graeme rogersonLeading buyer Graeme Rogerson
(Athlone Thoroughbred Marketing)

New Zealand Bloodstock reports that the 2008 New Zealand Ready To Run Sale of two-year-olds which ended yesterday at Karaka, achieved solid results which largely defied the international financial crisis.

Both the sale median and average were only a shade off last year’s figures, with the median price reaching $60,366 (down just 1% from a record $61,134 in 2007) and the average $33,000 (down 8% from $36,000 in 2007).

The clearance rate climbed steadily throughout the day to finish at 67%, down from last year’s 70%, with 247 horses sold for $14,910,500, compared with $15,100,000 for the same number sold last year.

Tuesday’s top price of $400,000 for the Red Ransom colt from Lady Circles was not surpassed, with yesterday’s top lot knocked down for $360,000. The Zabeel colt from group one winner Surprize was purchased by Queensland bloodstock agent John Foote from Mark and Shelley Treweek’s Lyndhurst Farm.

“I’ve bought him for a Hong Kong client and as yet we haven’t decided whether he’ll race in Australia first or go straight to Hong Kong,” said John Foote last night.

“He’s a well-bred colt, a lovely type and breezed up with a good action. We’re hoping he’ll be as good as his mother and father.”

The Zabeel colt breezed up the 200m straight at Te Rapa racecourse on 20 October in a time of 11.72 seconds.

Of the 247 horses sold, 17 fetched $200,000 or more compared with 14 last year, showing the relative strength at the top of the market.

New Zealand Bloodstock’s sales and marketing manager Petrea Vela was very pleased with the results after uncertainty created by the financial crisis.

“In view of the challenges facing everyone in the current market conditions, the results of the past two days have really been well in excess of our expectations,” she said last night.

“Heading into this sale we were certain that results would be down on last year, but to see such strength from the market here has been a fantastic result.”

Leading the buyers was transtasman trainer Graeme Rogerson with eight horses purchased for $1,625,000. A total of 49 horses are destined for Singapore, including purchases by former Kiwi trainer Laurie Laxon, Michael Freedman, Stephen Gray and Soon Hock Lee, with another 18 bought for Hong Kong.

Fourteen headed to Malaysia and five to Macau. The Seoul Racehorse Owners Association bought a further six yesterday to bring its total to 16 horses now bound for Korea.

The leading vendor for the second year in a row was Mark and Shelley Treweek’s Lyndhurst Farm, with 11 of its 15 entries selling for $1,706,000 at an average of $155,091.