New Zealand Bloodstock on Friday launched its 2011 Karaka Premier Sale catalogue.
This year's Karaka Premier Sale has 503 entries, 20 more than last year's 483. And on paper at least, the selection is as good as New Zealand has ever had to offer.
New Zealand's 2011 yearling showcase comes off the back of the most successful season in Australia in a decade. With 84 black type wins last season, the NZ suffix has gone from strength to strength this season with 35 black-type wins from the Australian Spring Carnivals, 11 of these at Group 1 level.
The trend has continued throughout Asia with New Zealand claiming the most Group 1 winners, black type wins and black type winners last season in Hong Kong, and outstanding NZB graduates like Better Than Ever and Mexican Rose flying the flag in Singapore.
Amongst the highlights at Karaka 2011 is the significant offering by current super-sire High Chaparral, with 33 yearling entries (19 colts & 14 fillies). They join the progeny of fellow NZ resident sires such as Darci Brahma (31), Keeper (16), O'Reilly (38), Pentire (26), Pins (47), Savabeel (9), Volksraad (3) & Zabeel (31), plus an impressive line-up by Australian sires including Commands (6), Danehill Dancer (7), Encosta de Lago (20), Fastnet Rock (29), Flying Spur (5), General Nediym (10), Lonhro (10), More Than Ready (6), Red Ransom (7), Redoute's Choice (2), Rock of Gibraltar (7), Stratum (8) & Tale of the Cat (6).
This year's selection includes 32 full or half siblings to Group 1 winners plus another 76 full or half siblings to stakes winners. Amongst them are:
• Lot 13 Encosta de Lago x Romantic River, half-sister to Aqua d'Amore
• Lot 49 Savabeel x Shynzi, half-sister to Maldivian
• Lot 62 Darci Brahma x Songfest, half-brother to Singapore star Better Than Ever
• Lot 112 O'Reilly x the Grin, full brother to The Jewel
• Lot 143 Al Maher x Wily trick, half-brother to HK sensation Elegant Fashion
• Lot 293 High Chaparral x Egoli Lass, half-brother to South African G1 winner Gold Onyx
• Lot 346 Pins x Grand Echezeaux, half-brother to five-time G1 winner Darci Brahma
Plus full or half relatives to Allez Wonder, De Beers, Littorio, Monaco Consul, Serenade Rose, Shower of Roses, Velocitea, Vouvray, Wall Street, Zabrasive and more.
The Premier Sale has progeny from 97 stakes-winning racemares, including from 21 Group 1 winners. Amongst them are:
• Lot 37 b.c by Zabeel from six-time G1 winner Seachange (Cape Cross)
• Lot 113 b.f by High Chaparral from G1 winner The Mighty Lions (Grosvenor)
• Lot 323 b.c by Flying Spur from dual G1 winner Foxwood (Centaine)
• Lot 345 b.c by Exceed and Excel from four-time G1 winner Grand Archway (Archway)
• Lot 430 b/br.c by One Cool Cat from blueblood G1 producer Marquise (Gold and Ivory)
Amongst a host of other attractions at Karaka 2011 are:
• Lot 6 b.c O'Reilly x Rationable, full brother to G12 winners Vigor and Joey Massino and half to Vincent Mangano.
• Lot 258 b.f Zabeel x Dane Dancer, a three-quarter sister to Redoute's Choice, Platinum Scissors and Al Maher, from the family of last weekend's Group 1 WATC Railway Stakes winner Gathering.
• Lot 438 b.f Darci x Brahma x Miss Distinction, the dam of Gee I Jane and Miss Jessie Jay, the dam of Katie Lee and Banchee.
• Lot 442 b.c Encosta de Lago x Miss Power Bird, from a half-sister to champion HK horse Lucky Owners and the family of Australian superstar Might and Power
• Lot 456 b.c Darci Brahma x Natalie Wood, a half-brother to exciting Melbourne Cup placegetter Maluckyday (Zabeel)
The Premier Sale catalogue will be offering progeny from 10 first season sires this January: Iffraaj, Bernardini, Dylan Thomas, Haradasun, Street Sense, Librettist, Henny Hughes, Any Suggestion, Casino Prince and Chinese Dragon.
One of the best credentialed first season sires this year is Haunui Farm's shuttle stallion Iffraaj. His progeny in the Northern Hemisphere have made history for him by breaking the record for the number of individual two-year-old winners in a season with 36. He is also the sire of the unbeaten Group 1 winner Wootton Basset. He has 11 horses in the Premier Sale, the largest of any first season sire, including a half-brother to G1 winner Zabrasive (Lot 256).
Commencing stud duties in the USA in 2007, Darley's Bernardini was the leading first season sire in the 2009 Keeneland Yearling Sales and is already the sire of two two-year-old Group 1 winners. He has a draft of 10 in the Premier Sale.
Coolmore Stud will see two of their young sires' progeny go through the Karaka ring for the first time with Dylan Thomas and Haradasun.
The two-day 2011 Karaka Premier Sale will be held on 31 January & 1 February. The Karaka Select Sale will run from 2 - 4 February with the Karaka Festival Sale on 6 & 7 February. Catalogues for the Select and Festival sessions will be online from Monday 29 November.