Bruce Negus' Big Day Out

by Dave Di Somma, Harness News Desk

Bruce Negus went to Auckland for what he called “a day’s entertainment”

He ended up buying 10 horses, more than any other purchaser, at Monday's NZB Standardbred weanling sales at Karaka (May 3).

He forked out between $2000 and $9000 each for them.

“The market was quite strong, and dearer than anticipated.”

But still Negus got 10 weanlings - five colts and five fillies - for a total $40,000 - just $4000 more than the price of just one of the sales toppers, an Art Major filly and a Bettor’s Delight colt.

“I will break them in as time permits …. it might be 18 months before we see what they’ve got.”

While most of the offerings coming from reputable and/or established stallions Negus says he was often buying on price alone.

“I’m a chip off the old block, Dad used to buy cheap horses and I like to buy cheap horses.”

Bob Negus trained for more than half a century from the late 1950s, and drove 134 winners including Armalight in her 1981 New Zealand Cup win over Bonnie’s Chance and Hands Down.

Though Bruce Negus says he bought on “sentiment” as well. For example, he was interested in the opening lot of the day, a What The Hill – On The Mantelpiece filly because she is a close relative to Sundons Flyer, a 12-race winner for Negus who’s won more than $130,000.

She is a bit on the smaller side – but she’s a kind filly.”

Negus snapped her up for $3000.

Three of the colts will stay and get broken in in Auckland, the remainder will head to his property at Burnham on the outskirts of Christchurch.

Buying big numbers at auction is nothing new to Negus. Years ago he secured more than a dozen at one All Aged Sale.

“And a lot of them turned out pretty good.”

Among them were now three-year-old race winners Katherine ($15,062), Mark Dunnett ($13,295) and Buffy Northstains ($5,185).

“I can afford to buy them because I train them myself”

Negus will forever be associated with the great Courage Under Fire (41 wins, $1,551,941) and twenty years on still has a strong love for the sport.

“I do it while I still can,” the 68 year old said, “I reckon I’ve got shares in 50 horses.”

So far in 2020/21 he’s trained 20 winners, with Corravally Star leading the way with four wins this season, including the listed $40,000 Harness 7000, and earnings of more than $50,000.

His purchases at Karaka were :

Lot 1 What The Hill – On the Mantelpiece Filly $3,000

Lot 22 Downbytheseaside – So Many Words Colt $4000

Lot 29 Majestic Son – Susan Colt $9000

Lot 43 Sweet Lou – Yasmine Bromac Filly $4000

Lot 47 Sweet Lou – Arden’s Pearl Filly $4000

Lot 73 A Rocknroll Dance – Chevelle Star Colt $2000

Lot 75 Ultimate Machete – Cracka Dawn Colt $3000

Lot 95 Downbytheseaside – G B Blaze Colt $4000

Lot 101 What The Hill – KC Spur Filly $4000

Lot 129 Sweet Lou – Nicky’s Power Filly $3000

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