Willie Leung chimes in with $650,000 bid Mon, 30 Jan 2012
National Yearling Sale regular Willie Leung kept his powder dry before letting loose to top first day proceedings with a successful bid of $650,000 for a High Chaparral colt at Karaka this afternoon.
Lyndhurst Farm’s brown colt from Avondale Cup winner Creil was rated by the Hong Kong agent as his pick of the sale and one that he was prepared to go beyond his budget to secure.
“We came here to buy the best one and this is the colt we were keen on,” he said. “Maybe it was a bit over budget but he’s very athletic, not too heavy and a stallion prospect with his pedigree.
“That’s why we paid a premium.”
Leung, bidding on behalf of Hong Kong owner Lee Wan Keung, went on to explain that in targeting a son of High Chaparral he was looking for a “top stayer” with the potential to perform in Hong Kong or even Australia.
“He will stay in New Zealand for at least 18 months to get ready and then it will depend on his progress. He might race here or if he’s really good go to Australia and he can contest three-year-old classics, then still be in Hong Kong for our Derby as a four-year-old.”
Lee Wan Keung has enjoyed numerous successes in Hong Kong with horses carrying a Packing prefix in their names. These include Packing Winner, a son of Zabeel bought for $300,000 at the 2004 National Sale and since the winner of the Gr. 1-HK Champions & Chater Cup and the GR. 3-HK Sha Tin Trophy.
Other Leung purchases from the Karaka ring include leading sprinter Green Birdie and Green Supreme, one of the rising stars of New Zealand middle-distance racing following his return from Hong Kong.
Thirty lots later, Cambridge Stud matched the $650,000 sale-topper with another member of High Chaparral’s final New Zealand crop, the lovely bay filly from Diamond Like. Reflecting the work required from the auctioneers to elicit bids from the gallery it was no easy task, however, as bidding stalled at $600,000 and the filly departed the rung unsold.
Shortly afterwards it was announced from the rostrum that the filly with the unbroken stakes-winning dam line had been sold to Sydney agent James Harron, acting for Gai Waterhouse, for $650,000.
Waterhouse secured several lots through the day, beginning with Lot 13, the O’Reilly-Volkrose filly at $270,000 and added to by two at $150,000, the Thorn Park-Alberton Star filly and the O’Reilly-Alisara colt.