By Michael Guerin
One of the established stars of the New Zealand standardbred sales scene combined with a new one in Captain Crunch at the national weanling sale at Karaka on Thursday.
And while sales heavyweights Stonewall Stud put their weight behind the first season sire to make two of Captain Crunch’s stock the top two lots of the sale, their support for the Alabar stallion goes further than that.
“We have really got behind him and put a lot of mares last year so about 75 per cent of the new foals we got this season are by him,” says Stonewall’s senior trainer Steve Telfer.
“We have had a lot of success with that line, the Mach Three/Somebeachsomewhere line and we really like what we are seeing from the Captain Crunch stock.
“But of the mares we had foal this year we only got two colts on the ground we went to this sale to try and buy some more colts.
“We had a plan to buy four or five but ended up with nine weanlings, with six of them being colts.”
The leading colt was the Captain Crunch from Presidential Affair, who made $46,000 and Telfer described as “a really big strong, powerful colt.”
He was beaten out for top lot of the day though by the Captain Crunch filly out of Princess Arts, who earned $55,000.
She is a half sister to Stonewall’s very exciting pacer Alta Wiseguy so was always a chance to be on their shopping list.
The success of Captain Crunch made for a great day for Alabar who sold 36 weanlings averaging over $18,000, more than 50 per cent more than their record average at this sale last season.
“We also had strong results with Always Be Miki and of course Art Major so we are really proud of our day,” says Alabar boss Graeme Henley.
The other big stud Woodlands also had a solid day with a clearance rate around 95 per cent.
Southern trainers like Regan Todd, Tom Bagrie and Mark Jones all purchased, Bruce Negus did plenty of bargain shopping while there was encouragingly strong support from Australia. Tumby Park Ltd, the NSW-based operation who label most of their horses with Ultimate in their names were very active while Dean Shannon was also busy.
NZBS Director of Operations James Jennings was encouraged by the healthy increase in key sale indicators.
“The atmosphere had a very good feel to it from the rostrum today.”
“We were thrilled to be able to host a sale in normal circumstances, as well as welcoming our Australian friends back on the grounds at Karaka. Their competition was matched by a great turnout from our domestic buying bench.
“It was heartening to see full support received for New Zealand’s first season sire crops debuting at the sale, along with the proven and emerging stallions who were also well received.
“The quality and type of weanlings presented was reflected in the statistics, with an increase on 2021’s results in aggregate, average and median.
“As always, we would like to congratulate our consignors on presenting their drafts to the highest standard, while supplying premium photos and videos which added confidence to our buying bench,” Jennings said.