On a day with few big sales, it was a $NZ160,000 ($A151,165) yearling which stole the attention at the first day of the Premier Yearling Sale at Karaka.
The colt was not far above the average for the day of $NZ145,866, and well below the top price for the day of $NZ470,000.
But he drew a crowd rarely seen at the sale ring, as he marked the end of an era as the last yearling by super sire Zabeel to be sold at auction – and because Cambridge Stud supremo Sir Patrick Hogan led him through.
It was standing room only, and the theatre was heightened as it took a good couple of minutes to bring him into the ring while Hogan took control of the horse.
Eventually the colt out of Organdy was sold to Dr Gene Tsoi, and a 22-sale era in which Zabeel had 44 group one winners and a then-Australasian record-selling yearling of $3.6 million was sold had ended.
“I got a little stirred up before, when a couple of people came up to me and said ‘how are you feeling’ and I thought ‘I’ve got to get out there because this is going to get to me,” Hogan said.
“I’d have been devastated if I’d have to turn around and say I couldn’t do it. When I entered to the ring, it all came naturally. I didn’t have to think about it.” The colt’s sale drew most of the attention, with no particularly high-priced yearlings creating extra buzz.
The two top-priced yearlings were from Cambridge Stud, a $NZ470,000 More Than Ready-Lovetrista colt sold to Australian trainer Peter Moody, and a $NZ450,000 Cape Blanco-Love Diamonds filly sold to Debbie Rogerson.
The average of $NZ145,866 and median of $NZ110,000 were comparable with last year, with a clearance rate of 74 per cent.
The Premier Sale concludes on Tuesday.