02/03/2010 1:00AM

New Zealand sale numbers jump


New Zealand Bloodstock's Karaka Premier yearling sale bucked global trends when it ended Tuesday with a 23 percent gain in gross receipts, a 26-percent increase in average price, and a 35-percent upswing in median.

The two-day auction had sale-topper who brought about $1.4 million on Tuesday. That price, $2 million New Zealand dollars, was the third-highest price ever at a Karaka Thoroughbred sale. Sydney, Australia, agent James Bester paid it for a Zabeel colt out of Group 1-placed Diamond Like, by Danehill. The colt's dam is a daughter of Australasian champion 3-year-old filly Tristalove, a two-time Group 1 winner.

Cambridge Stud was the seller.

Bester said he bought the colt for a small Australian partnership.

The auction sold 357 horses, down from last year's 366, for a total of about $45,761,450, for an average price of about $128,183. The median price was approximately $94,500.

Australians played a major role in boosting the sale's income. Among those spending $1 million or more New Zealand dollars in total purchases were Bester, Nathan Tinkler's Patinack Farm, trainer Gai Waterhouse, Bart Cummings, and others.

"There are a lot of delighted vendors at Karaka tonight who have had their expectations completely surpassed," said New Zealand Bloodstock's managing director, Petrea Vela. "The strength of the buying bench has been thoroughly overwhelming and has demonstrated to us the hot demand there is for the product we offer here."