Revamped Sales Format for Karaka 2018

A major review of NZB's annual yearling showcase has resulted in a brand new sales format for Karaka 2018.

The first session of the 2018 National Yearling Sales Series will now take place on the evening of Sunday 28 January, instead of Monday morning. With around 100 yearlings to be offered, this night session will also kick off the new-look catalogue structure, being the first of 700 horses catalogued together in the new 'Karaka Book I'.

NZB managing director Andrew Seabrook says these changes will serve two positive purposes in particular.

“I'm absolutely certain this new structure will be a success. Selling 100 horses on Sunday night gets more horses in front of buyers early in the week, and aids the troublesome transition vendors have always faced mid-week.

“We have done a lot of homework over the past several weeks and the feedback received from vendors and buyers has been pretty consistent. They want to see more horses sold in the first book and they want their second session horses, particularly those being sold on the Friday, to be on the property at Karaka in a more timely fashion.”

NZB also plans to extend the number of horses sold in Book I to approximately 700, from Sunday evening to Wednesday afternoon, rather than finishing on Tuesday afternoon as the Premier Sale has done for the past several years.

“The aim is to give the international buyers a reason to stay longer by giving them even more horses to look at on the sale ground at one time. In theory there will be at least 200 more horses being offered in front of a full overseas buying bench. It's an exciting change that we think will provide a positive boost to sales week for buyers and sellers alike,” commented Seabrook.

The Premier, Select and Festival Sale names will be dropped in favour of Book I, Book II and Book III.

Book II will be reduced to approximately four hundred horses, set to be sold on the Thursday and Friday of sales week, whilst Book III will remain on the Sunday. 

Leading vendor at Karaka 2017, Waikato Stud’s Mark Chittick is excited by the new format. 

“We’ve had the largest draft at Karaka for a while now and the old sale format posed a number of challenges to get horses on and off the complex.

“Buyers want more time to inspect horses prior to them going through the ring. This new format will allow ample time for our yearlings to settle in to a routine and be paraded.

“And with the Karaka Million moving to the Saturday, we’re bound to see international buyers at Karaka earlier as they’ll have the opportunity to inspect more horses, for longer,” Chittick remarked.

Principal of Te Akau Racing, New Zealand’s reigning champion stable, David Ellis believes that the change will not only be beneficial to himself as the leading buyer at Karaka for 12 straight years, but will also be positive for the entire buying bench.

“Moving the start of selling to Sunday evening will provide a huge benefit to all buyers in the lead up to the Sale. We’ll be able to inspect more horses over the course of the week, that’s got to be good for everyone.

“The New Zealand product is just so strong – you don’t need to look anywhere else and Karaka has to be the best sales venue in the world, and now a truly international event that the kiwi industry should be proud of.”

The Karaka Million Twilight Meeting will be included in the revamp, moving to the Saturday night and adding four Group races to the card.

The additional injection of prizemoney in the form of the $1m Karaka Million 3YO Classic to the show-stopping event will likely see kiwi buyers purchasing across all three Sale sessions in search of finding their next Karaka Million 2YO and 3YO winner (full details here).

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