Zabeel tops NZB Karaka Premier yearling sale

A $2 million colt by champion sire Zabeel became the third highest lot to ever go through the Karaka sale ring at the NZ Bloodstock Premier yearling sale on Tuesday.  The colt from the Danehill mare Diamond Like was knocked down to Sydney-based agent James Bester.

Bester was glowing in his praise for the colt from Cambridge Stud.  “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 present 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.

“It was easy to spend that sort of money when you know the background the horse has had, and being from Cambridge Stud, from that family, I had every confidence.”

Bester purchased the colt for a small group of Australian owners who race horses with a number of trainers but are yet to decide on a trainer.

Leading NZ owner David Ellis secured a Redoute’s Choice three-quarter brother to Darci Brahma offered by Pencarrow Stud for $1,300,000.

“I’m thrilled to have got this one.  He has the same qualities as Darci Brahma and has been a beautiful individual since the day he was born,” Ellis said.

“It has been extremely hard work competing with the Aussies over the last couple of days.  The sale has been incredibly strong but we’re delighted with our selection.”

The strength of the Karaka sale was evidenced by another set of remarkable figures from Tuesday’s trade, with the final average up 26% to $183,119.

Turnover was up a massive $10 million for fewer horses sold, representing a 22.5% increase from to $63.37 million.  The sale median was up 35% to $135,000 and the clearance rate climbed steadily to 79%.

Graeme Rogerson was the leading Premier Sale buyer with 19 yearlings bought for $4.35 million.  Top price was $500,000 for the Encosta de Lago colt from Liberty Walk.

The leading vendor by aggregate for the 28th year in a row was Sir Patrick Hogan’s Cambridge Stud with 40 yearlings sold for just under $10 million at an average of $248,588.

Brighthill Farm’s Group 1 winning Perfectly Ready was the leading first season sire with four sold for an average of $150,000.  Topping his offering was Lot 160, a colt from Rich Hill Stud who sold for $290,000 to NZB as agent.

New Zealand Bloodstock Co-Managing Director Petrea Vela says the Premier session has been a huge success.  “We couldn’t be happier with the results of the past two days.  There are a lot of delighted vendors at Karaka tonight who have had their expectations completely surpassed.  

“There’s still five days to go but we are thrilled with the outcome of the Premier Sale.”