Te Akau principal David Ellis CNZM broke new ground when buying subsequent five-time Group 1 winner and Champion Stallion Darci Brahma (Danehill) for $1.1m as a yearling at Karaka, and like a tiger stalking his prey he bought what he described as “one of his finest sons”.
Pressed in bidding, with strong competition for the colt, Ellis would not relent, securing the two-year-old bay colt, Lot 219: Darci Brahma – Granadilla (Encosta de Lago) for $350,000 at the 2020 New Zealand Bloodstock Ready to Run Sale.
“16 years ago I bought Darci Brahma here at Karaka,” Ellis said. “He was Champion Two-Year-Old, Champion Three-Year-Old, and the Champion Four-Year-Old. He’s been a fantastic success at stud and I’ve been waiting and waiting to buy what I thought was a top Darci Brahma yearling and I’ve had to come to the Ready to Run Sale to find him.
“I saw him on the sale grounds three days ago and I thought, he’s the best Darci Brahma I’ve ever seen and I’m going to buy him.”
Carrying a cross in his sire-lines of immortal stallion Northern Dancer, through Danehill, the sire of Darci Brahma, and Champion Broodmare Sire Encosta de Lago, the colt looked the spitting image of his sire when getting into his work at the Breeze Ups.
From the same family, Te Akau also train Eulogy Stakes (Gr. 3, 1600m) winner and Royal Stakes (Gr. 2, 2000m) placed filly Lilikoi (Charm Spirit), owned and bred by New Zealand Bloodstock and Pencarrow Stud owner Sir Peter Vela.
“I paid a little bit more than I thought I’d have to, but to buy these really top horses you sometimes have to pay a bit more,” Ellis said.
“It’s pretty exciting to have secured him and I’m going to give him Darci Brahma’s box, so he’ll have the same box as his sire had when he was a racehorse.
“He did breeze up very well and he’s impressed everyone that’s been involved with the horse. I liked him as an individual, his attitude, type, and those sorts of factors that are important to me.
“I know that when we get him into Te Akau Racing that Jamie (Richards) will continue to improve him.”
Ellis said that the three horses he purchased a day earlier, on the first day of the sale, had all sold, and shares in the second day purchases were available.
“I’ve just been talking to an owner that first invested with us at the yearling sales this year and he can’t believe how well looked after he’s been,” Ellis said. “He loves the communication and he’s having the greatest ride of his life.”
Ellis also made comment on the success of the sale and the professionalism of New Zealand Bloodstock as a sales company.
“It’s been quite remarkable this week to see what a really top company can do,” he said. “Everyone has to take their hats off to the management of the company.
“Around the world, clearance rates for two-year-old sales like this have struggled a bit, but they’ve sold over 70% here and there have been some fantastic prices ($700,000 top).
“The sale has got a well organized feel to it. It’s a great complex for parading and selling horses and the company has just done an outstanding job.”