NZ$2m Zabeel colt tops buoyant Karaka Premier
NEW ZEALAND Bloodstock's Premier yearling sale at Karaka concluded on a buoyant note today with a NZ$2m (£890,000, €1,014,000) top lot and increases in turnover, average, median and clearance rate on last year's renewal.
The NZ$2m price tag - the joint-third highest ever seen in the Karaka sale ring - belonged to a son of New Zealand's champion sire Zabeel out of the Group 1-placed Danehill mare Diamond Like, from the stallion-producing family of Danewin, Octagonal and Viking Ruler.
Sydney-based bloodstock agent James Bester purchased the colt, who was consigned by Cambridge Stud, on behalf of a small group of unnamed Australian owners.
Bester said: "What attracted me to this colt was his quality. Physically he's the best yearling I have ever seen in the southern hemisphere.
"Chiefly I buy on conformation and this colt was exceptional, but to also be presented with the best page in the sale is extraordinary. Zabeel on Danehill is outstanding, and a very fast mare more to the point to counter Zabeel's staying influence."
David Ellis, an underbidder on the Zabeel top lot, later struck for a three-parts brother to multiple Group 1 winner Darci Brahma by Redoute's Choice, who cost NZ$1.3m (£580,000, €660,000).
Competition for the top lots helped fuel a 22per cent rise in turnover, from NZ$53,330,000 in 2009 to NZ$65,373,500 (£29,100,000, €33,200,000) this year, while the average rose by 26 per cent from NZ$145,710 to NZ$183,119 (£81,500, €93,000) and the median increased from NZ$100,000 to NZ$135,000 (£60,000, €68,500).
The clearance rate was also up, from 77 per cent to 79 per cent.
The leading sire by average at the sale was Redoute's Choice, who had seven sell for an average of NZ$454,286, ahead of Zabeel (41, NZ$315,732) and Encosta De Lago (13, NZ$306,923).
The three-day Karaka Select yearling sale begins tomorrow.