A golden Australian spring should reap rewards for local vendors at the leading Ready to Run sale in the southern hemisphere at Karaka today.
And that has New Zealand Bloodstock bosses confident of plenty of overseas interest for the sale that has produced superstars such as Mongolian Khan and Te Akau Shark.
More than 400 horses will go through the ring in the next two days after they were put through their paces at Te Rapa four weeks ago.
The Ready to Run format is vastly different from yearling sales where horses are bought on pedigree and type rather then how they look galloping at speed.
"We believe a lot of buyers like this format, knowing so much more about what they are buying," says NZB managing director Andrew Seabrook.
"Our yearling sales are huge and a massive part of the breeding industry here and while there is a lot of crossover there are plenty of buyers who love what they can do at this sale.
"They can look at all the breezes up from last month, find the horses they like the look of at speed and then already have a narrowed down list for when they get here.
"It obviously takes out one level of guess work from yearling buying and of course they don't have to wait as long to race them."
Seabrook says because the sale has produced so many high class horses it advertises itself. But a thumping Australian spring doesn't do any harm either.
"We know we have the best Ready to Run sale in this part of the world, everybody knows.
"There have been 20 group one wins from RTR horses in the southern hemisphere in the last six years and 19 of those wins came out of this sale.
"This year I am going into the week even a little more confident because we had so many New Zealand-bred horses do the job in the last few months in Australia.
"We have had stallions like Ocean Park and Reliable Man with their stock winning huge races and plenty of depth in our stallion ranks as well as, of course, the Savabeels.
"That really helps. When you have horses like Te Akau Shark, who came out of this sale, going such huge races in the Epsom and the Cox Plate people always want to know where they buy a horse like that."
With 414 horses in the catalogue there is bound to be bargains but Seabrook and his sales reps believe there will be a stronger than usual middle to lower end market, with a heavy emphasis on overseas buyers.
"There is a good feel about the sale and I think plenty of Australians realise they can buy their Golden Slipper winners at home and if they want to can chase Melbourne Cup horses in Europe if they want to pay huge money.
"But New Zealand is the place to buy so many of their classic horses and middle distance horses.
"What we saw this spring is pretty hard for them to ignore," Seabrook said.
Ready to Run
• The annual Ready To Run thoroughbred sale of two-year-old horses is at Karaka today and tomorrow.
• More than 400 horses will be offered for sale after showing their ability at close to race speed in videoed workouts last month.
• In the last six years the sale has produced the winners of 19 group one races, 140 stakes races, five derbies and 13 guineas races.
• The NZB sale starts at 11am.