David Ellis was once again at the top of the buyers’ sheet at Karaka this year, but this time it was for a filly.
The Te Akau principal went to $1 million, to purchase lot 586, the Fastnet Rock filly out of stakes performer Test The World.
It is the highest price Ellis has paid for a filly at Karaka, and for good reason.
“I had a good chat with Karyn (Fenton-Ellis, wife) this morning and I said this was the best filly since 1988 that I have seen on this ground. This complex was opened in 1988 and I have never seen a better filly,” Ellis said.
It is a big call from Ellis, who has been the leading buyer at New Zealand Bloodstock’s National Yearling Sale for 18 consecutive years, with his filly purchases including the like of 14-time Group One winner Melody Belle and nine-time Group One winner Avantage, another daughter of Fastnet Rock who later sold on gavelhouse.com for an online world-record of $4.1 million.
But Ellis is adamant he has found the near-perfect filly from Curraghmore’s draft.
“She was just perfect. She has a beautiful pedigree and the mare had a lot of speed,” he said.
“I saw the mare’s foal at Coolmore Stud in December and that is a cracker. There is so much to like about this filly, and I can’t wait to get her into training.
“I think she will make a two-year-old, she is a definite Sires’ Produce (Gr.1, 1400m) filly and is a filly we would like to take to Melbourne as a three-year-old and have a crack at those big races.
“The good thing about this filly is that there are two one-million-dollar races for her that are restricted to horses that came from this sale.”
Ellis said the filly has a lot of similarities to Avantage.
“Avantage was by the same sire. They are both very fast-looking Fastnet Rock’s,” Ellis said.
“This one is out of a Testa Rossa mare, which reflects in my opinion a lot of speed. This filly’s mother was a very fast filly and I think she will be a really good broodmare.
“When you buy one from Coolmore Stud you know you have got a great chance because they are reared in such a great environment.”
Ellis’ million-dollar purchase was his 27th and last of the sale, and extends his long-held title of leading buyer at Karaka.
“I think it has been a very successful sale,” Ellis said.
“Given the fact a lot of overseas people couldn’t come because of the weather, I think New Zealand Bloodstock have done an incredible job promoting the sale.
“I think the prices overall have been strong and it has been a successful week.” – NZ Racing Desk