Leanach Lodge graduates have enjoyed widespread racing success, particularly the Karaka class of 2020 and this year’s New Zealand Bloodstock National Yearling Sale Book 1 draft compares most favourably, according to principal Ross Mackay.
The Ohaupo operation will present a 10-strong consignment with an even mix of colts and fillies and spirits have been buoyed by more recent racetrack results.
“I think this draft is stronger and the biggest I have had and there are some lovely horses there,” Mackay said. “Pound for pound, I think it’s the best.”
The star of the 2020 Book 1 line-up has been last season’s Karaka Million 2YO (1200m) and Gr.1 Manawatu Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) winner On The Bubbles, who this term has added the Listed Uncle Remus Stakes (1400m) to his record.
“My first year of selling was 2008 so we’re pushing 13 years and On The Bubbles has certainly been the best we have sold,” Mackay said.
“A long time ago, we didn’t manage to sell Te Akau Shark. We had him as a yearling and put him through and managed to sell him after the sale and he was a fantastic horse and great to be involved with him as well.”
Also included in that 2020 draft was the Listed Auckland Futurity Stakes (1400m) winner Atullibigeal.
“We had an ownership interest in him and we sold him for a lot of money to Hong Kong,” Mackay said. “There were also a couple of other smart ones in there and one that has won a trial in Australia for Ciaron Maher.
“There was another horse Nigel Tiley has called Quicken Away, who won as a two-year-old and Riverplate, who we have an interest in. He hasn’t won a race yet, but he has been around in the Caulfield Guineas (Gr.1, 1600m) and the Karaka Million 3YO (1600m).
“He’s a very good horse and hasn’t quite hit the mark yet, but he will do I’m sure.”
On The Bubbles is a son of Brazen Beau, who will be represented in this year’s line-up by a filly, Lot 427, and a colt, Lot 322.
“The daughter of Brazen Beau is a lovely filly and a bit more scope and probably not going to be an early two-year-old type like On The Bubbles,” Mackay said.
She is from a strong international family that features Group One winners Fasliyev, Misty For Me and U S Navy Flag, whose first crop representatives will be on offer at Karaka next month.
The colt is out of a half-sister to the four-time Australian Group One winner Appearance.
“He has been sent over by a client in Melbourne after the success we had with On The Bubbles I guess and to try and carry on that momentum. He’s a cracking colt and one of my top picks in the draft,” Mackay said.
“We have a lovely line of horses and, with hand on heart, another top colt is the Per Incanto out of Ophelia Lee. It’s her first foal and we raised her on the farm and this colt is a good sort, a nice mover and a horse I’ve got a lot of faith in.”
He will be offered as Lot 466 and under the second dam is the Gr.1 MRC Thousand Guineas (1600m) winner Aloisia.
“A couple of fillies that have taken my eye is the Kermadec, a really classic type and she is Lot 1 so she might be a bit of value. She is a lovely staying type and the U S Navy Flag out of Italian Queen looks a real two-year-old type,” Mackay said.
To be sold as Lot 331, her dam won three races and the pedigree page also features the multiple Group Two winner Swift Fitness and former New Zealand Filly of the Year Dijon Bleu.
High hopes are also held for a daughter of Almanzor, Lot 344, who is out of the Zabeel mare Kay’s Legacy and her mother Kay’s Awake was a stakes winner and multiple Group One placegetter.
“The Kermadec and the Almanzor are owned by the Smithies boys from Monovale and they are good supporters and have two lovely fillies,” Mackay said.
In the eight-strong Book 2 draft, he tipped a couple of youngsters by first-season sire Derryn to shine.
“I’ve got a colt and a filly and they are both nice, strong, early-going types. They are good looking horses with beautiful heads,” Mackay said. “They are horses I would be quite keen to own myself and that’s always a good plug.”
Lot 754 is Derryn’s son is out of a half-sister to the multiple Australian black-type winner Most Important while Lot 747 is from a half-sister to seven-time winner and Group Three placegetter Shadow Fox.
Mackay is also a fan of Lot 820, an Eminent filly out of Exige, who is from the family of Gr.2 Empire Rose Stakes (1600m) winner Zanna. -NZ Racing Desk