Te Akau: David Ellis Karaka Leading Buyer

Date: 31 Jan 2013

Te Akau: David Ellis Karaka Leading Buyer

For the eighth year, David Ellis has been the top buyer at the Karaka Premier Sale.

Now the leading individual buyer of yearlings for the past eight years, Te Akau principal David Ellis was again in stellar form when outlaying $3.8m for 23 lots during the New Zealand Bloodstock Premier Sale at Karaka.

Observing on completion of the two-day Premier Sale, David Ellis said:

“It is a good sale in this economic market that we're in, but it is still favouring the buyer. It's a great opportunity for people to get involved in the industry. We've had a change at the Racing Board and a change in direction which will lead to more stakes money. In Australia, they are shortly going to announce a big, new series with $20 million plus in stakes money going into it. Their group races are all going to go up substantially in prize money and our stake money is going to go up too, and we [Te Akau] are buying horses to win these races.
Peter Vela, co-owner New Zealand Bloodstock, commented on the contribution by David Ellis during the sales:

“David makes a profound influence on the sale. Not just the ones he buys, but all the horses he bids on in the course of the sales series and the whole industry is indebted to him for the efforts that he goes to.

“He was rated 23rd in the recent Sports' Powerbrokers list, but I would rate him much higher. I was surprised that he was rated so low, because his contribution is outstanding.

“He always sorts the yearlings out so well. He does the work and I like that fact that he works on the theory that the only place success comes before work is in the dictionary. That's why he always spots the lots in our [Pencarrow Stud] draft that he should own, and he commits to own them. So, I think he will have a lot of luck with his purchasers this year, as he has done in the past.

“We [Pencarrow] had a gorgeous draft this year and had certainly done the thinning out well before we came here, but obviously the High Chaparral - Our Echezeaux (Lot 282) colt is a magnificent example of equine excellence. He has a lovely European head and he's a great athlete. His mother is the mare that we are sending up to Frankel (Galileo), so that indicates what we think of this family and with luck we will have a half-brother, or half-sister, to Lot 282.

Yearlings purchased by David Ellis:

Lot 3 b. f. Thorn Park - Akela (Al Akbar) $200,000

“I bought this filly Roger & Ruth Blunt after already having bought Stylee (Pins) and Ruthless Lady (Keeper) for them in the past two years,” said David Ellis. “She is a filly with a beautiful pedigree and the athletic looks to match.

From impressive winning race mare Akela (Al Akbar), the filly is a half-sister to Lady Kipling (Savabeel) who finished a fast closing second in the Thorndon Mile (Gr. 1, 1600m) on Jan. 26 at Trentham. She finished third in the Levin Classic (Gr. 1, 1600m) at three, to now be four times Group One placed and a winner of the Cal Isuzu (Gr. 2, 1400m) and Auckland Thoroughbred Breeders' Stakes (Gr. 2, 1400m).

“I saw this filly at Windsor Park and thought she was the pick of the draft,” said Roger Blunt. “David (Ellis), Mark (Walker) and Jason (Bridgman) all concurred. You cannot get better judges than these three and I trust their decision. We plan to race these good fillies to end up with an elite group of five to six mares to breed from.

Lot 23 b. f. Fastnet Rock - Astounded (Encosta De Lago) $80,000

“This filly is by the champion sire in the southern hemisphere,” said David Ellis. “She is out of an Encosta De Lago mare, out of a Flying Spur mare, out of a Marscay mare. You can just not get better pedigrees than that. Her dam won three times as a two-year-old, including a listed race in Queensland, plus being Group Three placed, and I've bought her specifically for the Karaka Million.

Lot 24 b. f. Pins - Astralita (Kenny's Best Pal) $80,000

“She is by a sire that consistently leaves group performers all around the world,” said David Ellis. “The mare is really doing the job, with six winners from seven foals. She is a beautiful, athletic filly with a lot of quality and I can see her racing as a two-year-old. As a two-year-old, her dam won the South Australian Breeders' Stakes (Gr. 2, 1000m).

Lot 39 b. c. Dylan Thomas - Blanche Amelia (Grosvenor) $12,500

“We stole this horse,” said Mark Walker. “I thought he would sell for at least fifty or sixty thousand. The mare has already left two stakes performers and he is a lovely staying type of horse. His half-sister, Bianca (Painted Black), who won the Newcastle Gold Cup (Gr. 3, 2300m), having already taken out the Great Northern Foal Stakes, Ipswich Cup, and Wyong Gold Cup, all at listed level.

Two years ago, David & Mark purchased promising horse No Nonsense (O'Reilly) from the Premier Sale for $16,000 and in this colt they look to have snared another lovely type for well under the market value.

Lot 54 ch. f. Sakhee's Secret - Caparison (Cape Cross) $47,500

“She's a filly with real quality,” said Mark Walker. “I trained the mother and always felt she would make into a top-class broodmare. She won five races to 1900 metres and finished second in the Manawatu Breeders Stakes (Listed, 2000m). I can see this filly being an autumn two-year-old and train on and be a 1000 Guineas (Gr. 1, 1600m) type. The mother was a big, strong girl by Cape Cross and I love buying first foals out of mares that we have trained, and we have had a lot of luck doing it over the years.

Lot 132 b. c. Encosta De Lago - Ethereal (Rhythm) $425,000

“This colt is from the greatest staying mare I've seen,” said David Ellis.
Ethereal (Rhthym), from Romanee Conti (Sir Tristram), won stakes of over $6 million and included four Group One wins: Queensland Oaks (Gr. 1, 2400m), Caulfield Cup (Gr. 1, 2400m), Melbourne Cup (Gr. 1, 3200m), and BMW (Gr. 1, 2400m).

“He has been an absolute standout from the day he was born and the best foal at foot I have ever seen,” said Ellis. “He is a beautiful, strong colt that I think will race in the 2000 Guineas (Gr. 1, 1600m) at Riccarton, and then on to the Derby (Gr. 1, 2400m) at Ellerslie. He's the type of colt that I've bought to emulate his dam and he will train on to be Caulfield Cup (Gr. 1, 2400m) horse. He is a magnificent individual and it is a pleasure to have secured him to train.

Leon Casey, stud master at Pencarrow Stud, said of the colt: “He's an incredibly well-balanced athlete - a big horse, but a light mover - and he has such a great nature. You can do anything with him and he's a colt that has everything that you need.

Lot 145 br. c. Savabeel - Fire Song (Senor Pete) $120,000

“He is a really nice Derby type of colt,” said Mark Walker. “His mother was a Group Two winner in Sydney, and we thought he was under market value at the price. It is a family that has produced some top gallopers - hardy types that all seem to have possessed a very good turn of foot.

Coup Ray (Exploding Prospect) was a tremendously talented galloper who won 11 races, while Singalong (Danasinga) was the NZ Bloodstock Filly of the Year, having won the Sir Tristram Fillies Classic (Gr. 2, 2400m), Hawkes Bay Guineas (Gr. 3, 1400m), and Desert Gold Stakes (Gr. 3, 1600m). The family has also shown precocity through the deeds Ryder Stakes (Listed, 1200m) winner Penny Arcade (Straussbrook) and quick filly Electrostatic (Elnadim).

Trelawney Stud managing director Brent Taylor said of the colt: “He's a beautiful quartered horse and I think he's a lovely colt. He moves well and he reminds me a lot of Savabeel, with his lovely dark coat and I think he's a wonderful horse for Te Akau to go on with.

Lot 152 b. f. Bachelor Duke - Flying Firebird (Stravinsky) $60,000

“She is a lovely, athletic filly,” said Mark Walker. “Her dam has done a fantastic job in producing the Eight Carat (Gr. 2, 1600m) winner Smoulder (Traditionally), and she was very well bought at the price.
“She is shows plenty of strength, being an early foal and I can see her becoming a Breeders' Stakes (Gr. 2, 1200m) filly and training on to be a 1000 Guineas (Gr. 1, 1600m) filly. Plus, her dam being by Stravinsky (Nureyev) is a huge plus.

Smoulder also won the Great Northern Foal Stakes (Listed, 1400m), finished third in the 1000 Guineas (Gr. 1, 1600m), second in the Thoroughbred Breeders' Stakes (Gr. 1, 1600m), third in the Foxbridge Plate (Gr. 3, 1200m) and second in the Seymour Cup (Listed, 1600m). While the brother to this filly, Shanghai Bund (Bachelor Duke), showed plenty of ability winning his second start as a two-year-old over 1200 metres before finishing fourth in both the 2000 Guineas (Gr. 1, 1600m) and Levin Classic (Gr. 1, 1600m).

Lot 168 ch. c. Manhatten Rain - Grand Performance (Palace Music) $25,000

“Manhatten Rain (Encosta De Lago) was a great two-year-old and he ran second in the Cox Plate (Gr. 1, 2040m),” said Mark Walker. He's a half-brother to Burgeis (Catbird) who finished third in the Blue Diamond (Gr. 1, 1200m) and we think he is a perfect type to become a Karaka Million horse.

Her dam, Grand Performance (Palace Music) exuded plenty of speed in four wins up to 1200 metres in Australia.

Lot 171 b. c. Zabeel - Gwen's Rules (Faltaat) $240,000

“He's a lovely cut of Zabeel, not too big or heavy,” said Te Akau trainer Jason Bridgman.

“I think he will be a beautiful Sires' Produce Stakes (Gr. 1, 1400m), 2000 Guineas (Gr. 1, 1600m) colt,” said David Ellis. “His dam, Gwen's Rules (Faltaat) was a top race mare and extremely underrated, while the progeny by Zabeel (Sir Tristram) out of these top mares like her, that have shown speed, is a massive advantage. He looks a classic colt to me; he has a beautiful temperament and we are buying these Zabeel's for a third of the price than we were three years ago.

Gwen's Rules won nine races to 1400 metres, including the Lightning Stakes (Listed, 1000m) at Trentham, as well as finishing runner-up in the Railway Handicap (Gr. 1, 1200m) at Ellerslie, and within the family of this colt was a very talented galloper in five time winner The Pumper (Kaapstad).

Cambridge Stud owner Sir Patrick Hogan commented on the colt: “He has always been a delight to prepare for the sales. He has a great temperament, is a very relaxed horse in the paddock, and in his box. He is a great type of colt, that has a good disposition, plenty of strength, very active, and a nice walking horse who is very balanced when on the move. To me, he is the type that will make into a lovely future racehorse. As an individual, he did everything right for us; I was always very pleased with him and he had no setbacks and settled in nicely at the sales. He went through the sale ring in a lovely manner, acted like a gentleman, and successfully bought by Te Akau is an added bonus for a lovely colt like him. I think he was one of the top colts in the sale and he ends up getting a good home that augurs well for his future - not only for this colt but also for his dam, Gwen's Rules, and her future as a broodmare.

Lot 173 b. c. Fastnet Rock - Gypsy Princess (Sadler's Wells) $410,000

“He is a really athletic colt by the all-conquering sire Fastnet Rock (Danehill),” said Mark Walker. “He has plenty of quality about him, being out of a French mare by Sadler's Wells (Northern Dancer) and he definitely looks like a Sires' Produce (Gr. 1, 1400m) type of colt that will train on to become a 2000 Guineas (Gr. 1, 1600m) colt” - a race won four times in the past ten years by Te Akau horses.

He is a half-brother to exciting galloper It's Crunch Time (Fusaichi Pegasus). The winner of six from fourteen starts in Australia, he won a stakes race in November and resumed with a fourth in a listed race over 1400 metres on Jan. 26 at Caulfield.

Curraghmore Stud boss, Gordon Cunningham, said of the colt: “He's such a lovely colt, full of quality and has a terrific stride. He possesses a fair amount of his dam-sire, which is Sadler's Wells (Northern Dancer). He is a really good prospect and I hope he can go on and achieve plenty on the racetrack.

Lot 231 br. f. O'Reilly - Lodore Mystic (Centaine) $250,000

She is a sister to champion three-year-old, four-time Group One winner, and now successful stallion Alamosa (O'Reilly).

“You can tell by the way the progeny of Alamosa are selling that there is plenty of good word out for this stallion,” said David Ellis. “Mark Walker and I sent eleven mares to him this year; that's how we rate him.

“She walks like a panther, this filly,” said Ellis. “She is a stunning filly, of good size, an early August foal that has good bone and a lovely mature filly by what we can only say is a great sire - O'Reilly (Last Tycoon).

“She is one of the nicest fillies we have produced,” said Waikato Stud boss Mark Chittick. “She is a filly that we would not normally sell - rather race in our colours - and she presents a marvellous opportunity for people to get involved in this family. With David (Ellis) buying her, she is assured of going to one of the best homes possible. We thought he might have to pay a little bit more, as I do think plenty of her, but I am pleased with the outcome.

Lot 237 b. or br. c. Flying Spur - Madeleine Noblet (No Excuse Needed) $220,000

“Look at the stakes winners we have trained out this family,” said David Ellis. “Darci Brahma (Danehill) won five Group Ones in nine stakes wins, Burgundy (Redoute's Choice) has already won four stakes races, we won the Welcome Stakes (Listed, 1000m) with Bespoke (Pins), and Uberalles (Giant's Causeway) we trained to run third in the NZ Derby (Gr. 1, 2400m) - you don't get a better family.

His dam, Madeleine Noblet, acted very well in a fresh state and recorded one of her two wins by 5.5 lengths, while his grand-dam Romanee Conti (Sir Tristram) was a multiple stakes winner who crowned her glory by winning the Hong Kong International Cup (1800m) at Sha Tin.

This colt is by the Golden Slipper (Gr. 1, 1200m) winning top sire Flying Spur (Danehill), from a female family that is virtually unprecedented.
Leon Casey, stud master at Pencarrow Stud, said of the colt: “He has thrown to the more mature side of the family and he is a really strong colt that looks as though he will come to hand quite quickly. He was a very popular horse at the sales and he coped with everything perfectly.

Lot 252 b. c. Fastnet Rock - Miss Helga (Alzao) $320,000

“He's a top-class looking colt,” said Mark Walker. “Again we have bought a colt by this champion sire, Fastnet Rock (Danehill), out of a mare that is doing an outstanding job at stud. He looks like a real 2000 Guineas (Gr. 1, 1600m) type of horse and we've bought him to win that sort of race.

He is a half-brother to Liberator (Encosta de Lago). The Champion Stayer in Hong Kong 2011-12, Liberator, in May last year, beat dual Hong Kong Horse of the Year Ambitious Dragon (Pins) in the Champion & Chater's Cup (Gr. 1, 2000m).

Curraghmore Stud boss, Gordon Cunningham, said of the colt: “This colt has a lot of similarities to his brother, Liberator, who is a champion in Hong Kong, and we also offered Liberator as a yearling. I think that this colt has a little bit more strength than Liberator had at the same stage. So, I have big hopes for this colt.

Lot 267 b. f. Road to Rock - Mya (Desert King) $80,000

“She really took my eye as a good, muscular, strong filly with a deep girth, by a sire [Road to Rock (Encosta de Lago] that everybody seems to like,” said David Ellis. “She is from a family that over the last thirty years has consistently left top group horses to have performed well in both New Zealand, and Australia,” said David Ellis.

“She is a lovely walking filly that just oozes quality and she has plenty of depth on her dam-side, being out of a Desert King (Danehill) mare, the sire of Makybe Diva, out of a Zabeel (Sir Tristram) mare,” said Ellis.

Lot 282 b. c. High Chaparral - Our Echezeaux (Zabeel) $620,000

“I thought, on pedigree, he is the best horse in the sale,” said David Ellis. “We have had a lot of luck with this family. Darci Brahma (Danehill) won five Group Ones in nine stakes wins, Burgundy (Redoute's Choice) has already won four stakes races, we won the Welcome Stakes (Listed, 1000m) with Bespoke (Pins), and Uberalles (Giant's Causeway) we trained to run third in the NZ Derby (Gr. 1, 2400m) and we have had terrific success with everything we have trained from the family.

“I am putting a syndicate together to buy colts,” said Ellis. “We have Rock ‘n' Pop (Fastnet Rock) going to Waikato Stud, Darci Brahma (Danehill), with both Cambridge Stud, and Windsor Park, wanting Burgundy (Redoute's Choice).

“We want to buy colts, at this sale, to stand at stud in the future. We have people that want to invest and they realise that the only time that New Zealand people can afford to buy these sorts of horses is here at the yearling sales, because if they win Group One races afterwards they become 30, 40, 50 million dollar horses.

“The High Chaparral colt So You Think was sold at this sale for $100,000 and I think he was sold on in the vicinity of 50 million plus. That [$620,000] is the sort of money where you have to buy, but you can easily get it back. Look at a stallion like Fastnet Rock (Danehill) who has earned over $40 million this season alone.

“We [Te Akau] are strongly of the belief that for our industry to have any future at all, we need to have more stallions that are owned in New Zealand and that the profits from the breeding season go back to New Zealand, and is available for reinvestment to improve the genetics of our families.

“This colt looks like a very fast type of High Chaparral and I'd like to think he could run in a race like the 2000 Guineas (Gr. 1, 1600m), a race we've won four times in the last ten years. That is the type of horse I think he is - a fast type of 2000-metre horse.

Lot 307 b. c. Redoute's Choice - Rationalize (Marju) $100,000

“He's from an outstanding family, by a champion sire,” said Mark Walker. “He comes from a family that has left both two-year-old winners and Derby winners, and I really thought he was phenomenal value. He's from a farm (Trelawney Stud) that continues to breed great racehorses year in and year out.

“He's a very natural, athletic colt and you only have to look at some of the winners on his page to see there is plenty of horse for the price,” said Walker.
His dam, Rationalize, won five races from 1200m to 1600m in Australia, and the names Amalfi, Antonio Lombardo, Joey Massino, Vincent Mangano, Rationale, Wise Lass, and Egoli Lass appear prominently in the family.

NZB Chairman Joe Walls commented on the colt: “He is a beautifully balanced colt from a Marju (Last Tycoon) mare, and Last Tycoon (Try My Best) has been such a terrific broodmare sire influence. The next dam is by a champion broodmare sire, and the third dam by Sound Reason, so all leading sires on the dam-side. He is a colt that is light on his feet, a horse that shapes as an early type and there have been few families in recent times to have produced more winners.

Lot 336 b. f. Iffraaj - Shadow Ray (Groom Dancer) $40,000

“She is a half-sister to last year's Karaka Million winner Ockham's Razor (Any Suggestion) and the mare is doing such a good job at stud, with two stakes winners from three foals,” said Mark Walker. “I can really see this filly running in the Karaka Million, and train on at three to be a 1000 Guineas (Gr. 1, 1600m) filly.

Her dam, Shadow Ray, brings international pedigree to the family and won three times to 1200 metres in Japan. Jungle Juice (Jungle Pocket), the half-sister, was impressive winning the Bonecrusher Stakes (Listed, 1400m) as a three-year-old, has trained on to win five races, and such was her potential that she was purchased by Trelawney Stud for racing and future broodmare duties.

Lot 347 b. f. Keeper - Silk Slipper (Woodman) $205,000

“This filly is from one of the best families in the studbook,” said David Ellis. “She is a beautiful filly, with plenty of strength and she really has great balance. To me, she shows the precocity to be in the Matamata Breeders' Stakes (Gr. 2, 1200m) as a two-year-old and then we will get her ready for the Filly of the Year series. I'm thrilled that in this market we can buy fillies with this type of pedigree, with the second dam being by Nijinsky (Northern Dancer) and Group One winners: Redoute's Choice, Platinum Scissors, Manhattan Rain, Umatilla, and Hurricane Sky, all in the family. And I'm also thrilled that in this market we can buy fillies like this that New Zealanders could not previously have afforded to do.

“Keeper is a great sire of fillies and we have already trained the Filly of the Year by Keeper, Insouciant,” said Ellis

Lot 360 b. c. Darci Brahma - Spin ‘n Grin (Spinning World) $75,000

“We trained the mare, Spin ‘n Grin and she was very good,” said David Ellis. “She won the Eight Carat (Gr. 2, 1600m) at only her fourth start, finished third a week later in the Royal Stakes (Gr. 2, 2000m), and she was an unlucky second at her seventh start, in the New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders' Stakes (Gr. 1, 1600m).

“This foal has been at the farm (Te Akau Stud) since he was born, is owned by Tom & Sue Roper, and he has been a stunning colt since the day he was born,” said Ellis. “I was determined to buy this colt from the moment I saw him as a foal. He is a beautifully proportioned, strong colt, with a good middle, plenty of bone and one of the best Darci Brahma's that I've seen.

Lot 392 br. c. Pentire - Tattinger (Centaine) $60,000

“This colt is by one of our great sires in New Zealand, from a mare by champion broodmare sire Centaine, and he is a colt that is very nearly a three-quarter brother to Rangirangdoo (Pentire),” said David Ellis. “Rangirangdoo has been such a good horse, winning ten races and included both the Doncaster Handicap (1600m) and George Ryder Stakes (1500m) at Group One level in Sydney, and he's won $2.2 million in stakes.

“He's a fantastic horse as a type and a beautifully balanced colt that I think will grow and develop into one of the nicest yearlings we've bought at the sales this year. Although he was a late foal, he has already caught up to most of them and he certainly looks like a Pentire in the mould Rangirangdoo, Mufhasa, and all those other good Pentire horses.

“As well as leaving the dam of Rangirangdoo, his second dam, Miss Saigon (Kings Island) left Satinka (Stravinsky) to win the Matamata Breeders' Stakes (Gr. 2, 1200m), Eight Carat (Gr. 2, 1600m), and Royal Stakes (Gr. 2, 2000m), and you certainly cannot get much better.

Lot 417 gr. c. Mastercraftsman - Velvet and Satin (Carnegie) $40,000

“We know the family very well and this colt is half-brother to Bespoke (Pins), who we trained to win the Welcome Stakes (Listed, 1000m) at Riccarton,” said Mark Walker. “He is a nice early foal and we have just had so much success with this family. This colt will go straight to Singapore, to race.

Te Akau purchased Lot 282 b. c. High Chaparral - Our Echezeaux from the same family, which drew the following comment from David Ellis: “We have had a lot of luck with this family. Darci Brahma (Danehill) won five Group Ones in nine stakes wins, Burgundy (Redoute's Choice) has already won four stakes races, we won the Welcome Stakes (Listed, 1000m) with Bespoke (Pins), and Uberalles (Giant's Causeway) we trained to run third in the NZ Derby (Gr. 1, 2400m) and we have had terrific success with everything we have trained from the family.

Lot 419 b. f. Encosta De Lago - Virtus (Tale of the Cat) $100,000

“We have had tremendous success with the progeny of Encosta De Lago (Fairy King) and this is certainly a magnificent looking filly,” said Mark Walker. “The best we've had has been Princess Coup (Encosta De Lago), who won four Group One races and over $3 million in stakes. She really reminds me of Princess Coup - having the same hindquarter - and will grow into a big, powerful filly.

“This family has left a host of very good horses and this filly has the right attributes to continue the trend,” said Walker.

Her second dam, Mouton Magic (Imposing), left Star Dancer (Star Watch) to twice win the Auckland Classic (Gr. 1, 2000m), and the family includes the stallion Naturalism (Palace Music) who won the AJC Derby (Gr. 1, 2400m), and Rosehill Guineas (Gr. 1, 2000m), to top the Australian 3YO Classifications, and Crystal Palace (Palace Music) won the Queensland Oaks (Gr. 1, 2400m).


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