Spending at this year’s national yearling sales at Karaka was 20% up on the previous year by the time sales wrapped up yesterday.
Seven days of yearling sales saw a total of $93.6 million spent, up 20% on the previous year’s total of $74.9 million, according to minister of racing John Carter.
The final day of the two-day festival session –which wrapped up the seven-day sales series – saw the previous record price broken three times.
A new festival sales record of $110,000 was paid by New Zealand Bloodstock as agent for Cambridge clients for an Elusive City colt offered by Haunui Farm is from the Sir Tristram mare Wishing Belle.
Two other six-figure sales were made during the festival session, each shattering the previous record of $80,000 set in 2008.
The sales got off to a strong start last week with 177 purebred sold on the first day, and that pace was maintained right through the week.
With top international buyers seeking the catalogue stars, the national yearling sales showed the intense demand for New Zealand thoroughbreds was unabated, according to Mr Carter.
“It was not only the premier sale that attracted high prices, higher average sales and international buyers. That happened across the select and festival sales as well, showing the strength and depth of our yearling crop.”
Mr Carter said the result showed New Zealand punched above its weight when it came to horse breeding.
“New Zealand’s foal crop is a fraction of Australia’s – approximately 4500 versus 17,000 – so it is a credit to our breeding industry that we continue to make such a positive impression across the Tasman, one of the most highly regarded racing environments in the world. “
The top buyers throughout the week were Australian, with Sydney-based bloodstock agent James Bester paying the top sale price of $2 million for a colt by champion sire Zabeel.
Sydney trainer Gai Waterhouse and Melbourne trainer Danny O’Brien were amongst the big spenders, along with Victoria’s top trainer Peter Moody and Patinack Farm.
Mr Carter said there was also strong interest from further afield. with Jayven See from Singapore paying $1 million for a colt and Hong Kong agent Justin Bahen buying 15 yearlings across the series.
“While we like to see our horses do well off-shore, the bulk of the horses at the national yearling sales feed into our own New Zealand racing industry. In fact, one of the top buyers overall was New Zealander David Ellis.
“Breeders are the foundation of our domestic racing industry. The success of that industry is dependent on the quality of horses. Performances on the track, particularly by horses who are supreme athletes, draw the crowds.
"And the top tier racehorses foster New Zealand’s international reputation for producing some of the best quality horses in the world. “
Tue, 09 Feb 2010