IN Racing
Local Chinese owners keen on Almanzor colt
Auckland-based Raptor Thoroughbred has been active at Karaka throughout the week
NZ Racing Desk | March 12, 2022
Jessica Yang of Raptor Thoroughbreds and Kent Sun admire their newly purchased colt.

Auckland-based Raptor Thoroughbred has been active at Karaka throughout the week and added a further two lots to their six-horse haul on Day 6 of the New Zealand Bloodstock National Yearling Sales.

Among them was the Almanzor colt out of Our Foil from Milan Park which fetched $230,000, the second-top price of the Book 2 Sale.

Jessica Yang’s Raptor Thoroughbred was guided by New Zealand Bloodstock’s Alex Teng in selecting the colt, which was bought in partnership with fellow local Chinese owner Kent Sun, who had also made two purchases in Book 1 in a solo capacity.

Out of a Danzero mare from the famed Eight Carat family, the colt was keenly sought after, with the stock of Cambridge Stud stallion Almanzor, who will be represented by Dynastic in the Gr.1 Sistema Sakes (1200m) at Ellerslie on Sunday, continuing to prove popular.

“First of all it was the pedigree – he is a by a hot sire in Almanzor and he is a really nice type,” New Zealand Bloodstock’s China Regional Representative Alex Teng said. 

“He is a standout individual in Book 2. He is very sharp looking, he is athletic and ticks all the boxes.

“He was at the top of our list and will have a break now before we work out a plan.

“The sire is on fire and had another winner last night with Roznamla (Almanzor spelt backwards) winning for Trent Busuttin and Natalie Young.”

Local Chinese ownership is an emerging demographic in New Zealand racing and Kent Sun, speaking through Teng as a translator, was keen to point to the growing sector.

“Normally we don’t see many local Chinese racing here, but actually it is not a small group. Mr Sun has got a group of New Zealand-Chinese in an owners’ alliance. From this group, the members have purchased over 10 horses from the sales, which is quite significant,” Teng said.

“It also helps that Almanzor has got a very good name in Chinese.”

Milan Park principal Tony Rider was delighted with the sale of the Almanzor colt and pleased with the way his draft was received in both books at Karaka.

“We had a very good Book 1 sale. We passed in three out of the 11,” he said.

“I am one of those guys who believes in the breeding we are doing. We are not here breeding commercial stuff to just get the dollars, we are here to hopefully breed a racehorse on the track.

“In the last 12 months we have had a good success rate on the track.”

Rider, who was celebrating his birthday, described the bumper sale of the Almanzor colt as the perfect present.

“Since the farm parades he has just stood out and blossomed. Every week he looks better and better,” Rider said.

“We thought he should have made somewhere between $150,000 and $180,000, so it was certainly above where we saw him.”

Rider said he was buoyed by the number of top buyers who had taken interest in the colt.

“We had 12 x-ray hits,” Rider said. “Bruce Harvey absolutely loved him. Bruce was going to buy him for himself and he came over yesterday and said he didn’t think he would be able to afford him and he would make a lot of money.

“Sam Beatson and Michael Guerin loved him, they were underbidders with a view to Ready To Running him, and Chris Rutten liked him.

“He walks like he has got a bit of mana about him. I think he oozes it.”

Milan Park sold another of Almanzor’s progeny in Book 2, lot 903, a filly purchased by Wexford Stables for $110,000.

Rider has a lot of time for the Cambridge Stud stallion, with another pair by the sire bringing six-figures in Book 1 for Rider.

“I think this time next year they will be very much in demand,” he said.

A pair of Savabeel colts topped Milan Park’s Book 1 draft, fetching $575,000 and $260,000 respectively.  – NZ Racing Desk

Almanzor Our Foil Milan Park Jessica Yang