New Zealand Bloodstock’s National Yearling Sale marked a record average for Book 1, as overall investment in the premier aspect of the sale jumped 14 per cent on last year.

The Book 1 average finished on $168,257, easily eclipsing the previous record of $155,007 set in 2018. The overall aggregate of $79,585,500 jumped more than $9 million from last year, but was just short of the record 2018 mark, which was set with a slightly larger catalogue.

NZB’s Managing Director Andrew Seabrook said the sale so far had exceeded all expectations.

“At the start of the week, I said if we could match last year's results we’d be very satisfied, but to increase the turnover by $9.5 million is a great result to go back into the pockets of our vendors,” he stated.

“Seventeen yearlings sold for $500,000 or more, in comparison to six during last year's sale, which just shows the strength of the top end.

“The Australian spend was up $7 million, while the domestic bench was up $2 million on last year.

“There are some quality horses still to come in Book 2, where we hope to see the Kiwis out in force especially with the new Karaka Millions bonuses on offer,” he added.

The top lot of the third day came with Lot 513, a filly by Coolmore sire Wootton Bassett who was knocked down to Belmont Bloodstock’s Damon Gabbedy and Cheung Shun Ching for $800,000 from Curraghmore’s draft.

Nine members of Wootton Bassett’s first southern hemisphere crop were offered in Book 1.

Across the first two days of the Book 1 session on Sunday and Monday, five of his yearlings sold for a total of $1.4 million and an average price of $280,000.

But those figures were blown out of the water on Tuesday morning when Gabbedy secured Lot 513.

The filly was offered by Curraghmore on behalf of breeders Fairway Thoroughbreds and is out of the Fastnet Rock mare Via Napoli.

Herself a three-time winner on the racetrack, Via Napoli’s only foal to race is the highly talented Petrucci, who has won four races and collected her second Group 3 placing with a runner-up finish in Saturday’s Concorde Handicap (1200m) at Ellerslie.

Via Napoli is a full-sister to Listed winner California Turbo and half-sister to Group 1 winner Gathering and the Group 3-winning Florentina. The latter is the dam of exceptional mare In Italian, who has won four times at Grade 1 level in the United States.

Wootton Bassett
Wootton Bassett (Image: Coolmore)

Gabbedy has been the Australian and New Zealand representative for French auction company Arqana since 2008, so he has become familiar with the progeny of Wootton Bassett.

“There was a lot of competition for this filly,” he said. “She’s a beautiful filly from a proper pedigree. I go to France every year with my role with Arqana, so I’ve seen a lot of good Wootton Bassetts, and this is one of the most outstanding types I’ve seen.

“And I think the pedigree speaks for itself. She’s closely related to a champion, In Italian, and from a proper pedigree with good depth. She’s from a great breeder, John Camilleri, and raised at Segenhoe, so hopefully we’ll have a bit of luck with her.

“Wootton Bassett is a proven stallion already, so I think he’s a no-brainer. He’s a champion stallion, and I reckon he’ll do the same down here as he’s done in the northern hemisphere, for sure.

“I bought her for a new client from Hong Kong, so that’s good. We don’t know who the trainer is yet, so we’ll just leave her here for a little while and figure that out in the next month or two.”

NZB Book 1 key stats

AGGREGATE $79,585,500 $70,063,000
AVERAGE $168,257 $151,980
MEDIAN $120,000 $130,000
SOLD 473 461

NZB Book 1 Leading Buyer

Mr DC Ellis CNZM (BAFNZ) $6,045,000 28 $825,000 360
Chris Waller / Mulcaster Bloodstock $4,300,000 13 $900,000 144
The Hong Kong Jockey Club $2,700,000 8 $650,000 210
Moody Racing $2,460,000 4 $1,600,000 21
Jamie Richards / Andrew Williams Bloodstock $2,370,000 6 $725,000 55

NZB Book 1 Leading Vendor

Waikato Stud 74 59 $8,730,000 $147,966 $620,000 409
Cambridge Stud 35 35 $5,580,000 $159,429 $425,000 438
Haunui Farm 27 24 $5,045,000 $210,208 $825,000 360
Pencarrow Stud 22 19 $4,300,000 $226,316 $700,000 146
Curraghmore 25 23 $4,150,000 $180,435 $800,000 513

NZB Book 1 Leading Sire on average

Snitzel 3 3 $475,000
Justify 5 3 $373,333
Wootton Bassett* 9 7 $328,571
Proisir 32 27 $274,444
Savabeel 49 41 $261,463