Kiwi Chronicles

Walking vs running

Over the next few days, buyers’ focus will alter, from buying yearlings to buying two-year-olds. In essence, the difference is between walking (yearlings) and running (breeze-up two-year-olds), criteria that requires a change of tack.

Within that, many judges will also suggest that “how” may have as much importance as “what”, meaning that judges look for how a two-year-old moves. Although the last 200 metres of the breeze-up is a clear factor.

The breeze-up itself is what separates this sale from all others and inclement weather around the original scheduling of this year’s breeze-ups led to a delay of two weeks. This turned out to be godsend. The postponement meant that the Te Rapa track was in splendid order and was consistent over both days. So much so, 77 of the two-year-olds ran their timed last 200 metres in 10.5 seconds or faster.

NZB also recorded parade ring footage allowing buyers to see how the youngsters handle themselves, as if on race day.

New Zealand has a long history of Ready to Run sales. The first, inaugurated by Dalgety Bloodstock in 1979, who gained the concept from California, also included three-year-olds. That didn’t last long and two-year-olds only became the norm.

Throughout those forty years the sale has achieved outstanding results for buyers and has become an established medium of thoroughbred auctions. Yearlings are still the most popular way of buying. Earlier Ready to Run sales were used as an avenue for youngsters who needed extra time to develop.

Time has seen the development of the trader who purchases yearlings specifically to take through to November. Such traders are the real horsemen who can look beyond a yearling’s shortcomings and are able to envision them nine months on. Such talent has stretched to purchasing weanlings and waiting even longer.

NZB’s own statistics make impressive reading. The last five Ready to Run sales can lay claim to the winners of 17 Group 1s and 102 stakes wins, numbers that are significantly greater than other such sales.

Hong Kong equine phenomenon Golden Sixty (Medaglia D‘Oro) is a graduate of the 2017 sale. From the Riversley Park draft, his purchase price of $NZ300,000, now looks like chump change when compared to the massive $HK113,400,600 (approximately $NZ24.7 million) haul amassed from 21 victories (six Group 1s) in 24 career starts.

Closer to home is Mr Brightside (Bullbars) who could have been purchased for $50,000 from the 2019 sale, or, as a yearling the previous May. Agent Phill Cataldo did just that for the meagre sum of $22,000. Now a five-year-old, Mr Brightside had an outstanding autumn landing the Doncaster Handicap (Gr 1, 1600m) and his nine wins have seen his bank balance swell to $3.4 million.

More recent is Sharp ‘N’ Smart (Redwood) who was offered at last year’s sale and could have been purchased for $90,000. The Spring Champion Stakes (Gr 1, 2000m) winner and Victoria Derby (Gr 1, 2500m) second has earned close to $2 million.

Strong drafts

Russell Warwick and his team from Westbury Stud will offer the most two-year-olds for this week’s sale, with the Gerry Harvey-owned operation set to send 43 lots through the ring.

Elsewhere, Jamie Beatson’s Ohukia Lodge and cousin Sam Beatson’s Riversley Park each possess strong drafts. After withdrawals, Ohukia Lodge will offer 38 lots while Riversley Park presents a consignment of 36. Both operations have a number of potential sales toppers. 

Of the other consignors, Kilgravin Lodge, who will offer 20 lots, KB Bloodstock (17), Lilywhites Lodge (15), Prima Park (14), Riverrock Farm (11), Regal Farm (10) and Phoenix Park (nine) will be the busiest vendors over the two days.

The sires

Waikato Stud’s venerable Savabeel will, yet again, be well represented. Currently the leading sire in Australia, courtesy of I Wish I Win’s victory in the rich Golden Eagle (1500m), the champion can do no wrong. He has provided the sales topper the last two years and has topped the averages the last three.

Eleven Savabeels are up for grabs. All have plenty going for them on pedigree and all but two broke 11 seconds in their breeze-ups. Buyers will need to sharpen their pencils to procure one.

Lot 32 is a colt from the Listed winner Bonniegirl (Darci Brahma) who won six and is a half-sister to Group 3 Mr Tiz Trophy (1200m) winner So Wotif (Iffraaj).

Lot 65 is the grandson of dual Classic winner and three-time Group 1 winner, including the Australian Oaks (Gr 1, 2400m), Daffodil (No Excuse Needed). The colt is closely related to recent Matriarch Stakes (Gr 2, 2000m) winner Atishu (Savabeel).

Lot 72 is bred on the highly successful Savabeel-O’Reilly (Last Tycoon) cross and is a grandson of Listed winner Donna Cattiva (Captain Rio), herself a sister to champion Group 1-winning two-year-old Il Quello Veloce (Captain Rio).

Lot 76 is a brother to Shezzacatch (Savabeel), a Listed winner and Group 3 placed. Another bred on the Savabeel-O’Reilly cross, he also ranks as three-quarter brother to New Zealand Oaks (Gr 1, 2400m) third Savvy Dreams (Savabeel).

Lot 101 is from a half-sister to dual Group 3 winner Retrieve (Rahy) and to Listed winners Reparations (Exceed and Excel) and Abduction (Street Cry). His grandam, Hold To Ransom (Red Ransom), was a Listed winner at Royal Ascot.

Lot 115 is from a three-quarter sister to dual Group 1 winner Te Akau Shark (Rip Van Winkle) and half-sister Group 1 winner Ponderosa Miss (High Chaparral) and three times Listed winner Ecuador (High Chaparral).

Lot 166, another bred on the Savabeel-O’Reilly cross, is a brother-in-blood to Group 3 winner Love Affair (Savabeel). His dam is a sister or half-sister to three stakes winners.

Lot 187 is a three-quarter brother to two-year-old Listed winner Santa Catarina (Savabeel). Recent Canterbury Belle Stakes (Listed, 1200m) winner One Kiss (Tivaci) is a half-sister to Santa Catarina.

Lot 239 is a three-quarter brother to three stakes winners, viz: Brambles (Savabeel), winner of the Queensland Derby (Gr 1, 2400m); to Group 3 winner Lincoln Blue (Savabeel) and to Listed winner Lopov (Savabeel).

Lot 278 might head the Savabeels as he is the son of the highclass filly, New Zealand Bloodstock Filly of the Year and Australian Oaks (Gr 1, 2400m) winner Sofia Rosa (Makfi), who also recorded three Group 1 placings.

Lot 296, the last of the Savabeels, is from a three-quarter sister to dual Group 1 winner, including the Herbie Dyke Stakes (2000m), Tiptronic (O’Reilly).

On the back of a best-yet Australian season, Little Avondale Stud’s Per Incanto (Street Cry) has widened his appeal outside of Hong Kong where his stock have proved to be great New Zealand ambassadors. Roch ‘N’ Horse and Lost And Running have created a new awareness in Australia, evidenced by an outstanding Inglis Ready 2 Race Sale. He finished second on aggregate and sold eight lots at an average of $185,625 with a top price of $260,000.

Seven Per Incantos are on offer and Lot 90, from the Group 1 Railway Stakes (1200m) winner Fleur De Lune (Stravinsky), also five times Group 1 placed, will have considerable appeal. The colt’s breeze-up time (10.39) will only enhance his potential as one of the most sought-after lots.

Rich Hill Stud’s Proisir (Choisir) has started the current New Zealand season with a bang, siring three of the country’s four Group 1 winners so far, with yesterday’s New Zealand 1,000 Guineas (1600m) winner Legarto adding to Dark Destroyer, winner of the Tarzino Trophy (1400m), and Pier, the New Zealand 2,000 Guineas (1600m) winner just over a week ago. He has established a sizeable lead on the Sires Premiership and will have four through the ring, two of which ran their 200-metre breeze-ups in under 10.50 seconds.

Tavistock (Montjeu), despite being lost to the industry, keeps siring highclass winners everywhere including a double at Sha Tin on Saturday. From his last half crop are three lots for sale, buyers’ last chance. Cut down in his prime, he has sired 39 stakes winners, a total that will continue to grow.

All three broke 11 seconds in their breeze-up with Lot 198 stopping the clock in a slick 10.28 seconds, he is from a sister to Australian Guineas (Gr 1, 1600m) winner, Rock Classic (Fastnet Rock).

The remaining two represent Riversley Park. Lot 146 is from a Shamardal (Giant’s Causeway) mare closely related to champion Kong Kong sprinter Wellington (All Too Hard). Lot 182 is from a More Than Ready (Southern Halo) half-sister to Group 2 winners Ninth Legion (Fastnet Rock) and Tsaritsa (Dane Shadow).

Six of the last southern hemisphere crop of top International sire Iffraaj (Zafonic) includes Lot 35, from an Ellersliewinning Redoute’s Choice (Danehill) half-sister to Group 3 winner Activation (Zabeel). The gelding, who recorded a sharp 10.24 seconds in his breeze-up, is a grandson of champion sprinter-miler Coogee Walk (Success Express).

The Oaks Stud’s often under-appreciated Darci Brahma (Danehill) has four lots including Lot 8 who recorded a quick 10.25 for his breeze-up. Lot 31 is interesting from the point of view that his granddam is by the great Secretariat (Bold Ruler). It is not often that one finds the champion so close up in a pedigree.

Westbury Stud’s Reliable Man (Dalakhani) has 11 lots for sale, three of which recorded sub 10.50 second breeze-ups. His Renaissance Woman bagged the Ethereal Stakes (Gr 3, 2000m) last month.

Barn mate Redwood (High Chaparral) has ten lots, his profile buoyed via the deeds of Sharp ‘N’ Smart whose second in the Victoria Derby followed his win in the Spring Champion Stakes late last month.

El Roca (Fastnet Rock) is firing out winners on an almost daily basis, siring a treble at Te Rapa two Saturdays ago. Quietly, he has sired 105 winners (57 per cent winners/runners), seven stakes winners and eight black-type performers. He will have seven lots through the ring including Lot 164. The close relation of Black Caviar (Bel Espirit) logged a brisk 10.26 in his breeze-up.

Hong Kong buyers might be on the lookout for another Lucky Sweynesse (Sweynesse), last season’s Champion Griffin who was sold here in 2020. Novara Park’s Sweynesse has seven lots catalogued, all clocked sub 11 secs breeze-ups, including the 10.32 secs by Lot 136, a close relative of So You Think (High Chaparral).

The young guns

Ten lots by Westbury Stud’s Tarzino (Tavistock) will be in demand. His progeny (oldest just four) enjoyed a fabulous 2021-22 season, siring the Group 1 winners Gypsy Goddess and Jungle Magnate, the latter making a strong winning debut in Hong Kong last week. Gypsy Goddess’s fresh up third in the $10 million Golden Eagle (1500m) was outstanding.

Lot 135 is one of a small number of fillies in the sale and being from a half-sister to Turn Me Loose (Iffraaj), has great residual value.

Waikato Stud’s Tivaci (High Chaparral) is bubbling under, represented recently by the fine fillies Never Been Kissed, Wolverine and One Kiss. There are 11 lots in the sale and six set breeze-up times of less than 10.50 seconds.

Lot 61 is a son dual Group 1 winner Costume (Savabeel) and put up a smart 10.22 secs in his breeze-up, as did Lot 85, from a Sydneywinning Savabeel half-sister to Group 2 sprinter Sports Illustrated (Fast ‘n’ Famous).

Lot 162 is the half-brother to seven times Group 1 winner, Champion NZ Sprinter-Miler Kawi (Savabeel). He logged his breeze-up in 10.49 secs whereas Lot 303, the son of Group 2 winner, The Real Beel (Savabeel), claimed a time of 10.27 secs. Tivaci could have a good sale.

Windsor Park Stud’s Turn Me Loose (Iffraaj) has stamped himself as one of New Zealand’s brightest hopes, siring five stakes winners and four further black-type performers, whose oldest have just turned four. Heading the list is the tough filly She’s Licketysplit, a Group 1 winner at two and a recent Group 2 winner in Melbourne.

There are four Turn Me Loose lots being offered. Lot 30, from the Sydney winner Blumarju (Marju), set one of the swiftest breeze-up times, 10.16 secs, while Lot 144, the half-brother to Moonee Valley Group 2 winner Fascino (Charm Spirit) and son of triple Group winner, Lady Kipling (Savabeel), ran his breeze-up in 10.27 secs.

There are four by Rich Hill Stud’s Vadamos (Monsun) whose daughter La Crique took out last month’s Arrowfield Stud Plate (Gr 1, 1600m) stylishly then acquitted herself well when fourth in the Empire Rose Stakes (Gr 1, 1600m) on Victoria Derby day.

Lot 91 is the brother to Queensland Derby  third, Caboche (Vadamos), and half-brother to Group 3 winner Manolo Blahniq (Jimmy Choux).

Cambridge Stud’s Almanzor (Wootton Bassett) confirmed his early promise as a sire with his second southern hemisphere stakes winner when Manzoice put in some big strides to land the Victoria Derby, two weeks ago. This is good timing for the shuttler, not only for this sale (six lots) but also for the January yearling sales.

The Aussies

A number of outstanding Australian-based sires are represented this week and such sires always make the Ready to Run Sale all the more interesting.

Zoustar (Northern Meteor) is one of Australia’s stars and his progeny command lots of attention wherever they are offered. In just five full seasons (to 2021-22) he has sired 33 stakes winners and a further 25 stakes-placegetters. Newmarket Handicap (Gr 1, 1200m) winners Sunlight and Zoutori plus English Group 1 two-year-old, Lezoo, are three of his five Group 1 winners and he has two lots for sale this week.

Lot 116 is a son of Hussy By Choice (Hussonet), a Listed winner and Group 3 placed. The colt’s grandam is a half-sister to dual Group 1-winning two-and three-year-old Castelvecchio (Dundeel). Lot 322 is the half-brother to Group 3 and Listed winner Kaepernick (Fastnet Rock), both from the zippy two-year-old stakes winner Volcada (Stravinsky).

Another son of Northern Meteor (Encosta De Lago) whose stock sell and perform well is Deep Field. His winners-to-runners strike-rate is an excellent 68 per cent (302 winners from 442 runners). Represented by seven lots, four set times of less than 10.50 secs for their breeze-ups. They include Lot 83, the colt from Sydney winner Exotic Escape (Commands), in a withering 10.07 secs, the second fastest over the two days.

Lot 36, a colt recording 10.49 secs, is from a half-sister to three stakes winners, including Extra Zero (Danzero). Lot 95, also a colt, from a Flying Spur (Danehill) half-sister to three stakes winners including Castelvecchio, ran his breeze-up in 10.42 secs. Lot 103, the grandson of Telegraph Stakes (Gr 1, 1200m) winner Guiseppina (Johar), recorded 10.47 secs.

Deep Field’s brother, Caulfield Guineas (Gr 1, 1600m) winner Shooting To Win (Northern Meteor), is the sire of Lot 57, the half-sister to 2022 Victoria Derby winner Manzoice. In a sale dominated by males, the filly’s residual value jumped enormously since the catalogue went to print and she will, no doubt, attract much attention. Pedigree update aside, she put up a smart 10.31 secs in her breeze-up.

Outstanding sire No Nay Never (Scat Daddy) claims three lots. Lot 142, who ran a 10.24 breeze-up, is from a winning half-sister to the Groupwinning brothers Crack Me Up (Mossman) and Hoofit (Mossman). Lot 188 (10.37) is from a half-sister to top two-year-old Zizou (Fusaichi Pegasus).

The Autumn Sun (Redoute’s Choice) is represented by three lots and Lot 250, a half-brother to Australian Derby (Gr 1, 2400m) winner Tavago (Tavistock), ran a 10.45 breeze-up. Lot 235 is a half-brother to dual Listed two-year-old stakes winner Nomothaj (Snitzel) from a Group 3 two-year-old winner.

Lonhro (Octagonal) has Lot 270, a gelding whose first four dams are all stakes winners. He put up a very smart 10.11 time for his breeze-up.

Two lots by Dundeel (High Chaparral) both performed nicely in their breeze-ups. Lot 284 (10.26) is from an Exceed And Excel (Danehill) half-sister to Group 2 and Listed winner Smart Melody (Smart Missile). Lot 320, a filly who recorded 10.35 secs, has plenty of upside being a daughter of Group 3 winner Vivi Veloce (More Than Ready), herself a half-sister to triple Group 3 winner Sabatini (Street Cry).

Super popular Written Tycoon (Iglesia) has one for sale, Lot 276, a half-brother to Flemington Group 3 winner Pinstriped (Street Boss).

The sole American Pharoah (Pioneerof the Nile) is Lot 102, the half-brother to two stakes winners from a sister to dual Flemington Group 1 winner Shillelagh (Savabeel). He will have many admirers.

Lot 328, a colt by Shamus Award (Snitzel) offers buyers a late chance to go home with a leading lot. He ran his breeze-up in 10.28 secs and his dam was a Group 2 two-year-old winner in South Africa.

Lean Mean Machine (Zoustar) has sired one starter for one winner in Brisbane, this his first crop. Lot 305, the colt from the speedy stakes-placed Thwayya (Snitzel), will get some extra attention having clocked the fastest 200 metres over the two days, 10.06 secs.

Kiwi-breds have had an enormous year in Australia which may lead to a very good sale. As always, however, meeting the market is paramount and wise vendors will know that sometimes, expectations may need to be moderated. Turning down good money is something to be avoided.