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Lack of home buyers a worry at NZB auction

AN Nz$800,000 (£387,616/€451,391) son of Danehill Dancer topped day one of New Zealand Bloodstock's National Yearling Sale in Karaka, which saw 180 horses sold for Nz$29,861,000 (£14,463,821/€16,844,599) at a clearance rate of 76 per cent. The average of Nz$165,894 (£80,355/€93,596) was down nine per cent on lastyear's two-day total and the median Nz$130,000 (£62,967/€73,339) is Nz$5,000 down.

Prominent New Zealand buyer David Ellis secured the top lot, a half-brother to Group 2 winner Pure Harmony consigned by Cambridge Stud and out of a mare by Zabeel.

"He is a very athletic colt, the ideal type of horse for the Karaka Million and we will be aiming him at the race," said Ellis. "It would be great to see him running in the New Zealand two-year-old Group 1 races, and if he is successful, perhaps race him in Australia."

Ellis ended day one as leading buyer with 14 yearlings worth $2,458,500 on a day that was otherwise dominated by Australian purchasers. "It is important to remember that we are in a recession but good horses, with good pedigrees that look the part, are selling very well," he said. "There have been a few that we have not been able to buy and a few that went well above what we thought they would so it has been tough buying at times.. The bottom end of the sale is not as strong which hasn't been helped by the weak domestic market."

For much of the sale, the top lot looked to be the first horse through the ring, a  son of High Chaparral who made Nz$600,000 (£290,618/€338,447). Bought by the Victoria-based Surf Coast Racing, he is a full-brother to Group 3 winner Fairy Oak and one of 35 High Chaparrals catalogued forthe sale.

At the close, New Zealand Bloodstock's co-managing director Petrea Vela said: "The highlight has been the great international interest, with the Australian buying bench in particular probably as strong as we've ever had. But the increased Australian activity has been offset by the remarkable decrease in participation by the local buyers. The New Zealand spend is down 32 per cent compared with the first day last year."

Among the European buyersactive at Karaka were Amanda Skiffington, who went to NZ$360,000 for a daughter of High Chaparral, and the BBA Ireland, who paid NZ$220,000 for the last lot through the ring, a Holy Roman Emperor grandson of Group 1 winner Clear Rose.





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