Curraghmore leads vendor list at Karaka

Cambridge Stud’s long-term status as leading vendor at the NZ Bloodstock National yearling sale was broken after a 31 year reign on Tuesday.

Curraghmore Stud sold 21 yearlings for $7.48 million at a $356,429 average during the two-day Premier Sale.  Cambridge was next best with 47 yearlings making $7.05 million at an average of $150,106.

Curraghmore owner Gordon Cunningham was quick to acknowledge the support of Cambridge owner Sir Patrick Hogan when he first arrived in NZ from Ireland.  “I will always remember Patrick saying that if there was anything he could do for us, don’t hesitate to ask.  He gave us horses to prepare for the sales and he’s a great man for giving people a leg up and plenty of encouragement.”

Cambridge Stud first topped the NZ Sale in 1982.  Back in those distant days, Wrightson Bloodstock Ltd conducted the auction and it was held at Trentham.

In 1982, Cambridge sold 27 yearlings for a total of $1.95 million at an average of $72,426.  Hogan’s draft included the top-priced yearling – a Marceau filly from Gold Heights that made $360,000.

Cambridge stallions Marceau ($1.30 million) and Sir Tristram ($932,000) topped that year’s aggregates ahead of Ruling, Sovereign Edition, Zephyr Bay and Sound Reason.

South African cattle baron Cyril Hurvitz was the leading buyer signing 11 sale sheets for $965,000.  Hurvitz had bought NZ bred colt Sledgehammer (Stunning) a decade earlier and he went on claim South African Horse of the Year honours in 1975.

Bart Cummings was next best with $672,000 for 9 lots topped by a Zephyr Bay – Pre Empt colt at $220,000.  He was named Zoning and won five races in Sydney before going on to a mediocre career at stud.

Tommy Smith was third on the buyers’ list weighing in with $419,000 for 17 yearlings.  T.J. purchased five by Noble Bijou including Alibhai who developed into G1 winner of the STC Rosehill Guineas, VATC Caulfield Stakes, STC Rawson Stakes and STC Tancred Stakes.

Hoofnote:   The 1982 sale-topper by Marceau was called Malarus and she was purchased by Thoroughbred Racing And Breeding Australia Ltd which was the first public company formed in Australia to buy thoroughbreds.

Malarus was a duffer at the races and she was retired after unplaced runs at Victoria Park and Balaklava, however, her named bobbed up four generations later in the pedigree of an Australian Horse of the Year.

Her first daughter Market Heights (Grosvenor) was the dam of Caulfield stakes winner Not On Friday (At Talaq) who foaled Weekend Beauty (Helissio) – the dam of Weekend Hussler.

– Karl Patterson