Southerners shine again at sales
By Jonny Turner
Champagne flowed after Southern bred stock conquered all at the national standardbred yearling sales for the second consecutive year when a filly by Bettor’s Delight from Pemberton Shard fetched $280,000 yesterday.
That result saw Invercargill breeders Mark and Debbie Smith lead the Christchurch pacing sale twice in a row after they shared top honours with Otautau breeders Dave and Dawn Kennedy, last year.
The Smiths beat out all other vendors thanks to their smart former race mare, Pemberton Shard, leaving a striking bay filly, named Moet Shard, who caught the eye of Canterbury farmer, Graham McClintock.
The natural thing to do for Moet Shard’s breeders and new owner to do was to celebrate their sale by toasting with the champagne she was named after.
Those celebrations could have started only seconds after the Smiths’ yearling entered the ring and bidders started fighting to take Moet Shard home.
The filly was so popular she reached her reserve with her first bid.
“Normally you set a reserve and you hope for the best, but for her to get it straight away was just incredible,” Mark Smith said.
“We couldn’t believe it.”
The Smiths watched on as former Southlander, Tony Barron, and his partners notched a $280,000 sale on Tuesday at the Christchurch trotting sale.
Little did they know they would be in the same position less than 24 hours later.
“We were very appreciative with what Tony Barron did yesterday with his trotting yearling out of Queen Kenny,” Smith said.
“We went over and congratulated him straight away, because we know exactly how hard it can be and what an amazing result it was.”
“We never would have dreamt we would have been in the same position a day later.”
The Smiths were hopeful they would fetch a solid price after leading Canterbury vet Lindsay Colwell inspected their filly.
“Lindsay told us she was on a lot of the big buyers list, so that gave us a bit of confidence that she might go for good money,” Smith said.
The Smiths were quick to thank their staff for helping them sell the highest priced pacing yearling in Christchurch for the second time.
“Our staff at home at Shard Farm and the couple of girls from Canterbury that helped us were just amazing,” Smith said.
“Without them it just wouldn’t be possible.”
Moët Shard helped McClintock, a Cheviot farmer, dive head first in to the sales arena.
His mammoth outlay was his first for a horse at a yearling sale.
Moet Shard headed another outstanding year for yearlings offered by Southland breeders.
Winton’s Todd and Fleur Anderson fetched $220,000 for a Bettor’s Delight colt from star former racemare Beaudiene Bad Babe from West Australian buyers.
Southern breds completed a trifecta at the top end of yesterday’s pacing sale when Winton breeders John and Katrina Price sold a Bettor’s Delight colt from Democrat Party to Canterbury trainer Cran Dalgety for $210,000.
The outstanding yearling tied for third place with another Bettor’s Delight colt – a close relation to recent Interdominion pacing winner Ultimate Machete.
The Smiths and Prices are part of the Southern Bred Southern Reared organisation, which Mark Smith chairs.
The group have an outstanding record of success at the national yearling sales and are determined to see it continue.
“As a group we had some outstanding results,” Smith said.
“We will just keep attacking, we will be back next year and we will try and make it even bigger and better.”
The four yearlings to break the $200,000 barrier helped the Christchurch pacing sale aggregate reach $6,479,500 from 149 yearlings sold.
Those yearlings sold at an average of $43,487 and at a clearance rate of 78%.
36 trotting yearlings sold in Christchurch on Tuesday for an aggregate of $1,281,750.
The average was $34,642 and clearance rate was 79%.