Countdown on to NZB Standardbred National Yearling Sales 2024

By Dave Di Somma, Harness News Desk

For all his experience NZB Standardbred Manager Cam Bray isn't quite sure what to expect from this year's National Yearling Sales, starting this Sunday.

The burning questions include : who will be the sales topper in 2024? Who will be this year's most in-demand sires? Can this year continue the trend of recent years?

The NZB National Standardbred Yearling Sales are heading into their sixth year with nearly 400 yearlings to go through the parade ring - with 126 in Karaka, Auckland this Sunday (February 18) and 267 in Christchurch next Tuesday and Wednesday (February 20 and 21).

"We are at the crossroads in terms of our stallions," says Bray, "we have the tried and true then the emerging stallions, and also the freshman sires."

"It's hard to know how it's all going to go but I do know that's there's a lot to get excited about," says Bray.

In the tried and true category no stallion stands taller than the now 26-year-old Bettor's Delight. He's been the leading sire in this country every year since 2012.

This year 69 of his yearlings will go up for sale. He has the biggest presence at the sales by far.

"There's no doubt Bettor's and Art Major are in the twilight of their careers and then we have very good sires in Always B Miki and Captaintreacherous, young stallions like Captain Crunch and new season sires like Capt Midnight, Tall Dark Stranger and Bettor's Wish," says Bray.

"Then there's Bold Eagle, he was a champion, and this is the first time his progeny have been at our sale."

On the trotting side What The Hill has the most progeny at the sales, with nine at Karaka and 12 in Christchurch.

At last year's sales Captaintreacherous produced the top two lots with Lot 74 (Captaintreacherous - Goodlookinggirl bf) going for $300,000 and Lot 63 (Captaintreacherous - Elle Mac bc) for $270,000.

Captaintreacherous' best son Captain Crunch had his first Australasian winner when Ukraine won on debut at Winton on February 111.

There is expected to be huge interest in another of his progeny in Lot 105, a three-quarter brother to superstar filly Millwood Nike, being offered by Alabar.

"He’s a beautiful, athletic colt that we’re thrilled to be able to present for sale," says Alabar General Manager Graeme Henley, "he’s by Captain Crunch and we’re excited about how his progeny will sell given his first crop have been the outright stars at the early season two-year-old trials in both NZ and Australia."

Bought for $75,000 at the 2021 sales Millwood Nike is unbeaten after 17 career starts, with stakes of $690,932.

Since 2021 the sales total has surpassed $13m with the average price last year being $50,901 last year, on a clearance rate of 69 per cent.

"The last four or five years we have had growth," says Bray, "and there are some tough times financially for people but with the Entain deal and the positivity around that we are hopeful we can emulate the last few years."

While there have been some big numbers in recent years there are still many examples of bargain buys becoming big success stories.

For instance, multiple Group 1 winner Allamericanlover was bought for $35,000 and her lifetime earnings are just shy of $300,000 while Lady Of The Light was bought for $16,000 in 2020 and has now won almost $250,000 and $14,000 purchase Rock N Roll Doo has now earned over $550,000.

Among the lots to look out for this sale are :

Lot 13, a colt on account of Breckon Farms by Captaintreacherous from the Group 1 winning mare Elle Mac.
Lot 20, Woodlands Stud is offering a full brother to former champion filly Spanish Armada (NZ) by champion sire Bettor’s Delight.
Lot 97 is a Lazarus colt who is a half brother to Classie Brigade
Lot 105, Alabar's star lot - a Captain Crunch colt from the well-bred family of Albuquerque, making this colt a ¾ brother to superstar Millwood Nike
Lot 188, presented by Dancingonmoonlight, is a full brother to star mare Braeview Kelly and a half-brother to brilliant three-year-old Ohoka Connor.
Lot 292 is Tee ball, by Captaintreacherous, a half-brother to Cold Chisel on account of Denario Breeding.
Lot 294, among the Studholme draft is Lot 301, No More Dreaming, a full-brother to Don’t Stop Dreaming.
Lot 328, prepared by Laura Smith, is a colt by Bettor’s Delight (NZ) out of the Group 1 mare The Orange Agent.

Selling Schedule :

2024 Auckland Sale at the Karaka Sales Centre
Day 1: Sunday 18 February, 11am : Lots 1 – 126

2024 Christchurch Sale at Canterbury Agricultural Park

Day 1: Tuesday 20 February, 11am : Lots 127-260
Day 2: Wednesday 21 February, 11am : Lots 261-393

To view the live broadcast online, visit and click on the Sale link. This will bring you to the catalogue and live video stream, where results will be updated regularly throughout the Sale.
The action can also be viewed from the live stream on NZB Standardbred’s facebook page:

New Sires' Stakes payment plan

This year the New Zealand Sires' Stakes will also be promoting its fully paid up option for yearlings sold at the sales. Purchasers will have the opportunity to fully pay up for NZ Sires' Stakes Series 42 ($800), the Nevele R Fillies Series 48 ($500) and the Caduceus Fillies Series 27 ($800).

"The benefit of this option is that there is no chance of missing sustaining payments and it will save money at the same time," says Sires' Stakes Executive Martin Pierson.

"By making this payment horses will be eligible to contest the two and three-year-old for the colts and geldings, fillies and trotters as well as the Classiques, and a number of four-year-old and old conditioned races for both gaits and sexes."

Martin Pierson will be at both the Karaka and Christchurch sales and can be contacted on 027 4711081 or [email protected]

To see more information click here


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