There was a big smile on the face of the team at Waikato Stud as they watched the full-brother to Group One winner Mo’unga hit seven figures at Karaka on Monday.
The Savabeel colt, lot 161, was expected to attract plenty of interest after the deeds of his Group One winning sibling on the track, with the level of interest being realised in the ring.
Kacy Fogden went toe-to-toe with Te Akau principal David Ellis, but it was the representative of Tony Fung who came out on top with her final bid of $1 million.
The colt will now be set to join Mo’unga at Annabel Neasham’s Warwick Farm barn, but Fogden said it was a nerve-wracking experience to acquire him.
“Mo’unga is obviously a pretty special horse to us and we were prepared for it (price),” Fogden said.
“It is a bit scary when you have got David Ellis coming back at you round for round. I wouldn’t want to do that too many times.
“But he is a quality colt and you have got to buy the colt you want.”
Fogden said there are plenty of similarities between the colt and Mo’unga.
“He is a lot like his brother at the same stage,” she said. “The way he comes out and does his job and Mo’unga is a bit the same. He is very straightforward, has a good temperament, and is very athletic.”
Mo’unga has a rich CV, having won five of his 15 starts to date, including the Gr.1 Rosehill Guineas (1600m), Gr.1 Winx Stakes (1400m) and Listed Dulcify Stakes (1500m).
He finished runner-up to fellow Kiwi-bred Sierra Sue when first-up in the Gr.1 Futurity Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield last month, and Fogden said there is plenty of excitement in the Neasham camp with the way Mo’unga had returned this campaign.
“In the Futurity he was pretty unlucky, but it was a hell of a run. I think Annabel is quite excited, he is in the form of his life,” Fogden said.
“He can race on and there is plenty of upside there.”
Fogden was also active today buying a further three yearlings for Fung – lot 18, the Lonhro colt out of Curraghmore’s draft for $425,000; lot 41, the Ocean Park colt out of Landsdowne Park’s draft; and lot 170, the Zoustar filly out of Cambridge Stud’s draft.
“We have got a Lonhro colt that we have got that will step out in the Brisbane Winter Carnival that we are a little bit excited about, and there were a few similarities between the two. He was a really nice moving, athletic colt,” Fogden said.
“I thought the Ocean Park was an absolutely lovely horse. We sat off and watched the Ocean Park at Haunui, he went for a lot of money, so I was a little worried when the next one went through the ring.
“I thought he was fabulous buying and he was just a beautiful horse.”
Fogden, an expat New Zealander, said she was excited to be back in her homeland buying Kiwi stock at Karaka.
“We love New Zealand, and I am a little bit biased,” she said. “It is such a beautiful sale to come to and there is some fantastic stock here.
“There are horses that come out of here and perform on the world stage.”