NZB Ready to Run Sale an Unparalleled Source of Racetrack Success
31 October 2023
New Zealand Bloodstock’s Ready to Run Sale continues to go from strength to strength as the world’s leading sale of two-year-olds, producing an honour roll of racetrack stars that no other sale of its kind can match.
In the past five seasons, NZB's Ready to Run graduates have won over 100 black-type races, more than 20 of them at Group One level. It has been an astonishing gold rush, and one that is showing no signs of slowing down.
In only 11 months since the 2022 Ready to Run Sale was staged at Karaka last November, horses sourced from the Ready to Run Sale have recorded no fewer than 12 Group One victories:
- A record-breaking earner and Hong Kong’s Horse of the Year in all of the last three seasons, the incredible Golden Sixty (Medaglia d’Oro) added another three Group One trophies to his collection in this year’s Stewards’ Cup (1600m), Hong Kong Gold Cup (2000m) and Champions Mile (1600m).
- At the time of last year’s sale, Lucky Sweynesse (NZ) (Sweynesse) had won seven of his 10 starts in Hong Kong, but had yet to test himself at the elite level. Since then he has proven himself as an extraordinary sprinting talent, producing scintillating performances to win the Group One Centenary Sprint Cup (1200m), Queen’s Silver Jubilee Cup (1400m) and Chairman’s Sprint Prize (1200m). Those three races make up Hong Kong’s HK$5m Speed Series, and Lucky Sweynesse became the first horse to win all three since the legendary Silent Witness (El Moxie) in 2005.
- Mr Brightside (NZ) (Bullbars) successfully defended his crown in the Group One Doncaster Mile (1600m) in Sydney in April, and he has carried on his winning way in Melbourne this spring with further Group One successes in the Memsie Stakes (1400m) and Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m). He also won the A$5m All-Star Mile (1600m) at Moonee Valley in March.
- Sharp ‘N’ Smart (NZ) (Redwood) showed his star quality in Australia last spring, winning the Group One Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) and backing up a week later to run second in the Group One Victoria Derby (2500m). He later returned to New Zealand and scored another two wins at the elite level, beating older horses in the Herbie Dyke Stakes (2000m) before triumphing in the New Zealand Derby (2400m).
- The Ready to Run Sale produced another classic winner last season with Dunkel (NZ) (Dundeel), who captured the Group One South Australian Derby (2500m) in Adelaide.
Massive prize-money returns
With the lucrative stakes on offer throughout the region, particularly in Australia and Hong Kong, buyers at the Ready to Run Sale have an opportunity to reap massive returns on their investments.
Golden Sixty has turned his $300,000 purchase price at the 2017 Ready to Run Sale into an astronomical HK$147.9m. That is the equivalent of NZ$32.4m, which is 108 times the purchase price that trainer Francis Lui paid to secure him from the draft of Riversley Park. Golden Sixty has lined up in 29 races in his superb career, winning 25 of them and placing in another three.
Lucky Sweynesse has banked more than HK$50m (NZ$10.9m), which dwarfs the $90,000 that was paid by J & I Bloodstock to purchase him from Woburn Farm’s draft at the 2020 Ready to Run Sale. From a 19-start career, Lucky Sweynesse has recorded 13 wins and five placings.
The $50,000 reserve for Mr Brightside was not met at the 2019 Ready to Run Sale. Four years later, he has had 27 starts for 14 wins, five placings and A$10.18m (just over NZ$11m) in stakes.
Sharp ‘N’ Smart was another Ready to Run passing, falling short of his $90,000 reserve at the 2021 sale. His 14-start career has produced six wins, two second placings and $3.13m in prize-money.
Dunkel was a $100,000 purchase by Kevin Myers at the 2021 Ready to Run Sale. He has earned A$670,875 from only eight career starts, winning six of them along with a second placing.
Antino (NZ) (Redwood) went within a whisker of joining the Group One list in the Toorak Handicap (1600m) at Caulfield on October 14, where he overcame a wide gate and launched a huge late run to finish second, beaten by a short head by Attrition (Churchill). But Antino is nevertheless a rising star of Australian racing, with his 12-start career so far producing nine wins, three placings and over A$715,000 in stakes. Antino was a $27,000 purchase from the 2020 Ready to Run Sale.
Another honourable mention goes to Johny Johny (NZ) (Charm Spirit), who was bought for only $12,500 from the 2019 Ready to Run Sale. He won the Group Three Sweynesse Stakes (1200m) at Te Rapa on October 21, which was the 10th win of a 17-start career and lifted his career earnings to $247,625.
Other recent standouts
Another spectacular Ready to Run Sale success story is Beat The Clock (Hinchinbrook), who was bought for $200,000 from the 2015 edition of the Sale. He went on to become a sprinting superstar in Hong Kong, winning 10 of his 25 starts including the Group One Hong Kong Sprint (1200m), Group One Chairman’s Sprint Prize (1200m) and two editions of the Group One Centenary Sprint Cup (1200m). He earned HK$52.8m (NZ$11.5m).
Te Akau Shark (NZ) (Rip Van Winkle) was offered by Lyndhurst Farm at the 2016 Ready to Run Sale, where he caught the eye of Te Akau Racing principal David Ellis and was bought for $230,000. In a spectacular but all-too-brief career, he had 14 starts for seven wins, five placings and $1.5m. He won the Group One Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) and Waikato Sprint (1400m), and he ran third in the Group One Cox Plate (2040m).
Another Ellis purchase at the Ready to Run Sale was Gingernuts (NZ) (Iffraaj), who he bought for $42,500 in 2015. The hugely popular chestnut earned $1.27m in a 12-start career, winning six races including the Group One New Zealand Derby (2400m), Rosehill Guineas (1600m) and Windsor Park Plate (1600m).
Gingernuts is one of five New Zealand Derby winners in the last eight years to come out of the Ready to Run Sale.
- The 2015 edition was won by Mongolian Khan (Holy Roman Emperor), who was bought for $220,000 at the 2013 Ready to Run Sale. He had 17 starts for eight wins and earned more than $4.1m, following his Derby heroics with further Group One wins in the Australian Derby (2400m) and Caulfield Cup (2400m).
- Gingernuts won the 2017 New Zealand Derby, and he was followed a year later by Vin De Dance (NZ) (Roc De Cambes). Bought for $70,000 from the 2016 Ready to Run Sale, Vin De Dance earned $816,590.
- The 2022 New Zealand Derby winner was Asterix (NZ) (Tavistock), who was a $450,000 purchase from the 2020 Ready to Run Sale. He has earned $653,550.
- This year’s Derby was won by Sharp ‘N’ Smart.
Another former star to come out of the Ready to Run Sale is Turn Me Loose (NZ) (Iffraaj), who was a $52,500 purchase in 2013. He earned $1.7m from a 20-start, seven-win career, including Group One wins in the New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m), Cantala Stakes (1600m) and Futurity Stakes (1400m). He is now a highly successful sire at Windsor Park Stud.
The 2023 edition of the New Zealand Bloodstock Ready to Run Sale will take place at the Karaka Sales Centre on 22 and 23 November.
Online bidding is available for all prospective purchasers via bidonline.nzb.co.nz, plus an extensive online catalogue right here that will host pedigrees, parade videos and photos, breeze up clips and data analysis, updates and important information to assist your buying decisions.