Top lot sold for $190,000


 The first incarnation of New Zealand Bloodstock’s National Standardbred Yearling Sale got underway at Karaka on Monday and it was very much a blend of the past, present and future.

Graeme Rogerson, out of the yearling sales market for four years, and not a large-scale buyer for the best part of a decade, spent $406,000 on five lots, including the sale-topping Art Major colt Billion Dollar Boy, who went for $190,000.

Rogerson won a stern bidding war with Auckland agent Peter Blanchard for the half-brother to star mare Elle Mac and promising filly Miss Streisand.

He also acquired a Bettor’s Delight filly from Eyre To The Throne for $120,000 as well as the half-brother to racehorse-cum-sire Tintin In America for $30,000.

It’s all part of his plan to give the career of new stable foreman Dylan Ferguson a career boost and that plan looks well on its way after today and recent on-track successes.

The usual players were active too, Jean Feiss, John Street, Emilio and Mary Rosati and Mark Purdon all signing for six-figure lots.

And then there was the new surprise package, retired Aucklander Ross Dallimore, who jumped out of obscurity to spend $310,000 on four lots.

He has a gallops background and has aligned himself with trainers John and Joshua Dickie and was especially thrilled to landed a Bettor’s Delight filly from the acclaimed Scuse Me family for $75,000.

“We’ve been involved in thoroughbreds since about 1980 and we had some reasonably good thoroughbreds over the years and this venture in to standardbreds, was basically as a result of a social meeting I have with my vet from the 1980s, Charlie Roberts,” said Dallimore.

“He suggested to me at a Caduceus Club meeting that Sweet Lou was the next best thing to Bettor’s Delight and then said why don’t you breed?

“And I said I don’t have any mares. So, he said, well, I’ll lends you some mares. And we’ve got about five Sweet Lous on the ground and they’re go to John and Josh.”

Dallimore said the decision to splash out today was after discussions with the Dickies.

“It’s prompted by the expert advice I have; I rely on John and Josh. It’s entirely up to them, If they say move, or go, I do it.”

There was also a strong overseas flavor to today’s proceedings, a number of buyers from both Australia and North America active.

Chief amongst them was Queensland businessman Dean Shannon, whose ‘Montana’ brand is synonymous with success both in Australia and now New Zealand thanks to star filly Belle Of Montana.

He spent $210,000 on four lots, including a Somebeachsomewhere out of former champion filly Carabella.

“We’re really happy with the four we bought here two years ago and thought we might chance our arm again,” he said.

“I thought we did well to get the four we got today and I can’t wait to see what’s in store for them.”

His latest acquisitions would stay in New Zealand with Barry Purdon, he confirmed.

Renowned American agent Ernie Martinez, who brokered the rich deal for Lazarus last year, stuck his hand up for a He’s Watching filly and was the underbidder on a cracking Sweet Lou colt earlier in the sale.

Victorian Jim Connelly, a regular buyer at Karaka in recent years, bought the sale’s top trotting lot, a Muscle Hill colt from the I Can Doosit family which went for $110,000.

It was the third year in a row he’s purchased the colt yearlings out of the mare, Love Ya Doosie, from their breeder, Breckon Farms.

Perth couple Jim and Wilma Giumelli, who have recently acquired a number of quality racehorses out of New Zealand, such as Arma Indie, Beaudiene Western and Angel Of Harlem, went to $120,000 for the Somebeachsomewhere filly out Dancing Diamonds, a half-sister to last season’s champion two-year-old filly, Princess Tiffany.

Auckland’s Stonewall Stud, headed up by trainer Steve Telfer, were among the most active local buyers, buying six lots, while Tony Herlihy (four), Keith Ovens (four), Robert Dunn (four) Cran Dalgety (three) and Brent Mangos (three) also stuck their hand up.

Dalgety went to $100,000 for a Sweet Lou colt out of an unraced sister to champion mare Adore Me, and he has some very interesting new owners.

“Larry Karr, who actually owned the majority share of Sweet Lou and Ron Bourke, who trained him, have bought the horse.

“They wanted a promo horse for him and we got one last year, which is now a qualified two-year-old and they wanted to have another go today.

“There were two we liked today and the only one I really liked was Virgil’s full brother but Jean Feiss blew us out of the water on him.”

The younger brigade weren’t afraid to shop; Cambridge junior driver Alicia Harrison shelling out $16,000 for a Bettor’s Delight filly, Matt Anderson spending $30,000 on an Art Major filly and Kyle Marshall signed for three lots too.

And perhaps the most interesting lot of the day was a Bettor’s Delight colt that sold for $40,000 out of the Woodlands Stud draft.

His new owners? None of other than New Zealand Bloodstock’s owner, Sir Peter Vela, Managing Director Andrew Seabrook and media men, Greg O’Connor and Michael Guerin.

The numbers from the sale stacked up very well, the average a whopping $46,750, well up from last year's $33,850.

The median went up from $23,250 to $34,000, while the clearance rate remained the same as last year, around 73%.

Of course, there were 30 less lots this year as NZBS sought to raise the standard of the sale, an objective that they will certainly deem to have been achieved.

Seabrook was thrilled with the results.

“I’m really happy with the our first ever standardbred yearling sale.

“The average increased, as did the median and, while the clearance rate of 73% is the same, it should improve over the next 24 hours.“

The sale continues at Christchurch tomorrow with a select trotters-only sale before Wednesday’s pacer offering, where more than 200 will go under the hammer.

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