IN Our People
Moroney happy to be back at Karaka
International bloodstock agent Paul Moroney is happy to once again be back on home soil.
NZ Racing Desk | June 16, 2022
Paul Moroney. Photo: Trish Dunell

International bloodstock agent Paul Moroney is happy to once again be back on home soil to attend New Zealand Bloodstock’s National Weanling Sale at Karaka this week.

Moroney made his return to Karaka at the Yearling Sales in March after being unable to attend any sales at the Auckland complex for the last few years as a result of COVID-19 border measures.

“I got back here for the yearling sales earlier in the year and for a while there I wasn’t going to come across for the (weanling) sale, but I have still got some orders left over for Australian and New Zealand clients,” Moroney said.

Moroney is particularly excited about the inclusion of Valachi Downs’ weanling dispersal, which will kick-off the sale on Friday.

“Once the Valachi weanlings came into the mix, that was an incentive to get over. They are horses for genuine sale, for genuine reasons,” Moroney said.

Moroney has once again been busy inspecting the entire catalogue at Karaka and he has been pleased with what he has seen.

“It has been interesting. I have seen every horse on the complex and I am doing my second looks today,” he said.

“You have got to pick your way through them and they are certainly not the cream of the crop and you don’t expect that because they go through the yearling sales.

“There are some nice horses and the Valachi horses have lifted the standard, because they are usually horses that would come here in their yearling draft.

“I think they will be well sought after and I think there are enough others around at various price ranges that are nice types and will find homes as well.”

Moroney is expecting New Zealand pinhookers to be active at Karaka, given the strong competition they faced at Australian sales.

“It has been very difficult for pinhookers to buy, especially local New Zealand pinhookers. They have found it very difficult to buy the right product at the right price,” Moroney said.

“I think everyone should be keeping in-mind that barring accident or injury, the Australian buying bench will return to Karaka en masse.

“There are a few markers at the moment in financial areas that suggest there might be a bit of a downturn, but I don’t think that will hit at Karaka.

“A huge number of Australians are dying to get back here for the yearling sales, it could be a bonanza. It is a shame that they couldn’t get here this year because there were some great types and I did some wonderful shopping here.”

Moroney believes the right decision has been made to return the New Zealand Bloodstock National Yearling Sale to its traditional January timeslot.

“I think the right decision has been made leaving it in its traditional spot. It would have put a lot of people out of being able to attend (if it stayed in March),” he said.

Moroney is planning to remain in New Zealand next week to inspect the stock on offer in Valachi Downs’ upcoming broodmare dispersal sale on

“I am booked into Valachi on Monday to look at all the stock that is coming on Gavelhouse Plus,” he said.

“It is a genuine dispersal and it is very sad to see Kevin and Joanne (Hickman, Valachi Downs principals) dropping out of the industry, but there are some good reasons behind it. 

“It is a beautiful farm that produces good racehorses and have done ever since they set the farm up. They have been avid supporters and there are some great bloodlines in there.

“Kevin is a man who has studied his pedigrees. There are a lot of international blood in there which is a blessing to New Zealand. A lot of it is staying orientated, which the Australians come over here to buy.

“Those mares and fillies off the track and rising two-year-olds that are broken-in are all going to find good homes.

“The history of Valachi Downs will live on for many generations because he has got himself an amazingly well-bred broodmare band. Long may that heritage live.”

Moroney has been pleased with the way the year has progressed and he said he has been getting plenty of interest from new clients ahead of the weanling sale.

“I have been fielding a lot of phone calls over the last few days and I have picked up a few more clients who want to trust my eye and judgement,” he said.

“It is something I enjoy doing. Things are going well and we have picked up a lot of new business over the last 18 months.”

Paul Moroney New Zealand Bloodstock Valachi Downs