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Strong Select Sale makes vendors smile

The smiles on the faces of vendors at the end of the three-day 2007 New Zealand Select Sale at Karaka were more expressive than any statistical analysis of the relief that strong demand and profitable sales have brought to the industry.


Hallmark Stud sold seven 2007 Select Sale yearlings for an average of $48,285 - up 15% on their 2006 Select Sale average.
PHOTO: Susan Archer

The frustration of some trainers and agents was merely a different view of the same story, as they found themselves out-gunned on their first-choice lots and forced to pay more than expected for their second-level selections. The sympathy of breeders for their plight is understandably limited, given the costs and risks of producing yearling thoroughbred horses for sale. This year's record-breaking median of $42,000 and average of almost $50,000 are prices that any vendor with a good type of well-prepared yearling with a reasonably appealing pedigree should expect at the Select Sale. This year's sale was, for many breeders, catch-up time – a chance to pay service fees, upgrade mares and put a filly in training, without financial distress.

Strong support for several freshman sires, most owned in New Zealand, was a feature of the results, with Ishiguru, Danroad, Captain Rio, Storm Creek, Thorn Park, Spartacus & Ekraar all averaging five or more times their advertised 2004 fee. Current leading New Zealand-based second-crop sire No Excuse Needed averaged almost ten times his 2004 fee of $8,000.

Established sires Towkay (currently second on the Hong Kong sires' list), Volksraad and the Waikato Stud trio of Pins, O'Reilly andDanasinga were rewarded for consistent results, achieving averages between $64,000 and $82,000. Danasinga (sold in 2005 to Australia) is a good example of the upswing proven sires have enjoyed this year. At the 2006 NZ Select Sale his eleven yearlings averaged $19,000. Twelve months later he's recorded 19 sales at an average price of almost $65,000.

Blyth Tait's Chesterfields is the only name to appear in both years among the top five Select Sale vendors (by average), but their 2007 figure of $75,333 is a big – almost 48% - improvement on last year's $51,000.

Leading Select Sale vendor by average this year was the Williams family's Little Avondale Stud, which had a splendid week, selling 17 lots for an average price of $187,941 across both the Premier and Select Sales.

Waikato Stud led the vendor list by aggregate with 23 lots sold for a total of $1,712,500, headed by the O'Reilly-Not Sure filly, sold for $150,000 to former NZTBA chief executive and Haunui Farm general manager Steve Brem, now working as a bloodstock adviser in Sydney.

- Susan Archer