Fresh from their stunning Gr.1 New Zealand Derby (2400m) triumph at Ellerslie on Saturday, Lance O’Sullivan and Andrew Scott were back in the limelight at Karaka on Tuesday.
The pair purchased three individuals on the first day of the New Zealand Bloodstock National Yearling Sale and midway through the second day of selling had added two more youngsters to their haul including Lot 303, the US Navy Flag colt out of Fastnet Rock mare Honfleur from the Valachi Downs draft.
The colt comes from a stellar extended family that includes Gr.1 Australian Derby (2400m) winner Shamrocker, Gr.1 Auckland Cup (3200m) winner Rock Diva and multiple stakes winner Bohemian Lily, the dam of recent Gr.1 Herbie Dyke Stakes (2000m) runner-up, Vernanme.
Despite a raft of black-type performers littering the catalogue page for the showy bay colt, O’Sullivan admits it is one of the last things he looks at when selecting a young horse.
“He was just a very athletic type of colt and everything you look for in a horse,” O’Sullivan said.
“He is well balanced, a good walker, good head and he was hard not to like.
“The family to us is a bonus as when we look to buy, we look at then purely on type and it doesn’t matter who’s their mum or their dad.
“We’ve got to be attracted to the horse first and to be honest, I hadn’t looked at the family until I had looked at the individual.”
O’Sullivan had first seen the colt on the Valachi Downs property and was impressed with his development when inspecting him when he arrived at the Karaka sales complex.
“We saw him on farm, just a quick look and he was one of a half a dozen we earmarked from the stud,” he said.
“When we got here, we looked a little more in depth and I liked him a lot more here, he certainly grew on us and his attitude was very good.
“You like to see them stand there and not move when you are inspecting them and you generally find they turn out to be your good horses, as they have the right temperament and a good brain.”
O’Sullivan was buying on behalf of a Hong Kong client with the horse likely to stay in New Zealand to prove himself before heading offshore. – NZ Racing Desk