Jean Feiss (left) with the sale-topping colt and Woodlands Stud groom Rihanna Vercoe. Photo: Trish Dunell.
Victorian buyer Jean Feiss knocked one out of the park at the Karaka yearling sale on Monday for the second year in a row, securing the top lot for $230,000.
Feiss was undeterred by the aggressive bidding of usual sale ring heavyweight John Street, of Lincoln Farms, and secured the Bettor’s Delight colt, which will be trained by Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen.
There was a flurry of activity when the full brother to former good mare Linda Lovegrace entered the ring, but Feiss soon emerged from the pack to fight it out.
Feiss said she did have a limit, but was really intent on securing the colt.
“I thought he was the pick again this year and there would be a lot of interest in him.
“I knew he wouldn’t go cheap, but he was the one I was going to buy.”
Feiss also secured a Bettor’s Delight grandson of broodmare gem Scuse Me.
“He’s a half to Bare Knuckle and that’s a really nice family, too.”
Unlike most buyers, Feiss says she comes to the sale with a very short list of horses and expects to take them all home, so to speak.
“I narrow it right down to the ones that I want.
“I still set a bit of a price, but when you’re going after a horse like that, you don’t expect him to go cheap.
“If he did go cheap I’d be worried there would be something wrong with him.”
Feiss caught everyone off guard when going to $220,000 for Jesse Duke at last year’s Auckland sale.
That decision has been franked by him being the first Purdon/Rasmussen juvenile to the races and winning his debut on New Year’s Eve.
Feiss’ fellow Purdon/Rasmussen ‘stablemate’, Neil Pilcher, was the buyer of three high-priced lots, including a $140,000 Bettor’s Delight colt offered by Sandy Yarndley and Breckon Farms.
Pilcher also secured the half-sister to exciting three-year-old The Dorchester for $85,000 and a Bettor’s Delight colt from Under Cover Lover’s family for $70,000.
He may have missed the top lot, but Street was still very active, spending $330,000 on five lots, including Partyon’s full brother for $130,000.
Rookie sire Sweet Lou had a mixed sale, but did achieve a $100,000 lot with a half-brother to Let It Ride, Street the buyer.
From a vending perspective, the surprise package was probably Robert Famularo’s Dancingonmoonlight Farm, who sold three of the top seven lots.
Feiss’ half to Bare Knuckle was one, as well as a Bettor’s Delight filly out of Timeless Perfection that went to Mark Jones for $90,000 and a colt by the same sire that Robert Dunn secured for $85,000.
Jones’ buy was the top-priced filly in the sale, the next best being the half-sister to The Dorchester, ahead of an $80,000 Art Major filly from the family of Gold Ace, knocked down to Cran Dalgety for $80,000.
By late Monday afternoon, the clearance rate was sitting at around 73 percent, but that is expected to rise to around 77 percent after deals are done on passed-in lots.
The sale average was down around 10 percent at $33,850.
Besides Feiss, the Australian buying contingent wasn’t as prominent as in recent years.
Young Perth trainer Justin Prentice went to $40,000 for an Art Major filly and Victorian enthusiast Duncan McPherson acquired a Muscle Hill colt for $65,000.
McPherson’s buy was the top trotting lot in the sale, narrowly ahead of a close relation to I Can Doosit by Andover Hall, knocked down to Mark Purdon for $60,000.
Other Australians to secure lots were Perth trainers Kim Prentice, Nathan Turvey and Gary Elson as well as Steve Chapman, the owner of millionaire Perth pacer My Hard Copy.
The sale continues in Christchurch tomorrow afternoon with a trotters section before the pacers get their turn on Wednesday.