Star Sires Set to Shine at Karaka 2023

5 January 2023

Sale-topping yearlings during the last decade of New Zealand Bloodstock's National Yearling Sales Series have included progeny of established star sires Savabeel (three times), Zoustar, Pierro, O’Reilly (NZ) and Fastnet Rock (three times) – proving that when it comes to selecting yearlings, the established top-tier stallions are always a massive drawcard.

For buyers who favour the progeny of the very top echelon of proven sire talent, the Karaka 2023 catalogues provide plenty to choose from. Represented among the 644 lots in Book 1 and 435 in Book 2 are many of the biggest names in New Zealand and Australia’s stallion ranks.


New Zealand-based Stallions



Every summary of stallions represented at Karaka has to begin with the kingpin Savabeel. The Waikato Stud supremo has been New Zealand’s champion sire in all of the last seven seasons, and he currently heads the 2022-23 premiership in Australia as well courtesy of a brilliant performance by I Wish I Win (NZ) in the A$10m Golden Eagle (1500m).

Overall, Savabeel has sired 854 winners from 1186 runners, including 128 individual black-type winners. He sired his 28th individual Group One winner when Prise De Fer (NZ) captured the Captain Cook Stakes (1600m) at Trentham in early December.

Savabeel has dominated Karaka yearling sales in recent years, breaking the barrier of $10m by aggregate four times in the last five Book 1 sessions alone.

Across his career, Savabeel has been the sire of 16 yearlings that have sold for $700,000 or more at Karaka. Ten of those have cracked $800,000, and three have fetched $1m or more.

Savabeel is set to feature prominently again in Karaka 2023, with 40 yearlings catalogued for Book 1.

  • Lot 15 is a son of a Lonhro mare who won at Listed level in the United States and is also a half-sister to three other stakes winners.
  • Lot 59 is a colt with strong pedigree credentials. He is a full-brother to Hindaam (NZ) (Savabeel), whose three wins include the Listed Twilight Glow Stakes (1400m) in Melbourne, while his dam is a full-sister to the multiple Group One winner and sire Merchant Navy, along with Group One placegetter and black-type producer Jolie Bay (Fastnet Rock).
  • Lot 107 is out of Cool ‘n’ Sassy (Testa Rossa) and is being offered by Hallmark Stud. Cool ‘n’ Sassy’s only foal to race is this colt’s full-brother Cool Aza Beel (NZ), who won the Group One Sistema Stakes (1200m) and the Karaka Million 2YO (1200m) and now stands at Newhaven Park in New South Wales.
  • Lot 323 is a full-brother to Group One winner and rookie Waikato Stud stallion Noverre (NZ) (Savabeel). Himself bred by Waikato Stud, who sold him to Te Akau’s David Ellis for $800,000 at Karaka 2020, Noverre won three races in an injury-curtailed career – including a stunning last-to-first performance in the Group One New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m) in what proved to be his final start. Noverre is the only foal to race out of this colt’s dam, Magic Dancer (NZ) (Rip Van Winkle), who herself won at Group Three level as a two-year-old.




Rich Hill Stud sensation Proisir has enjoyed a spring that would rank highly among any star stallion’s career highlights.

Astonishingly, he sired the winners of three of the first four Group One races staged in New Zealand this season. Dark Destroyer (NZ) produced an outstanding fresh-up performance to take out the Tarzino Trophy (1400m) at Hastings, and then Proisir became only the fifth stallion to sire the winners of both the New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m) and 1000 Guineas (1600m) in the same season.

Pier (NZ) was a classy, tough and tenacious winner of the 2000 Guineas at Riccarton on November 5, followed a week later by superstar filly Legarto (NZ) in the 1000 Guineas. Making her fourth start in an undefeated career, the Matamata filly roared home from last to score by four and three-quarter lengths.

Proisir dominates the Kiwi sire standings this season, with his combined earnings of $1.81m placing him more than $600,000 ahead of nearest challenger Tavistock (NZ).

He has also had a successful spring across the Tasman, siring 12 winners for earnings of over A$1.8m, headed by a deserved feature-race win in the A$1m The Gong (1600m) by multiple Group One placegetter Riodini (NZ).

In a stud career that began in 2015, Proisir has sired a total of 125 winners from 210 winners. His 11 individual stakes winners include multiple Group One-winning sprinter Levante (NZ) and this year’s elite performers Dark Destroyer, Pier and Legarto.

Proisir will be represented by 19 yearlings in Book 1 and 30 in Book 2.

  • Lot 89 is a half-brother to Nicoletta (NZ) (Savabeel), who won the Group One New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders’ Stakes (1600m) and two Group Three races. She was also a five-time placegetter in Group races, including the Group One Herbie Dyke Stakes (2000m) and New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders’ Stakes. This colt’s dam, Celtic Crown (Doneraile Court), was a Listed winner in the United States.
  • Lot 260 is a filly who is out of a three-quarter-sister to multiple Group One winner Madison County (NZ) (Pins).
  • Lot 415 is a half-brother to exciting Kiwi three-year-old Devastate (NZ) (Vadamos), who picked up the third win of his four-start career in the Group Three Wellington Stakes (1600m) in November.
  • Lot 545 is a half-brother to multiple stakes winner Secret Spirit (NZ) (Swiss Ace) and to Columbus County (NZ) (Redwood), who has placed in four stakes races including Hong Kong’s Group One Hong Kong Vase (2400m) and Champions & Chater Cup (2400m).



Per Incanto

In 2011, Little Avondale Stud took a gamble on an American-bred stallion named Per Incanto – a Group Three-winning son of Street Cry who began his stud career at the time-honoured Masterton nursery with a service fee of $4,000. A decade later, Per Incanto commands enormous respect across Australasia and Asia, and his 2022 service fee was $50,000.

A regular presence among the top three or four on the New Zealand sires’ premiership in recent seasons, Per Incanto has also been Hong Kong’s leading sire by winners in each of the last two years.

From a total of 483 runners, Per Incanto has been credited with 320 winners, 27 of them at stakes level. He is the sire of five individual Group One winners – the most significant now being the outstanding sprinting mare Roch ‘N’ Horse (NZ), who has won the Group One Newmarket Handicap (1200m) and Champions Sprint (1200m) at Flemington last year.

Eight of Per Incanto’s yearlings have sold for $250,000 or more at Karaka, and another strong selection of his progeny will go under the hammer during Karaka 2023.

  • Lot 258 is a half-brother to Desert Lightning (NZ) (Pride Of Dubai), who was a strong-finishing and close second in the Group One New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m) in November.
  • Lot 273 is a filly out of Kaatoon (NZ) (Kaapstad), who won the Group Two Sir Tristram Fillies’ Classic (2000m) and Group Three Lowland Stakes (2100m) and is the dam of Group Three placegetter Aotearower (NZ) (Shamardal).
  • Lot 329 is a son of stakes-winning Singapore sprinter Makkura (NZ) (Falkirk).
  • Lot 571 is a full-sister to Lanciato (NZ) (Per Incanto), whose five wins in Australia included the Group Three Newmarket Handicap (1400m) and Listed Carrington Stakes (1400m).



Ocean Park

Himself a $150,000 purchase as a yearling at Karaka in 2010, Ocean Park (NZ) became a multiple Group One-winning superstar on both sides of the Tasman and has enjoyed outstanding success since taking up duties at Waikato Stud in the spring of 2013.

An eight-time winner on the racetrack including in the Cox Plate (2040m), Caulfield Stakes (2000m), Underwood Stakes (1800m), Makfi Challenge Stakes (1400m) and New Zealand Stakes (2000m), Ocean Park has so far been represented by 242 winners from 376 progeny to race.

He has sired 19 stakes winners, headed by the Australian multiple Group One winners Tofane (NZ) and Kolding (NZ). His standout performers so far this season include High Emocean (NZ), who won the Group Three Bendigo Cup (2400m) before an exceptional third in the Group One Melbourne Cup (3200m).

Ocean Park is the sire of 49 yearlings in Book 1 of Karaka 2023, with another 16 in Book 2.

  • Lot 50 is a half-brother to Annavisto (NZ) (Reliable Man), who has won six of her 16 starts including the Group Three Frances Tressady Stakes (1400m) and the Listed Bendigo Guineas (1400m). The pair’s dam Avisto (NZ) (Tavistock) was herself a three-time winner at Listed level.
  • Lot 328 is a half-brother to I Wish I Win (NZ) (Savabeel), who soared to stardom in Australia in the spring with three wins including the A$10m Golden Eagle (1500m) at Rosehill.  They are both out of Make A Wish (NZ) (Pins), who is the dam of five winners from seven foals to race. Another of Make A Wish’s progeny is Lot 328’s full-sister Another Dollar (NZ) (Ocean Park), a Group Three winner in Brisbane and placegetter in the Group One Queensland Oaks (2200m).
  • Lot 425 is a half-sister to two stakes performers including Group One winner Signify (NZ) (Perfectly Ready).
  • Lot 437 is a half-brother to I’m Thunderstruck (NZ) (Shocking), who won this spring’s Group One Makybe Diva Stakes (2000m) and was runner-up in the Cox Plate (2040m). He had previously won the Group One Toorak Handicap (1600m) and last year’s Golden Eagle.



Darci Brahma

The Oaks Stud’s Darci Brahma (NZ) has excelled in every role he’s ever played – from a $1.1 million sale-topping yearling at Karaka in 2004 to a five-time Group One-winning career on the racetrack, and then more than a decade of excellence at stud.

The son of the legendary Danehill has finished in the top five on the New Zealand sires’ premiership in eight of the last 10 seasons, and he has sired a total of 537 winners from 753 runners. He has been credited with 57 stakes winners, with a dozen at Group One level including sprint stars D B Pin (NZ) and Irish Fling (NZ), elite 1400-metre mare Sierra Sue (NZ), and classic winners Catalyst (NZ), Risque (NZ), Artistic (NZ), Kahma Lass (NZ) and Gust Of Wind (NZ).

Darci Brahma is the sire of 15 yearlings in Book 1 of Karaka 2023. He also has three catalogued in Book 2.

  • Lot 116 is a half-sister to Mustang Valley (NZ) (Vanbrugh), who came of age in the spring with dominant victories in the Group One Livamol Classic (2040m) and Group Three Metric Mile (1600m), along with a strong-finishing second in the Group One Arrowfield Stud Plate (1600m).
  • Lot 310 is a half-sister to Mr Brightside (NZ) (Bullbars), the winner of the Group One Doncaster Handicap (1600m) in the autumn. He has added further black-type successes in this spring’s Group Two PB Lawrence Stakes (1400m) and Feehan Stakes (1600m), along with a third placing in the Group One Champions Mile (1600m).




Taking over the mantle from his late, great sire Tavistock (NZ), Westbury Stud’s Tarzino (NZ) had a sensational second season with two Group One classic winners in Australia last year.

First up was Jungle Magnate (NZ), who was a $75,000 purchase from Book 1 of Karaka 2020. The Mick Price and Michael Kent Jnr-trained gelding put together impressive back-to-back wins in Adelaide in the Group Three Chairmans’ Stakes (2000m) and Group One South Australian Derby (2500m) in April and May.

But an even more impressive performer was Gypsy Goddess (NZ), who was named Australia’s Champion 3YO Filly of 2021-22. Passed in at Karaka 2020 with a reserve of only $20,000, she has so far earned more than A$1.97m in a 10-start career.

Trained by David Vandyke, she won all of her first five starts including the Group Three Grand Prix (2100m). She then finished third in the Group One Vinery Stud Stakes (1850m) and an unlucky second in the Group One Australian Oaks (2400m) at Randwick. After another runner-up finish in the Listed Gold Coast Bracelet (1800m), she returned to winning form in style in the Group One Queensland Oaks (2200m). She has so far had just one start as a four-year-old, finishing third in the A$10m Golden Eagle (1500m).

Buyers will have access to 29 of Tarzino’s progeny in Book 1 of Karaka 2023, with three in Book 2.

  • The dam of Lot 26 is a half-sister to the dam of Group One winners Atlantic Jewel (Fastnet Rock) and Commanding Jewel (Commands). Atlantic Jewel, in turn, is the dam of Hong Kong’s dual Group One winner Russian Emperor (Galileo). Another close relative, I Am Excited (Snitzel), won the Group One Galaxy Handicap (1100m) at Rosehill.
  • Lot 105 is a half-sister to the Group One Doomben 10,000 (1350m) winner Music Magnate (NZ) (Written Tycoon).

Also featured in the Karaka 2023 catalogues are progeny by kiwi heavyweights Charm Spirit, Contributer, El Roca, Reliable Man, Shocking and Zed.

Australian-based Sires



On the racetrack, Dundeel (NZ) was a flagbearer for the New Zealand thoroughbred industry, winning 10 of his 19 starts including the Group One Spring Champion Stakes (2000m), Randwick Guineas (1600m), Rosehill Guineas (2000m), Australian Derby (2400m), Underwood Stakes (1800m) and Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m). He earned more than A$5m in stakes and was New Zealand’s Horse of the Year in 2013-14.

He has carried on in the same vein into his second career, where he now commands a service fee of A$66,000 at Arrowfield Stud. He has sired 229 winners from 377 runners, 18 of them at stakes level including five Group One winners. His Group One-winning sons Castelvecchio and Super Seth are now themselves at stud in Australia and New Zealand respectively, while Yourdeel (NZ) was a Karaka graduate who won twice at the elite level as a two-year-old.

There are 13 Dundeel yearlings in the catalogue for Book 1 of Karaka 2023.

  • Lot 82 is a half-sister to the Group Two winner Sensible Princess (NZ) (Street Sense), Listed winner and Group One-placed Darscape Princess (NZ) (Darci Brahma), and multiple Western Australian stakes placegetter Fashion Princess (NZ) (Iffraaj).
  • Lot 140 is a daughter of the Group One Queen of the Turf Stakes (1600m) winner Diamond Drille (Al Maher).
  • Lot 521 is a three-quarter-sister to multiple Listed winner Silvera (High Chaparral) and closely related to five-time Group One winner Shoot Out (High Chaparral).



Fastnet Rock

Enormously successful and influential in both hemispheres, champion sire Fastnet Rock needs little introduction in our part of the world. More than a dozen of his yearlings have sold for $700,000 or more at Karaka, and his graduates of this sale ring include Group One stars such as Rock ‘N’ Pop, Planet Rock, Albany Reunion, Atlante, First Seal, Heroic Valour, Unforgotten and superb mare Avantage.

Overall, Fastnet Rock has sired 1482 winners from 2088 runners worldwide. He has 191 individual stakes winners to his name, 42 of them at Group One level.

Two of his progeny will go through the ring during Book 1 of Karaka 2023.

  • Lot 363 is out of More Jools (More Than Ready), who finished fourth at Listed level and is half-sister to Group Two winners Ninth Legion (Fastnet Rock) and Tsaritsa (Dane Shadow). Another half-sibling, Sing A Love Song (Your Song), was Group Three-placed.
  • Lot 586 is a daughter of Test The World (NZ) (Testa Rossa), who won six races and placed in the Listed Silk Stocking (1200m) and Bright Shadow Quality (1200m).




Pierro was an almost-perfect racehorse, lining up in 14 races for 11 wins, three placings and more than A$4.5 million in stakes. He won the Group One Golden Slipper (1200m), Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m), Champagne Stakes (1600m), Canterbury Stakes (1300m) and George Ryder Stakes (1500m), and placed in the Group One Caulfield Guineas (1600m), Cox Plate (2040m) and Doncaster Handicap (1600m).

Pierro has since established himself as one of Australia’s finest stallions, now commanding a service fee of A$99,000 at Coolmore in New South Wales. He boasts a total of 335 winners from 504 runners, and his 32 stakes winners include Group One stars Arcadia Queen, Regal Power, Shadow Hero, Pierata, Levendi and Pinot.

Pierro is also the sire of quality Hong Kong performer Furore (NZ), who was bought for $210,000 from Karaka 2016. He has won eight races and more than HK$36 million, headed by the Hong Kong Derby (2000m) and Group Two Jockey Club Cup (2000m), along with four Group One placings.

Book 1 of Karaka 2023 features six sons or daughters of Pierro.

  • Lot 41 is the first foal out of Aretha (NZ) (Charm Spirit), who won the Group Two Matamata Breeders’ Stakes (1200m) and placed in the Group One Diamond Stakes (1200m) and Manawatu Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m).
  • Lot 196 is a daughter of Forever Loved (NZ) (High Chaparral), who won the Group Two Rose Of Kingston Stakes (1400m) and placed in the Group One Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m). She also descends from the exceptional Tristalove-Diamond Lover-Eight Carat line.
  • Lot 344 is a half-sister to New Zealand’s extraordinary 14-time Group One winner Melody Belle (NZ) (Commands).



Shamus Award

Winner of the Group One Cox Plate (2040m) and Australian Guineas (1600m) as a three-year-old, Shamus Award has developed into one of Australia’s elite stallions. The son of Snitzel stands at Rosemont Stud for an A$88,000 service fee.

From 303 runners, Shamus Award has notched up 195 winners including 20 at stakes level. Incentivise became a headline act with his nine consecutive victories in 2021, culminating in a Group One treble in the Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m), Turnbull Stakes (2000m) and Caulfield Cup (2400m), before being runner-up behind Verry Elleegant (NZ) (Zed) in the Melbourne Cup (3200m). Shamus Award is also the sire of fellow Group One winners Duais, Mr Quickie, El Patroness and Media Award.

Shamus Award will be represented by four yearlings in Book 1 of Karaka 2023.

  • Four Group One performers feature on the pedigree page of Lot 138, including the exceptional racehorse and sire Pierro.
  • Lot 479 is closely related to stellar Sydney performers Seabrook (NZ) (Hinchinbrook), Aloha (Encosta De Lago) and Libertini (I Am Invincible).



So You Think

So You Think (NZ) has scaled extraordinary heights since selling for $110,000 as a yearling at Karaka in 2008. He won five Group One races in Australia including two editions of the Cox Plate (2040m), then added another five in the UK and Ireland including the Eclipse Stakes (2000m), Irish Champion Stakes (2000m) and Royal Ascot’s Prince Of Wales’s Stakes (2000m).

So You Think has followed up those racetrack heroics with 515 winners from 756 runners to date in his stud career. He now stands at Coolmore for a service fee of A$93,500.

The 2021-22 season was So You Think’s best yet, finishing a close second on the Australian sires’ premiership with 149 winners, 12 stakes winners and more than A$19.3m in total prize-money. That included an extraordinary Group One treble on the second day of The Championships at Randwick, with Knights Order winning the Sydney Cup (3200m), Think It Over triumphing in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) and Nimalee scoring in the Queen of the Turf Stakes (1600m).

So You Think has sired a total of 46 stakes winners, nine of them at the elite level.

Book 1 of Karaka 2023 features 15 yearlings by So You Think.

  • Lot 36 is a filly out of Listed Ottawa Stakes (1000m) winner Applegate (Exceed And Excel), who is the dam of four winners including Cloudy (Frosted) at Group Three level and this season's Group Two-winning filly Impendabelle (NZ) (Impending).
  • Lot 200 is a daughter of French Success (NZ) (Savabeel), a three-race-winning sister to multiple Group One winner Shillelagh (NZ) (Savabeel) and stakes winners Tullamore (NZ) (Savabeel) and Grazia (NZ) (Savabeel).
  • Lot 397 is out of O’Reilly Rose (NZ) (O’Reilly), who won the Group Three White Robe Lodge Handicap (1600m) and three Listed races. She was also Group One-placed, and she is a three-quarter-sister to Group One winner and sire Shamexpress (NZ).



Written Tycoon

Dethroning the great Snitzel to be crowned Australia’s champion sire in 2020-21, Written Tycoon boasts an extraordinary record of 773 winners from just 1017 runners to date. He has sired 52 individual stakes winners, with 12 Group One winners including the likes of exciting stud prospects Capitalist, Written By and Ole Kirk, along with top-class filly Coolangatta.

Written Tycoon is the sire of six yearlings in Book 1 of Karaka 2023.

  • Lot 145 is a colt out of Dolmabache (NZ) (Redoute’s Choice), who is a Group Two-winning daughter of Our Echezeaux (NZ) (Zabeel). Herself a two-time winner, Our Echezeaux is a sister to Grand Echezeaux (NZ) (Zabeel), a Group One winner and dam of superstar racehorse and sire Darci Brahma (NZ), along with highly successful sire Burgundy (NZ).
  • Lot 641 is a filly from a family stacked with North American and Japanese black type.

Joining the talented line up of Tasman titans above are super sires All Too Hard, Deep Field, Snitzel, Street Boss, Pride of Dubai and Zoustar.


Book 1 of Karaka 2023 will run from 29 to 31 January, followed by Book 2 from 1 to 3 February. Selling will start at 11am each day.

All yearlings in Karaka 2023 will be inspected by NZB and NZ-based agents who are available to assist buyers with any queries or to bid on their behalf. View the Karaka 2023 parade schedule here.

International buyers wishing to physically attend the Sale can enquire about accommodation options by emailing [email protected].

Online bidding is available for all prospective purchasers via, plus an extensive online catalogue that will host pedigrees, parade videos and photos, updates and important information to assist your buying decisions.

The catalogues for Karaka 2023 can be viewed online here.


Important Dates

2023 Karaka Million Twilight Meeting – Saturday 21 January

Book 1 Sale – Sunday 29 January to Tuesday 31 January

Book 2 Sale – Wednesday 1 February to Friday 3 February