|The Sir James Lodge team have once again been busy securing some quality weanlings at this week’s NZB National Weanling, Broodmare and Mixed Bloodstock sale.
Following on from the purchase of eight weanlings at last year’s edition of the sale, Martin, Joanna and Chris were successful in acquiring four more youngsters to further bolster the stable numbers.
With their established pre-sale critiquing of both horse and pedigree completed, the team settled down to identify the best opportunities throughout the course of the sale. They didn’t have to wait long when signing for Lot 54, a striking son of first season sire Royal Gem and Australian bred mare Kiss It Better. Royal Gem recorded multiple black-type successes at three as well as a Group 1 placing, and is a son of one of the world’s most dominant sires Royal Academy, producer of 154 individual stakes winners including 21 at Group 1 level. This colt is a half brother to Dylan, a very consistent galloper in Singapore with five wins and only two unplaced efforts in thirteen career outings to date.
The second acquisition was a grand filly by another highly regarded first season sire, Perfectly Ready out of Straight Lake. Perfectly Ready was in the upper echelon of sprinters in Australia, recording a Group 1 victory and multiple Group 1 placings during his career. This filly’s dam is a half-sister to Moonflute (Group winner and Group 1 placed) and to Pine Away, dam of the exceptional Group 1 winning mare Absolut Glam from the Danny O’Brien yard in Melbourne. With a pedigree to enthuse over and looks to match, this filly was an absolute steal at $8,000.
The third purchase on the first day of the sale was completed with Lot 208, a colt by the Group 1 winning son of Kingmambo, Dubai Destination. With his oldest progeny just four years of age (three in the Southern Hemisphere) he has already produced a Group 1 winner and appears to be passing on his abilities to his stock. With an advertised service fee of $22,000 at the time of this mating, the purchase price of $16,000 represents excellent value for the colt whose grand-dam is none other than Morar. She was one of the fastest fillies of her generation and went on to Group 1 success against the males in the Telegraph Handicap.
Last but not least, the team snared a filly by the promising young sire Keeper who has registered eight individual stakes winners including Group 1 winning fillies Insouciant and Keepa Cruisin. Lot 314 is a daughter of the speedy South Island mare Etna Court who won the Canterbury Stakes at listed level in addition to six other wins ranging from 1100 to 1600 metres.
Martin, Jo and Chris are understandably pleased with the outcome of their activities at this year’s sale. “We are thrilled with the progress of the 2008 crop we purchased here, and in light of current economic conditions it presented an excellent opportunity for us to repeat the dose here” stated Joanna Cleland. “Most of the horses we purchased we could not have bred for the same cost which is symptomatic of the current climate, but a bonus for us.”