Racing: Strong sale expected at Karaka

By Michael Guerin

Horses are walked in front of potential buyers during Annual yearling sales held at Karaka. Photo / Steven McNicholl
Horses are walked in front of potential buyers during Annual yearling sales held at Karaka. Photo / Steven McNicholl

What a difference two days can make.

That should be the case at Karaka today as the harness racing industry looks certain to bounce back from two difficult days of yearling sales in Christchurch.

Many of the industry's biggest names appear to have have been keeping their powder dry for the Australasian Classic Sale, which will see around 185 lots go through thering.

The Karaka sale has become the shining beacon of Australasian standardbred sales in the past decade, with the catalogue containing more current families as northern breeders have commercialised their businesses.

That has made it so popular with Australian buyers that some South Island vendors now truck their horses north, rather than sell them at the shambolic Canterbury Showgrounds.

They will feel justified after two below-average days of sales in Christchurch, where disappointingly only one lot - by Gotta Go Cullen - reached $100,000.

The Christchurch sale was always going to struggle, with the problems in the region, stakes issues at Addington and several key buyers not even attending.

Many of the regular top spenders at the sales will come to Auckland with few new yearlings already purchased so expectations are high for today's sale.

There are good reports about Lot 67, a Christian Cullen colt from former classy filly Fight Fire With Fire who is expected to be one of the stronger lots of the week.

"We are definitely expecting this to be the big day of the week," says Rachel Deegan, from auctioneers PGG Wrightson.

"We have more Australian buyers coming to Karaka than Christchurch and more South Islanders coming up too, including some buyers who never usually come to Karaka.

"So we are expecting this to be a good sale."

The sale starts at 11am.

SALES DAY

* The annual Karaka standard bred yearling sales are on today.

* After two below par days of sales in Christchurch this week the sale is expected to be a success.

* Many of New Zealand's hottest families are represented.

* There is a strong Australian and South Island buying bench.

- NZ Herald

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