A very poor low end and an average harness racing price of $29,786 highlighted the Australasian Classic Yearling Sale held at the Karaka Sale ring in South Auckland today (Monday February 18).
PGG Wrightson's senior standardbred representative, Peter Lagan said the average price compares to $29,454 last year and $30,195 in 2011.
The clearance rate was just over 72%, which was down on the 83 per cent clearance recorded in 2012.
Lagan said the clearance rate was pleasing because this was the first time in a while the vendors were allowed to use the reserve system.
He termed the Sale as satisfactory but believed better things lay ahead at the New Zealand Premier Sale in Christchurch later this week.
"The middle market was okay, but the bottom end was poor. People weren't interested in say the $10,000 horses when they knew they could chip in with others and buy a $50,000 yearling.
"The serious buyers will always pay big numbers for quality and big buyers like Emilio Rosati and Kerry Hoggard proved that today.
"In fact without the Australian presence it could have been a poor sale, but it was what we expected and we are satisfied," Lagan told Harnesslink.
The progeny of Bettor's Delight were again popular recording three of the top four prices. In fact such was his mortgage on the sale Bettor's Delight had 56 foals catalogued.
The sales topper was Lot 38 - Raell's Delight - a Bettor's Delight colt, who was the first foal from multiple Group One winningmare, Lauraella.
Major Australian owners Emilio and Maria Rosati bought the brown colt for $210,000 off Sandy Yarndley and his Hardwood Breeding Syndicate at Ohaupo.
The Rosatis also paid $80,000 for the top trotter of the sale - lot 174 - a- Galleons Dream filly named Emphasis for vendor Ted Edwards of Mangere.
The other top three prices were:
Lot 56 - a- Right This Time colt: $120,000 purchased by Neil Pilcher, giving experienced vendor Tony Dickinson his first six figure sale.
Lot 115 - a Bettor's Delight Alta Vista colt: $120,000 purchased by Emilio Rosati from Taupaki horseman, Frank Cooney.
Lot 145 - a Bettor's Delight Braeside Lady colt: $120,000 purchased by Cran Dalgety from Braeden and Carolyn Whitelock of Palmerston North.
The top filly was Lot 107 - a Bettor's Delight - Fight Fire With Fire filly: $95,000 purchased by W.E. and P.M. Bain, Roxburgh from Rod Croon.
One of the positives of the sale was the return of the ATC trot Syndicate, which paid $30,000 for Lot 85, a Bettor's Delight - Running On Faith colt. It was sold by Woodlands Stud. Other purchases from the syndicate are likely at the New Zealand Premier Yearling Sale in Christchurch on Wednesday and Thursday.
Another pleasing aspect of the sale was the emergence of former New Zealand Cup champion.
As a first season sire Nevele R Stud would be pleased with the four foals he had at today's Sale, which received $35,000 (Lot 101), $27,000 (Lot 62), $15,000 (Lot 117), and $10,000 (Lot 33) respectively.
Speed sire's progeny was also in demand. He had 16 in the Sale, with one price over $100,000, one over $50,000 and several between $20,000 and $46,000.
Lagan said buyers were more educated and had also become more selective in recent years.
"We have to be satisfied when you take into account today's climate and how the harness racing industry as a whole is progressing.
"The buyers didn't go mad today, but we always knew the big spenders would come out to play. It can only get better in Christchurch," he insisted.
By Duane RANGER at Karaka