Top Studs Vie for Vendor Honours at Karaka 2017

Published: Tue 24 Jan 2017 12:30 PM
Top Studs Vie for Vendor Honours at Karaka 2017
Monday, Jan 23, 2017
The 2017 National Yearling Sales Series at Karaka is shaping up to be an exciting clash for vendor supremacy between three powerhouses of the New Zealand breeding industry.
Leading vendor honours were once exclusively the domain of Cambridge Stud and then more recently Waikato Stud, but this year those two are set to be joined by Curraghmore in a three-way battle. All three vendors will hit Karaka with drafts brimming with both quantity and quality.
Cambridge Stud boasts an incredible history and its many accolades speak for themselves. Sir Patrick and Lady Hogan have been voted New Zealand Breeder of the Year five times and Cambridge Stud has been leading vendor at Karaka 31 times. Sir Patrick is an inductee to both the New Zealand and Australian Racing Halls of Fame.
Karaka has been the only marketplace for Cambridge Stud yearlings for almost a decade, and that exclusive support is being stepped up again in 2017.
“Sir Patrick is always proud to offer his yearlings exclusively at Karaka,” manager Marcus Corban said. “It’s the only sale he’s sold yearlings at for a number of years now. And this year, for the first time ever, he’s selling every single yearling that we have on the farm. There are some absolutely standout colts and fillies available. We can’t wait to get them to Karaka and in front of that buyers’ bench.”
Cambridge Stud will offer 45 yearlings at the Premier Sale. Stallions represented include local stars Savabeel and O’Reilly, Australian-based sires like Redoute’s Choice, Snitzel, Fastnet Rock, Medaglia d’Oro and Camelot and Cambridge’s own impressive roster headed by Tavistock and exciting newcomers Power and Burgundy. Female families represented in the draft include Cambridge Stud’s famous Eight Carat, Diamond Lover, Tristaloveline.
“We’ve got a great cross-section of pedigrees this year,” Corban said. “There’s some really nice Australian and international pedigrees, plus yearlings from the stud’s own families.
“We’ve got some great yearlings by Tavistock this year, plus Power and Burgundy who have been going really well with their first crops of two-year-olds.”
Cambridge’s quality draft includes:
· The progeny of Group 1-winning mares Veloce Bella (Lot 3) and Katie Lee (Lot 231)
· A Tavistock half-sister to Estelle Collection, dam of champion sprinter Lankan Rupee (Lot 42)
· A Tavistock half-brother to Hong Kong champion Able One (Lot 176)
· A full-sister to Australian Derby winner Tavago (Lot 381)
The first to break the Cambridge Stud dominance at Karaka was Waikato Stud. Riding on the outstanding success of stallions O’Reilly and Savabeel, as well as quality female families, Waikato has claimed the title in each of the last three years.
Last year Waikato Stud sold 71 yearlings across the National Yearling Sales Series for a total of $9.68 million, while Savabeel was a star of the Premier session with 45 yearlings selling for in excess of $11.45 million including four of the top six lots.
Savabeel has continued to go from strength to strength since then, with Levin Classic winner Hall Of Fame becoming his 12th individual Group 1 winner earlier this month.
Once again Waikato will present a formidable draft of yearlings at Karaka, including 55 in the Premier catalogue.
“It’s been all go at the stud this week,” owner and general manager Mark Chittick said this week. “We’ve got 90 or so yearlings that start heading up to Karaka. It’s a huge undertaking, particularly when you consider it’s two years of work that has gone into each and every yearling.
“There were some great results on the track last weekend. Te Akau’s Hall of Fame did the tangerine colours proud in the Levin Classic. Results like these are the very reason why we can’t wait to show off our draft at Karaka.”
Waikato’s draft includes:
· The progeny of Group 1-winning mares Daffodil (Lot 109), I Do (Lot 204) and Legs (Lot 255)
· A full-brother to the multiple Group 1 winner and now Waikato Stud stallion Sacred Falls (Lot 205)
· A full-brother to Group 1 winner Costume (Lot 133)
· A full-sister to this season’s multiple stakes winner Coldplay (Lot 170)
One of the hallmarks of the Waikato Stud draft at Karaka 2017 is that it features the final crop of legendary stallion O’Reilly, who died during the 2014-15 season. Waikato will offer 15 of his progeny in their Premier Sale draft, headed by the full-brother to his greatest son Sacred Falls.
The third of the leading contenders for vendor honours at Karaka 2017 is Curraghmore, who finished third behind Waikato and Cambridge at Karaka 2016 with 28 yearlings selling for $5.61 million.
This year they will present a much larger draft, including 19 in the Premier session alone. The one that carries the most interest is Lot 181, the second yearling by the incomparable Frankel to go through the sale ring. The first Frankel yearling topped the 2016 Premier Sale with a $1.3 million price tag.
Curraghmore’s Frankel colt is out of the German mare Give Me Five, dam of Group 1 Ascot Gold Cup winner Colour Vision.
“He’s a very nice colt,” Curraghmore owner and manager Gordon Cunningham said. “He's a profile colt on pedigree and looks and he justifiably headlines our draft. He’s got an absolutely great physique and athleticism. His looks certainly live up to the fact that he’s by Frankel. There’s a lot of interest in him and we’re looking forward to selling him.
“We’ve also got a colt by Declaration of War out of Cat Shmea (Lot 88) that I rate very highly. Cat Shmea is the dam of Velocite. She’s one of only three Australian Group 1 winners for Volksraad. This colt is as impressive as Velocitea was at the same age and looks a real racehorse.
“Our Fastnet Rock colt from Frustrating (Lot 173) is from a Stravinsky daughter of Parfore. He was number one on my wish list to bring over from Australia. He has plenty of quality about him and is very athletic.”
While Cambridge, Waikato and Curraghmore are looming as the leading contenders to top the sale, the list of vendors with quality drafts at Karaka 2017 extends well beyond them.
Fittingly, in the same year that O’Reilly makes his Karaka farewell, his Group 1-winning Australian sprinter son Shamexpress makes his yearling debut. He stands at Windsor Park Stud, who will present 10 of his yearlings among their 34-strong Premier Sale draft.
“We’re particularly excited about Shamexpress,” general manager Steve Till said. “It’s always exciting to present the first crop of a young sire, especially one you rate highly.
“His first crop is a very good line-up of yearlings and we’ve been impressed with their progress through their sales preparation.
“There’s a half-sister to Debt Collector (Lot 356) who’s a lovely dark brown filly with a lot of quality about her. There’s also one out of the very good mare Lady Kipling (Lot 246), bred on a version of that proven O’Reilly-Savabeel cross.
“There’s another colt out of Polish Princess (Lot 343), who was a stakes winner herself and dam of the stakes winners Leebaz, Polish Knight and Euro Angel.”
Another Shamexpress yearling that is sure to attract significant interest is Lot 449, a white colt out of the white mare The Opera House. A half-sister by High Chaparral sold to a Japanese buyer for $450,000 at the last Premier Sale.
“We sold the filly at Karaka last year, but I believe this is the first white colt to go through the ring,” Till said.
The Karaka 2017 catalogue also features a full-brother to Shamexpress, offered as Lot 10 by his breeder Richard Rutherford’s Beltana. The colt’s dam Volkrose is also a half-sister to the multiple stakes winner and Group 1-placed O’Reilly Rose.
Beltana will present two other yearlings in the Premier session including Lot 106, a Shamexpress half-sister to the Group 1 performer Antonio Giuseppe.
A quality nursery that continues to go from strength to strength is Blandford Lodge, breeders of superstar horses such as three-time Group 1 winner Lucia Valentina, who they sold at Karaka 2012 for $60,000.
She was purchased by Lib Petagna, who has enjoyed an extraordinary run of success as owner of the likes of Karaka graduates Lucia Valentina, Sofia Rosa, Dal Cielo, Ugo Foscolo and Eleonora.
Blandford and Petagna’s shared success with Lucia Valentina led to a business relationship, with Petagna buying 50% ownership of the stud.
Blandford will offer 15 yearlings in this year’s Premier catalogue, including the progeny of quality sire such as Foxwedge, Medaglia d’Oro, High Chaparral, Savabeel, O’Reilly, Tavistock and I Am Invincible.
Their draft features a number of beautifully bred yearlings including
· A full-brother to Lucia Valentina (Lot 429)
· A half-brother to Group 1 Champagne Stakes winner Pasadena Girl (Lot 307)
Valachi Downs, owned by increasingly prominent owner-breeder Kevin Hickman, is expanding not only its influence in the New Zealand industry but also its literal size – recently purchasing a neighbouring property.
They will also present a larger draft of yearlings at Karaka 2017.
“We’ve got a slightly bigger draft overall and we’re certainly quite a bit stronger in K1 this year,” stud manager Jonathan Scully said.
Valachi Downs will present a draft of nine yearlings at the 2017 Premier Sale, by a wide range of stallions.
“Not standing any stallions ourselves, a key part of how we breed horses is employing a wide range of stallions,” Scully said. “It’s great to have that variety there. We own shares in quite a few stallions, so we have quite a few to choose from.”
The Valachi Downs draft includes Lot 212, a Savabeel half-brother to the Group 2 Royal Stakes winner She Brings Joy.
Karaka 2017 Schedule
· Karaka Million Twilight Meeting: Sunday 29 January
· Premier Sale: Monday 30 & Tuesday 31 January
· Select Sale: Wednesday 1 – Friday 3 February
· Festival Sale: Sunday 5 February

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