Opening National Yearling Sale session ends in a flurry Mon, 30 Jan 2012
The opening session of the 86th National Yearling Sale ended on an almost surreal note this evening when, at the end of a difficult day’s trading, the top price of $740,000 came just five lots from the end of the 260-lot offering, every one of the final dozen lots offered was sold, and the average price for those lots was likewise well ahead of the day’s overall return.
Cambridge Stud’s precocious chestnut filly by Stravinsky from Jesmonds Gift trumped the day’s previous highest price of $650,000 shared by the High Chaparral-Diamond Like filly - also from Cambridge Stud - and Lyndhurst Farm’s High Chaparral-Creil colt. The filly, owned in partnership by Cambridge Stud and the Holmes family of Matamata’s Grande Vue Lodge, is a half-sister to the Zabeel filly that had realised $800,000 to be the top priced filly and overall third highest yearling sold at last year’s Karaka sale.
The spirited final stanza of today’s sale, with the last 12 lots offered averaging more than $180,000, was a welcome boost for an otherwise mixed market when bargains were not hard to find. It also strengthened the suggestion that the second half of the Premier catalogue scheduled to go before the gallery tomorrow will produce far stronger results.
“We saw the same trend here last year and at the Magic Millions earlier in the month,” commented New Zealand bloodstock’s co-managing director Petrea Vela as she reflected on drops from 2011 corresponding figures for average ($145,985 versus $165,984), aggregate ($24,817,500 v $29,861,000) median ($120,000 v $130,000) and clearance rate (70% v 75%). “More of our highlight lots are coming up tomorrow and it wouldn’t surprise me to see the market strong from the get-go.”
Similar thinking may have been in the minds of buyers entering the closing phase of today’s sale, with logic suggesting that overnight evaluation may bring a quite different mind-set to second day proceedings.
David Ellis, once again the leading buyer for Te Akau Racing Stables with a total spend of $2,402,500 for 14 lots, agreed that the value was evident today and that a common trend of a big lift going into the second session may become apparent.
“I’ve drawn graphs that tell me the best buying is on the first day and there’s been some marvellous value to be had today,” he said. “I still think that there were some unrealistic reserves though and we might see them come down tomorrow.”
Ellis rated his top priced lot as an opening day standout, given her physique combined with an international pedigree. “She’s a beautiful filly with a lot of class and I wouldn’t have stopped for a fair while. I had more to go on her.
“I have two or three clients wanting to buy some top fillies and she fits that category well, but I’ve yet to confirm who her owner will be.”
Leading Sydney trainer Chris Waller, whose buying today through agent Guy Mulcaster was confined to the High Chaparral-Avant Jazz colt at $300,000 and the Pentire-Foxy Blonde colt at $170,000, put the state of the market into another perspective, linking it directly to tight residual spending levels.
“There’s been good value buying here today simply because not many people have got money in their pockets,” he said. “Those who have money to spend should have been able to buy the horse they wanted.”
Australian trainer Bart Cummings, who earlier in the day had been inducted as an honourary member of the New Zealand Racing Hall of Fame, ended the session second on the buyers’ list with six purchases totalling $1,265,000. The leading vendor on aggregate was Cambridge Stud with a tally $4,517,500 across 19 lots, while Lyndhurst Farm topped the other significant vendors’ table with four lots sold at an average of $377,500.