New Zealand Bloodstock has today announced that the 95th National Yearling Sales Series will be held in the original timeslot in January next year as a physical sale at Karaka. While a secondary April date was initially set aside to allow for travel restrictions to ease; with the ongoing COVID-19 outbreaks, non-confidence from government and airlines and the lack of certainty that any change should amount between now and April, the decision was made not to delay the Sale.
“If you asked me one month ago, there was a distinct possibility the borders between New Zealand and Australia would be open by April,” New Zealand Bloodstock Managing Director Andrew Seabrook said. “However the landscape has changed significantly since, and the prospects of the border opening in the first half of next year are diminishing by the day. “Our main focus over the last couple of months has been discussing, analysing and liaising with our buyers and vendors in an effort to ascertain the optimum time to sell next year. It is an incredibly important decision and one that we need to get right.
“We canvassed a range of our leading purchasers in all of the major jurisdictions with surprising, but encouraging findings. The resounding response was they believe the traditional week in January is the best time for our Sale, despite travel restrictions.”
The announcement was also met with great support from vendors, who voiced their commitment to provide an outstanding line up of yearlings for the catalogue. Karaka 2021 is set to showcase the very best New Zealand thoroughbreds, with Book 1 commencing selling across three days from Sunday 24 January, followed immediately by Book 2 on Wednesday 27 through to Friday 29 January.
Heralding the week will be the pinnacle of New Zealand racing in the Karaka Million Twilight Meeting at Ellerslie on Saturday 23 January, host to the two $1 million races for graduates of the Sale. “It is disappointing for buyers around the world who will miss out on the famous Karaka experience this year, but that will certainly be translated to the digital experience when purchasing from afar,” Seabrook said.
A robust online bidding platform will be rolled-out ahead of the popular New Zealand Bloodstock Ready To Run Sale, which takes place in November, to ensure buyers from around the world can bid in real time and the platform will again be accessible for buyers in January.
The technology is an extension of the platform that has been used successfully for years by New Zealand Bloodstock’s subsidiary, online auction site gavelhouse.com. The opportunity to utilise world-renowned bloodstock agents based in New Zealand is a key pull for buyers to access and inspect yearlings on their behalf, many of whom will be busier than ever on account of overseas clients.
Media, data and information available on catalogued lots is also key to the buyer’s decision-making process, with vendors giving confidence they will be going above and beyond their usual high standards to supply buyers with quality footage.
Yearling inspections are currently underway around the country with all reports suggesting a bumper crop of thoroughbreds that will make their way to the Karaka Sales Centre come January. Bloodstock Sales Manager Danny Rolston was complimentary of vendor’s efforts in the sale preparations to date. “We are really impressed by what we’ve seen so far,” he said. “A crop off the back of a great 2018 Sale means we have a strong line-up of stallions represented and we are excited to launch the catalogue to buyers come November.”