Karaka Weanlings Packing a Punch
Karaka Weanlings Packing a Punch
A history-making season in Australia, and a rise to prominence by three-year-olds in New Zealand, has put New Zealand Bloodstock’s National Weanling Sale in the headlines.
Amongst a litany of recent stakes successes by graduates of the Sale are the likes of Solzhenitsyn, Puccini, Sir Andrew, Sacred Park, Orovela, Guns at Five and El Padrino. These seven graduates have combined for 12 stakes wins and a total of $1,456,152 in prizemoney between them this season alone.
The $10,000 NZB National Weanling Sale graduate Solzhenitsyn (NZ) (St Petersburg) etched his name into the record books becoming only the fifth horse in the 132-year history of the Group 1 Toorak Handicap to win back-to-back editions of the race.
The Robert Heathcote trained galloper prevailed in the feature mile run at Caulfield during the Melbourne Spring Carnival carrying 58kgs, the equal top weight in the race and six kilograms more than he carried to victory last season.
While it was the hardened Solzhenitsyn flying the flag in Australia for the Sale, in New Zealand it was a new batch of three-year-olds paving a stellar record in feature three-year-old races, in particular Guineas races.
NZB National Weanling Sale graduates won five Guineas races at Group 2 level this season with Puccini (NZ) (Encosta de Lago) leading the way.
The Peter & Jacob McKay trained colt - a $175,000 weanling purchase - landed his first Guineas win in the Group 2 Great Northern Guineas at Ellerslie. He then added the Group 2 Waikato Guineas at Te Rapa before returning to Ellerslie to capture the Group 2 Avondale Guineas.
Puccini completed a dominant season in New Zealand with a bold victory in the Group 1 New Zealand Derby – New Zealand’s second richest race.
Earlier in the season Sir Andrew (NZ) (Sir Percy) kicked off the season with success in the Group 2 Hawkes Bay Guineas for his young sire Sir Percy. The Richard Otto trained galloper was the second big race winner purchased by renowned bloodstock agent Paul Willets from the National Weanling Sale, along with Solzhenitsyn, with the pair purchased for $56,000 and $10,000 respectively..
The colours of Raffles Racing have been accustomed to producing talented three-year-olds with the likes of Sacred Falls and More Than Sacred, and this season through the deeds of the Group 2 Wellington Guineas victor Sacred Park (NZ) (Thorn Park).
The son of Thorn Park led all the way to win at Trentham in a similar fashion that saw him take out his first stakes success in the Listed Bonecrusher Stakes at Ellerslie earlier in his three-year-old campaign.
Adding to the three-year-old success for the Sale was South Island filly Orovela (NZ) (Saperavi) who triumphed in the Listed Canterbury Belle Stakes at Riccarton. The bargain $1,200 purchase by co-trainer Danny Champion finished in a tie for second in the prestigious Southern Filly of the Year Series.
Tough stayer Guns at Five (NZ) (Duelled) returned to his best form this season, picking up two successes at stakes level. The Chris Wood trained gelding raced six times in Listed or Group company, never finishing out of the top three, recording nine wins to date in his career tally.
The hardened galloper won the Listed Rotorua Plate and the Listed Marton Cup along with placings in the Group 2 Wellington Cup, Group 3 New Zealand Cup, Group 3 Waikato Gold Cup and the Listed Feilding Gold Cup.
International success was delivered by El Padrino (NZ) (Mr Nancho) in Singapore with the smart sprinter speeding to victory in the Sgp-3 Merlion Trophy over 1200m. The National Weanling Sale purchase is also a pinhooking success story, originally bought as a weanling for $10,000, and then offered at New Zealand Bloodstock’s Ready to Run Sale as a two-year-old where he fetched $56,000 for Endsleigh Thoroughbreds.
The average price of the National Weanling Sale last year was only $10,857, a value price considering the racetrack success achieved by graduates in recent times.
The National Weanling Sale is the first session of New Zealand Bloodstock’s National Weanling, Broodmare & Mixed Bloodstock Sale at Karaka on 12 & 13 May. The 284 weanlings catalogued will go under the hammer on one action-packed day of selling commencing at 10am on Monday 12 May.
The second day of the Sale (Tuesday 13 May) features broodmares, yearlings, two-year-olds, unraced horses, horses-in-training, racehorses and stallion shares going under auction.