Ellis returns to Karaka well

Nearly 17 years after Te Akau Principal David Ellis bought five-time Group One winner Darci Brahma at Karaka, he returned to New Zealand Bloodstock’s sales complex to buy what he has deemed to be his best son.

Ellis went to $1.1 million to secure Darci Brahma out of Pencarrow Stud’s 2004 Premier Yearling Sale draft, and he only had to go to a fraction of that to purchase lot 219, the colt out of Encosta de Lago mare Granadilla, from Lilywhites Lodge’s Ready To Run Sale draft on Thursday.

“I bought Darci Brahma, his sire, here at the sales and he was a champion two-year-old, champion three-year-old, and champion four-year-old, and he has been a fantastic success at stud,” Ellis said.

“I have been waiting to buy what I thought was a really top Darci Brahma yearling and I had to go to the Ready-To-Run Sale.

“I was here three days ago and I thought ‘that’s the best Darci Brahma I have ever seen and I am going to buy him’.”

The colt was knocked down to Ellis’ final bid of $350,000 and he said the two-year-old will have a near identical training environment as his sire.

“I paid a bit more than I thought I would have to but to buy these top horses you have got to pay a bit more,” Ellis said.

“It is pretty exciting to have him. I am going to give him Darci Brahma’s box which he had when he was a racehorse.”

Ellis was impressed with the colt’s breeze-up but said he does not put a lot of reliance on that facet of the sale.

“I don’t take too much notice of the breeze-ups, but he did breeze-up very well and he impressed everybody that has been involved with the horse,” Ellis said.

“It is the individual, their attitude, and type, which are more important to me.”

Ellis purchased six previous lots at the sale and he said demand for the two-year-olds from his clients has been strong.

“Everything we bought yesterday has all sold and the horses we have bought at the sale today will be up on our website tonight,” he said.

Vendors Derek Nolan and Sophia Orting of Lilywhites Lodge were duly rapt with the result.

“It’s just Lilywhites second sale and a highlight result for the young business,” Nolen said. “We are just over the moon about the result. The look on breeder Ron Tunnicliffe’s face was priceless. We are so excited for him and also that he has gone to Te Akau. We could not be happier.”

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