Te Akau Racing has experienced huge success with the progeny of six-time Champion Sire Savabeel (Zabeel) and it was fitting that they topped the New Zealand Bloodstock Ready to Run Sale when buying the highest priced lot.
While dual $525,000 purchases led the way heading into the last dozen two-year-olds on offer, Te Akau principal David Ellis CNZM purchased.
Lot 298 b c Savabeel – Miss Opulence (O’Reilly), from the draft of Riversley Park, on account of Joe & Max Smithies (Monovale Farm), for $700,000.
“Dave had to head away for Karyn’s last AGM as Chairman of the Waikato Racing Club, but was on the phone and we conducted the bidding,” said leading trainer Jamie Richards.
“The Smithies boys had the horse ready for the Sydney Easter Yearling Sale, but Covid-19 prevented that and while they’ve been well rewarded it’s great for us to be able to purchase him here in New Zealand.
“We have strong interest in the colt, as we’ve had for all the lots we’ve bought at the sale, and now really looking forward to getting them settled in at Te Akau Stud and then preparing them to race from the stables at Matamata.”
A really nicely put together colt, with quality in his stature and plenty of quality, he comes from the family of Champion Middle Distance Horse Sir Slick (Volksraad), winner of 22 races including four Group 1, and dual Group 1 winning Champion Three-Year-Old, now stallion, Puccini (Encosta de Lago), who won the NZ Derby (Gr. 1, 2400m) and Thorndon Mile (Gr. 1, 1600m).
“We knew he was a lovely colt and thought he would bring some money, but to get $700,000 was fantastic,” said Sam Beatson (Riversley Park), who prepared the horse for Monovale Farm.
“It’s fantastic that Te Akau has bought the colt and that Jamie (Richards) is going to train him. He will get every opportunity and it’s great that he has been secured to stay in New Zealand.”
In addition to being a high-quality specimen, the colt also breezed up in the second equal fastest time (10.28) of the entire catalogue (311), showing immense precocity in the process.
“He’s a lovely colt, medium sized, and we felt he was the best colt in the sale,” Richards said. “We had to wait until near the end of the sale to get him, but there were some pretty good judges after him as well, so we’re thrilled to come out on top.
“We had a lot a confidence from the people associated with the horse that he shapes as the real deal. It’s been evident in what he’s done thus far, how he breezed up, and we now have the job of getting him through to the trials and races. It’s very exciting to have a young horse of his calibre to work with.”
Through his sire lines, the colt carries a cross of immortal sire Northern Dancer. Through Nureyev, as the dam sire of Sir Tristram – Zabeel – Savabeel, and the sire line of dam sire O’Reilly. A really strong pedigree, the family has had a terrific amount of stakes success in recent times.