The Valachi Downs unreserved broodmare and stallion shares dispersal sale concluded on Gavelhouse Plus on Friday night and as expected blue-hen mare Baggy Green proved the highlight lot, selling for $1.75 million to Yulong’s Written Tycoon Syndicate.
Grossing over $6.6 million, the 57-lot online sale is the highest grossing broodmare sale in New Zealand history, with a strong international buying bench keen to gain access to well-credentialed stock amassed by Kevin and Joanna Hickman, who have recently sold their pristine Matamata nursery.
Having stretched to A$3.1 million to purchase four-time Group One winner Tofane at the Gold Coast last month, it was not surprising Yulong Investments were keen to acquire her mother Baggy Green, with the 13-year-old Galileo mare sold in-foal to Ocean Park and therefore carrying a full-sibling to Tofane.
Yulong was particularly strong as they also secured Group Two-winning O’Reilly mare Bohemian Lily, the dam of Gr.2 Royal Stakes (2000m) runner-up Lily’s Lady, who is in foal to Waikato Stud champion sire Savabeel for $680,000.
Out of the Blues Traveller mare Bohemian Blues, Bohemian Lily is a full-sister to Group One winner Shamrocker and Group One placed Vernanme. The ten-year-old mare, whose Savabeel weanling colt was purchased by David Ellis of Te Akau for $360,000 last week, is also a half-sister to Group One winning stayer Rock Diva.
Valachi Downs general manager Gareth Downey took great pride in the strength of the sale, a nod to his employer’s investment and love for the thoroughbred industry.
“The sale was very strong and very satisfying,” he said.
“I think the best possible outcome was that Kevin’s passion and hard work to develop Valachi Downs and its impeccable broodmare band was honoured and appreciated by the international buying market.
“From the team’s perspective we are very appreciative of the buyers, the underbidders, the staff at gavelhouse and everyone who has worked so hard to put the sale together.”
Downey admitted they had struggled to put a value on a mare such as Baggy Green, who was a very rare offering.
In addition to Tofane, who is back in work with Michael Moroney ahead of a final spring campaign, Baggy Green has also produced Sydney Group Three winner No Compromise and this year’s Gr.1 Australian Derby (2400m) runner-up Benaud.
“Mares don’t come along like her every day of the week,” Downey said.
“We certainly had an expectation, but how do you possibly value a mare like that.
“The best result was that our expectations were exceeded, as we believed they should be, and that is again testament to Kevin’s legacy.
“From a local perspective we are losing some wonderful families from our shores, however that is the reality of the market as the demand for our better mares is very high.”
Other highlight sales included Bohemian Lily’s Group Two performed daughter Lily’s Lady for $502,500, Gr.2 Royal Stakes (2000m) winner Needle And Thread for $410,000 and Fastnet Rock mare Honfleur for $350,000. The latter is another out of Bohemian Blues and was sold in-foal to Savabeel.
Downey, who has praised the efforts of his staff at an emotional-time as they farewell the much-loved stock, will now turn his attention to the 52 lot Unreserved Young and Racing Stock Dispersal that is now live on Gavelhouse Plus.
Among the highlights in the offering is Tofane’s yearling full sister. The Ocean Park filly is one of the outstanding youngsters usually retained by Valachi Downs’ world-class breeding and racing team.
“This is a unique opportunity to secure genuine racing propositions that are of the quality that they would usually be retained to further bolster an elite broodmare band,” Downey said.
“They have been well-reared and those that are further through the system have been well-educated by the Valachi Racing team and are ready for new owners to reap the benefits from this.”
Other notable entries include:
Lot 21 – by Zoustar and from the Redoute’s Choice mare Dark Hedges, this filly is a three quarter sister to Zousain, a Group Two winning juvenile and multiple Group One runner up.
Lot 23 – an Almanzor half-sister to Gr.2 Royal Stakes winner Needle and Thread who sold for $410,000 in the breeding stock dispersal plus multiple Group One place-getter Savile Row.
Lot 52 - Gr.2 Sir Tristram Fillies Classic runner-up Glory Bound looks to have plenty of upside. By Tavistock and from multiple stakes performer The Tidy Express (Volksraad), she is lightly tried with just eight starts for an impressive maiden win and three placings.
Sires represented in the auction include Almanzor, American Pharoah, Belardo, Contributer, U S Navy Flag, Savabeel, Savile Row, So You Think, Tavistock, Time Test, Vadamos, Vespa, War Decree, Zacinto and Zoustar.
Bidding will close from 7pm (NZT) on Friday 1 July.
Follow the link to view the full breeding stock dispersal results.