Te Akau Racing supremo David Ellis ignited the final stages of Day Two at the NZB National Yearling Sale and he was at it again early on Day Three.
Ellis outlaid a combined $1.925 million for a pair of Savabeel yearlings on Monday evening, including the current sale-topper, Lot 301 the colt from class racemare Katie Lee colt that fetched $1.025 million. Lot 290, the filly out of Joys Choice went to Ellis for $900,000 and was confirmed as the first member of Te Akau’s new fillies syndicate opportunity.
Ellis added the second member of that syndicate when he set the auction ring alight on Tuesday morning with an opening bid of $800,000 for Lot 371, an athletic Not A Single Doubt filly out of Meleka Belle. The filly is a half-sister to 2017 Karaka Million (1200m) winner Melody Belle who Ellis had purchased out of the 2016 Karaka Sale for $57,500.
Ellis admitted he had hoped to blow any opposition away with his opening salvo however the move didn’t have quite the success he had hoped for when an $850,000 bid returned fire immediately. Not to be deterred, Ellis upped the ante to $900,000 which proved the winning move as he signed for the filly just minutes later.
“I normally wait until they are on the market before I bid, but I thought I would try and blow them out of the water with one bid,” he said.
“I was still really pleased to get her at $900,000 as I would have gone a bit higher.
“I’ve been watching this filly’s family for the last 40 years. The moment I saw her at Haunui Farm I thought she was a stunning filly.
“She came up here to the sale and didn’t turn a hair as she took it all in her stride.”
For breeder Marie Leicester the result exceeded any expectations she had despite many people telling her the filly would fetch good money.
“After fifty years in this game the one thing I can say is that I’m a realist,” she said.
“I’ve learnt not to get my hopes up as the minute you do they come crashing down pretty quickly. I did have a figure in my mind that I would like to have achieved and this has well and truly exceeded that.
“The Belle family, which was established by my parents back in 1938, has produced so many quality gallopers so I’m keen to see this filly now carry on that tradition.”
Leicester admitted it would take some time for the result to sink in as she was still smiling about the sale of Lot 27, her Savabeel colt from classy staying mare Annie Higgins, who went to the bid of Peter Moody for $150,000 on Sunday evening.
“I was delighted that Peter bought my Annie Higgins colt and thrilled with what he fetched,” she said.
“It was a wonderful start to the sale and now it has just got even better.
“I still have two yearlings left to sell so we are only halfway there.” – NZ Racing Desk