New Consignors Anticipate NZB Ready to Run Sale
19 October 2021
New Zealand Bloodstock’s Ready to Run Sale has delivered widespread name recognition and respect for a range of established consignors, and now a talented group of newcomers are keen to make a splash next month in their debut appearance at the world’s leading sale of two-year-olds.
Avoca Racing Stables
Shelley Houston is already a household name in the thoroughbred industry, thanks mainly to her feats in the saddle during an accomplished career as a jumps jockey.
Houston rode 111 winners between New Zealand’s 2001-02 and 2013-14 seasons, 10 of them at the highest level including the 2010 Great Northern Hurdle (4190m) and the 2003 Wellington Hurdle (3400m).
She has also had a number of notable successes as a trainer, including with stable star Lucky Tonight (NZ) (Lucky Unicorn). The talented jumper won four races and earned over $260,000 in stakes, headed by gallant placings in Australia’s prestigious Crisp Steeplechase (3900m) and Grand National Steeplechase (4500m).
“I’ve often done a bit of sale preparation with horses without actually taking horses all the way through to the sales,” Houston said. “I’ve always broken in and prepared a few horses for various clients, and I often go to the sales myself to try to buy horses to pinhook. I’ve done a bit of work for a few different vendors at the sales over the years as well.
“I’ve lucky enough to have quite a few clients interested in having me prepare horses on their behalf, and I thought that if I could get a handful of nice horses together, it would be worth giving it a crack.
“I’ve also had a lot of help from Sally House, who has the Fabulous gelding in our draft this year. She’s always been more than happy to provide advice, and she’s been a big help.
“Fabulous is an interesting sire, a real grassroots horse, and physically I can’t fault this gelding at all. He’s well-built, muscular, a real athlete and a dream to deal with.
“How he looks on paper doesn’t really do him justice, but anyone who’s physically at the sale grounds and sees him will definitely want to take a closer look. He really stands out when he’s there in front of you.
“There’s been a lot of interest in him prior to the sale, which is really encouraging. I think that’s an advantage of being based in Cambridge – a lot of traders and other people in the industry get to see them there on the track. That’s a real positive for me.
“The Wrote gelding is a beauty. He’s the first foal out of a really nice mare who won five races. He’s an absolute little racehorse. If I wasn’t preparing him for the Ready to Run Sale, I would have taken him to the trials already this spring. He’s got three-year-old written all over him. He’s a lovely type with a huge stride, and he’s been very easy to break in. He just needs to come up a little bit more in the shoulder – he’s long enough in the leg, so you know he’s going to grow.”
As a former member of New Zealand Bloodstock’s marketing team as well as having hands-on roles in major Australian racing stables, Sarah Worker brought a varied career in the industry with her when she returned home to establish Kawa Park.
The Clevedon operation offers a debut draft of five at this year’s Ready to Run Sale, including progeny of Belardo, Mongolian Khan, Ocean Park (NZ) and Charm Spirit.
“I’ve had a few different roles in the industry in the last few years, including working for Darren Weir and then a couple of years with Ciaron Maher after that,” Worker said.
“Then I came back home with my partner Conor (Fahy), who worked for Ciaron Maher as well, and we came over to run Kawa Park together.
“We came with the intention of being in that breaking and pre-training sector, and Conor had previously done preparation for a few two-year-old sales in Ireland.
“So the Ready to Run Sale was something we always wanted to have a look at. From my time at New Zealand Bloodstock, I really knew about the reputation the sale has, and the amazing things great horsemen have been able to do with these horses. We really wanted to be a part of it.
“We actually bought a couple of horses from the Ready to Run Sale last year, and in everything we’ve done with them so far, they’ve been an absolute pleasure to deal with. So this year we wanted in as consignors.
“It’s been a great experience so far, and we’re really looking forward to hopefully getting up to Karaka for a great sale in November.
“Our two horses by Mongolian Khan will want a little bit more time, but they’re both absolutely lovely horses. The Scattered Dreams (Redoute’s Choice) filly (Lot 286) is a half-sister to a nice horse that Ciaron Maher had called She’s A Karaka (NZ) (Makfi), so we know the family well.
“Our Belardo gelding (Lot 106) is a really nice horse, and he’s probably the one that’s most likely to really get up and go. We think quite a bit of him.”
Kit Brooks joins the consignors list at the Ready to Run Sale with a rich history around horses behind him, from breaking and pre-training to a highly successful career in polo.
KB Bloodstock’s Ready to Run Sale debut will showcase 12 two-year-olds by a classy selection of sires – So You Think (NZ), Iffraaj, Contributer, Derryn, Tavistock (NZ), Deep Field, Pure Champion, Rageese, Tarzino (NZ), Exosphere, Complacent and Turn Me Loose (NZ).
“I was brought up around horses,” Brooks says. “My brother and I always did showjumping and things like that when we were young, and then I switched over to polo at about the age of 17 or 18. I’ve been playing polo ever since then, and it’s taken me all around the world – I had five years in England and a year in Australia. I’ve also been playing for the New Zealand national polo team for about five years. It’s been great.
“I’ve also been doing a lot of breaking in during that time, and over the last few years I’ve taken care of Breeze Ups for people without actually having a draft of my own at the Sale.
“Having a draft and taking it all the way to the Ready to Run Sale is the logical next step. I’ve got some of my own horses as well as some for a range of clients.
“We’re trying to expand our business now, and doing this is a great way to make the brand grow. I’m looking forward to it.
“I think we’ve got a good little team in our first draft, I’m pretty happy with what we’ve got in there. There’s a lot of nice horses, including a few pretty flash ones and a few cheaper ones that go really well too.
“They all breezed up really nicely. We were on the second day, so we had tough conditions with a heavy track and a strong wind. That’s not ideal for young horses, but I was impressed with them all. They handled it and did the job well.
“It was pretty busy for me – even though I’m taking 12 horses to the sales in my draft, I did another six for other clients as well, so I breezed up 18 overall.
“I think there’s a couple of colts in the draft that I’d say are my favourites – the So You Think (Lot 21) and the Deep Field (Lot 174). They’re a couple of good-quality colts that are really nicely bred.
“In terms of the fillies, I really like the Tavistock (Lot 155). She’s a beautiful horse to deal with and is really forward and goes well.
“There’s also a Derryn gelding out of Dutch Striker (NZ) (Van Nistelrooy) that I’ve got a bit of time for (Lot 100). He’s a real speedy little horse that might make a nice racehorse for someone without them having to spend a huge amount of money.”
Having already proven his horsemanship skills in a very different field as a rodeo rider, Kurtis Pertab will offer nine two-year-olds in his inaugural Ready to Run Sale draft in 2021. Sires represented in his quality selection include Tivaci, Sacred Falls (NZ), Burgundy (NZ) and Tarzino (NZ).
“I’ve been around horses all my life and managed to have a bit of success as a rodeo rider, winning a national all-around title in 2020,” Pertab said.
“Since then I’ve started a new business, breaking in a few horses for people. Some of them wanted the horses to be pointed towards the Ready to Run Sale, and so having a draft heading for the Sale this year is just a flow-on effect from that.
“I really like the idea of selling horses, and my draft includes a couple of weanlings that I picked up last year for quite low prices, so I’m looking forward to seeing how everything goes.
“I think I’ve got a pretty nice draft, actually. It wasn’t the easiest at the Breeze Ups with the weather and track conditions that we had, but I’m really happy with the horses and how they’re going.
“I would like to make mention of my clients and those who have supported and entrusted me with their horses, bringing them through to the Ready to Run Sale. It’s a huge honour for me as I take that responsibility on board. Without them, I obviously wouldn’t have the fabulous draft I am taking to the Sale in November.”
This year’s quality catalogue of 322 two-year-olds will go under the hammer at Karaka on 17 and 18 November.
For the second year, buyers who are unable to physically attend the 2021 Ready to Run Sale will be able to participate via NZB’s user-friendly online bidding platform. Ensure you are registered to bid via the platform here.
New Zealand-based agents are also available to complete inspections on behalf of international buyers at the Breeze Ups, on farm parades and at the sale complex.
View the full catalogue and Breeze Up footage online here.
Wednesday 17 & Thursday 18 November - NZB’s Ready to Run Sale of Two-Year-Olds at Karaka with online bidding available.