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Premier Sale first day posts record median

The first day of the re-formatted two-day 2007 New Zealand Premier Sale ended with a record median of $120,000 and an average of more than $146,000, significantly exceeding New Zealand Bloodstock's pre-sale expectations.

The sale's momentum built steadily through the day after a subdued start. The first
Visitors at Karaka today and selling Lot 463 on Wednesday were Veloce Bella's owner-breeders Margaret & Murray Hardy.
PHOTO: Susan Archer
four lots resulted in sales at $24,000, $92,000 and $50,000, and a passed colt by Zabeel, before Hawke's Bay owner-breeder and major sponsor Sam Kelt kicked in with the first six-figure purchase of the sale. That was $250,000 for Lot 5, The Oaks Stud's loose-walking Spartacus-Wildn'sensuous filly.
Two more good sales followed: $290,000 for the No Excuse Needed-Windsong colt from Waikato Stud (which put an early smile on Mark Chittick's face in the vendor's box); and $150,000 for Westbury Stud's Black Minnaloushe-Xeraphin colt.

However, prices in that bracket were not the norm in the first sixty lots. Twenty horses in that group did make $100,000 or more, headed by Curraghmore Stud's Fusaichi Pegasus-Allez France filly, bought by James Bester for $330,000. Twenty-seven horses sold for less than $100,000, down to a low of $24,000 paid for Lot 1, a Viking Ruler colt.



Pencarrow Stud's Leon Casey parades the Stravinsky-Ethereal colt in the Karaka sale-ring.
PHOTO: Alex Martin

The pace and level of sales picked up in the early afternoon, and 27 of the next 60 lots made $100,000 or more, including Cambridge Stud's Zabeel-Diamond Lover colt at $425,000, knocked down to the Freedman Brothers who also bought a single lot at last year's sale.

Lot 137, Pencarrow Stud's elegant Stravinsky-Ethereal colt brought the crowd into the auditorium at 3.40 pm and attracted lively bidding, although his eventual sale for $1.3 million to dominant Karaka buyer David Ellis could hardly have surprised anyone.

After Lot 150 went through the ring, Trackside statistician Chris McQuaid's unofficial figures showed an average price of more than $135,000, well up on last year's first day figure of $117,704. At that point the median price was $110,000, and the clearance rate was close to last year's opening day figure of 78%.
Transactions on the final 80 lots improved all those statistics, with the clearance rate rising to 81.6%.

Apart from the obvious headliners, there were many satisfying results through the sale. For example, Bill Punch, breeder of Bonecrusher, sold a Montjeu colt from the champion's half-sister Endless Joy for $300,000.

The Moore family's Soliloquy Lodge averaged $120,000 for three lots today, headed by the Thorn Park-Zahra filly, bought by Graeme Rogerson's Dormello Stud for $180,000.

The leader of Lot 41, Windsor Park's strong Montjeu-Andra filly, could not stop
Three of Southland's famous Dennis brothers, Tony,
Ray and Martin, follow the sale-ring action at Karaka today. Their O'Reilly-The Grin colt is Lot 425 tomorrow.

PHOTO: Alex Martin
smiling as the bidding on her rose to $260,000, with the help of a bravura performance by auctioneer Steve Davis.

Westbury Stud would have to be happy with Captain Rio's first yearling at Karaka, the Gypsy Geena colt, sold to Kieran Moore for $220,000.

And fittingly, as studmaster Gerald Fell began his 50th consecutive New Zealand sales series, the day's best price for Fairdale Stud, $160,000, was achieved for a colt by resident sire Howbaddouwantit from Fairdale Lass.
The Premier Sale concludes tomorrow.



- Susan Archer