Exceptional Value on Offer at Karaka

Media Release - Tuesday January 19

Time and time again, the Karaka sale ring has proven to be an incredible source of star quality for value prices.

Since the beginning of the 2018-19 season, no fewer than 32 Karaka graduates have won at Group One level. Between them, those star performers have recorded 67 Group One victories.

Bought for an average price of $150,672 at Karaka, those 32 Group One winners have amassed a total of more than $82 million in prize-money between them – averaging $2.57 million each.

While some recent Group One stars have been high-priced yearlings such as Toffee Tongue (NZ) (Tavistock) at $500,000, Media Sensation (I Am Invincible) at $425,000 and Probabeel (NZ) (Savabeel) at $380,000, others have come from the opposite end of the price spectrum.

$60,000 Karaka Book 2 purchase Beauty Generation (NZ) was a multiple Group One winner in Hong Kong.

One of the standouts among these sub-$100,000 superstars is Beauty Generation (NZ) (Road to Rock), who was a $60,000 purchase by Hermes Syndications from Highden Park’s draft at the 2014 Select Sale. He won 20 races, seven of them at Group One level including back-to-back editions of the Hong Kong Mile (1600m).

Beauty Generation broke an all-time Hong Kong record with his career earnings of more than HK$106 million, which is the equivalent of more than NZ$19 million – an incredible 316 times his purchase price.

The current queen of New Zealand racing is Melody Belle (NZ) (Commands), who cost just $57,500 when Te Akau Racing principal David Ellis selected her out of Haunui Farm’s draft at the 2016 Premier Sale.

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Melody Belle has won 17 of her 35 starts, racking up an incredible 12 Group One victories including 11 in New Zealand and the Empire Rose Stakes (1600m) at Flemington. She has broken through the $4 million barrier in prize-money, which is almost 70 times her purchase price.

$57,000 Karaka Premier Sale purchase Melody Belle has now won 12 Group One victories.

Ellis is a perennial leading buyer at Karaka, and his other Group One winners purchased during this timeframe include:

  • Probabeel, whose $2.57 million in stakes is almost seven times her purchase price, with a list of victories that features the $1m Karaka Million 2YO (1600m), $1m Karaka Million 3YO Classic (1600m), Group One Surround Stakes (1400m) and Group One Epsom Handicap (1600m).
  • Group One Sistema Stakes (1200m) and Karaka Million 2YO winner Cool Aza Beel (NZ) (Savabeel), who cost $150,000 from Book 1 of Karaka 2019 and earned $707,560.
  • Six-time Group One winner and Karaka Million 2YO heroine Avantage (Fastnet Rock), who was a $210,000 purchase from the 2017 Premier Sale and has earned more than $1.8 million.
  • Te Akau Shark (NZ) (Rip Van Winkle), who was passed in with a 2016 Premier Sale before fetching $230,000 at the Ready to Run Sale. He won two Group One races and placed in the Cox Plate (2040m), earning more than $1.5 million.

Another remarkable story came during this season’s Melbourne Spring Carnival. Johnny Get Angry (NZ) (Tavistock), who was a $50,000 purchase from Bradbury Park’s Book 1 draft at Karaka 2019, won the prestigious A$2m Group One Victoria Derby (2500m) at Flemington for AFL coach-turned-trainer Denis Pagan. Johnny Get Angry has earned over A$1.26 million, which is more than 25 times his purchase price.

$50,000 Karaka Book 1 purchase Johnny Get Angry (NZ) won the prestigious $2m VRC Derby.

Danzdanzdance (Mastercraftsman) was bought for just $5,000 from Blandford Lodge’s draft at the 2016 Select Sale. Two years later she won the Group One Captain Cook Stakes (1600m) and Zabeel Classic (2000m), and she has earned more than $600,000 in stakes – 120 times her purchase price.

Rock On Wood (NZ) (Redwood) provided one of the great stories of 2020, being bought for just $26,000 from the 2016 Festival Sale. He is trained by Leanne Elliot, who shares ownership with her mother Jill and sister Yvonne.

Rock On Wood has won eight of his 18 starts and more than 12 times his purchase price with $332,300 in stakes. That’s headed by a Group One triumph in the Captain Cook Stakes (1600m) at Trentham in December, where he was ridden by Leanne Elliot’s son Ryan.

Madison County (NZ) (Pins) was picked up for only $36,000 by the China Horse Club at the 2017 Select Sale. He recorded a Group One double in the New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m) and Levin Classic (1600m), then placed in the Australian Derby (2400m) at Randwick to take his earnings past $1 million.

Overall, over the last five seasons there have been 409 black-type winners sourced from Karaka, and they have won 724 stakes races between them. That includes 68 individual Group One winners, who have claimed a total of 109 Group One victories.

Buyers have their chance to add to these successes and statistics at Karaka 2021, which gets underway with the action-packed Karaka Million twilight race meeting at Ellerslie this Saturday. That will be followed the next day by Book 1, which runs from January 24 to 26, then Book 2 on January 27 and 28.

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