There were smiles, handshakes and even a few tears of joy on the afternoon of the second day of the National Yearling Sale at Karaka when a pair of South Island breeding operations struck gold with youngsters from their respective drafts.
North Canterbury-based Beaufort Downs is an up and comer at Karaka, with this the fourth year they have presented a draft of yearlings and it was Lot 299, a No Nay Never colt from European mare Highly Valued that provided them with the highest price they have achieved at the sale when he fetched $280,000.
Less than twenty minutes later Otago-based breeding royalty White Robe Lodge also secured their highest price over the many years they have sold at Karaka with a Savabeel filly (Lot 315), out of ten race winner Include, fetching $320,000 from the bid of Bloodstock agent Paul Beamish.
Olly Tuthill and Annabel Wigley operate Beaufort Downs with the pair in raptures at their good fortune after making a significant outlay to purchase the dam of their top lot.
“This our fourth year selling under our own banner here,” Wigley said.
“We actually didn’t have high expectations for this colt before we got here, but he is such a beautiful colt and he has just blossomed since getting to the complex.
“He was such a big strong foal and grew into a nice horse, but we didn’t know just what he might go for.
“That’s the highest price we have ever fetched, so it was very exciting.”
Tuthill, who paraded the colt through the auction ring admitted he was only half listening to the bidding duel erupting around him as he focused on ensuring the colt was displayed at his best.
“I was out there leading him and making sure he got through the ring,” Tuthill said.
“I was really just trying to hold on, but when you hear the numbers going up, you tend to relax a little.
“We bought the mare from England, so it’s quite nice to get a result as we put a lot of money, time and effort into it.
“Everyone was so happy when we got back to the stable block, so it makes it all worthwhile.”
That $280,000 watermark didn’t last long for the couple as later in the session their So You Think filly out of Exceed And Excel mare Lagertha was knocked down for $380,000 to Duncan Ramage’s DGR Thoroughbred Services.
Ramage was returning to the same source, having outlaid $200,000 for a So You Think filly now named So Dazzling 12 months ago who is in training with John Sargent.
Meanwhile, Wayne Stewart from White Robe Lodge was also beaming as he collected his thoughts about what had just transpired in the auction ring following the sale of the Savabeel filly from the farm’s multiple stakes winning Gallant Guru mare Include.
“That is the most money I have ever sold a horse for and a real thrill,” he said.
“While you don’t always expect things, being a Savabeel filly out of a good quality mare and from a Waikato Stud family that we bought into at a May sale up here quite a few years ago, there was always a good chance.
“Her dam won ten out of 15 and we probably didn’t see the best of her, so it was great to see this filly sell so well and to have her go to a good friend and judge in Paul Beamish.
“I believe she will be going to Australia (Tony Gollan) and she will get every chance over there.”
With the filly completing White Robe Lodge’s offerings this year, Stewart was looking forward to heading home and relaxing after the stress of getting to Karaka and the sale itself.
“We travel the furthest of any one in New Zealand to get here with three days and a boat trip, so it is not a holiday trip,” he said.
“I’ve done it every year we have sold here and while it is good fun, I am looking forward to heading home which is a lot quicker on the way back with just a two-hour flight.
“I’m delighted that some of the other South Island vendors have also had good sales as the strength of the form on the racetrack that is coming out of our breeding has been very strong as we produce sound and big-race winning horses all around Australasia.
“That has to be good for the breeding industry in the south.” – NZ Racing Desk