Strong finish makes up for slow start
A rough opening hour failed to spoil the first day of the annual premier standardbred yearling sales at the Canterbury Agricultural Park yesterday.
Early buyers seemed hesitant with only 18 of the first 30 lots offered going home with new owners and it took a stylish trotter to buck the trend and turn the sale around.
Dubbed Ohoka Hall, the stunning colt was sold for $127,500, much to the delight of his owners, Darryl Brown and Katie Carville.
Denise and Alistair Smith, of Springbank Richard fame, were determined to get their hands on the good looker and entered into a spirited bidding dual with Australian interests before the hammer fell their way.
That set the wheels in motion for the day and higher priced lots started to drift into play.
PGG Wrightson Standardbred's Peter Lagan said the recovery resulted in some tidy figures being posted for the day's selling.
"To get to where we are after the way things started is a great result," Lagan said. "We have had some really nice horses up for sale today and they have sold well.
"But across the board other than that first wee session I think we would have to be very happy."
The clearance rate for the day was about 80 per cent, well up on the Auckland sale on Monday, while the day's average price of about $32,000 was well up on both Auckland and last year's results.
Top lot for the day went to an Art Major colt from top producing mare Asabella for $170,000.
He was purchased by big spending Australian owner Emilio Rosati, who wasted no time in announcing his intentions with a $50,000 opening bid to kick the selling into gear.
He was followed closely by another six-figure colt in the full brother to Group I performer Highview Tommy.
The speedy-looking colt was purchased by West Melton trainer Robert Dunn for $122,00.
Rosati struck again later in the day when forking out $110,000 for a Bettor's Delight colt from Child In Time, which was sold by Barry Ward.
The full brother to Group I winner Paradise City drew a lot of attention and fetched an appropriate price.
Super sire Bettor's Delight continued his strong domination while Art Major also had a strong influence.
A pleasing aspect of the day was the demand for good trotters, underlined by the hefty price tag for the Angus Hall colt.
But lower valued trotters also sold well, with a Love You colt from a royal trotting family which, includes Lyell Creek, going to Premier Stables for $55,000 and the ill-fated Paramount Gee Gee's full-brother was bought for $50,000 by the same group of owners who raced the late superstar trotter.
The second day of the sale starts today at noon with another 150 horses for sale.
AT A GLANCE
Top 10 lots from the first day of the Premier Sale in Christchurch
$170,000: Lot 133: Bettor's Delight - Asabella
$127,500: Lot 33: Angus Hall - Landora's Special
$122,000: Lot 137: Bettor's Delight - Baptism Of Fire
$110,000: Lot 152: Bettor's Delight - Child In Time
$100,000: Lot 126: Bettor's Delight - Achieve A Dream
$80,000: Lot 158: Art Major - Corporate Banner
$78,000: Lot 102: Bettor's Delight - Rona Lorraine
$77,500: Lot 97: Art Major - Shakeliah
$74,000: Lot 154: Bettor's Delight - Electric Lady
$67,500: Lot 174: Art Major - Fleets Pocket