It took nearly all day to reveal the sale topping yearling for day two of New Zealand Bloodstock’s National Yearling Sale but when it was unveiled the wait was well worth it.
Lot 454, the Savabeel colt form Fastnet Rock mare Bayrock had been confidently predicted to attract plenty of attention from the assembled buying bench and didn’t disappoint as a prolonged duel over several minutes was finally settled in favour of the King of Karaka, David Ellis.
Ellis silenced his opponents with a final offering of $875,000 for the colt who is closely related to multiple Group One winner Merchant Navy, with his dam being a full-sister to the Gr.1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes (1200m) winner who now stands at stud at Coolmore Australia.
Ellis headed off Sydney trainer John O’Shea to provide Windsor Park Stud with a special piece of history as the highest priced yearling they have consigned at Karaka.
“He is one of the nicest colts we have ever brought here to the sale, so we’re very happy,” Stud Master Rodney Schick said.
“John O’Shea was underbidder but DC (Ellis) and Jamie (Richards) are very strong and they have had such great success with the Savabeels.
“What a great sire Savabeel has been for New Zealand and for the sale again this year.
“It is really such a great result for us.”
Ellis admitted he had been desperate to secure the colt although he was starting to fade in the intense bidding war when he made the successful offer.
“I was hoping I would get him for $750,000 but these really top colts have a lot of good judges on them so sometimes you have to pay a bit more for them,” he said.
“If he is a really top colt, like I hope he is, then he is going to be cheap otherwise if he is no good then he’s going to be very expensive.
“We thought he was a magnificent individual and Jamie is so excited to have him to train.
“It’s been a very successful couple of days for Te Akau and we’re just delighted to have secured so many nice horses.
“It’s pretty exciting to have this sort of quality and I want them for both Te Akau and for New Zealand racing as I want them to stand at New Zealand studs.
“If we are going to take this wonderful industry to the next level then we need them. The only avenue we have is to buy them at the sales as if they become top performers, they are worth 10, 20, 40 million and out of our reach.”