International buyers were absent from New Zealand Bloodstock's National Yearling Sale at Karaka this week, but Te Akau principal David Ellis ensured a global flavour all the same.
The leading buyer was given instructions to buy the best filly on the complex by Coolmore Principal John Magnier, and he believes he did just that when securing Lot 94, the Zoustar filly out of Group 1 performer Scintillula, from Pencarrow Stud's Book 1 draft for $800,000.
Te Akau has trained for the global thoroughbred powerhouse in the past, but Ellis said this is the first time Magnier has bought a yearling in partnership with Ellis' New Zealand operation.
"John Magnier, who owns Coolmore Stud, said that he wanted to support Karaka this year and he wanted to take a share in my best filly," Ellis said.
"He has got a good-sized share in the Zoustar filly with Te Akau as we thought that she was the best horse in the sale."
Coolmore Stud stand Group 1-producing sire Fastnet Rock, and Ellis said Magnier has been impressed with the deeds of his six-time Group 1-winning daughter Avantage, who is trained by Te Akau's Jamie Richards.
"I think the Magnier family have been very impressed with the job we have done with Avantage, who has won more Group 1 races than any other Fastnet Rock," Ellis said.
Further international flavour will be added to the filly's ownership, with Ellis confirming a Hong Kong client will take a 50 per cent share.
"We are pretty proud to have one of Te Akau's best clients, from Hong Kong, taking a 50 per cent share in the filly.
"There is only a quarter left and that will sell very quickly."
Although the filly proved popular and reached $800,000, Ellis was prepared to extend further to secure her.
"It is very seldom that you see a filly at Karaka with her pedigree and as good an athlete as she is.
"We thought we would have to go to $1 million to buy her. We thought she would be the sales-topping filly, and we are pretty happy to get her for $800,000. She is as nice a filly as we have bought."
Pencarrow Stud manager Leon Casey said the filly received a lot of attention and he anticipated a strong result.
"She is a top-class filly in every way. We had lots of interest from many good judges, including many New Zealanders as underbidders.
"She is a lovely type. You can see the Zoustar quality as well as the Galileo strength. Plenty of quality and depth.
"Sir Peter [Vela, Pencarrow Stud principal] is prepared to offer the best we have. He doesn't hold anything back because he has confidence in the market. What he does is for the good of the industry and not just for Pencarrow."
- NZ Racing Desk