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Prowess sibling sets Karaka ring alight

Lot 21, a full sister to Prowess, sells for $1.6 million on Day 1 at Karaka 2024. - Photo: Trish Dunell
Lot 21, a full sister to Prowess, sells for $1.6 million on Day 1 at Karaka 2024.

Photo: Trish Dunell

Studmaster Mark Baker looked more than a little stunned in the aftermath of a lifetime dream being achieved early on the first day of Book 1 of New Zealand Bloodstock’s National Yearling Sale at Karaka on Sunday.

Baker has just seen the full sister by Proisir to outstanding racemare Prowess knocked down to a $1.6 million bid by leading Victorian trainer Peter Moody to set a new record for the female sex at the New Zealand Bloodstock National Yearling Sale, eclipsing the $1.45 million set by the Zabeel-Marquise filly sold at Karaka in 2001.

“We’ve never sold a $1 million yearling in our lives although we’ve dreamt of it,” Baker said.

“This is just massive and we were lucky we had some real heavyweights bidding on her.

“This would be massive for a big farm let alone one like us and all from a mare we bought for just $20,000 and off an $11,000 service fee that Proisir stood for that year.”

Baker was referring to their Don Eduardo mare Donna Marie, the dam of Prowess who fetched $230,000 at Karaka in 2021 before going on to be a multiple Group One winner. She won more than $1.34 million from the Roger James and Robert Wellwood stable before having her racing career cut short due to a hoof injury.

Her racetrack performances certainly added plenty of interest to her full sister that was consigned by Hallmark as Lot 21, with a full auditorium witnessing a fierce three-way bidding duel between respected international buyers Moody, and Bloodstock Agents Sheamus Mills and Guy Mulcaster.

“We own a share in Proisir and this is great for the farm, great for the mare and also for all the staff at home who put their heart and soul into preparing these horses for sale,” Baker said.

“This is great for Dad (Denny) as well and is a long way from selling them for $1000 at Claudelands back in the 1980’s like he did.

“From the moment she was born we knew we had a special filly on our hands and that was even before Prowess kicked up and did what she did.

“She has always had a great action, a great brain and it was really a matter of getting her here in one piece.

“We might have a short and sharp celebration tonight and then maybe a bit more after the sales are finished as we still have a fair few left to sell.”

Moody was quick to outline the qualities he saw in the filly after his interest was piqued when working his way through the sales catalogue.

“This is a big dive into the ocean, but she is a bloody nice filly,” Moody said.

“Obviously a lot of people were on her and she paraded well and presented herself well all week.

“She is a full to a Group One winner so she has that residual ticket following her racing career and when you see what Proisir has done with six individual Group One winners in a season it was a very strong attraction.

“I would have loved to have bought her for $800,000 but for a special filly like this you have to go beyond, especially when you look at the catalogue and see her as a full sister to a superstar (Prowess) who I thought would have won the Cox Plate (Gr.1, 2040m) last year before things went against her.

“It’s seldom you come to a sale and see a filly like this who is arguably a better type than the sister, although only time will tell with her.

“It was a grind to get her but thankfully we came out on top.”

Moody advised she will go straight back to his base in Victoria and expected to see her getting more serious about her racetrack aspirations in twelve months’ time.



 

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