New Zealand Bloodstock

published: 21 Nov 2014 in Q&A

When Chris Waller and a group of his owners decided to purchase yearlings with Derby-winning potential their immediate target became the New Zealand Bloodstock offering at Karaka.

Among Waller’s purchases with this in mind, was a youngster by Cambridge Stud’s eminently successful stallion Zabeel from the Flying Spur mare Better Alternative, who was a winner over 2000m

Secured for $NZ190,000 at last year’s NZB Premier that, of course, turned out to be Preferment, who attained the objective of his owners by winning the Victoria Derby.

That win boosted his prize winnings to $A952,905 and provided a excellent and timely advertisement for NZB’s yearling sales.

As the countdown to NZB’s 2015 Premier on January 26 and 27, Select, on January 28, 29 and 30, and Festival, on February 1, begins Stallions questioned NZB marketing assistant Bevan Smith about the sales series.


Q.: How are the 2015 National Yearling Sales shaping up

A.: We are very pleased with the response we have received this year from our vendors and we are piecing together what we believe will be a very good catalogue.


Q.: Has the selection process been finalised

A.: We are just putting the finishing touches to the selection process, taking into account relevant results from the Melbourne Spring Carnival. We like to have as many results, as possible, from the carnival so our buyers have the most up-to-date information available when they receive their catalogues.


Q.: When will the catalogues be available

A.: The catalogues are due to be in people’s letter boxes from December 1 and they will be online from November 24.


Q.: What will be the features of the Premier sale

A.: The 2015 Premier sale has attracted many yearlings with very good pedigrees and, from all reports, the quality of individual matches their catalogue pages. There is a good range of the best sires from New Zealand along with many of the leading sires in Australia.


Q.: Which stallions will be best represented

A.: New Zealand’s Champion Sire of the last two seasons O’Reilly has a very strong representation along with his Waikato Stud barnmate Savabeel. Both sires are enjoying an amazing run of form and their progeny are sure to be in demand. Australian sires such as Fastnet Rock and High Chaparral have been successful at Karaka previously and have a good number of yearlings entered in the sale. There will a strong representation of first season sires with Cape Blanco and Pour Moi to the fore. We saw sires such as Rip Van Winkle and Makfi sell well in 2013 and they once again have strong drafts heading to Karaka.


Q.: Can you pinpoint some of the high profile lots

There are a number of well-bred and well-conformed horses in the sale and it is hard to single any out. We are excited by the selection of sires and there will be a horse to suit everybody’s needs. There are 35 siblings to Group 1 winners across all sales, including the likes of recent Group 1 winners First Seal and Sacred Falls. We are very lucky to have international pedigrees in the catalogue as well and one standout is a Fastnet Rock colt out of a full-sister to highly successful sire High Chaparral.


Q.: No doubt many quality mares have yearlings entered

A.: There are over 130 yearlings out of stakes winning mares in the sale, including the progeny of 20 Group 1-winning mares.


Q.: Are you pleased with the outlook for the Select and Festival sales

A.: The Select sale has been doing exceptionally well in recent years in providing a number of Group 1 winners. It offers great value for money and is the sale where you can pick up a nice type at a reasonable price. The Festival sale will once again be a one-day sale and offers a varying range of opportunities from pinhooking through

to genuine racehorses that don’t cost the world.


Q.: Where will the sales be most heavily promoted

A.: We promote the sales domestically and internationally. Australia is our biggest overseas market and we advertise and promote throughout the nation. We also have a strong focus on Asia, in particular Hong Kong and Singapore, and our Asian representative, Mike Kneebone, does a fantastic job spreading the word about the sale.


Q.: What do you promotions involve

A.: At NZB we try and get around and see as many buyers as possible prior to the sale, hosting them at various functions. We have already hosted a golf day and held several trackwork breakfasts trying to fit into the busy schedule of owners and trainers. We also aid in getting potential buyers to New Zealand in November/December to tour around and get an early look at the yearlings.


Q.: What features will there be around the sales

A.: The Karaka Million Twilight Race Meeting is run on the eve of the Premier sale’s opening. This presents a great opportunity to welcome our buyers and for them to mingle with vendors prior to the serious selling starting. It is a great evening with exciting racing and many attractions on the night. We are hosting an event called the ‘Karaka’ – The Thoroughbred Experience’. It will be held post-sale and is aimed at introducing new people to the thoroughbred industry and the possibilities of ownership.


Q.: What are your predictions about the likely market

A.: It is always hard to predict what the market will be like, particularly this far out. New Zealand thoroughbreds and, in particular Karaka graduates, have been performing with great distinction around the world and we would hope the racetrack results equate to buyers at the sales.