Emerging Sires Add Depth to National Weanling Sale

31 May 2024

Buyers at next month’s NZB National Weanling Sale at Karaka will have access to the progeny of emerging stallion talent with the same Karaka quailty but in smaller packaging. 

The catalogue for the National Weanling Sale features 49 different sires, including many of the most promising names among New Zealand’s stallion ranks, like  U S Navy Flag, Ace High, Ardrossan, Embellish, Super Seth, Belardo, Ribchester, Time Test, Circus Maximus, Hello Youmzain and King of Comedy.


Ace High 

The youngest member of the high-performing Rich Hill Stud roster, Ace High is in a battle with U S Navy Flag for the title of New Zealand’s champion second-season sire of 2023-24.

Ace High’s 18 first-crop winners include this season’s Group One New Zealand 1000 Guineas (1600m) heroine Molly Bloom (NZ), who also scored twice at Group Two level and took out the prestigious title of NZB Filly of the Year. Drakaina (NZ) has also scored at Listed level, while My Lips Are Sealed (NZ) was beaten by a nose when second in the Group Three Eulogy Stakes (1600m).

The four yearlings by Ace High in Book 1 of Karaka 2024 earlier this year averaged $163,750, while he also secured a healthy Book 2 average of $49,000.

The 2024 National Weanling Sale catalogue features three progeny of Ace High. Lot 2 is out of a half-sister to the stakes performers Richracer (NZ) (Pentire) and Ky’s The Limit (NZ) (Bertolini), while another two half-siblings are the dams of Group Three winner Dee And Gee (NZ) (Darci Brahma) and the stakes-placed Secret Ambition (NZ) (Jimmy Choux).




Waikato Stud’s Ardrossan has made a big impact from small numbers. His 37 runners to date include 15 winners, with Codigo (NZ), Beau Dazzler (NZ), Loch Katrine (NZ) and Saltcoats (NZ) all winning at black-type level. The lightly raced Yaldi (NZ), Renovations (NZ) and Rezeki (NZ) have been stakes-placed.

Those racetrack successes saw Ardrossan’s average price soar to $182,500 for eight Book 1 yearlings at Karaka 2024. He also averaged $103,917 from six yearlings sold in Book 2. His service fee has been doubled from $10,000 to $20,000 this season.

Ardrossan has four weanlings going through the Karaka sale ring next month. The very last lot in the catalogue, Lot 150, is a filly whose half-brother Qian Gua (NZ) (Cape Blanco) is a 10-time winner and placed at stakes level. This filly also comes from the legendary Eight Carat family.




Himself a Group One-winning three-year-old in the New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m), Cambridge Stud’s Embellish (NZ) has gone on to make an early impact as a sire of quality age-group performers.

His 17 winners include Group Three Chairman’s Stakes (2000m) and dual Tasmanian stakes winner Bold Soul (NZ), New Zealand 2000 Guineas runner-up Talisker (NZ), Group Two placegetters Luberon (NZ) and What You Wish For (NZ), and the Listed-placed Quintabelle (NZ) and Paragon (NZ). His oldest progeny are still three-year-olds.

Embellish has two weanlings catalogued for Karaka next month. Lot 94 is a filly whose unraced dam is a half-sister to the Karaka Millions 2YO (1200m) placegetter Fellini (NZ) (Belardo), while Group One-winning German star Zazou (Shamardal) is also closely related.



Hello Youmzain

Cambridge Stud’s exciting shuttle stallion Hello Youmzain was a top-class sprinter, winning five of his 12 starts including the Group One Diamond Jubilee Stakes (1200m) at Royal Ascot and the Group One Haydock Sprint Cup (1200m).

The son of Kodiac began shuttling to New Zealand in 2021, and his first yearlings were enthusiastically received at Karaka earlier this year. He had 34 yearlings in the Book 1 catalogue and finished with an average of $171,324.

The National Weanling Sale catalogue features two colts by Hello Youmzain. Lot 77 is out of an unraced Savabeel mare from a classy European family, while the dam of Lot 81 is an unraced daughter of multiple Group One winner Katie Lee (Pins).



Super Seth 

Waikato Stud’s Super Seth is New Zealand’s leading first-season sire this season. His first crop has already produced five two-year-old winners, including Linebacker (NZ), who won the Group Three Baillieu Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill and was runner-up in the Group One Champagne Stakes (1600m) at Randwick.

Undefeated colt Super Photon (NZ) has had two starts for two wins including the Listed Waikato Equine Veterinary Centre 2YO Stakes (1400m). Poetic Champion (NZ) placed in the Group Two Wakefield Challenge Stakes (1100m), Group Three Matamata Slipper (1200m) and Listed Counties Challenge Stakes (1100m).

Super Seth’s yearlings averaged $147,321 in Book 1 of Karaka 2024. He is the sire of three weanlings in the catalogue for the National Weanling Sale, including Lot 114, who comes from a quality Australian family and is closely related to the recent Group Three winner Boognish (Sooboog).



U S Navy Flag 

The Oaks Stud stallion U S Navy Flag was New Zealand’s champion first-season sire in 2022-23 and also heads the standings for second-season sires in 2023-24.

His southern hemisphere crops have so far produced 28 winners from 73 runners. (The) Pendragon (NZ) was a standout performer this season with his victory in the Group Two Auckland Guineas (1400m) and second placing in the $1.5m Karaka Millions 3YO (1600m), while Chantilly Lace (NZ) has been a dual Listed winner.

To Catch A Thief heads U S Navy Flag’s black-type placegetters with three Group One placings, and Aprilia (NZ) was runner-up at Group One level last season and in a Group Two in Melbourne in the spring. Penvose Lad (NZ), Warning Signal (NZ) and Lil Zena (NZ) have all been Listed-placed. While Navy King (NZ) recently became U S Navy Flag's first city winner at Flemington, and lines up in Saturday's Group One Queensland Derby.

U S Navy Flag’s yearlings averaged $114,167 in Book 1 of Karaka 2024. He is represented in the National Weanling Sale by Lot 97, who is out of a half-sister to the multiple Group One winner and sire Keeninsky (NZ) (Stravinsky).


All weanlings offered in the National Weanling Sale are eligible to be nominated for NZB’s lucrative Karaka Millions Series. Graduates can compete in the $1m TAB Karaka Millions 2YO (1200m), followed by the $1.5m TAB Karaka Millions 3YO (1600m), as well as the new $1m Mega Maiden Series comprising of 40 non-Saturday maiden races located throughout New Zealand.

Selling is set to take place at the Karaka Sales Centre from 11am (NZT) on Thursday 20 June.