John Ferguson finally found a window in his hectic schedule to make his Karaka debut this week and his only regret was that he wasn't able to find the time to visit sooner.
"Sir Peter Vela has been trying to get me here for 20 years or more and I'm thrilled to have made it," said the chief executive and racing manager for Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum's Godolphin operation.
"I've loved every second of New Zealand and while it's not got the biggest thoroughbred population, it's one of the best and it has been great to have been part of that at last."
Under the Godolphin banner, Ferguson signed for three Savabeel fillies during the Premier session - one out of Banchee for $750,000, the daughter of Sitting Pretty for $350,000 and the other from Croix du Sud for $120,000.
"I arrived 10 days before the sale and I was able to have a look around some farms and went from Taupo to Queenstown, it's been wonderful," the Newmarket-based Ferguson said.
"I was here to buy a couple of New Zealand-breds and we got three lovely fillies."
Ferguson also announced that the internationally-successful blue racing silks of Godolphin could be seen in New Zealand in the not too distant future. "We would love to have runners here from our Newmarket stables," he said. "We are serious about it and as a result of this trip I will be talking to Sheikh Mohammed when I get back.
Ferguson flew out of New Zealand last night and has vowed to return on future Godolphin buying and racing expeditions.
"It's been a fantastic experience and Karaka is the best facility in the world, no doubt about that," he said.
- NZ Racing Desk