International buyers may not have been able to be at Karaka for New Zealand Bloodstock’s Ready To Run Sale on Wednesday, but the sales company’s newly established online bidding platform meant they were still able to be a part of the action.
One buyer that was able to utilise the platform early on day one of the sale was Victorian trainer Trent Busuttin, who went to $400,000 to secure lot 3, the Savabeel colt, out of Ohukia Lodge’s draft.
“We would rather be there than not, but it is what it is. I don’t think we are too far away from hopefully Jacinda (Ardern, New Zealand Prime Minister) opening up the borders,” Busuttin said.
“We have been using it (online bidding platform) for the last few sales now, it’s pretty straight forward and very good.”
While not able to physically inspect the horse, Busuttin said he was able to take advantage of a couple of trusted people on the ground to inspect the colt on his behalf and allay any concerns.
“I thought his breeze-up was very good and the feedback I had from the people who looked at him in New Zealand for me was that they thought he was the best horse on the sales ground on type. He ticked all the boxes,” Busuttin said.
“There are plenty of good people over there looking at them, so maybe that is the way of the future.
“There is nothing like being there yourself but we were confident in the people who were looking at him for us.”
Busuttin wasn’t surprised he had to go to $400,000 for the colt but he said that was his limit.
“I thought I might have to go that high, I was hoping not,” he said. “We thought we would have to pay between $300,000 and $400,000. That was our last bid, we wouldn’t have gone much more than that.”
Busuttin said he has had a long-standing relationship with Ohukia Lodge principals Jamie and Chanel Beatson and their feedback on the colt was also reassuring.
“We have got a good relationship with Ohukia Lodge,” Busuttin said. “They break in a lot of our horses in New Zealand. Jamie gave this horse a big rap in particular, and you have full confidence that they know what a good horse is.”
Beatson was pleased with the sale and was rapt with the price he got for the colt.
“It was a bit of a surprise but we had an inkling he would sell well,” Beatson said. “We are really happy that he has gone to such a good judge and a great stable. Trent and Natalie (Young) know what they are doing.
“It is a great start to the sale for us. I hope it stays that way.”
The colt will now fly to Melbourne and will be set for an early three-year-old campaign next year for a group of owners, including Hong Kong’s Ben Kwok.
“We have got a good client, Ben Kwok, he races a nice two-year-old with us in Australia and he has gone in again for a significant share. It’s good to have him onboard,” Busuttin said.
“The colt will make a nice 1600 to 2000m middle distance horse. We will get him over to Australia and give him a month off.
“A three-year-old campaign will be his go.”
Meanwhile, there were fireworks just one lot prior when prominent owner Garry Harding went to $320,000 to secure lot 2, the Not A Single Doubt colt out of stakes performer O’Naturelle.
“I loved the colt, but I didn’t like the price,” Harding said.
“Originally, I wasn’t going to attend the sale but I started to get itchy feet and as my stocks were getting a bit depleted I decided to get here.
“We’ve bought a lot of yearlings here but this is my first ever Ready to Run purchase. We only came here to get this one colt.
“I love the sire and the mare had some talent, according to Sam Munro (of Jamieson Park).
“He is very well balanced and the page is good. We will try him here (New Zealand) first and if he shows us anything we will look at Australia.”