Astute Judges to the Fore at 2021 South Island Sale

New Zealand Bloodstock’s annual South Island Sale saw its second-ever online session conclude on Gavelhouse Plus on Wednesday 14 April.

Astute kiwi judges were are the forefront of the bidding action last night, with bloodstock agent Phill Cataldo, Te Akau Racing Principal David Ellis and Roger James and Robert Wellwood’s Kingsclere Stables headlining the cluster of prominent buyers.

Waiting until the last leg of the Sale, Cataldo purchased the final yearling in Lot 63, a filly from an international family by exciting freshman sire Almanzor out of Next (In the Wings) for $85,000.

Offered by Brighthill Farm, she is a half-sister to exciting three-year-old Montre Moi(NZ) (Showcasing) who recently placed third in the 2021 $1m Karaka Million 3YO Classic (1600m) and fourth in the Group Two Waikato Guineas (2000m).

Cataldo, who purchased Montre Moi in partnership with Benner Racing from Brighthill Farm’s Karaka 2019 Book 1 draft for $67,500, was immediately drawn to the performer’s half-sister.  

“As soon as I saw this filly I was immediately interested because of her association with Montre Moi, his run in this year’s Karaka Million 3YO Classic behind Aegon and Amarelinha was just outstanding.”

“Obviously there was an attraction to the filly being by Almanzor and when I saw her at the farm, I was most impressed with her as a type and she vetted well.

“She is bred to be an Oaks filly and she definitely looks like one of Lady (Henrietta) Tavistock’s tried and true international families.

“I bought her for a private breeder in Victoria and she will go over there on the next available flight,” Cataldo said. 

A strong supporter of NZB sales, this time Karaka titan David Ellis was active from behind the screen instead his usual seat in the auction ring, securing the second highest priced yearling in the online session (Lot 2) for $55,000.

Also offered by Brighthill Farm, Ellis purchased the colt by emerging sire Preferment out of winning race mare Play Me (Nashwan).

Ellis commented on the Tangerine team’s recent addition.

“We have had a lot of luck with our two and three year olds, as well as our Classic horses, but I’m pretty keen to buy some more Derby types and I immediately thought this was a 2000 Guineas or Derby colt.”

“There are some really good race results happening in Australia, as we have just seen where New Zealand horses were the first three home in the Australian Derby.

“I think that Preferment is an exciting sire in the making, with good words being spoken about young horses from his first two crops.

“We will nominate him for the Karaka Million Series and I thought he was very well prepared and an all-round athletic type,” Ellis said.

Te Akau Racing’s recent win with Markus Aurelius (NZ) (Ghibellines) prompted Ellis’ interest in the South Island Sale.

“We have had quite a bit of success buying out of this Sale, highlighted by the recent performance of Markus Aurelius and he will be going into his next start as one of the favourites,” he said.

The third highest purchase of the session was made by Roger James and Robert Wellwood’s Kingsclere Stables who secured Lot 5, a filly by up-and-coming sire Proisir out of Zabeel mare Quella Finale from Rich Hill Stud.

Brighthill Farm was the leading consignor by aggregate, selling the top two lots of the online session.

“We are absolutely thrilled with the result,” Brighthill Farm’s Nick King commented.

“This was a Sale that we specifically targeted with a group of quality horses that were really suited to an Autumn auction.

“To have some of the best judges in the game bidding on and buying our horses via an online sale really gives us great confidence in the platform heading into the future.

“We were quietly confident leading into the Sale due to the sheer number of on-farm parades and to have Te Akau Racing, Phill Cataldo and Kingsclere Stables all purchase horses off us was a great result,” King said.

All unbroken yearlings sold at this Sale are eligible to be nominated for the Karaka Million Series. The Series features two $1 million races – the DoubleTree by Hilton Karaka Million 2YO (1200m) and the Karaka Million 3YO Classic (1600m), in addition to the $100,000 CollinsonForex Karaka Cup (2200m), which graduates can contest for the duration of their career.

To enquire about Passed In lots contact NZB Sales Representatives Kane Jones (+64 27 274 4985 or email or Regan Donnison (+64 21 512 466 or email

To view the full 2021 South Island Sale results click here.

2021 South Island Sale Statistics

Top LotLot 63, Almanzor x Next, $85,000

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