IN Racing
Little Avondale buzzing ahead of Karaka
Little Avondale Stud principals Sam and Catriona Williams are already buzzing ahead of New Zealand Bloodstock’s National Yearling Sales, which kick-off at Karaka at 11am this Sunday.
NZ Racing Desk | January 24, 2023
Photo: Supplied

Little Avondale Stud principals Sam and Catriona Williams are already buzzing ahead of New Zealand Bloodstock’s National Yearling Sales, which kick-off at Karaka at 11am this Sunday.

The Wairarapa farm are busy with pre-sale parades and are excited to see plenty of international faces that have been absent from the world-renowned South Auckland sales complex for the last few years as a result of COVID-19 enforced border restrictions.

While the couple have been pleased with their farm’s sale results over that time, they can’t help but be buoyed by the international presence at Karaka, just under a week out from the sale.

“I have been very happy with our results in the sale ring over the last couple of years, even under the conditions of COVID-19 and without all of our international friends (onsite),” Sam Williams said.

“But this year it is satisfying the Australians are back here now. The atmosphere around this place is going to be amazing. Already there is such a good feel on the complex.

“It is so cool to see all of these faces back here from Singapore, Hong Kong, England, and Australia.”

Resident stallion Per Incanto has tasted plenty of international success over the last few years, primarily in Hong Kong, but he has experienced a stellar last 12 months across the Tasman.

Roch ‘N’ Horse has been his main flagbearer after her dual elite-level success in the Gr.1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) and Gr.1 Champions Sprint (1200m) at Flemington, downing some of the highest rated sprinters in the world, including Nature Strip.

The John O’Shea-trained Lost And Running has also represented his sire well, winning the Gr.2 Premiere Stakes (1200m) and Gr.3 Southern Cross Stakes (1200m), while stakes winning juvenile Little Brose is adding some excitement to the mix following his runner-up effort in the Gr.3 Maribyrnong Plate (1000m) on debut before winning the Listed Merson Cooper Stakes (1000m).

“Australia is where he is really coming to the fore with Roch ‘N’ Horse and Lost And Running, two of the highest rated sprinters in the world. Little Brose is proving to be an exciting prospect as well as he heads to the preview,” Williams said.

Little Avondale will offer 12 Per Incanto yearlings in their Book 1 draft, and Williams highlighted lot 505, the colt out of Group One winner Sharvasti, as their top prospect.

“Lot 505, the Per Incanto colt, is the horse of the draft,” Williams said.

“He is by the right sire, out of a Group One winner. He is the last foal out of the mare, and she has definitely left the best for last.

“If I could measure him up against another Per Incanto it would be from his first crop when I sold Magnum and Dal Cielo. They were both really attractive horses and they were both out of 20-year-old mares and went on to Group status.”

Williams is pleased with the overall quality of his draft and is excited to offer yearlings by shuttle stallion Time Test as well a select few yearlings by outside stallions.

 “A lot of our draft is made up by our sires. I am absolutely over the moon with the draft. The early comments about our draft have been very pleasing,” he said.

“I think it is one of the more even line-ups I have brought here for about 10 years.

“I think the Time Test filly, lot 319, is an absolute star filly of our draft. She is a beauty.

“Lot 110 is a very sharp filly and looks like she will go early and is by the new sire Yes Yes Yes.

“I am really excited about the sales starting on Sunday."

Dal Cielo Gr.1 Champions Sprint Gr.1 Newmarket Handicap Gr.2 Premiere Stakes Gr.3 Maribyrnong Plate Gr.3 Southern Cross Stakes John O’Shea Karaka Listed Merson Cooper Stakes Little Avondale Stud Little Brose Lost And Running Magnum Nature Strip New Zealand Bloodstock’s National Yearling Sales Per Incanto Roch ‘N’ Horse Sam and Catriona Williams Sharvasti Time Test Wairarapa