IN Racing
Curraghmore and Haunui pleased with 2024 weanling drafts
Curraghmore and Haunui Farm believe their 2024 crops of weanlings catalogued for Karaka on Thursday are right up to the respected nurseries’ usual high standard.
NZ Racing Desk | June 20, 2024
Curraghmore’s Lot 3, the Super Seth colt out of Drama Series. Photo: Trish Dunell

Two of the foremost names among vendors at the New Zealand Bloodstock National Weanling Sale every year are Curraghmore and Haunui Farm, who both believe their 2024 crops of weanlings catalogued for Karaka on Thursday are right up to the respected nurseries’ usual high standard.

Gordon Cunningham’s Curraghmore has collected more than a dozen leading vendor titles at Karaka’s weanling sales, and past graduates include Group One winner Sousa, Group Three winner Kinane and other stakes performers such as What Choux Want, Blue On Black, Global Thinking, Ruettiger and He Kin Fly.

Cunningham will consign a select draft of 10 weanlings on Thursday, which includes progeny of leading sires Savabeel and Proisir as well as newcomers Sword Of State, Noverre and St Mark’s Basilica.

“We’ve come up here with a good draft – a very good, genuine draft,” Cunningham said at Karaka on Wednesday.

“They’ve presented really, really well and I’m very encouraged by the inspection levels so far. There’s been strong interest, and I feel that a lot of people are honing in on a number of horses and would be up there to buy them if they were going through the ring now.

“Right across the board, from one to 10, this could be a yearling draft in its own right, and the fact that they’re all eligible for the Karaka Millions Series and the races that are being promoted so strongly has definitely impacted on the level of interest that we’re seeing here.”

Cunningham finds it difficult to single out individual lots among the 10 Curraghmore weanlings.

“It’s really hard to narrow them down,” he said. “We’ve got a good colt by Proisir (Lot 36) and a colt by our champion sire Savabeel (Lot 56) that is another definite prospect.

“Our Super Seth colt (Lot 3) is one of quite a small number of Super Seths in this particular crop, but he’s done an amazing job so far with seven individual two-year-old winners in his first season, five stakes performers and very good early success in Australia, so we know his progeny are going to be well sought after.”

Cunningham has also been taken with the progeny of rookie stallions Sword Of State and Noverre.

“There’s been definite interest in our three Sword Of States (Lots 18, 112 and 134), as well as a very good colt by Noverre (Lot 125),” he said. “They tick a lot of boxes physically. They’re sharp horses, well-conformed and I can see them being well sought after in the ring.”

Haunui Farm also boasts a proud history with its weanling offerings, having sold the likes of Group One winner Jungle Rocket (for $21,000) and Karaka Million (1200m) hero Hardline ($43,000) through this sale.

“We’ve sold Karaka Million and Oaks winners through our weanling drafts over the years, and pinhookers had some excellent results with the weanlings that we sold at last year’s sale,” Haunui’s managing director Mark Chitty said.

“We like to cap our numbers at around 55 for the yearling sales every year, so the weanling sale is a nice way to offer some of our other stock and provide some good opportunities for buyers at the same time.”

Those pinhooking results from Haunui’s 2023 weanling draft included a Proisir colt that was recruited by Riversley Park for $60,000. He later went through the ring again during Book 1 of Karaka 2024 and was sold to Ciaron Maher for $260,000.

Haunui Farm’s 2024 weanling draft numbers 18 and, like Curraghmore’s, includes the progeny of a range of sires.

Lot 79 is a well-made colt by Proisir out of the unraced Savabeel mare Respect, who is a full-sister to the Group performers Live And Free and Clementina.

Lot 68 is a Super Seth filly out of the O’Reilly mare O’Pristine, whose dam So Pristine won the Gr.2 Queen of the South Stakes (1600m) in Adelaide.

“I think they’re a lovely bunch of weanlings this year by a variety of sires,” Chitty said. “There’s particular interest in some of them who are by very topical sires such as Super Seth, Almanzor and Proisir, and we’re confident they’re going to be favourably received by the buying bench.”

Curraghmore Haunui Farm