International bloodstock agent Paul Moroney was unable to attend last year’s New Zealand Bloodstock National Yearling Sale in the flesh, but he was pleased to be back this year as the border opened up to Kiwis returning home.
After purchasing 11 yearlings out of the Book 1 session, Moroney was active again in the Book 2 session on Thursday, securing a handful of yearlings, including two six-figure purchases.
Moroney went to $110,000 to purchase lot 690, the Time Test colt out of HGT Bloodstock’s draft, for his brother Michael’s Ballymore Stables.
“My partner Catheryne did some of the Book 2 on video over the weekend while I was battling away looking at horses here and during the Book 1 sale,” Moroney said.
“She gave him the highest rating of any of the horses she did on video and when I got to him I could see why - he is a stunning, well-balanced, good moving colt.
“He had presence about him and strength. He has a stayers action, he is bred to stay and that is what he has been bought for – a potential three-year-old Derby horse.
“He had a lot of quality about him and to us he was one of the no-brainers.”
The colt will do his early education at Ballymore’s Matamata barn under the watchful eye of Michael Moroney’s co-trainer Pam Gerard and his future will be decided from there.
“He won’t be seen until probably early in his three-year-old career,” Moroney said.
“He will be educated in the Matamata stable and put through the process. Whether he is set for a Victoria Derby (Gr.1, 2500m) or New Zealand Derby (Gr.1, 2400m), that will be in the lap of the gods.
“I believe Mike has bought him for his New Zealand stable. He is really wanting to keep that stable ticking over. They have had a good season and they have a number of owners that have come back to the stable as well as new owners supporting it.”
Moroney was also taken by lot 737, the Rip Van Winkle colt out of Kilgravin Lodge’s draft, and went to $110,000 to secure the youngster, once again for Ballymore Stables.
“Both Mike and I thought he was one of the best walkers we have seen at the sale,” Moroney said.
“When I saw him at Kilgravin he had a lot of Zabeel about him. He is very fluent and powered off his hocks. He is a good-bodied horse, there is so much to like about him.
“I said to Mike that this was a top-class Rip Van Winkle colt, he looked at him online and watched his walk and said he was one of the best walking horses he had seen.”
Moroney said he has been pleased with the quality on offer at the sale and what he has been able to purchase to date.
“These horses that we are buying would match up to anything in Book 1,” he said.
“I have been impressed, the top of Book 2 has been very good quality. There are some really good horses here.”
Moroney said they have also been able to secure some nice horses at the bottom end of the market.
“We have done great buying today,” he said. “We have bought a couple of fillies today. We bought a Rip Van Winkle filly (lot 693) from Little Avondale for $20,000 from a proper family. If she gets black-type she is going to be worth a fortune.
“I can see her being a spring three-year-old and an Oaks filly without any doubt.”
With Book 2 continuing for the next two days, Moroney is expecting to continue to be active for his clients.
“I have had Australians looking today,” he said. “I bought one for Will Clarken – A Shamexpress filly (lot 653) out of Mr Tiz’s family from Haunui.
“I have had others looking and I am sure over the next two days I will buy two or three more for Australian clients.”