Andrew Seabrook

published: 18 Jan 2013 in Q&A

Graduates of New Zealand Bloodstock’s yearling sales continue to be a dominant force whether at home, in Australia or other parts of the world.

Graduates of New Zealand Bloodstock’s yearling sales continue to be a dominant force whether at home, in Australia or other parts of the world.

A most notable high point was reached at Royal Ascot last June when the Karaka sales ring produced the Group 1 winners So You Think and Little Bridge.

This story of achievement was further enhanced in Melbourne in the spring when Ocean Park, who has sold at NZB’s Select Sale, became the fifth New Zealand-bred in the last six years to win the Cox Plate.

The chance to buy performers of the highest calibre comes around again when NZB presents a total of 1,492 yearlings over seven days of selling commencing on January 28.

With that in mind Stallions questioned the company’s managing director (bloodstock and finance) Andrew Seabrook, in the first of a two-part series, about the successes of sale series graduates and the highlights of the Premier offering.


Q.: NZB must be pleased with results achieved in the last 12 months by sales graduates

A.: Absolutely and we have had a great start to the 2012-13 season as well. Since August we have had seven individual Group 1 winners win 10 Group 1 races in Australia, Hong Kong and New Zealand. In Australia our graduates are headed by Cox Plate winner Ocean Park (Thorn Park), who is one of three Australian Group 1-winning graduates so far this season. The other two are Norzita (Thorn Park) and Solzhenitsyn (St. Petersburg). In Hong Kong dual Horse of the Year Ambitious Dragon (Pins) made it three consecutive Group 1 Hong Kong Miles for Karaka last month and in New Zealand we have uncovered some smart performers including the unbeaten Sacred Falls (O’Reilly), who is being aimed at the Group 1 three-year-old races in Australia in the autumn


Q.: Ocean Park bringing up a fifth Cox Plate win in six runnings for New Zealand-breds is special

A.: It’s a great record in a great race. New Zealand-bred horses have won 25 of the last 50 Cox Plates, which gives you an idea about how successful New Zealand has been in the race. Four of the last six winners – El Segundo (Pins), So You Think (High Chaparral) and Ocean Park – are graduates of the Karaka ring, while Maldivian is New Zealand-bred. Their achievements are a great advertisement for what we produce and sell in New Zealand


Q.: The company’s success in Asia continues

A.: We have had yet another highly successful year in Asia. In Hong Kong Karaka graduates won eight of the 11 trophies in the Jockey Club’s Champion Awards. This included a clean sweep of the Champion Sprinter, Miler, Middle Distance, Stayer and Horse of the Year awards. In addition Fay Fay (Falkirk), made it back-to-back  H.K. Derbies for Karaka and New Zealand. In Singapore N.Z.-bred horses and Karaka graduates won almost half of the 2012 stakes races and claimed their third consecutive Derby. Star graduate Super Easy was another highlight, going unbeaten in 12 starts to equal the record set by fellow Karaka graduate Better Than Ever and clean sweeping Singapore’s 3YO Triple Crown


Q.: How do you rate this year’s Premier catalogue

A.: I think it’s very strong. The number of horses is slightly lower this year with 441 yearlings against 516 in 2012. That is because we made the selection process a little tighter and we are confident this will have a positive impact on the sale. We have a consistent line-up of quality yearlings heading to the sale with strong drafts by our top local sires as well as those from Australia and further afield. Many of these yearlings are from leading families in the stud book. The Karaka Premier Sale has celebrated 20 Group 1 winners since the 2009/10 season and has sold the likes of Norzita, Sacred Falls, Brambles and So You Think so it continues to prove itself as a leading sale in this part of the world


Q.: Sizeable drafts by High Chaparral, O’Reilly, Pins and the irrepressible Zabeel most add to the appeal

A.: Yes it does. Pins and O’Reilly have proven themselves leading sires throughout Australasia. They continued to sire top horses including the likes of Sacred Falls (O’Reilly) and Ambitious Dragon (Pins). They have 64 and 53 yearlings, respectively, on offer over the three sessions. The Premier sale catalogue will offer a strong draft by High Chaparral (28) as well as Fastnet Rock (15) and Encosta de Lago (nine) which further adds to the appeal. Zabeel’s influence on the Karaka yearling sales has been immense and he has a sizeable draft of 44 yearlings. His success as a broodmare sire continues to grow being both the Australian and New Zealand Champion Broodmare Sire last season. Karaka 2013 will offer 79 yearlings from Zabeel mares and considering his daughters have produced 104 stakes winners already including the likes of Ocean Park, Atlantic Jewel and Dear Demi this presents an exciting opportunity for buyers


Q.: Could you name some of the most highly related yearlings

A.: We have a number of standout highlights including a half-brother by Pins to 2012 Cox Plate winner Ocean Park (Lot 330); a colt from the Caulfield/Melbourne Cup winner Ethereal (Lot 132); a Zabeel colt from the seven-time Group 1-winning mare Seachange (Lot 332) and a half-brother to Group 1 winner Gathering – from the family of Redoute’s Choice – by Fastnet Rock


Q.: Are the 54 lots by Mastercraftsman the biggest entry ever by a first season sire

A.: We have had some big premier drafts previously by first season sires. In 2002 we had 61 yearlings by Tale of the Cat; in 2003 we had 56 by Stravinsky and in 2004 59 by Montjeu. Given that Mastercraftsman’s 54 Premier sale yearlings is a big number. He has a very solid book with siblings to Group 1 winners Military Move, Monaco Consul, Velocitea, Ambitious Dragon, Lights of Heaven, Rock ‘N’ Pop, Norzita and more.











The Premier sale conducted by New Zealand Bloodstock at Karaka is, of course, the feature attraction in the company’s annual series of yearling sales.

However, the Select sale also has an enviable record for producing performers of the highest class.

Foremost amongst them in recent times have been last year’s Cox Plate winner Ocean Park, who was bought at the 2010 Select for $150,000, dual Hong Kong Horse of the Year Ambitious Dragon, who was passed in for $50,000 in 2008, and 10-time Group 1 winner (King) Mufhasa, who went for $50,000 in 2006.

The Festival sale, which follows on from the Select, can also boast being the selling arena for the Hong Kong Derby winner Fay Fay, who is by Falkirk.

With the Select and Festival sales coming up Stallions, in the second of a series, questioned NZB’s managing director (bloodstock and finance) Andrew Seabrook about the Select and Festival sales, likely buying support and the impact of the Australian dollar’s high value.


Q.: The first season sires are interesting

A.: We have a total of 24 first season sires across the three sale sessions. Windsor Park Stud’s Danehill Dancer horse Mastercraftsman, who was an Irish Two Thousand Guineas winner, and  Cambridge Stud’s Tavistock, a Champion New Zealand Sprinter by Montjeu, have a particularly strong representation. Dual Australian Group 1 winner Road to Rock, the Group 1 winning Thewayyouare and Red Giant, a son of Giant’s Causeway, are also well represented. Added to that the catalogues will also offer the first yearlings by a number of well-performed Australian sires including All American, Denman, Duporth, Nicconi, Onemorenomore and Time Thief


Q.: How do you rate the Select sale

A.: The Select sale has developed into a leading yearling sale in its own right. The sale has produced 15 Group 1 winners since the 2010-11 season, all for an average five-year sale price of under $50,000. That is an outstanding result and a testament to the sale’s success and its unbeatable value for money. The Select session has been the source of leading horses such as the reigning Cox Plate champion Ocean Park, the last three Group 1 Hong Kong Mile winners as well as Australian Group 1 winners including Brazilian Pulse, (King) Mufhasa, Shamrocker, Quintessential and Sangster


Q.: What are the likely feature attractions

A.: One of the feature attractions of the Select sale is the quality of horses you can purchase for a modest price. The sale is renowned for producing athletic types without the stellar pedigrees seen in the Premier sale so buyers can pick up an athlete without having to pay top dollar. Besides that they know they are purchasing from a sale that has a terrific track record


Q.: Has the Festival sale catalogued fulfilled expectations

A.: We are very pleased with the catalogue. There are 73 stallions represented including the first season sires Battle Paint, Buffalo Man, Indy King, Nom du Jeu, Raise the Flag, Red Giant, Road to Rock, Roc de Cambes, Sufficient, Swiss Ace, Tavistock, Thewayyouare, Tiger Prawn and Time Thief so there will be plenty of buying opportunities


Q.: You have returned to the original Festival sale format

A.: That’s right. The 2013 Festival sale, on February 3 and 4, has a catalogue of 440 yearlings, which is well up on last year’s total of 308 yearlings. That is obviously a positive and this influenced us to return the sale this year to its original two-day format. The Festival sale has also had a good season on the track with graduates headed by Hong Kong Derby winner Fay Fay


Q.: Where do you expect most buying support to come from

A.: Last year we had buyers from a total of 13 countries across the sale’s series. They came from Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Ireland, Japan, Macau, Malaysia, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa, the United Kingdom and the United States. These buyers spent over $50 million at Karaka, which was more than 65 per cent of the sale’s total aggregate. Australian buyers led the way with the country spending a total of $32 million. We are hopeful of another strong showing from international buyers this year and we are also hopeful of a good turnout from the local market, with confidence in the industry starting to grow. Kiwi buyers generally become more prominent in the buying ranks as the week progresses into the Select and Festival sales


Q.: Presumably the value of the Australian dollar will be a booster for buyers from across the Tasman

A.: The exchange rate is hugely in our favour, making buying in New Zealand extremely good value for many of our overseas buyers, particularly those from Australia. This can be a major advantage at a time, such as now, when budgets are a little tighter.