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Breeders head into the first day of the second-tier Select Sale at Karaka on Wednesday hoping the market can continue the momentum from an improved second day of the Premier Sale.

New Zealand Bloodstock’s Premier Sale average jumped from $NZ145,985 ($A113,766) at the end of day one to $NZ154,677 over both days, a significant improvement but still down on the 2011 average of more than $NZ174,864.

The median, an important indicator of the middle market, was also significantly down from $NZ140,000 to $NZ120,000, and the clearance rate dropped from 79 per cent to 74 per cent.

“We were very pleased to see the market strengthen from yesterday, with a number of the better pedigreed horses coming through the ring today,” New Zealand Bloodstock co-managing director Petrea Vela said.

“It’s disappointing not to have been able to get the clearance rate up a bit higher but hopefully over the course of the next couple of days there’ll be more sales completed from this session.”

The top priced lot was a Fastnet Rock-Nureyev’s Girl colt, a half-brother to top mare King’s Rose, from the Cambridge Stud draft, which was sold to New Zealand syndicator David Ellis for $NZ1.75 million.

Ellis was the leading buyer, spending $NZ6.26 million on 27 yearlings, while Cambridge Stud was leading vendor for the 31st consecutive year, selling 43 yearlings for a total of $NZ10.8 million.

Fastnet Rock was the leading sire by average, while Lyndhurst Farm was the leading vendor by average.

The three-day Select Sale runs from Wednesday to Friday, and the sale series ends with the Festival Sale on Sunday.

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