Gavelhouse Plus has become Te Akau Racing’s platform of choice for selling high-quality mares as they retire from the racetrack, and that trend is continuing over the next week with the sale of Belle En Rouge (NZ) (Burgundy Rose) and Burgundy Rose (NZ) (Burgundy).
The two stakes-performed mares are the latest in a series of Te Akau Racing stars to be offered on the digital platform, following on from Avantage (Fastnet Rock), Exaltation (NZ) (Not a Single Doubt), Festivity (NZ) (I Am Invincible), Entriviere (NZ) (Tavistock) and Amarelinha (NZ) (Savabeel).
Those five mares sold for more than $7 million, including a record-breaking online price of $4.1 million for Avantage. Those remarkable results left Te Akau principal David Ellis with no hesitation in following a similar formula with the next two stakes-performed mares.
“Selling these high-quality mares on Gavelhouse Plus has worked really well for us over the last couple of years,” Ellis said. “We’ve had some outstanding results, including setting a new world record with the sale of Avantage.
“I’ve been really impressed by the effort that Gavelhouse Plus puts into promoting these horses when they’re up for sale, and it’s become a fantastic way for us to sell these well-performed mares that have reached the end of their racing careers.
“I’m really looking forward to seeing both Belle En Rouge and Burgundy Rose sell through Gavelhouse Plus over the next few days, and I’m sure that they’ll both make terrific broodmares.
“They’re two stakes-performed daughters of Burgundy, who was the fastest horse we’ve ever had at Te Akau Racing. He went on to have a highly successful stallion career at Cambridge Stud, and I’m confident that he’ll have similar success as a broodmare sire.”
Belle En Rouge
First off the rank is Belle En Rouge, whose auction launches on Friday and will run until 7pm on Tuesday 9 May.
Belle En Rouge was joint New Zealand Bloodstock Filly of the Year for the 2021-22 season, and she is the fourth consecutive winner of that prestigious prize to be offered on Gavelhouse Plus. Amarelinha sold for $1.1 million, while Jennifer Eccles (NZ) (Rip Van Winkle) fetched $800,000 and Imelda Mary (NZ) (Ferlax) was sold for $200,000.
Belle En Rouge was bred by David Ellis and Karyn Fenton-Ellis, and she is out of Cavendish Belle (NZ) (Thorn Park) – an unraced half-sister to Group One performers Filante Etoile (NZ) (Soviet Star) and Vega Sicilia (NZ) (Rodrigo de Triano).
Raced by the Te Akau Beautiful In Red Racing Partnership, Belle En Rouge had 20 starts for five wins, five placings and $492,555 in prize-money.
She won four races as a three-year-old, headed by the Group One New Zealand Oaks (2400m), the Group Two Eight Carat Classic (1600m) and the Group Three Eulogy Stakes (1600m). That outstanding campaign also featured placings in the Group One New Zealand 1000 Guineas (1600m) and Group Three Soliloquy Stakes (1400m).
“She was just a really high-class racehorse,” Ellis said. “She had an outstanding three-year-old season, from placings in the 1000 Guineas and Soliloquy Stakes in the spring right through to winning the Oaks in late March.
“She carried on as a four-year-old as well, winning the Group Three Anniversary Handicap (1600m) and placing in the Group Two Rich Hill Mile (1600m). She did a fantastic job on the racetrack.”
The auction of Burgundy Rose will begin immediately after Belle En Rouge, and hers will run through until 7pm on Friday 12 May.
Another Te Akau homebred, Burgundy Rose is a daughter of the six-race-winning mare Paraiba (NZ) (Faltaat).
Burgundy Rose did even better than her dam on the racetrack, recording no fewer than eight wins in a 34-start career. She also placed in another 11 races and banked $166,736 for the Te Akau Roses Are Red Syndicate.
Burgundy Rose performed up to stakes level, finishing second and beaten by a short neck in the Listed Lightning Handicap (1200m) in March of last year. She also finished fifth in the Group Three Stewards’ Stakes (1200m) and Listed Pegasus Stakes (1000m), and she ran sixth in the Listed Power Turf Sprint (1200m).
“She was a very good and super-consistent performer across five seasons, and she was unlucky not to win a black-type race,” Ellis said. “She’s a beautiful type of mare and will make a lovely addition to any broodmare band.”
The auction of Belle En Rouge launches on Friday and will run until 7pm on Tuesday 9 May. That will be followed immediately by Burgundy Rose, whose auction will run until 7pm on Friday 12 May. Both mares are located at Lena Jones and Benji King’s Foxhill Thoroughbreds property in Walton, near Matamata. Contact Benji King to book inspections: +64 27 827 7710.