The first Wootton Bassett yearlings to be sold in New Zealand have made a big impression at Karaka this week, headed by a well-related filly that fetched $800,000 on Tuesday morning.
Best known in our part of the world as the sire of multiple Group One winner and star Cambridge Stud shuttle stallion Almanzor, Wootton Bassett is by the former Haunui Farm shuttler Iffraaj and was champion two-year-old in France in 2010.
He started his stud career in France in 2012, but only began shuttling to the southern hemisphere when Coolmore added him to their roster in 2021.
Wootton Bassett’s nine crops in the northern hemisphere have produced 265 winners from 464 runners, with 40 individual stakes winners headed by Almanzor and eight other Group One winners.
Nine members of Wootton Bassett’s first southern hemisphere crop are being offered in Book 1 of the New Zealand Bloodstock National Yearling Sales this week. Across the first two days of the Book 1 session on Sunday and Monday, five of his yearlings sold for a total of $1.4 million and an average price of $280,000.
But those figures were blown out of the water on Tuesday morning when Belmont Bloodstock’s Damon Gabbedy went to $800,000 to secure Lot 513.
The filly was offered by Curraghmore on behalf of breeders Fairway Thoroughbreds and is out of the Fastnet Rock mare Via Napoli. Herself a three-time winner on the racetrack, Via Napoli’s only foal to race is the highly talented Petrucci, who has won four races and collected her second Group Three placing with a runner-up finish in Saturday’s Gr.3 Concorde Handicap (1200m) at Ellerslie.
Via Napoli is a full-sister to Listed winner California Turbo and half-sister to Group One winner Gathering and the Group Three-winning Florentina. The latter is the dam of exceptional mare In Italian, who has won four times at Grade One level in the United States.
Gabbedy has been the Australian and New Zealand representative for French auction company Arqana since 2008, so he has become familiar with the progeny of Wootton Bassett.
“There was a lot of competition for this filly,” he said. “She’s a beautiful filly from a proper pedigree. I go to France every year with my role with Arqana, so I’ve seen a lot of good Wootton Bassetts, and this is one of the most outstanding types I’ve seen.
“And I think the pedigree speaks for itself. She’s closely related to a champion, In Italian, and from a proper pedigree with good depth. She’s from a great breeder, John Camilleri, and raised at Segenhoe, so hopefully we’ll have a bit of luck with her.
“Wootton Bassett is a proven stallion already, so I think he’s a no-brainer. He’s a champion stallion, and I reckon he’ll do the same down here as he’s done in the northern hemisphere, for sure.
“I bought her for a new client from Hong Kong, so that’s good. We don’t know who the trainer is yet, so we’ll just leave her here for a little while and figure that out in the next month or two.” – NZ Racing Desk.