Karaka Day One: Lucrative double strike for Cambridge

7 min read
With the first 100 yearlings through the ring today at Karaka Book 1, a total of 70 Lots were sold with the average closing at $156,000 and the median $110,000. The end of day trading reached $10,900,000 in turnover, only slightly behind 2018 figures. Brendan and Jo Lindsay’s first consignment under their Cambridge Stud banner delivered outstanding results during the opening session, producing the highest priced colt and filly.

Karaka Day One: At A Glance

>> Cambridge Stud kicked off their sale with 100% clearance for 8 yearlings, including Lot 67 Redoute’s Choice colt for NZ$800,000 to bloodstock consultant James Bester and Aquis Farm, and half an hour later their Zoustar filly, Lot 90, was knocked down to Godolphin for NZ$600,000.

>> Te Akau supremo David Ellis has been the leading buyer at Karaka for more than a decade and he again led the charge with 12 purchases.

>> Waikato Stud is chasing its sixth consecutive top vendor title and they enjoyed a strong day with a top price of NZ$340,000 and an average of more than NZ$225,000.

>> Offerings by Australian-based stallions were popular with NZ$600,000 for a Zoustar filly and NZ$500,000 for a daughter of I Am Invincible, in addition to the Redoute's Choice top lot.

>> Global powerhouse Godolphin are back in the New Zealand market, spending NZ$600,000 on their first purchase.

Off to an exceptional start

Cambridge Stud's Redoute’s Choice youngster topped the first day of selling. He was a colt close to the hearts of the Lindsays and Mornington trainer David Brideoake, who trained the dam Griante (Good Journey {USA}) to Group 1 success in The Galaxy. The trio is now reaping the rewards of their breeding partnership.

“It’s a great result for the farm. The mare was empty last year and she’s now in foal to Pierro,” Brendan Lindsay said.

“He’s one of our top two colts and since he arrived from Australia in August he’s just flourished on the Cambridge grass and got better and better. Our staff have all done a terrific job with him.”

Brideoake echoed Lindsay’s comments and he was understandably delighted with the result.

“What I saw of him was very pleasing. Brendan and Jo and I embarked on a plan and we got a Group 1 with the mare and now this,” he said.

“He’s a very fluid moving horse and very good through the hocks.”

Lot 67 Redoute's Choice x Griante

Certainly bloodstock consultant James Bester and Aquis Farm thought so, joining forces to beat off the opposition.

“I love the horse. He’s a beautiful Redoute’s Choice colt, the sort that everybody wants,” Bester said.

“He’s got a beautiful head, a lovely action and a neat, athletic horse and obviously a potential stallion.”

“I love the horse. He’s a beautiful Redoute’s Choice colt, the sort that everybody wants.” – James Bester.

Bester, who said the horse represented outstanding value, is a regular visitor to Karaka and was delighted to be back.

“I love New Zealand and I love the New Zealand product,” he said. “I had a lot of success here with both colts and fillies.”

Aquis Chief Executive Officer Shane McGrath said they were thrilled to be involved in the horse, who will be put into a colts’ syndicate.

“James loved him and so did we so it made sense to join forces,” he said.

The colt will be put into the Aquis system with no decision to be made on his trainer until the autumn.

James Bester

Godolphin in the market

Cambridge’s Zoustar filly was successfully targeted by Godolphin, who continued its strong yearling buying by securing the daughter of Imanana (More Than Ready {USA}), who is out of the G1 Railway H. winner Imananabaa (Anabaa {USA}).

"She is a great looking filly, we knew we would have to pay that type of money and when you are looking for that sort of quality then that is what you expect to pay," Godolphin's Vin Cox said.

"We started looking on Friday, we all liked her immensely."

“We thought she was right there with all of the other Zoustar fillies we have seen. We bid on a few at the Gold Coast and weren't able to get one so we are very happy to get one now. She is a bold, 2-year-old looking type."

Godolphin's re-entrance into the Australasian yearling sales market in 2018 after a long absence has had an immediate success with 2018 Magic Millions buy Exhilarates (Snitzel) winning the Magic Millions Classic.

Cox, who was instrumental in Godolphin's return to the sales ring, said his stud “is not here to shoot the lights out" with big prices.

"We will try and get the horses we want and if they make too much we will move on and get the next one. " - Vin Cox

"We just want to be conservative about what we do. We will try and get the horses we want and if they make too much we will move on and get the next one.

"It's just great that Sheikh Mohammed is in the market and buying horses, supporting the Australian industry and the New Zealand industry as well."

"We hope she is as good as Exhilarates and we will be delighted if she is. We are just here to buy a nice racehorse that will add to our pedigree profile. We want to add value to our broodmare band."

Godolphin's Vin Cox (left) and Jason Walsh (right) with Cambridge Stud's Brendan Lindsay (centre)

Invincible value

International agent Hubie de Burgh believes the NZ$500,000 he splashed out to secure a daughter of I Am Invincible from the draft of Little Avondale was exceptional business.

The filly, Lot 19, was consigned by Sam and Catriona Williams’ Little Avondale Stud and was purchased on behalf of Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum and his Shadwell Racing operation.

“When you’re buying here and convert it back to Australian dollars it’s very good value,” de Burgh said.

The youngster will be trained in Victoria at Lindsay Park by David and Ben Hayes and Tom Dabernig.

“When you’re buying globally you have got to compare apples with apples,” de Burgh said.

“When you’re buying here and convert it back to Australian dollars it’s very good value.” - Hubie de Burgh.

“The big advantage down here is that you can pay half a million and then win half a million without winning a Group race.

“I’m not knocking European racing as it’s the best in the world, but here you can put your hand on your heart and say you can buy a horse, win a stakes race and treble your investment.

“She is going to race for huge prize money in Australia so that makes all the difference.”

The filly is out of Exposed (More Than Ready {USA}), who is a half-sister to the Listed Hybrid Plate winner Walk With Attitude (Hussonet {USA}).

Watch: Lot 19 I Am Invincible x Exposed

Their dam is the Listed Desirable H. winner Hillfa (Danehill {USA}) and a family that is also proven in New Zealand with the presence of the G2 Eight Carat Classic winner Contessa Vanessa (NZ) (Bullbars) and the G1 New Zealand 1000 Guineas runner-up Bella Gioia (NZ) (Swiss Ace).

“I think this filly will get up and go and More Than Ready is a very good broodmare sire,” de Burgh said.

“She’s by an unbelievable stallion from that Invincible Spirit family with a lot of speed in there.”

Ellis secures a dozen

David Ellis was the dominant buyer at Karaka, and has been for more than 10 years, and he saved his best until the end when the head of the Te Akau operation went to NZ$475,000 for the final lot of the day, Lot 100.

His target was a colt by Written Tycoon out of Into The Groove (Redoute’s Choice) offered by Hallmark Stud.

The youngster is from the family of the four-time Group 1 winner Divine Madonna (Hurricane Sky) and the Group 3 winners Blessum (Umatilla) and Angel Of Mercy (Hussonet {USA}).

Ellis bought 12 yearlings, two of them with John Galvin’s Fortuna syndication company, for NZ$2,282,500.

Waikato Stud on a roll

Champion vendor the for the last five years, Waikato Stud made a strong start to their title defence with 13 of their 16 yearlings sold for an average of NZ$226,923 and a top price of NZ$360,000.

That price was attained with their first offering, Lot 14, with agent Bruce Perry going to NZ$340,000 for a Savabeel colt out of the well-related O’Reilly (NZ) mare Etiquette (NZ).

She is a sister to the multiple Group One winner and farm resident Sacred Falls (NZ) (O'Reilly {NZ})and is also a three-quarter sister to Gr.3 Thoroughbred Club Stakes winner Splashing Out (NZ) (O'Reilly {NZ}).