The Australians took the honours on the second day of the Ready To Run sale at Karaka yesterday, with champion trainer Gai Waterhouse set to be the big winner.
The Sydney supremo will get to train the $480,000 sales-topping colt, the second-highest price ever paid for a Ready To Run 2-year-old in New Zealand and just $20,000 behind the record set in 2007.
The Fastnet Rock colt from the winning Stravinsky mare Oraia, offered by Hamilton's Mana Park, was knocked down to Sydney agent James Harron for new owners Edmund and Belinda Bateman.
"I came here looking for a couple of horses and missed out on a few on day one," said Harron.
"But I had my sights firmly set on this Fastnet Rock colt as I thought he was the pick of the sale.
"It has been a very successful bloodline cross, which I liked, but primarily he is a fantastic type and has a pedigree littered with speed.
"New Zealand Bloodstock does a great job in getting a lovely bunch of horses here every year and the results that have been coming out of this sale give you confidence to be stronger in the ring."
The colt highlighted a strong sale for Australian buyers, who will take home more than $5.3 million worth of horseflesh from over 60 purchases, beating out Hong Kong buyers who outlaid $4.3 million on just 28, so bought at a significantly higher average price.
That strong international interest made for a record sale on almost all fronts: turnover, average and median.
Over the two days, 243 of the 407 lots sold for $17,972,000, over 11 per cent more than last year's record sale.
The clearance rate was slightly down on last year, 72 per cent versus 77 per cent, but was still way ahead of two years ago.
And 21 horses made $200,000 or more, compared with 18 last season.
"We are absolutely delighted," said NZB director Petrea Vela yesterday.
"The indications were there on the first day and we saw that really come through today with strong demand and some fantastic prices.
"It started well today and that momentum was important but we couldn't be happier because in the current climate this is a huge result.
"We were confident of a good sale because of the overseas interest and the great results from sales graduates, especially lately, but it is still very satisfying."
Karaka's biggest event, the yearling sales, begin in late January.By Michael Guerin Email Michael