Smithies optimistic ahead of sale

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Max Smithies

Joe and Max Smithies of Monovale Farm are looking forward to offering their 13-strong draft at the New Zealand Bloodstock National Yearling Sale at Karaka later this month. The Waikato brothers will offer 10 lots in the Book 1 Sale and they are particularly excited about the prospects of lot 544, the Savabeel filly out of Miss Opulence.

She is a full-sister to the 2020 New Zealand Bloodstock Ready To Run sale topper, who was purchased by Te Akau’s David Ellis out of Riversley Park’s draft for $700,000.

The Smithies were duly buoyed by that result heading into the 2021 Yearling Sales. “She is a very nice filly and we are very excited to present her to the market and see her go through the ring,” Joe Smithies said.

“The only reason she is going to the sale is because the mare, Miss Opulence, has a filly foal at foot and she is back in-foal to Savabeel as well. “She is a very straight-forward type. A nice, leggy Savabeel who has a very good action.”

Smithies is also positive about the Farm’s other nine yearlings in Book 1. “They are looking really good, I am really happy,” he said. “We could go tomorrow really. We have got a really nice Fastnet Rock colt (lot 579) out of a stakes-winning Savabeel mare, No Tricks. We have also got a very nice Almanzor colt (lot 145) out of Star of Gibraltar, and The Kay Legacy x Epaulette colt is a nice horse.”

Monovale Farm will also offer three colts in the Book 2 sale, commencing January 27. “We have three nice colts in Book 2 that we thought would be well received in that sale.”

2021 will be the first time Monovale Farm offer yearlings from their new Waikato property and Smithies said their yearlings have thrived on the new farm. “They have done really well on the new property and it will be interesting to see how the guys who see them every year find the comparison.”

While no international buyers will be at the New Zealand Bloodstock Karaka Sales Complex later this month as a result of COVID-19 enforced travel restrictions, Smithies is taking some cautious optimism into the sale after he was buoyed by the Ready To Run Sale results.

“I think everyone has to be a little bit bullish given the Ready To Run Sale,” he said. “I know it is a slightly different market, but I think everyone can go up there with enough confidence. New Zealand Bloodstock, given the circumstances, have done an outstanding job, as you would expect from them.”

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