Prominent Australian owner Ozzie Kheir is hoping he has landed another Group One star after he shelled out $640,000 for what his judges deemed the best colt at New Zealand Bloodstock’s Ready to Run Sale.
Group 1 Bloodstock’s Mathew Becker identified lot 195, the Pierro colt out of Group Three performer Mary Lou, as his pick of the sale and after submitting his finding to Kheir, the Australian property magnate was eager to acquire him from the draft of Riversley Park.
“We thought he was the best colt in the sale,” Becker said.
“I bought him for Ozzie Kheir and his prominent Melbourne ownership group. They have had success buying out of the breeze-up sales in the past and they wanted to find what we thought was the best colt.
“We identified him and did our homework and found that he was a very highly thought of colt with a lot of promise.
“We loved the sire as well, we are looking for proven stallions, and he is out of a Fastnet Rock mare. He was a good physical - he ticked all the boxes for us.
“When we put him forward to Ozzie, he really wanted to pin his ears back on him. We are thrilled to get him.”
While pleased to secure the colt for his client, Becker said they did have to extend past their original valuation.
“We knew he was going to make a significant amount of money,” he said.
“With any of those horses they are probably making a bit more than what you would hope to pay, but we were prepared that we may be pushed beyond our initial valuation.
“We just leave that ball in the client’s court. Ozzie was on the phone and decided to bid over what we originally valued him, but it wasn’t far away from what we had him (valued at).”
While unable to be physically present at the sale as a result of COVID-19 travel restrictions, Becker said like many bloodstock agents, he has been accustomed to the virtual sales process implemented in recent times.
“It is challenging, but we are becoming more used to it and information is becoming more freely available, and vendors are becoming more professional in the way they present information,” he said.
“We are finding it easier and clients are more comfortable. We have got our processes in place and people on the ground. It’s the new norm.
“We would love to be there, and we can’t wait until we can be back in New Zealand at the sales, and we will be for the yearlings.
“You just have to deal with the cards as they are dealt, we weren’t able to be there, so we just had to make sure all our ducks were in a row before the horses go in.”
The colt’s future lies in Australia but the decision of which trainer he will head to will be decided in the next few days.
“The trainer hasn’t been determined yet,” Becker said. “At this stage he will ship straight out to Australia and that (trainer decision) will all be determined in the next 24-hours.” – NZ Racing Desk