Rich pickings for NZ at Inglis Easter Sale

Rich Hill Stud topped Day 3 at the Inglis Easter yearling sale on Thursday when its Zabeel filly sold for $1.30 million to Victoria’s Lakeview Resources.

Rich Hill’s John Thompson sold her on behalf of breeder Scott Williams.  The filly is a half-sister to Group 1 classic winner Zarita (Pentire) and recent G3 Dubai Al Quoz Sprint winner Joy And Fun (Cullen).

Thompson and Williams arrived from New Zealand hoping to get $700K but it soon became apparent she was going to be a lot more expensive.  “There’s such a big build up with a filly like this and she had been hugely popular on the grounds,” Thompson said. “It’s a fantastic result for Scotty and for Rich Hill being our first million dollar yearling.”

Lakeview Resources owner Peter Carrick has raced the likes of Group winner Kaphero and he regards the Zabeel filly as a perfect fit for his broodmare band at Nagambie.  “Once you have your mind made up on what you want it doesn’t matter what you pay in the end,” he said.  “Whether this filly is successful in racing, she is going to be a classic broodmare.

“Lee Freedman introduced the horse to me.  We have been looking for a serious broodmare page and she was just a standout.”

Turnover for the three sessions cracked the $80 million mark with the clearance rate also reaching 80%.  “Overall we are down 8% on last year and while it’s not what we might have hoped for, it’s not too bad given we still had an average topping $220,000,” Inglis Managing Director Mark Webster said.

“It’s a sale where you could say buyers won on some lots and vendors won on others, so I think it’s been a fair sale in that regard.

“It’s a totally different mix in terms of the buyer line up for this sale than we had two years ago.  Our leading buyer this year spent $4 million, but in 2008 we had two buyers spend $40 million between them.

“I think it is a challenge for not just Inglis as a sales company, but for the industry as a whole to find new buyers who are prepared to buy at the top end of the market.”

The Hong Kong Jockey Club was absent for the second year running and its expenditure normally accounts for $5 million.  The HKJC refused to buy horses after jockey Chris Munce was relicensed in NSW following his release from jail on betting charges in Hong Kong.