28 Jan 2019

More than 1200 yearlings on sale at Karaka

12:47 pm on 28 January 2019

It's been a cracker start to the annual Karaka racehorse bloodstock sales, with $11 million worth of yearlings sold on the first day.

The entrance to the Karaka National Yearling sales.

The entrance to the Karaka National Yearling sales. Photo: RNZ / Alexa Cook

This week, 1284 of the horses will go under the hammer, with 70 sold yesterday at an average cost of $150,000.

One horse fetched $800,000 on the first day of the sales.

New Zealand Bloodstock sales manager Danny Rolston hoped that figure would be topped this week.

"It doesn't happen every year but we've got some pretty heavy artillery to sell in the next few days and it's quite feasible to think that there's a million-dollar-plus, one or two, to come over in the next few days."

Savabeel - a sire who has made New Zealand thoroughbred history with a clean sweep of stallion awards for domestic, Australasian and worldwide earnings in each of the past three seasons - fathered 71 yearlings.

New Zealand Bloodstock managing director Andrew Seabrook said Savabeel's offspring was drawing a large international crowd.

"Savabeel hails from the mighty Sir Tristan line and he's been our best stallion for a number of years now."

Mr Seabrook said seven of his progeny sold yesterday at an average of more than $250,000 each.

"He's the mainstay of the catalogue and the reason a lot of the international buyers come here to buy and of course they all can't have a Savabeel so it tends to flow on, so if they can't buy one of those they'll look for something else."

He said sales are expected to stay strong over the week.

But Mr Seabrook said there were also cheaper options and buying as part of a syndicate meant it was possible to put as little as $500 into a horse.

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