A vibrant atmosphere coupled with dynamic bidding saw a successful day of trade at New Zealand Bloodstock’s 2022 National Weanling Sale.
105 quality weanlings sold for an aggregate of $3,486,000. The average climbed to $33,200, while the median settled at $16,000 and the clearance rate closed at 88%.
Visiting from across the Tasman, NZB’s Director of Business Development Mike Kneebone was pleased with the buoyant market and major increase in all key sale indicators.
“One of the big positives was that there were a lot of great judges present on the grounds right throughout the week. To see them so active in the sale ring is really encouraging," he said.
“It is also positive when you see those good judges, with a nice balance of end-users and pinhookers, bidding on so many horses and in many cases missing out.
“I think that as strong as the Sale was, people will look back and recognise that there was some really good buying amongst the catalogue, which goes to show what great value Karaka has considering the quality of the horses.
“We were thrilled to have had such a strong start to the Sale with the Valachi Downs horses. Their stock truly lived up to expectations, which created good momentum throughout the rest of the day."
Marking the end of an era, Valachi Downs saw its final crop head through the Karaka sale ring. The nursery finished the day as the leading vendor by aggregate and average, recording a 100 percent clearance rate with their 20-strong draft that was purchased by an assortment of domestic and international buyers.
It was a bittersweet day for General Manager Gareth Downey, who is currently overseeing the final stages of Valachi Downs’ stock dispersal sales, including over 50 quality broodmares set to go on sale on Gavelhouse Plus tonight (Friday 17 July).
“This was the last time Valachi Downs sold at a public auction,” he said.
“Valachi have been such big supporters of New Zealand, and particularly NZB. It is very bittersweet and we would love to carry on for many more years, but it felt important to go out on a high note to honour Kevin, and it feels like that is what we have done,” said Downey.
The Valachi Downs draft was highlighted by Lot 1005, a Savabeel colt out of Group Two-winning O’Reilly mare Bohemian Lily (NZ). The standout lot caught the eye of Karaka titan David Ellis (CNZM), who was back in full force purchasing him for $360,000.
“I thought it was a great opportunity to buy from Valachi. These are the best foals that they bred that year. They are here for a really genuine sale."
“I loved the pedigree. I thought this is a Group One colt in the making if ever I have seen one. We are thrilled to have him for Te Akau Racing,” commented leading buyer David Ellis (CNZM).
The second highlight of the day came when owner Verne Trillo, who has a long-standing history with Valachi Downs, fittingly purchased Lot 1013 for $160,000.
Trillo secured the U S Navy Flag filly out of Fastnet Rock mare Honfleur (NZ), whom he bred a number of years ago.
Gordon Cunningham of Curraghmore was active on both sides on the auction ring, after selling and purchasing a number of quality weanlings throughout the day. Cunningham finished the Sale as second leading buyer by aggregate purchasing four weanlings for a total of $275,000.
The leading sire by average was up-and-coming Westbury Stud stallion Tarzino, who sold three lots for an average of $116,667 and aggregate of $350,000 off the back of two outstanding Group One wins this season.
His weanling crop was highlighted by Lot 72, a filly out of Nightingale Island (NZ) purchased for $150,000 by Phill Cataldo Bloodstock (BAFNZ). The filly was offered by second leading vendor by average in Highline Thoroughbreds.
All weanlings purchased at Karaka are eligible for the lucrative Karaka Million Series with two $1 million races available for graduates as two and three-year-olds, plus the $110,000 CollinsonForex Karaka Cup for the duration of their career. Nominations must be received by 5PM (NZT) on 18 July 2022. -NZB
View the Sale highlights and Lot-by-Lot footage here.