Exceptional Recent Record for NZB Weanling Graduates

2019-20 NZB Filly of the Year Series winner Jennifer Eccles (NZ) was a $5,000 weanling purchase. Photo: Trish Dunell

Many outstanding success stories in the last decade have begun with the purchase of a weanling through New Zealand Bloodstock. Buyers have the chance to join that ever-growing list when the National Weanling Sale takes place on Gavelhouse Plus from June 11 to 21.

Weanling graduates of the Karaka May Sale and its predecessor the National Weanling, Broodmare & Mixed Bloodstock have compiled an exceptional record in recent years.

Since 2010, there have been 46 individual stakes winners including five at Group One level, and weanling graduates have combined to win six prestigious awards throughout Australasia and Asia during that time.

The Group One stars are headed by three-time elite winner Gingernuts (NZ) (Iffraaj), while Yourdeel (NZ) (Dundeel) and Puccini (NZ) (Encosta de Lago) each won twice at that level. I Am a Star (NZ) (I Am Invincible) and this season’s star Kiwi filly Jennifer Eccles (NZ) (Rip Van Winkle) are the other two Group One-winning graduates.

Jennifer Eccles has flown NZB’s weanling flag high throughout the 2019-20 season.

The filly was bought for just $5,000 at the 2017 Sale by syndicator Adrian Clark, who has taken 57 individual owners on the ride of a lifetime.

Jennifer Eccles was crowned NZB Filly of the Year for 2019-20, having scored spectacular victories in the Group One New Zealand Oaks (2400m) and the Group Two Eight Carat Classic (1600m), David & Karyn Ellis Fillies’ Classic (2000m) and Lowland Stakes (2100m). The Shaune Ritchie-trained star also placed in the Group One New Zealand 1000 Guineas (1600m) and has earned $499,650 in stakes – more than 99 times her purchase price.

Three years earlier, Gingernuts delivered another syndication fairy tale. The chestnut was bought for just $5,000 as a weanling by Phill Cataldo, then returned to Karaka for the Ready to Run Sale, where the caught the eye of Te Akau principal David Ellis.

Riding a wave of support from a big group of owners and fans, Gingernuts produced a superb performance to give the powerful Te Akau operation its first victory in the Group One New Zealand Derby (2400m). He crossed the Tasman and triumphed in the Group One Rosehill Guineas (2000m) in his next start, and later added the Group One Windsor Park Plate (1600m) before his career was cut short by injury. He amassed more than $1.2 million in prize-money, which is 240 times his purchase price as a weanling.

Further afield, Infantry (NZ) (Tavistock) was Singapore’s Horse of the Year in 2017. Bought for just $7,000 as a weanling in 2013, he won nine races and S$1.9 million, headed by the Singapore Derby (2000m), Kranji Mile (1600m), Merlion Trophy (1200m) and Moonbeam Vase (1800m).

Weanling graduates have won two age-group championships in New Zealand in recent years. Puccini, who cost $175,000 at the 2011 Sale, was champion three-year-old after outstanding victories in the New Zealand Derby and three Group Two events. He added the Group One Thorndon Mile (1600m) as a four-year-old and now stands at Mapperley Stud, where his oldest progeny are yearlings.

Yourdeel, a $30,000 purchase at the 2017 Sale, won the big juvenile double of the Group One Sistema Stakes (1200m) and Group One Manawatu Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) to be New Zealand’s champion two-year-old of 2018-19.

The Sale has also produced two recent winners of the NZB South Island Filly of the Year Series – both trained by Sally McKay in Invercargill.

McKay won the title in 2016-17 with Showemup (NZ) (Showcasing), who cost just $2,250 at the 2014 Sale and won almost $80,000, headed by the Listed NZB Airfreight Stakes (1600m).

The following year the baton was passed on to Courte Zarindi (NZ) (Any Suggestion), who McKay herself bought for only $600 at the 2015 Sale. She won more than $90,000, including black-type wins in the Listed NZB Airfreight Stakes (1400m) and Warstep Stakes (2000m).

Other notable weanling graduates include I Am a Star, who cost $12,000 at the 2014 Sale and won 10 races and more than A$1.56 million. Her career pinnacle came with victory in the A$500,000 Group One Myer Classic (1600m) at Flemington, but she also won five Group Two races and placed in the Group One Thousand Guineas (1600m) and Robert Sangster Stakes (1200m).

Mackintosh (NZ) (Pins) was bought for $11,000 at the 2013 Sale. He won six races and more than A$650,000, headed by the Group Two Theo Marks Stakes (1300m) in Sydney and the Group Three Rough Habit Plate (2000m) and Grand Prix Stakes (2200m) in Brisbane. He also finished third in Sydney’s Group One Epsom Handicap (1600m).

Premiere (NZ) (Dylan Thomas) was bought for $13,000 at the 2014 Sale. He won seven races and HK$8.86 million (NZ$1.9 million), including the Group 3 Bauhinia Sprint Trophy (1000m).

With NZB’s Karaka May Sale having to be cancelled due to COVID-19, a quality weanling-only Sale will be held in its place on the enhanced Gavelhouse Plus platform. The National Weanling Sale will be open to all vendors and allow those who normally trade at the Karaka May Sale an opportunity to trade stock within a timely manner.

All weanlings offered at the National Weanling Sale will be eligible for the lucrative Karaka Million Series featuring two $1 million races available for graduates as two and three-year-olds, plus the $100,000 CollinsonForex Karaka Cup for the duration of their career.

More information relating to entries on the Gavelhouse Plus website plus online buyer registration will be available shortly.

For more information about the Sale, contact NZB Sales Representative Regan Donnison (+64 21 512 466 or email regan.donnison@nzb.co.nz) or gavelhouse.com General Manager Haylie Martin (+64 22 637 8127 or email haylie@gavelhouse.com).

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