Holding firm against a torrent of overseas interest, Cambridge Stud bought Amarelinha for $1.1 million on Gavelhouse Plus on Wednesday night, and the Group One-winning mare will be served by Almanzor this spring.
Many of New Zealand’s most sought-after mares have been snapped up by the red-hot Australian breeding industry over the last 18 months, including elite broodmare Baggy Green and Group One stars such as Melody Belle, Avantage and Entriviere.
There was a strong possibility of that trend continuing with Amarelinha, and no fewer than five international buyers keenly pursued her in Wednesday evening’s auction. But it was Cambridge Stud who came out on top and kept the Gr.1 New Zealand Oaks (2400m) winner in her homeland.
“It’s great to be able to reverse the tide a little bit and keep this mare in New Zealand,” Cambridge Stud’s sales and nominations manager Cameron Ring said.
“She will visit Cambridge Stud stallion Almanzor, along with our recently retired champion mare Probabeel, so he’s shaping up to have an exceptional book of mares this spring.”
By eight-time champion New Zealand sire Savabeel, Amarelinha comes from the immediate family of Group One winner Metal Bender, Gr.1 Golden Rose (1400m) placegetter North Pacific, this season’s Gr.3 San Domenico Stakes (1100m) winner Sweet Ride, and Group Three-winning mare Missybeel. She is also closely related to the Group One winner and successful sire Keeper.
Amarelinha herself had 16 starts, winning five including the New Zealand Oaks, the Gr.2 David & Karyn Ellis Fillies’ Classic (2000m), the Gr.2 Eight Carat Classic (2000m) and the Gr.3 Sunline Vase (2100m). She was also runner-up in the Gr.1 WFA Classic (1600m) and the Karaka Million 3YO Classic (1600m).
“She certainly had a lot going for her as a broodmare prospect,” Ring said. “She hails from an outstanding family that we didn’t previously have represented in our Cambridge Stud broodmare band. We’re delighted to have been able to secure an Oaks winner with that pedigree page.
“A special thank you to her owners and the team at Te Akau Racing, for giving us such a wonderful opportunity to purchase a mare of this quality. She was perfectly trained by Jamie Richards and Mark Walker, and her racing career was a real credit to the Te Akau operation.”
Amarelinha was a $300,000 purchase from Book 1 of Karaka 2019 by Te Akau’s David Ellis, and she ended up earning more than $627,000 in stakes for the Te Akau Hopskip’n’jump Syndicate.
Wednesday’s $1.1 million price tag was another enormously satisfying result for Ellis, who has seen several fierce bidding duels for his yearling purchases over the last 12 months.
Avantage sold for a record-breaking $4.1 million in September of last year, while Exaltation fetched $560,000 in March and Entriviere was snapped up for $900,000 earlier this month – all via Gavelhouse Plus.
“This is another fantastic result through Gavelhouse Plus,” Ellis said. “Overall, over the last 14 months, we’ve sold horses for a total of around $20 million, which is unbelievable.
“I’m delighted for the owners of this mare, who supported Karyn (Fenton-Ellis) and me when we bought her at Karaka three years ago. We paid $300,000 for her, and she won the Oaks and all those other great races, plus $50,000 worth of bonuses for winning the title of New Zealand Bloodstock Filly of the Year.
“To have all of that capped by this result this evening is hugely satisfying, and we’re thrilled for her owners.
“But I think the most exciting part of it for me is that Cambridge Stud bought her, she’s staying in New Zealand, and she’ll go to Almanzor – a stallion we rate very highly and know a bit about, thanks to his Karaka Million-winning son Dynastic.”
Attention now turns to gavelhouse.com’s fortnightly mixed bloodstock auction which features 39 Lots. Bidding ends from 7pm (NZT) on Monday 3 October.