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The South Island took centre stage today with strong results recorded at New Zealand Bloodstock's annual South Island Sale of Two-Year-Olds and Mixed Bloodstock at the Canterbury Agricultural Park in Christchurch.
Significant growth was evident with this year's two-year-old average reaching NZ$16,215 compared to last year's NZ$14,430. Even more pleasing was a staggering 41% increase in the median price to NZ$12,000, up from NZ$8,500 last year.
The unique Sale of untried two-year-olds also featured yearlings, broodmares, unraced stock and racehorses. The highest priced lot of the Sale was the stakes-placed racemare Royal Ambition. The five-year-old is by Royal Academy and out of Group 1 New Zealand One Thousand Guineas runner-up, Ambitious (Last Tycoon). On account of Chelandry Farm she was knocked down to Colm Santry Bloodstock for NZ$140,000. She is to be bred to Coolmore's first season sire and champion racehorse Dylan Thomas.
The top price from the two-year-old section came early in the day at Lot 7. Leading Australian bloodstock agent John Foote bid to NZ$82,500 to secure the Pentire colt from the Personal Escort mare Grace the Bride. He's from the family of Group 1 Wellington Cup winner Hurrah and outstanding Hong Kong galloper Best Gift. He was sold by Ashburton-based vendors Robert and Jessica Thomas
All sessions combined to give total receipts of NZ$2,115,700 for 142 lots sold compared to last year's total of NZ$1,572,250 for 126 lots sold. The overall average price increased to NZ$14,899 with the clearance rate settling at 70%. As with the two-year-old section, the median showed a healthy increase, in this case from NZ$7,000 to NZ$10,000.
Edwina Morris and Alan Jones' Berkley Stud was the leading vendor for the day, selling 23 of their 30 lots for an aggregate of NZ$414,000 and an average price of NZ$18,000. The highlight of their draft being Lot 161, an impressive chestnut Bertolini colt who sold to New Zealand Bloodstock as agent for NZ$80,000.
General Manager Andrew Seabrook commented on the day's proceedings saying "In light of the downturn in the economy it was very pleasing to see the market hold up extremely well. We were thrilled with the international buying bench and it was great to see the domestic spend increase again. The success of this Sale augurs well for the Ready to Run Sale at Karaka on November 18 & 19."