Liam Howley was eager to redeem a mistake he made at the yearling sales in Australia earlier this year when he headed to Karaka on Wednesday.
The Victorian horseman was the underbidder on the No Nay Never colt out of La Cicciolina as a yearling in Melbourne, who went to the bid of Riverrock Farm principal Chad Ormsby for A$160,000.
The respected pinhooker put the colt back through the sale ring at New Zealand Bloodstock’s 2022 Ready To Run Sale and the colt caught Howley’s eye once more.
He was intent on securing the colt this time and went to $520,000 to ensure he didn’t go home without him.
Earlier in the day Howley was the underbidder on lot 81, the Exceed and Excel colt who sold for $500,000, which added further fuel to his fire.
“We came to buy some nice colts, looking for that sharper, two-year-old style of colt,” Howley said.
“The earlier one (81) was probably our equal top with this bloke, but we were willing to go a bit further.
“Missing out on the first one probably made us a little bit hungrier, and we picked up a nice colt.
“The disappointing thing was that we really liked him as a yearling, and we let him go. He was well bought.
“He came back here and his breeze was really good and he presented in outstanding order over the last couple of days.
“He has a bombproof attitude and is very athletic with that lovely, rich colour - he is gorgeous to look at.
“(He is for) a new client to the stable, so hopefully we are going to have a bit of fun.”
While Howley believes the colt is a precocious type, he has his eyes on three-year-old targets with his new acquisition.
“I have a couple (No Nay Nevers) in the stable and they have got good, natural speed,” Howley said.
“We won’t push him as a two-year-old, but that three-year-old style is something where we are looking.
“Whether he has got the scope to get out to a mile we will wait and see, but he has certainly got a lot of natural speed about him.”
Reflecting on the opening day of the two-day sale, Howley said it was highly competitive at the top-end of the market.
“It is a tough sale,” he said. “With the good horses, the good judges are on them, so it is going to be hard. It is not for the faint-hearted to come here shopping for the good colts.”