Experienced bloodstock agent Dean Hawthorne played a superb game of brinkmanship to secure a royally-bred filly on the first evening on the annual NZB National Yearling Sale at Karaka.
Hawthorne found himself on the backfoot during the closing stages of an intense bidding war for Lot 48, a Tavistock filly by outstanding broodmare Bagalollies. The upstanding bay filly is a full sister to 2015-16 Hong Kong Horse of the Year Werther as well as Group 3 New Zealand Cup (3200m) winner Gobstopper and Group 3 Desert Gold Stakes (1600m) placegetter Milseain.
Left languishing after his $450,000 bid was trumped twice in quick succession, Hawthorne pulled an ace from the deck with an offer of $500,000 that quelled any resistance from his opposition.
“We were going up in $10,000 bids and once we lost out with $450,000 we were going to be on the back foot again if we came in at $480,000,” said Hawthorne.
“We went for it at $500,000 and it paid off.”
Purchased on behalf of Australian clients GSA Bloodstock, run by high profile Victorian thoroughbred breeder Jonathan Munz; the filly will spend the next six months in New Zealand before being transferred to an Australian stable.
“She will stay here to continue her development then we’ll send her over to Australia,” said Hawthorne.
We haven’t made a decision on a trainer as yet but that will come after further discussions amongst the group.
“We expected that she would be a tough filly to buy so I had been prepared to go beyond $400,000 for her. That’s what you have to pay to buy into a family like this.
“The performance of Werther speaks for itself but we are most excited about Milseain who ran third at Group 3 level at just her second start. She certainly looks a special filly in the making.”
The result was a coup for Manawatu based stud Highden Park who consigned the filly as the first of their six-strong Book 1 draft through the ring.
“I’m absolutely delighted as I know every dollar generated by the filly will go back into the industry as her owners are out there buying colts to race here,” said Highden principal Libby Bleakely who owns and operates the Stud with husband Sam.
“She was a popular filly during inspections with people liking what they saw.”
Highden Park were back in the headlines less than an hour later as their Tavistock ex Belongs In Lights filly, selling as Lot 63, went to the bid of New Zealand Bloodstock’s Regan Donnison. Donnison was acting on behalf of Australian owner, Nick Turnbull, who has raced several high-class performers including dual Group One winner, Miss Pennymoney.