Fireworks on Opening Day of Karaka Yearling Sales

Sunday, January 26, 2020

Top Lot 155, a $900,000 purchase by Garry Carvell from Westbury Stud.
Top Lot 155, a $900,000 purchase by Garry Carvell from Westbury Stud.

A strong day of selling has launched New Zealand Bloodstock’s annual yearling showcase during Book 1 at Karaka 2020.

After a spectacular Karaka Million Twilight Meeting at Ellerslie last night, the buoyant atmosphere continued to play out today on the opening of the 94th National Yearling Sales Series.

Following the official opening by Deputy Prime Minister Rt Hon Winston Peters, the first of the 667 Book 1 catalogued Lots went under the hammer with spirited bidding from the outset.

“The place has been heaving since last Thursday and the number of people on site at Karaka is phenomenal off the back of a massive Karaka Million evening.

“We are thrilled with the way this Sale has started and are looking forward to what the next two days bring,” said NZB’s Managing Director Andrew Seabrook.  

Key Sale indicators are tracking ahead of the final figures at the conclusion of Book 1 in 2019, with today’s average and median showing a 10% and 6% increase respectively.

The highlight of today was the $900,000 purchase by Garry Carvell Lot 155 (Pierro x Our Squeezer), a colt from the draft of Westbury Stud, the highest priced yearling ever sold by the Karaka headquartered operation.

Buyers from all around the globe flocked to Karaka with both international and domestic buyers making their presence felt on Day One. Te Akau Racing principal David Ellis topped today’s spend with 11 horses bought for a total of $2,660,000, with his first million spent within the first two hours of selling. His most expensive purchase of the day was $800,000, for the Savabeel colt at Lot 79 (ex Magic Dancer).

Ellis has his sights set on next year’s Karaka Million 2YO.  

“I think he was a beautiful colt… he will be in the Karaka Million next year,” he said of purchase.

Nearly half of all horses bought today are destined for Australia. The purchasing duo of Chris Waller and Guy Mulcaster were today’s second leading buyers with five yearlings secured for $1,375,000. Including a top price of $575,000 for Lot 189, the American Pharoah colt from Posavina offered by Pencarrow Stud.

Mulcaster commented on his successful day at Karaka.

“We have shopped well today, but we’re not even a third of the way through yet.”

The spread of sires across the Top Lots offered was shared by domestic and international stallions.

Local sires Savabeel and Tavistock are currently at the top of the aggregate table, and with an abundance of first season sires represented on Day One with Tivaci, American Pharoah and Vadamos are already featuring prominently.

Catch the highlights from Day One and re-live all the action online or replay the full day’s action.  

2020 Book 1 Yearling Sale Statistics – Day One

  2020 BOOK 1, DAY ONE 2019 BOOK 1 TOTAL
AGGREGATE $21,952,500 $67,206,500
AVERAGE $145,381 $137,437
MEDIAN $110,000 $100,000
CLEARANCE 73% 77%
CATALOGUED 677 698
SOLD 151 489
TOP LOT Lot 155 Pierro - Our Squeezer (B. or Br.C) $900,000 Lot 192 Savabeel - Make a Wish (B.C) $1,400,000