Day At The Track

Bouquets and brickbats from the Premier Sale

03:59 PM 01 Mar 2016 NZDT
Comment (...) Tweet Share Email Print
Lot 409 Mach Shard
Lot 409 Mach Shard by Mach Three from Sly Shard topped The Premier Sale at $200,000

Harness racing's New Zealand Premier two day sale at Christchurch has come and gone for another year and we thought it a good time to acknowledge the things that PGG Wrightson got right and the things they got wrong this year as we see it.


Bruce Barlass and Peter Lagan did a wonderful job yet again of promoting the sale throughout Australasia and that was rewarded with a buyers bench that included a good number of Australians at both days in Christchurch.

The PGG website is a credit to the company and provides all the pre sale information any buyers could ever want from the pedigrees through to the photos and videos. 

There was also plenty of coverage prior to the sale from the main stream media.

Some might argue that it is never enough but in todays marketplace, we thought the coverage was as good as you will see these days from the main stream media

More co-ordination between groups like Southern Bred -Best Bred and PGG may lift the profile of groups like that even more because there was the odd rumbling of discontent from those quarters prior to the sale.


There are some major issues here that need addressing before next years sale.

Sound System

Inaudible most of the time within the selling centre.

You had more chance of hearing what was going on from outside the building than from inside it due to all the sound distortions from the sound system on both days.

Sitting inside on both days covering the sale from start to finish resulted in getting a bad headache on both occasions and judging by conversations we had with buyers and vendors, we had plenty of company.


The temperature inside the selling complex is a major problem whenever you strike a hot day which in February is most days.

Ventilation was very poor verging on non existent on both days and made staying within the arena very very uncomfortable for both buyers and the media.

The temperature up in the stands was not conducive for people to stay for any length of time and big areas in the stands were empty for long periods throughout the two days which robbed the sale of a lot of its atmosphere.


Once again "Sooty Moffat and his team did an outstanding job of providing a wide range of quality food at prices that were very reasonable and it is hard to see at an event like a two day horse sale, how you could improve on what is currently provided.

Thats not to say that it is to everyone's liking but it is far superior to what is offered at a lot of major sports events these days and the value for money is first class so kudos to everybody involved.

Bid Spotters

Sitting there through both days from start to finish was a real eye opener with regards  to the amount of bids which were regularly missed throughout the sale.

The last two hours on the first day when the auctioneers were playing a bit of catch up with the timetable saw countless bids missed on a fair number of the lots offered.

Tens of thousands of dollars went west because the bids were missed by the bid spotters or there wasn't enough of them on deck at the time.

All the hard work had been done by PGG and the vendors only for them to leave so much money sitting on the sidelines at times due to bids being missed again and again.


The presence of Steve Davis at the auctioneers rostrum lifted the sale to another level when he was auctioneer.

His ability to get that that extra bid from buyers when the bidding was stalled stamped Steve as the key man on the gavel during the two days and was commented on by everybody we spoke to.

He did with good humour and wit and was a pleasure to watch.

However a couple of his contemporaries really let the side down at times and again left a lot of money on the shelf which the vendors really need.

Good humour and wit went out the window on some lots and it was basically a my way or the highway attitude which never endears buyers at anytime.

Too many lots were knocked down when there was obviously still room for further bids from the buyers bench.

One had to feel a bit sorry for the vendors in such cases as if Steve Davis had been selling the same lot, the vendor would have had a much better result.


We do realize that our comments here are not going to go down well in some quarters but we are telling it like we saw it.

We don't have a financial interest here or an axe to grind in this matter.

Our opinions as we have expressed them here are what we observed over the two days at the Christchurch sale which could be so much better than it presently is.

The more successful the Christchurch Premier sale is, the more everybody from PGG to the the vendors through to the wider harness racing industry benefits and that is why we felt compelled to bring these matters out into the open.


Comment (...) Tweet Share Email Print

Read More News About...

Stallion Name

Next article: