Challenge Syndications offers another Group One star on gavelhouse.com
28 September 2023
Two years after selling Jennifer Eccles (NZ) (Rip Van Winkle) for $800,000 on Gavelhouse Plus, Adrian Clark’s Challenge Syndications is set to offer another proven Group One performer for online auction.
Best Seller (NZ) (Wrote) has been retired from racing and is now available for purchase in gavelhouse.com’s latest fortnightly mixed bloodstock auction. She was a Group performer at the ages of both two and three, finishing with two wins, three placings and $192,275 in stakes from a 12-start career.
“She was a very talented mare, and it was only in her last preparation that she’s lost a little bit of confidence,” Clark said. “I think that’s the result of last season’s Desert Gold Stakes (Group Three, 1600m), where she ran into trouble during the race. She’s never really been the same since then.
“She didn’t run well at the Taupo trials in August, then didn’t fire in her first race of the preparation at Hastings either. That was quite out of character for a horse who always put in and tried her hardest.
“So we’ve decided to pull the plug while she’s sound. She’s a valuable mare and should make a lovely broodmare prospect.”
After an encouraging fourth on debut in October of 2021, Best Seller stepped up to take on the best of her generation through the rest of her two-year-old season. She was fourth in the Group Two Wakefield Challenge Stakes (1100m) in the second start of her career, then ran second behind subsequent Group One winner Maven Belle (NZ) (Burgundy) in the Group Two Matamata Breeders’ Stakes (1200m).
Best Seller’s three-year-old campaign started off on a perfect note with a stylish win at Taupo, beating highly rated fillies Sans Doute (Not A Single Doubt) and Mazzolino (NZ) (Savabeel). Subsequent Group One winner Romancing The Moon (NZ) (El Roca) finished fourth.
Best Seller returned to black-type company for her second-up assignment, the Group Three Desert Gold Stakes (1200m) at Hastings, and powered home from third-last for a highly impressive win. Notably, it was the same trifecta as the Taupo race, with Sans Doute and Mazzolino running second and third respectively.
“Going into the Gold Trail, we really didn’t know what to expect that day,” Clark said. “We had no idea whether she would handle the heavy ground. But it was a fantastic result, and it gave us the confidence to push on towards the Guineas.”
Best Seller picked up an enormously valuable Group One placing in the New Zealand 1000 Guineas (1600m) at Riccarton in November, finishing second behind the superstar filly Legarto (NZ) (Proisir).
“The bottom line is that we ran into a very special horse that day, and we were perhaps a bit unlucky that our filly was born in the same year as Legarto,” Clark said. “But there’s no disgrace in being second in a Group One. It’s also worth noting that Romancing The Moon was fourth in that 1000 Guineas, and she went on to become a Group One winner in the Levin Classic (1600m).”
Almost $200,000 in prize-money was an outstanding return for the syndicate of owners racing Best Seller, who was bought by Clark for only $12,000 from Book 2 of Karaka 2021.
“What first caught my eye about her is that she’s always been a beautiful mover,” Clark said. “I don’t tend to go to a lot of the pre-sale parades – I prefer to go to the grounds in the lead-up to the sales. But I happened to go to Highview, because I wanted a filly by Wrote. She was the one that caught my eye. I really liked her walk and demeanour.
“Those traits have continued throughout her career. She’s always had a great attitude and been a really good mover, and she’s never had an injury issue.
“She’s very well-made and athletic, and I think there’s enough in that pedigree page as well. She’s out of a Danroad mare, and it’s worth noting that the great mare Verry Elleegant (NZ) (Zed) is also out of a mare by Danroad. There aren’t that many progeny out of Danroad mares out there, so she’s quite unique in that regard. She’s also Wrote’s best-performed daughter.
“For us, we always hope to improve the CV of a filly. It doesn’t always work out, but when it does you can really enhance their value. We did it with Jennifer Eccles, Fascination Street (NZ) (Elusive City) and Dancer’s Tale (NZ) (Tale Of The Cat), and I’m very pleased that we did it with Best Seller as well.”
Bidding on Best Seller and the other 38 Lots in the auction will end from 7pm (NZT) on Monday 2 October.