Ellis Returns to Ready to Run Sale in Search of More Star Power

16 November 2021

Te Akay Racing Principal David Ellis with the stables Champion Trainer Jamie Richards.

Renowned for his feats on the Karaka buyers’ bench at New Zealand Bloodstock’s annual National Yearling Sales Series, where he has been leading buyer for 16 consecutive years, Te Akau Racing principal David Ellis is also an ever-increasing force at the Ready to Run Sale. 

Ellis has claimed leading buyer honours at the Ready to Run Sale numerous times, purchasing a total of 25 horses across the last three editions of the Sale for an aggregate price of $3,935,000.

His purchases last year included the $700,000 sale-topper Zeitaku (NZ) (Savabeel), who made a big impression with a come-from-behind maiden victory at Te Rapa on 25 October. The $350,000 purchase Pure Imagination (NZ) (Darci Brahma) has also been a winner, while another two have shown promise with early placings.

Ellis has been drawn to the Ready to Run Sale by the outstanding success rate of its graduates, who have won 20 Group One races in the last six seasons alone – more than both Australian two-year-old sales combined. Ellis has first-hand knowledge of that success, celebrating Group One glory with Te Akau’s Ready to Run Sale graduates Te Akau Shark (NZ) (Rip Van Winkle), Gingernuts (NZ) (Iffraaj) and Hall Of Fame (NZ) (Savabeel).

“In terms of the achievements of the horses that come out of the sale, it’s clearly the best two-year-old sale of its kind in the world,” Ellis said.

“That’s a big drawcard for any potential buyer, and the success that we’ve had from our own purchases at this sale is what’s really prompted me to keep coming back and buying increasing numbers of horses.

“Six years ago, I went there and bought only two horses – both of them turned out to be Group One winners. Gingernuts won three Group Ones including the New Zealand Derby (2400m) and the Rosehill Guineas (2000m), while Hall Of Fame won the Levin Classic (1600m) at Trentham before we sold him to Hong Kong for big money.

“At the next year’s sale, I bought Te Akau Shark, who won at Group One level on the world stage at Randwick. He also ran third in the Cox Plate (2040m) from the outside gate.

“I’ve bought a lot of really good horses from this sale over the years, and that’s what’s made me so keen to keep coming back.

“We’ve got some lovely horses in the stable now that we bought at last year’s Sale, and we’re really happy with how they’re progressing and what they’ve shown us so far. Now I’m really looking forward to buying some more horses from this year’s Sale.”

Gingernuts and the Shark
Group One winner Te Akau Shark (NZ).

Popular gallopers Gingernuts and Te Akau Shark both provided an outstanding return on their purchase price at the Ready to Run Sale.

Ellis paid just $42,500 to buy Gingernuts from Stainley Park’s draft at the 2015 Ready to Run Sale. He won six of his 12 starts and more than $1.27 million in stakes, headed by superb wins in the Group One New Zealand Derby (2400m), Rosehill Guineas (2000m) and Windsor Park Plate (1600m). He earned almost 30 times his purchase price.

At the 2016 Ready to Run Sale, Ellis bought Te Akau Shark off Lyndhurst Farm for $230,000. The super-talented chestnut had 14 starts for seven wins, five placings and $1.52 million – more than six times his purchase price. He won the Group One BCD Group Sprint (1400m) at Te Rapa and Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) at Randwick, and he also placed in the Group One Cox Plate (2040m), Epsom Handicap (1600m) and George Ryder Stakes (1500m).

Hall Of Fame won the Group One Levin Classic (1600m) at Trentham in 2017, while fellow Ready to Run Sale graduate Brando (NZ) (Savabeel) finished second in the same race in 2021.

A Quality Catalogue
Ellis will be out in full force at the 2021 Ready to Run Sale.

Ellis is eagerly looking forward to adding to those Ready to Run Sale successes with another group of purchases from the 2021 edition of the exceptional two-year-old sale. 

“From looking through the catalogue and going around to inspect the horses, I think the standard of this year’s catalogue is very, very high,” he said. “It’s probably among the very best I’ve ever seen for this sale.

“There’s a lot of horses that I’m going to be very keen to buy, and we’re always on the lookout for new owners and investors to get on board with our team. Any people who are interested in getting involved are very welcome to give me a call any time.”

Due to the ongoing pandemic, closed borders within New Zealand make it impossible to host a physical auction at the iconic Karaka Sales Centre. As a result of this, this year’s Ready to Run Sale will now take place virtually and is set to be held at Te Rapa Racecourse on 17 and 18 November, commencing at 1PM (NZT) each day.

NZB and New Zealand-based agents have completed inspections of all two-year-olds at the 2021 Breeze Ups and on-farm parades. To contact an NZB agent click here, or view the New Zealand Bloodstock Agents Federation list here.

View the full catalogue online here.