At Karaka today and tomorrow, Sir Patrick Hogan has the best draft of yearlings his Cambridge Stud has produced in a decade.
That's not the word of Sir Patrick himself, but of leading buyer David Ellis, who will be taking some of those yearlings home to Te Akau.
"There is absolutely no doubt this is the best draft of the last 10 years and I'm not the only one who thinks so," sad Ellis yesterday.
Cambridge Stud will sell 72 yearlings at the Premier and Select tiers of New Zealand Bloodstock's Karaka sale.
Sir Patrick generally has a high clearance rate, but this time he will be taking NONE home. He surprised everyone when he recently declared all 72 will be sold.
"It makes sense to me. Cambridge Stud has been leading yearling sale vendor on 31 years, but was topped off last year. He will be leading that list this year," says Ellis.
"The thing that impresses me is that Patrick hasn't just relied on his own sires even though Tavistock and Power are really firing."
Represented in the draft Snitzel, Redoute's Choice, Exceed And Excel, Camelot, Medaglie D'Oro, High Chaparral and Fastnet Rock.
Cambridge has nine colts and nine fillies by Tavistock in the Premier session and six Power colts and four fillies.
The single most interesting lot today is the grey colt by Frankel from the German mare Give Me Five, which will go through the ring about 3.30pm. He will be under the Curraghmore Stud banner.
Frankel, European Horse Of The Year 2011 and 2012, has 3-year-olds on the track this year.
Cunningham wouldn't hazard a guess what a Frankel colt would make. "That's at the mercy of the market, but he was always going to bring some money. He has been very professional since he's been at the complex and he presents as a top horse. There has been real interest on him."
Cunningham sorts out from the Curraghmore draft a colt by Tavistock from Danness (Lot 119) and Fastnet Rock colts from Frustrating (Lot 173) and Gypsy Princess (Lot 191).
"They are all stallion prospects."
This sale sees the retirement from auctioneering of Joe Walls, one of the greats of the industry.