IN Racing
First-season sires in the spotlight at Karaka 2023
One of the biggest points of interest at any yearling sale is the latest influx of first-season sires, and Karaka 2023 is set to showcase a well-credentialled and highly rated group of newcomers.
NZ Racing Desk | January 22, 2023
Photo: Trish Dunell

One of the biggest points of interest at any yearling sale is the latest influx of first-season sires, and Karaka 2023 is set to showcase a well-credentialled and highly rated group of newcomers.

The rookie stallion with the highest profile in the countdown to Karaka is Waikato Stud’s Super Seth. The son of Dundeel came across the Tasman with an impressive CV, most notably as the winner of the Gr.1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) where he defeated Alligator Blood.

Super Seth’s debut season at Waikato Stud in the spring of 2020 produced 93 foals, and his progeny made a big first impression with their yearling-sale debut on the Gold Coast earlier this month.

From seven yearlings sold, Super Seth amassed an aggregate of A$1.62 million, with an average price of A$231,429. His top lot was a half-brother to the Gr.1 Queensland Derby (2400m) placegetter Paternal, who was bought by Mulcaster Bloodstock and Chris Waller Racing for A$450,000.

Super Seth has 48 yearlings in the catalogue for Karaka 2023, with 43 in Book 1 and five in Book 2.

Lot 91 is set to command plenty of attention, being a half-brother to the Gr.1 Rosehill Guineas (2000m) and Gr.1 Winx Stakes (1400m) winner Mo’unga, while Lot 123 is a son of multiple Group One winner Daffodil.

“Super Seth’s yearlings were strongly sought after on the Gold Coast, which was really encouraging, and I’m sure there’ll be good demand for them at Karaka too,” Waikato Stud principal Mark Chittick said.

“He served a lovely book of mares in his first season. We were really happy with the foals when they were born, and then as they’ve got a bit of maturity under their belts and come into their yearling prep, what we’ve found is that they’re incredibly easy horses to work with. They’re very good doers and have excellent temperaments, which is very pleasing, because it’s always a bit of a battle when they’re not like that.

“We sent three of our own Super Seth yearlings over to the Gold Coast, just to give them a bit of a representation on type. We could have picked any three yearlings from our draft to go over there – they’re all lovely types and in much the same mould.

“We’ve had fantastic feedback, not only about our own Super Seth yearlings, but also others on farms around the country. The comments have all been that they’re a really good line of strong and well-made horses that are great to work with.

“They should all end up in good homes, where they’ll get every chance.”

Another member of the new crop of Kiwi stallions is Wyndspelle, who retired to Grangewilliam Stud after a racing career of remarkable durability and Group One performance between the ages of two and six.

Placed in the Gr.1 Sistema Stakes (1200m) as a juvenile, the son of Iffraaj won the Gr.2 Waikato Guineas (2000m) as a three-year-old before crossing the Tasman and running third in the Gr.1 Cantala Stakes (1600m) at Flemington.

He later returned home, placing in another five Group One races before finally breaking through for a richly deserved win in the Gr.1 Captain Cook Stakes (1600m) as a six-year-old.

Wyndspelle has five yearlings in the catalogue for Book 2 of Karaka 2023. Lot 684 is a half-brother to four winners including Hong Kong’s Champion Griffin of 2020-21, the six-race winner Fantastic Treasure. The dam, Brambling, is by Redoute’s Choice out of Group One-winning mare Bramble Rose.

“Wyndspelle has left some really nice yearlings,” Grangewilliam Stud’s Mark Corcoran said. “He certainly stamps them – they’re all quite a lot like himself.

“A lot of the Iffraaj horses are quite big, but he’s always been more of a compact type, and his progeny are much the same. They’re nice, neat horses.

“It’s early days yet, but the people who have them all seem to really like them. They all say they have good temperaments and plenty of personality. That’s also consistent with the stallion himself, who has a lot of personality and is great to deal with.”

Meanwhile, Ten Sovereigns is a dual Group One-winning son of No Nay Never who shuttled to New Zealand for just one season.

The winner of four races including the Gr.1 July Cup (1200m) and Gr.1 Middle Park Stakes (1200m), Ten Sovereigns stood at Valachi Downs in 2020 and sired 43 foals. Five of those progeny are set to go under the hammer during Book 1 of Karaka 2023, with another seven in Book 2.

Lot 94 is a half-sister to Arrogant, who ran second to champion colt The Autumn Sun in a photo finish to the Gr.1 Rosehill Guineas (2000m). The dam of this filly is an unraced half-sister to Group One performer and sire Savile Row, as well as Group Two winner Needle And Thread. Lot 350 is a half-brother to Group One winner and sire Vespa, along with Australian Group Three winner Hazzabeel.

Group Three winning sprinter Ferrando, a multiple Group One performer, is represented by his first crop of yearlings with five offerings — one in Book 1 and a further four in Book 2. 

The catalogues for Karaka 2023 also feature the progeny of a number of Australian-based first-season sires, including Alabama Express,  Blue Point, Castelvecchio, Cosmic Force, D’Argento, Dubious, Exceedance, Magna Grecia, Microphone, Omaha Beach, Pierata, Too Darn Hot, Yes Yes Yes, and Zousain.

Book 1 of Karaka 2023 runs from January 29 to 31, with Book 2 following suit from February 1 to 3. 

Arrogant Bramble Rose Brambling Chris Waller Racing Daffodil Dundeel Fantastic Treasure Ferrando Gr.1 Caulfield Guineas Gr.1 Queensland Derby Grangewilliam Stud Griffin Hazzabeel Iffraaj Karaka 2023 National Yearling Sales Series Mark Chittick Mark Corcoran Mo’unga Mulcaster Bloodstock New Zealand Bloodstock No Nay Never Paternal Savile Row Super Seth Ten Sovereigns Valachi Downs Vespa Waikato Stud Wyndspelle