Frankel colt smashes $1 million mark at Karaka sales

By Michael Guerin

The colt was sold for $1.3 Million at the Karaka sales. Photo / Kellie Blizard
The colt was sold for $1.3 Million at the Karaka sales. Photo / Kellie Blizard

The thoroughbred racing power group who outlaid $1.3 million for the buzz colt of today's Karaka yearling sales was only formed the night before his purchase.

The combination, brought together by agent Adrian Nicoll of BBA Ireland, smashed through the $1 million ceiling to buy the first yearling sold in the Southern Hemisphere by world champion galloper Frankel.

The colt was sold by Sir Peter Vela's Pencarrow Stud, who flew the colt's dam Our Echezeaux to England to be mated with Frankel, who retired from racing three years ago.

He had caused a huge buzz in the build-up to this week's Premier Sale at Karaka and did not disappoint, with some of the heavyweights of racing lining up to buy him.

Eventually it was Victorian trainer Peter Moody who was the underbidder.

But it was a group banded together by Nicoll made up of breeding giants Coolmore, Sheik Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Maktoum, the Niarchos family (who race their horses predominantly in France) and Hong Kong-based Apollo Ng who secured him for what they hope will obviously be a racing and eventually stud career.

"This group was only finalised last night," admitted Nicoll.

"Obviously we wanted him because he is such a lovely colt so we started working on putting this group together three days ago and last night buying him became a realistic prospect.

"We are thrilled to get him because he is as good a yearling as I have seen by Frankel. The only one I have seen as good was a filly who sold in Ireland for €1.7 million."

As is often the case with expensive yearling purchases, exact details on who will train the colt were hard to pin down, but expect him to end up in Sydney initially.

Sir Peter was thrilled not only with the outcome of his ambitious venture but the fact the colt is now owned by such racing heavyweights.

"He will have every chance and just having him here at the sale has given us a great boost," said Sir Peter.

"We have some huge buyers involved and I might be wrong but I'd say this is the first time the Niarchos family have purchased here.

"So he has topped off a very strong two days in style."

The $1.3 million sale for the third last lot of the day gave the average a handy little boost it hardly needed after two huge days.

The first day was so strong and up on last year that it set the tone and late into today, before the Frankel colt, the average was only slightly down on day one but the clearance rate higher.

"It has been a huge sale," said New Zealand Bloodstock's managing director Andrew Seabrook.

"The international bench has been very strong and of course there has been some huge buying locally, led by David Ellis.

"But what is really satisfying is the spread we have had, both of big buyers as well as vendors who have had great results."

The sales topper replaced one from just a few minutes earlier after a Savabeel colt from O'Reilly Rose on behalf of vendors Beltana sold for $825,000 to Peter Moody, his moment in the spotlight surely one of the briefest in sales history.

That capped a massive two days for local stallion Savabeel whose stock were probably even more sought after today than on the first day, where they were already hugely popular.

"He has done a super job again and it has been a very strong couple of days for us," said beaming Waikato Stud boss Mark Chittick.

Under the hammer: Premier sales stats

• Aggregate: $55.7 million
• Average: $175,797 (up 17 per cent)
• Clearance rate: 78 per cent
• Leading vendor: Waikato Stud
• Leading sire: Savabeel

- NZ Herald

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