Posts Tagged ‘2015 yearling sales’

I’m flat tack at my day job, folks, and haven’t been to the Christchurch sales.

From what I see of the results, it seems to be a bit of a roller coaster. Demand yes, but so focused that breeders are getting a “50 Shades of Neigh” workout for anything that goes outside the parameters that owners and therefore trainers want. Some lovely bargains for those willing to shop around. Pleasure for some, pain for many.

And a lot of vendors opting not to give their horses away.

Give me the weekend and I will post a blog after I see all the results. Quite different from the Karaka sale, whatever the spin doctors say.

Of the lots I highlighted in the Premier sale for a range of reasons (outside the “market” considerations):

  • Patrick – good on you for selling Standing Bear (Lot 268) for $15,000. A lovely looking yearling by The Pres.
  • Lot 147 Fiscal Madness, from a Love You mare by Revenue, sold for just $7.500. Maybe he had a leg missing?
  • Lot 456 was Joe Louis that I featured because of his lovely outcrossing pedigree. Not that it means tickey boo to the buyers, although he did sell for $22,000.
  • And Lot 201 was a foal called That’s The Story by mare Bree from Monarchy. He didn’t meet the reserve of $25,000.

Do these results reflect the outcome for those yearlings? Their quality? No.

We will follow them and see what happens.

But again, the current market results in the breeder taking huge risks, often not recognised at the time.

If the odds turn out in the breeder’s favour – if the horse turns into a winner – I would love to see that breeder rewarded.

At the moment, breeders are carrying an unfair burden of developing our breed. Let’s hope the upcoming Breeders Forum in Auckland in early March starts really opening up the conversation around this issue.

While the Auckland sale left me with a bit of a buzz, the Christchurch sale appears at first sight to be a bit of a fizz overall, although some good results for some lots would cover the risk for some bigger breeders.

Read Full Post »

Buyers gave a very clear signal they are willing to pay for quality racing colts. When the stars aligned – nice type, proven sire, good performing family – the prices were much better and more consistent across the middle range than we have seen for years. The middle range appears (haven’t done the maths yet) to have beefed up especially in the $30-40,000 range, which is what was missing previously.

Some very high prices will capture the limelight, but a strong middle market is what caught my eye.

The downside is that fillies again were heavily discounted (although there were some notable exceptions, and I think the fillies average price will also come up quite a bit). But you know how sceptical I am about “averages” and what they tell us, so I will do my own analysis.

Newer sires were hardly present, and those that were had an uphill battle.  A beautiful very big filly by Big Jim (Lot 128) went for just $7000 – all she needs is time.

A Gotta Go Cullect colt out of a Bettor’s Delight mare (Lot 22) from a decent family went for $15,000 – the Bettor’s Delight damsire factor not helping enough to overcome the view of Gotta Go Cullect as a “cheapy” sire.

The Tintin In America filly (Lot 80) was passed in at $7000, but had a highish reserve on her and Leanne Edwards was quite keen to take her home and try her out. (Just an aside: The Tintin filly in the Brisbane sale went for $19,000).

Changeover had a colt and a filly in the sale – the colt sold for $20,000 and the filly passed in a $6000.

The Sportswriter colt (Lot 7) from a 2 win mare was sold for $20,000 – very hard to get a line on how he is being received until after the Christchurch sale.

Rock N Roll Heaven’s colt (Lot 50) went for just $22,000, and his filly (Lot 110) could hardly get a bid, although buyers know the Highfields Bloodstock team will have a high reserve on all their fillies, so may not bother bidding.

As always, breeders will do the hard yards and take the knocks until newer sires are more proven, but even in the case of a sire who is showing up well (like Changeover) it is clear that buyers and the Austalasian Classic Sale in Auckland are not interested in paying higher unless the sire proven and regarded as among the elite ones or a filly is from one of the top families.

There will always be exceptions, as my Real Desire colt showed last year when he sold so well. But they will be few and far between.

The sale has again, I guess, found its niche.


Read Full Post »

Lot 107 Mrs Zippy

Lot 107 Mrs Zippy – beautifully named and a lovely filly

The sales kicked off today on overcast but warm weather and with a great display of top bred horses. They look great,  a credit to the hours put in by the breeders, owners and preparers.

Tomorrow reality kicks in. Prices will probably result in an raised average, but also in some investors going home disappointed. There is a wealth of some breeds, some sires and some types, so buyers have the ability to pick. As always I will be more interested in the median rather than the average – as an indicator of breeder health for the future.

As you all know, I am not fixated on the top end of our industry but more concerned about quality and depth and width.

So I was out there today with my camera trying to capture some of the horses that are top lots, but far more some that may fly under the radar but deserve a second look.

Haven’t got the time tonight to sort out all the photos I took – but here is a selection that captures Parade Day.

Can I just suggest that Mrs Zippy looked lovely, the Tintin In America filly scrubbed up real good, the Big Jim filly was huge but will have an exceptional reach if you are willing to wait just a year, and I think I might have fallen in love with Lot 23. Yes its a filly, but if you know me that is no surprise.

Eyes were all on Lot 106, the bro to Adore Me and he was a stroppy handsome colt. Of the boys, lots to like.  Probably one outside the square is 125 with a big blaze and some nice breeding. Too many to talk about here. But let’s see how it plays out tomorrow.

The photos below are just a quick selection:

Smiley Sophie, half to Stunin Cullen and Coburg

Lot 5 Smiley Sophie, half to Stunin Cullen and Coburg

Lot 2 Bettors Delight colt from the good mare Whambam

Lot 2 Bettors Delight colt from the good mare Whambam

Lot 44 De Lovista filly from De Lovely

Lot 44 De Lovista filly from De Lovely

Lot 125 Vettel

Lot 125 Vettel, an American Ideal colt

Lot 26 Zenner

Lot 26 Zenner, half brother to Tintin In America

Lot 15 Kissme Quick

Lot 15 Kissme Quick, a trotting filly by Majestic Son from the Miss Whiplash family

Lot 23 Black and  Royal  has left a lovely filly by Christian Cullen

Lot 23 Black and Royal has left a lovely filly by Christian Cullen

Lot 7 Sportswriter colt

Lot 7 Sportswriter colt

They came in all sizes from the big…

Lot 128 Big Jim filly

Lot 128 Big Jim filly

…to the not so big.

Lot 127 Lis Mara filly

Lot 127 Lis Mara filly

And from the famous families and well established sires…

Lot 106 All About Me

Lot 106 All About Me by Bettor’s Delight

…to the newcomers….

Lot 80 filly byTintin In America

Lot 80 filly byTintin In America

Read Full Post »

Dark, small, feisty and built like a brick shithouse – she’s bound to be a Bettor’s Delight.

But she’s not. Lot 80 in the PGG Wrightson Sale of the Stars Australasian yearling sale (Karaka) is by Tintin In America. She has those familiar attributes that make Bettor’s Delight fillies sell so well at the sales – attitude and a real “go early” conformation, but because she is by Tintin In America it is really hard to know what price Tinny Girl will fetch.

So far Tintin’s first winner in Australia (race) and New Zealand (trial) were fillies, and his colt at the Garrards Ready To Run sale brought in $70,000. There’s plenty of good word out for his foals from breeders and trainers in both countries. As the only yearling by the sire in the NZ sales, I think there could be a bit of interest. (Note: There is another Tintin In America filly for sale at the APG Brisbane sale on 15 February, Lot 234).

Right now she is on the smaller side, but by no means petite. I would see her maturing to 15h no trouble over time. Tintin himself was a 15.1h horse but his foals seem to come in a range of sizes. Of course the mare contributes to that – Tinny Girl is from a Courage Under Fire mare. Courage Under Fire was just 14.3h. So good things can definitely come in smaller packages!

What does seem to be a fairly common factor in Tintin In America foals is a competitive, assertive attitude (and that runs in his family) and good looks. This filly has both.

I had the pleasure of seeing Tinny Girl yesterday with preparer/breeder/owner Leanne Edwards at Morrinsville, not far from where I live. The filly wasn’t prettied up at all, and in her cover she did look on the small side. But when the cover comes off there is a really nice solid body there, with a powerful bum, already a good wither and sturdy legs. Very likeable.

Leanne says she has plenty of energy around the paddock and often free legs (paces). She’s been hard fed all the way through and her coat is naturally gleaming even without a brush.

I suggested that Tintin In America was a good choice to add a bit of speed into a solid but not exceptionally fast family. This was also the idea behind the breeding of  Tinny Girl’s dam, Khatcha Fire, who is by Courage Under Fire from the 8 win mare Mer Cruza. Leanne explains that Khatcha Fire showed early signs of speed and ability but broke her jaw in an accident and after that became hard to steer, so was switched to breeding without having raced. Her first foal is by Shadow Play, a 3yo filly Leanne intends to qualify this season.

The Tintin In America / Courage Under Fire cross in Lot 80 brings In The Pocket 3×3 sex reversed.  We know what a great influence on the speed of our breed In The Pocket was. As I’ve mentioned before, our locally bred sires like Courage Under Fire have In The Pocket in the sire line, and Tintin In America is the only one so far to include him in the maternal line. It’s an interesting opportunity!

Tinny Girl Lot 80 PGG Yearling Sales 2015

Tinny Girl Lot 80 PGG Yearling Sales 2015. (Photo: Bee Pears)



Read Full Post »

On 25 January the Chertsey Trotting Club held their workouts. Race 6 was for 2yos and the field of four concluded the 1700 distance in 2-20.3, which is not an eye catching rate. None of the names will leap out from the page as “talked about future stars.”  They were very much learners, just there for the experience. But who knows what the future holds for these 4 young horses?

Chertsey in a small club near Ashburton. South Island, NZ (for my non-New Zealand readers). I’m using these low key workouts as an example, steering away from the high end of the market buyers/trainers who are also starting their 2yos at the moment.

Distance: 1700m
Plc      Horse                         Driver
1st       Miranda Cullen     T W Jellyman
2nd     Regal Gesture     D L Mitchell
3rd      Chal Storm           J C Fanning
4th      Goforjack              G T Ward

At this stage you must be thinking – “Why is Bee even talking about this workout?”

Two reasons. Both examples of the upside and downside of selling at the yearling sales.

The yearling sales divide breeders into winners and losers. Is this a good approach to developing a sustainable product for our industry?

1. All of these yearlings were sold at the 2014 Premier yearling sale in Christchurch – cheaply.

  • The winner, filly Miranda Cullen (Gotta Go Cullen x La Rouge, breeder Davinia Harrison) was bought for just $2000 by the Jellymans. She made a mess of her first trial appearance on 7 January, breaking early in what proved to be a good and fairly quick qualifying race. At the 25 January workouts she put in a much better effort with less pressure on.
  • Colt Regal Gesture (Shark Gesture x Gorgeous Guest, breeder N W Cranston) was bought at the yearling sales for $4500 by the Mitchells, and the current owners are listed as D L Mitchell, G R Smith. He likewise came last at his first official appearance late December, but much improved this time, and then not so good a week later. But he’s got some potential.
  • Colt Chal Storm (Jereme’s Jet x Chal Roco, breeder R L Herbert) was a buy back at the yearling sales, not reaching his reserve just $10,000, and is still owned by R L Herbert. This was his first official outing.
  • Colt Goforjack (Real Desire x Laurent Perrier, breeder Jack Smolenski) was another purchase by the Mitchells, this time for $14,000, and the current owners are listed as B A Small, D L Mitchell, Dr J C Fanning.  Although the sale price is a little higher, it is still incredibly cheap when you consider this colt (and he was a lovely looking type) is a half to Lancome, In Monaco, The Phantoms Guest, and Roanne (dam of Holy Grail).

I’m not saying these will turn out to be superstars or even multiple winners – although it wouldn’t surprise me! But it is no mean feat to get 2yos to the workouts and trials, and congratulations to the breeders, current owners and trainers for creating racehorses. This is a nice reminder just before the 2015 yearling sales, that there is plenty of opportunity to find a racehorse at the lower end of the market (PGG Wrightson Sale of the stars upcoming sales).

If you like a yearling, back yourself and check it out, even if no-one else seems to be very interested. Many a great horse has been an affordable buy at the sales!

2. But for sellers, bargains can be a disaster.

Going to the yearling sales involves a lot of costs for breeders. Your yearlings need to be of a certain standard and in most cases need to be paid up for the major series. You put a big effort into the dam and foal, and then the yearling (feeding, education). It’s all expertise and time and resources.

It involves a financial commitment from the breeder or vendor (often the same person) to present the best horse they can for the buyer at the time of the sale. This is the breeder’s opportunity to get an early return on that significant investment.

Estimates may range from $10,000 to $20,000 to cover costs and give some return depending on the service fee of the sire, the situation of the breeder (e.g. donates own resources and time, or has freehold land to graze and take feed from, or has to pay an external provider).

For many breeders, the sale price of a yearling at auction no where near makes a return on investment, and often will not even cover the basic costs of service fee and feed, let alone the human time and expertise, vet expenses and feed costs of raising a foal.

That’s why many breeders/vendors put a reserve on their yearlings and decide to carry the rest of the costs until they can make (with luck) a better return.

But many cannot afford to hold on to a yearling and take the loss. It is fundamentally a donation to the overall harness racing industry – by breeders.

So when people buy a low cost foal at the yearling sales, please remember: While buyers/owners also take a huge risk at yearling sale time, the foundations of success have already been created by the breeder. And whether the horse goes on to make $10,000 or a million dollars in stakes, the breeder will (with only tiny exceptions) get no percentage of that unless they have kept the yearling or taken an ownership share.

We work in a high risk business. Even so, it seems absurd that the producers of the product we market are left in such a situation – no business works this way.

Isn’t it time we took an industry-wide approach to this issue?








Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: