Continuing on from the hype of Karaka 2018, the National Yearling Sales Series heads south with the South Island Sale set to offer a solid second round of pedigree on Friday 20 April.
In recent years, the Sale has delivered racetrack stars and has become known as a source of affordable horses with buyers experiencing a fast track to success. In the last five seasons the Sale has produced five individual Group winners and 15 individual stakes winners.
Ping Hai Star (NZ) (Nom du Jeu), who could have been bought for $40,000 at the 2015 Select Sale, took out one of Asian racing’s greatest prizes in Sunday’s HK$18 million BMW Hong Kong Derby (2000m) at Sha Tin.
The John Size-trained gelding was ridden by global superstar jockey Ryan Moore and dropped back to last place in the 14-horse field. He produced a dazzling finishing burst in the home straight, soaring past his rivals and racing clear to win by a length and three-quarters.
Dijon Bleu (NZ) Named Filly of the Year as Savvy Coup (NZ) Wins Oaks
Saturday, Mar 17, 2018
Savvy Coup (NZ) (Savabeel) scored an outstanding win in the $400,000 Group 1 Al Basti Equiworld Dubai New Zealand Oaks (2400m) at Trentham on Saturday, which confirmed Dijon Bleu (NZ) (Burgundy) as the 2017-18 New Zealand Bloodstock Filly of the Year.
Dijon Bleu missed the Oaks due to injury, but she had already well and truly made her mark on the Series. She earned a formidable total of 30 points with wins in the Group 3 Gold Trail Stakes (1200m), Group 3 Desert Gold Stakes (1600m) and Group 2 Sir Tristram Fillies’ Classic (2000m), along with placings in the Group 1 New Zealand 1000 Guineas (1600m) and Group 3 Eulogy Stakes (1550m).
Select Sale graduate and Karaka Million 3YO Classic (1600m) winner Scott Base (NZ) (Dalghar) returned to action with a stunning performance in Saturday’s $100,000 Group 2 Phill Cataldo Bloodstock Wellington Guineas (1400m) at Trentham.
Scott Base followed his Karaka Million heroics with a fast-finishing fourth in the Group 2 Avondale Guineas (2100m) in February, setting him up as one of the favourites for the Group 1 New Zealand Derby (2400m).
After a relentless all-the-way win in Saturday’s $50,000 Listed Te Akau Racing Lightning Handicap (1200m) at Trentham, Ferrando (NZ) (Fast ‘n’ Famous) has earned more than four and a half times his $40,000 purchase price at the 2015 Ready to Run Sale at Karaka.
The speedy four-year-old went straight to the lead on Saturday and was never headed, fighting strongly down the straight to hold out the fast-finishing Heroic Valour (Fastnet Rock).
Talented stayer Daytona Red (NZ) (Sebring), who cost $75,000 at the 2015 Premier Sale, took his career to a new level with a runaway win in Saturday’s $50,000 Listed Yealands Family Wines New Zealand St Leger (2500m) at Trentham.
Making his first start at stakes level, the four-year-old circled the field approaching the home turn and raced clear in the straight. With Matt Cameron in the saddle, the Shaune Ritchie-trained chestnut scored an emphatic victory by two and three-quarter lengths.
Luvaluva (NZ) Charges Home in Kembla Grange Classic
Saturday, Mar 17, 2018
Ready to Run Sale purchase Luvaluva(NZ) (Mastercraftsman) warmed up for next month’s Group 1 Australian Oaks (2400m) with an impressive finishing burst to win Friday’s A$200,000 Carlton Draught Kembla Grange Classic (1600m).
Trained by expat New Zealander John Sargent and ridden by Kerrin McEvoy, Luvaluva hit top stride in the last 200 metres to run down Torvill (Not a Single Doubt) and win by a long head.
Group 1 New Zealand Oaks a Thrilling Finale to NZB Filly of the Year Series
Wednesday, Mar 14, 2018
The curtain will come down on the New Zealand Bloodstock Filly of the Year Series for another year on Saturday when an outstanding field lines up in the tenth and final leg, the $400,000 Group 1 Al Basti Equiworld Dubai New Zealand Oaks (2400m) at Trentham.
There are only two fillies who can claim the coveted title of Filly of the Year for 2017-18 – Dijon Bleu (NZ) (Burgundy) and Contessa Vanessa (NZ) (Bullbars).
The future of the breeding history lies within the hands of the fillies performing on the racetracks today.
Five years ago the New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders Association worked off this principle to develop a scheme that would support the members of the industry and encourage purchasing and retaining fillies to race locally. A principal widely supported, New Zealand Bloodstock’s Insurance department got on board and in conjunction with the NZTBA the NZB Insurance Pearl Series was formed.
Low-Priced Ladies First (NZ) Supreme in Auckland Cup
Saturday, Mar 10, 2018
After an outstanding win in Saturday’s $500,000 Group 1 Barfoot & Thompson Auckland Cup (3200m) at Ellerslie, $8,000 purchase Ladies First(NZ) (Dylan Thomas) could be in line for a shot at Australasia’s most famous race.
The win boosted the five-year-old’s prize-money earnings to $480,760 – which is already 60 times her purchase price – and trainer Allan Sharrock is now looking ahead to the A$6.2 million Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington in November.
Just over a month ago, the powerful stable saddled five horses in the Karaka Million (1200m) field and finished first and second with Avantage (Fastnet Rock) and Al Hasa (NZ) (Exceed and Excel).
The unbeaten Avantage returned to Ellerslie on Saturday and put her unbeaten career record on the line in the $200,000 Group 1 Sistema Stakes (1200m). This time she had to settle for second behind her rising star stablemate Sword of Osman (NZ) (Savabeel).
Best of Luck (NZ) Goes All the Way in Macau Feature
Tuesday, Mar 6, 2018
Select Sale graduate Best of Luck (NZ) (Thorn Park) produced a sparkling front-running performance in Macau on Sunday to win the M$550,000 Listed Sand Specialist Stakes (1510m).
The gelding, formerly known as Zabbadak, led all the way and crossed the finish line three and a half lengths clear. His time of 1:32.7 was just a fraction of a second outside the course record of 1:32.6.
The New Zealand Bloodstock National Yearling Sales Series heads south to showcase the South Island Session with the 121-lot catalogue available online and arriving in the post late next week for viewing.
The Canterbury Agricultural Park in Christchurch will host the Sale on Friday 20 April with selling commencing from 11am.
Grunt (NZ) Completes Rapid Rise in Australian Guineas
Sunday, Mar 4, 2018
Lightly raced Premier Sale graduate Grunt (NZ) (O’Reilly) has rapidly emerged as one of Australian racing’s brightest three-year-old stars, and he completed that rise at Group One level in Saturday’s A$1 million Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington.
With Damien Oliver in the saddle, the Mick Price-trained colt emerged from midfield and hit the lead at the 200-metre mark. He kept going strongly to the line to score by half a length from Peaceful State (Animal Kingdom).
Vin De Dance (NZ) Scores Another Ready to Run Sale Derby Win
Sunday, Mar 4, 2018
Superstar Ready to Run Sale graduate Gingernuts (NZ) (Iffraaj) won the Group 1 Vodafone New Zealand Derby (2400m) last year, and it was an even bigger result in 2018 as two horses sold through the two-year-old sale fought out the finish in the prestigious $1 million classic at Ellerslie on Saturday.
Vin De Dance (NZ) (Roc de Cambes) was bought by Phill Cataldo Bloodstock for $70,000, while Mongolianconqueror (NZ) (Ocean Park) was a $130,000 purchase by Te Akau principal David Ellis, who bought Gingernuts a year earlier for $42,500.
Contessa Vanessa (NZ) Keeps Filly of the Year Hopes Alive
Sunday, Mar 4, 2018
The New Zealand Bloodstock Filly of the Year Series dream remains alive for the connections of Contessa Vanessa (NZ) (Bullbars), who won the $70,000 Group 3 McKee Family Sunline Vase (2100m) at Ellerslie on Saturday.
It was her second win in the 10-race Series and lifted her score to 19.5 points – now just 10.5 behind the leader Dijon Bleu (NZ) (Burgundy), who will take no further part in the Series. A win in the $400,000 Group 1 Al Basti Equiworld New Zealand Oaks (2400m) at Trentham later this month is worth 12 points, which would boost Contessa Vanessa to a winning score of 31.5.
Julius (NZ) (Swiss Ace), who cost just $44,000 at the 2013 Select Sale, added a win in Saturday’s $100,000 Group 3 Darley Stallions Plate (1200m) at Ellerslie to his CV which lifted his prize money earnings to more than four times that amount.
The lightly raced six-year-old had won five of his nine career starts leading into Saturday’s race, including a dominant front-running Group 3 Concorde Handicap (1200m) victory on Karaka Million night in his most recent appearance.
$600 Weanling Purchase Takes Share of Southern Filly Series Lead
Sunday, Mar 4, 2018
Courte Zarindi (NZ) (Any Suggestion), who cost just $600 at the 2015 National Weanling, Broodmare & Mixed Bloodstock Sale, moved into New Zealand Bloodstock Southern Filly Series contention with a strong come-from-behind win in Saturday’s $50,000 Listed NZB Airfreight Stakes (1400m) at Wingatui.
Ridden by Tina Comignaghi for trainer Sally McKay, Courte Zarindi produced a late surge to beat Excelleration (NZ) (Exceed and Excel) and the pace-making Pipiana (NZ) (Highly Recommended).
Talented filly Astor (NZ) (Iffraaj), who cost $95,000 at the 2016 Select Sale, picked up the first black-type success of her young career with a powerful performance in Saturday’s $60,000 Listed Mufhasa FastTrack Stakes (1300m) at Ellerslie.
Astor had won three of her seven starts leading into the race, and she was second-best behind Melody Belle (NZ) (Commands) in the Group 3 Mongolian Khan Trophy (1200m) on Karaka Million night.
Star South Island filly Savvy Coup (NZ) (Savabeel) moved up to equal third place on the New Zealand Bloodstock Filly of the Year Series points table with a dominant performance in Thursday’s $70,000 Group 3 Little Avondale Lowland Stakes (2100m) at Hastings.
Previously the winner of the Group 3 Eulogy Stakes (1550m), Savvy Coup went into Thursday’s race with 6 points to her name. She doubled that score with her stylish Lowland victory, and she is now the favourite for the $400,000 Group 1 Al Basti Equiworld New Zealand Oaks (2400m) at Trentham on March 17.
Kiwi-bred colt Civil Disobedience (NZ) (Raise the Flag) stepped up to stakes level in style with a commanding win in Friday’s A$150,000 Listed Tasmanian Derby (2200m) in Hobart.
From the stable of champion Victorian trainer Darren Weir, and ridden by John Allen, the $32,500 South Island Sale graduate outclassed his Tasmanian Derby opponents. He sat in third place before effortlessly taking the lead at the home turn and powering clear to win by two and three-quarter lengths.