The 2019 edition of New Zealand Bloodstock’s South Island Sale promises to deliver terrific value for money. Here are four big reasons to be ringside at the Canterbury Agricultural Park on April 29.
First is the Sale’s remarkable racetrack record in the last 18 months. Since November of 2017 there have been 13 black-type wins for graduates of the Sale, all purchased for less than $33,000.
Shadows Cast (NZ) (Per Incanto) has been the headline act with three stakes wins including this year’s Group One Thorndon Mile (1600m).
The half-brothers Boots ’N’ All (NZ) (Perfectly Ready) and Air Max (NZ) (Nadeem) have won two each for Riccarton trainer Lance Robinson. Yogi (NZ) (Raise the Flag) has also won two stakes races, while Fully Funded (NZ) (Fully Fledged), Parthesia (NZ) (Raise the Flag), Civil Disobedience (NZ) (Raise the Flag) and The Gordonian (NZ) (Remind) have each won one.
Civil Disobedience was the most expensive purchase of that well-performed group at just $32,500, while the $425,000 earner Shadows Cast was passed in with a $10,000 reserve.
Yogi, who cost a mere $1,000, has earned A$604,000 in Australia to date and will run in Saturday’s A$2 million Group One Sydney Cup (3200m) at Randwick.
Secondly, this year’s catalogue will showcase some of New Zealand’s most promising young stallion talent. All of the top three stallions on this season’s New Zealand first-season sires’ premiership feature in this catalogue.
The table-topper is Charm Spirit (Invincible Spirit), who has been so strongly represented this season by his Group Two-winning and Group One-placed daughter Aretha (NZ).
The Windsor Park Stud shuttle stallion, who has also had astounding success with his first crop of northern hemisphere two-year-olds, is the sire of Lot 17 in the South Island Sale. This colt is out of the Zabeel mare Lithe, making him a half-brother to stakes winner Vikja King (NZ) (Viking Ruler).
In second spot on the first-season sires’ premiership is Westbury Stud’s El Roca (Fastnet Rock), who has sired two winners including last month’s Group One Manawatu Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) placegetter Bella Mente (NZ).
El Roca is the sire of Lot 59, whose damsire Stravinsky (Nureyev) has been among the leading broodmare sires in New Zealand this season with the likes of Karaka Million 3YO Classic (1600m) winner Long Leaf (Fastnet Rock).
In third position is Proisir (Choisir), who stands at Rich Hill Stud. He has sired two winners this season and is represented by five yearlings in the catalogue – Lots 12, 24, 33, 45 and 58.
Lot 24 is closely related to the Group One winner Volatile Mix (NZ) (Pentire), while Lot 45 is out of a three-quarter-sister to the Group One Railway (1200m) and Telegraph (1200m) winner Vinaka (NZ) (Volksraad).
White Robe Lodge’s Ghibellines (Shamardal), who is fifth in the first-season sires’ premiership with two winners to date, has a strong representation in the catalogue with Lots 6, 20, 32, 34, 41, 46 and 55.
The catalogue also features yearlings from the first crops of exciting new stallions Mongolian Khan (Holy Roman Emperor), Complacent (Authorized) and Vespa (NZ) (Elusive City).
Mongolian Khan was a two-time New Zealand Horse of the Year, and in 2015 he made history as the first horse to win the Group One New Zealand Derby (2400m), Australian Derby (2400m) and Caulfield Cup (2400m). Now standing at Windsor Park Stud, he made an auspicious yearling debut at Karaka earlier this year.
He is the sire of Lot 18 in the South Island Sale – a close relative to a number of black-type performers including the multiple stakes winner Pledge (NZ) (Mellifont).
Complacent comes from a family rich in black-type performers, and he was a quality galloper himself with five wins including the Group One Spring Champion Stakes (2000m), Group Two Chelmsford Stakes (1600m) and two Group Three races. He also placed in the Group One Victoria Derby (2500m).
Standing at Mapperley Stud, Complacent is the sire of Lot 54, from the family of Sydney Cup placegetter Spirit Of Westbury (NZ) (Sir Tristram).
Vespa was the champion New Zealand two-year-old of his generation, winning the Karaka Million (1200m) and the Group One Diamond Stakes (1200m). He also won the Group Two Wellington Guineas (1400m) as a three-year-old and placed in the Group One Easter Handicap (1600m).
Vespa, who stands at Wellfield Lodge, is the sire of two yearlings in the South Island Sale. Lot 38 is out of a half-sister to the multiple stakes winner Merion (NZ) (O’Reilly).
A third key feature of the South Island Sale is that the catalogue features several close relatives to recent racetrack stars.
A notable example is Lot 22, who is a three-quarter sister to star three-year-old Madison County (NZ) (Pins).
Himself a $36,000 yearling purchase at Karaka, the gelding scored superb victories in the $500,000 Group One New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m) and $225,000 Group One Levin Classic (1600m). He also placed in the A$2 million Group One Australian Derby (2400m) and the $1 million Karaka Million 3YO Classic (1600m), earning over $1 million in prizemoney.
Like Madison County, Lot 22 is by the late, great stallion Pins. This filly is out of Olden Days (NZ) (No Excuse Needed) – a full-sister to Madison County’s dam Red Delicious (NZ) (No Excuse Needed). Another full-sibling, Take the Rap (NZ) (No Excuse Needed, was a Group Three winner in Melbourne.
Lot 5 is a colt by Zacinto out of Fascinate Me (NZ) (Rip Van Winkle), who is a half-sister to this season’s NZB South Island Filly of the Year Emily Margaret (NZ) (Pins) – winner of the Group Two Wellington Guineas (1400m) and Listed Canterbury Belle Stakes (1200m) and NZB Insurance Stakes (1400m).
Lot 11 is closely related to Bostonian (NZ) (Jimmy Choux), a multiple stakes winner as a three-year-old who has added this season’s Listed Counties Bowl (1100m) along with a close second to superstar Melody Belle (NZ) (Commands) in the Group One Waikato Sprint (1400m).
Lot 23 is by Makfi out of the multiple Listed winner and Group One-placed Ombre Rose (NZ) (O’Reilly). A full-sister to Ombre Rose is Secret Scent (NZ) (O’Reilly), the dam of this season’s Group Three Desert Gold Stakes (1600m) and Listed NZB Airfreight Stakes winner Secret Allure (NZ) (Zacinto).
Lot 28 is out of a half-sister to the dam of (Sir) Charles Road (Myboycharlie) – last season’s champion New Zealand stayer, a winner at Group Two level and placed in the Sydney Cup.
Lots 1 and 20 are from the same family as Princess Kereru (NZ) (Pins), who won this season’s Group Three Waikato Stud Plate (1200m) at Ellerslie and ran second in the Group One Railway (1200m).
Lot 52 comes from the same family as Supera (NZ) (Savabeel), whose breakthrough season has included a dominant win in the Group Three Anniversary (1600m) along with placings in the Group One New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders’ Stakes (1600m) and the Group Two Cal Isuzu Stakes (1600m).
Last but certainly not least, all yearlings in the South Island Sale are eligible for the lucrative Karaka Million Series, featuring the $1 million Karaka Million 2YO (1200m), the $1 million Karaka Million 3YO Classic (1600m) and then the $100,000 CollinsonForex Karaka Cup (2200m) for the rest of the horse’s career.