Big Aussie yearling sales shake-up

By Adam Hamilton

THINGS are about to change dramatically in Australia's yearling sales landscape.

Just as New Zealand Bloodstock "shook-up" the NZ harness sales in mid-2018, Nutrien Equine has announced plans to do the same in Australia.

Until now, it has effectively been a monopoly at the top end of the Aussie market for Australian Gold.

But growing speculation turned into reality this week with an open letter to the Australian harness industry from Nutrien Equine.

The letter revealed plans for an inaugural "super sale" at Inglis' Oaklands Junction in Melbourne from April 8-11, next year.

"Our plan is to only hold one sale next year, with the timing of the sale planned to fit buyer feedback, with many buyers keen to see the previous year's horses race before buying again," the open letter said.

"We aim to work closely with all of you in the industry to help deliver a sales event that will capture the interest of all involved in the sport of Harness Racing."

Insiders say the Nutrien Equine model also includes a $1.5 million slot pacing race, along the lines of The Everest in thoroughbred racing. It will be partially funded by Nutrien and for graduates of their sales only.

The inaugural sale will be for both pacers and trotters.

Major players already understood to have to committed to the new sale include: Alabar Bloodstock, Yabby Dams and Benstud Standardbreds.

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