All of our key figures have increased with strong competition across the board. To have a median price higher than the average price of last year at the same point of the sale is a great feat, it shows the depth of the catalogue is strong and there is confidence in New Zealand Thoroughbreds.”

Continued Seabrook, “The international buying bench has been very strong as shown by the number of our top lots heading to buyers from different parts of the globe. However, the leading buyer was New Zealand’s David Ellis who has been the biggest buyer at Karaka for the past 10 years.”

Topping the first day was lot 200, a strapping dark bay son of Waikato Stud stalwart Savabeel (Aus) (Zabeel {NZ}), who was secured for NZ$775,000 (£350,930/€460,792) on the bid of New Zealander David Ellis of Te Akau Racing. Consigned by Waikato and out of Bling (NZ) (O’Reilly {NZ}), he is a full-brother to G1SW Diademe (NZ) and established a new record as the highest priced horse ever sold by Waikato, the leading consignor at the Karaka Premier Yearling Sale for the past two years.

“This Savabeel colt is quite outstanding, he is one that Te Akau had on the must-have list and to get what you want sometimes you have to exceed your budget,” commented Ellis, who celebrated Te Akau Racing‘s first winner in Ireland in 2015 through the Tommy Stack-trained 101-rated Torcedor (Ire) (Fastnet Rock {Aus}).

Ellis had a busy first day Monday, signing for 12 yearlings for NZ$3,207,500, as he bids to become the sale’s leading buyer for the 11th consecutive year.

“It has been a very successful sale so far with very strong prices. There have been a number of bidding duels on the good horses and I’ve found it difficult to buy this year as the international buying bench has been so strong.”