A clear drop in domestic spend has had a significant impact on this year's New Zealand Bloodstock Select Sale and was the difference between matching last year's healthy results.

After a tentative start on Wednesday, the clearance rate strengthened throughout the sale to settle at 76 per cent with 437 individuals sold over the three days for total receipts of $20,679,500 and an average price of $47,363. The median price remained steady at $40,000, a 16 per cent drop on last year's median price of $47,500.

"Our flat domestic racing industry has had a disappointing effect on the Select Sale and the negative impact it is having is even more evident when looking at the Premier and Select sessions from this week combined," said New Zealand Bloodstock managing director Andrew Seabrook.

"Over the past five days over $6.5 million less has been spent by domestic buyers who have historically underpinned the middle market."

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Yesterday's highest-priced lot was fittingly the last yearling by Waikato Stud's perennial champion sire O'Reilly to go through the Karaka sale ring. Having attracted feverish bidding from many parties, Cambridge-based conditioner Roger James proved too strong with a final bid of $200,000.

At Lot 1097 the colt is from the Zabeel mare Toss Up and from the family of dual Oaks winner Daffodil and with this in mind James has big Derby aspirations for him.

"There were only two colts I had earmarked as Derby types and he was at the top of that short list."

Musing after the sale Waikato Stud's Mark Chittick commented: "O'Reilly's responsible for where Waikato Stud stands in the market now and it's a sad moment because he was part of the family."

Yesterday's highest-priced lot was the last yearling by champion sire O'Reilly. Photo / Trish Dunell
Yesterday's highest-priced lot was the last yearling by champion sire O'Reilly. Photo / Trish Dunell

Westbury Stud took top honours as the leading vendor by aggregate selling 40 lots for $2,079,500 and their top price fetched being $135,000 for Lot 1024. The Swiss Ace colt was bought by Singapore-based trainer Stephen Gray.

Novara Park's Jakkalberry topped the leading sire table by average with three youngsters selling for an average of $92,500.

- NZ Racing Desk