Whitelocks produce sales topper at Karaka

By Michael Guerin

The man who helped oversee the sale of Karaka’s top lot as sales week started on Sunday summed it up with a smile.

“Braeden and Caroline breed them good with two legs or four,” said Breckon Farms boss Ken Breckon.

He was talking about popular couple Braeden and Caroline Whitelock, who bred Sunday’s $270,000 sales topper in Lot 64, a filly by Captaintreacherous from their wonderful filly Princess Tiffany.

The filly was purchased by clients of Canterbury trainer Mark Jones, who won a spirited battle over the other Mark, last name Purdon.

Breckon was, of course, talking about the fact the Whitelocks also bred some pretty special two-legged athletes as well with their rugby-playing sons George, Adam, Sam and Luke.

“Braeden and Caroline are great people who put so much into the industry and they bred a beautiful filly so we were thrilled to present it for them,” said Breckon.

The result helped Breckon Farms be the leading vendor for a patchy first day of sales week, one that started slow, had some highs and some runs of passed lots, some of which will be sold in the next few days.

It was typical of many standardbred sales where the small group of buyers who will go north of $100,000 often all want the same yearlings but the middle market from $30,000 to $70,000 was weaker, with less foot traffic on the grounds and being left to trainers willing to take the punt on spec buying.

The variance was partially because the market struggled to set itself, which shouldn’t be as big an issue when sales week resumes in Christchurch on Tuesday now likely values have been established.

While Breckon sold the top pacing lot for the Whitelocks the leading trotting lots was on his own with $180,000 paid for the Tactical Landing filly out of Love Ya Doosie.

The half sister to Northern Derby winner Lovemeto was knocked down to Stonewall Stud’s Steve Stockman after a frenetic bidding duel with Graeme Rogerson that saw the two big players go bid for bid from $120,000 to $180,000 in a matter of seconds.

It was not only one of the most expensive trotting yearlings even sold in New Zealand but a huge leap into squaregaiting for Stonewall, who until a few years ago almost exclusively bought pacers.

"We have dipped our toe in the last few years with some cheaper trotters and had some good results but this was a real leap forward on trotters for Stocky (Stockman),” said Telfer.

Away from the very top lots there was a good spread of buying.

Team Bond struck early and then went to $140,000 for Lot 80, a Bettors Delight colt from Steal The Light; Cran Dalgety landed some serious blows and Peter Lagan had a good day acting as agents for his clients while Mark and Nathan Purdon got several lots without spending huge money.

Arna Donnelly and Tony Herlihy were among the busiest North Island trainers, Lincoln Farms were still very active and one of the surprise stories involved the $105,000 paid for the Bettors Delight-Goodlookinggirl filly.

She was purchased by Trent Mason, who used to buy horses, took a break as he and his wife started a family and built up their business and he wanted to get back into the industry he described as “a drug.”

“I used to be mates with Bob McArdle and was actually one of his pallbearers and after 10 years away I have bought a couple of horses in the last year, one privately and one as a weanling,” said Mason.

“But I wanted to buy a foundation broodmare and she will be going to Zac Butcher to train.”

Overall, with business still to be done, the sale average was down around 10 per cent and the passing rate needs some work but the reality is an average of around $54,000 is excellent business for a harness sale in this part of the world.

And, while most in the industry expect the Entain financial boost and involvement to eventually create momentum, in harness racing that hasn’t really reached the fever pitch of the thoroughbred industry.

Fore more details of the sale click here 





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