Te Akau’s David Ellis has outlasted Sydney trainer John O’Shea to buy the top lot on the second day of the Karaka Yearling Sale in Auckland.
Ellis paid $875,000 for a Savabeel colt out of Bayrock who is a sister to Diamond Jubilee Stakes winner Merchant Navy.
The colt was the highest-priced yearling Windsor Park Stud has ever sold at Karaka.
“He is one of the nicest colts we have ever brought here to the sale, so we’re very happy,” Windsor Park’s Rodney Schick said.
“John O’Shea was underbidder but DC (Ellis) and Jamie (Richards) are very strong and they have had such great success with the Savabeels.
“It is really such a great result for us.”
Ellis admitted he had been stretched to buy the colt.
“I was hoping I would get him for $750,000 but these really top colts have a lot of good judges on them so sometimes you have to pay a bit more for them,” he said.
“If he is a really top colt, like I hope he is, then he is going to be cheap otherwise if he is no good then he’s going to be very expensive.
“We thought he was a magnificent individual and Jamie (Richards) is so excited to have him to train.
“It’s pretty exciting to have this sort of quality and I want them for both Te Akau and for New Zealand racing as I want them to stand at New Zealand studs.
“If we are going to take this wonderful industry to the next level then we need them. The only avenue we have is to buy them at the sales as if they become top performers, they are worth 10, 20, 40 million and out of our reach.”