Rich Hill Stud stallion Vadamos provided two of the star turns during the opening day of the Book 2 session of New Zealand Bloodstock’s National Yearling Sales at Karaka on Thursday.
With the oldest New Zealand crop of the son of internationally acclaimed sire Monsun just three-year-olds and featuring horses of the calibre of multiple stakes winner and Gr.1 New Zealand Derby (2400m) runner-up La Crique, the progeny of Vadamos are well in demand as evidenced by his results at Karaka so far this week.
Respected Bloodstock agent Phill Cataldo went to $260,000 to secure a filly from the Rich Hill Stud draft for trainer Mick Price during Book 1 while trainers Roger James and Lance O’Sullivan were involved in two of the biggest battles on Thursday as they duelled for a pair of Vadamos colts.
James came out on top for lot 756, out of the Gold Mine mare Call Me Blondie when he outlaid the day’s top price of $180,000 to purchase the athletic brown colt from the Haunui Farm draft.
O’Sullivan was the underbidder on that individual but got his due reward when he went to $110,000 for Lot 796, out of the Sir Percy mare Direct Star to secure her from Rich Hill Stud.
James admitted he was at the end of his resources for his purchase who is from the famous “Heights” family with stakes performers such as Mapperley Heights, Sky Heights, Royal Heights and Rising Heights on the pedigree page.
“We’d tried on a couple earlier in the day, but this was our first successful bid today,” James said.
“We had seen him at the Stud (Hanui Farm) some time ago and he carried a little injury at the time, but when I went out and saw him again it didn’t bother me, although we had him vetted to make sure.
“He is by one of the sires of the moment in Vadamos, a young sire who is just doing everything right and out of a tried-and-true staying family.
“I think that is where New Zealand excels, breeding stayers and to me he looks like a sharp stayer who should be operative at a mile and further.
“I also like a medium sized horse as I think they are easier to keep sound.
“We’ve bought him to syndicate so hopefully we can get that done fairly quickly.”
Haunui Farm principal Mark Chitty was delighted to see the colt head to a top local stable, while also thrilled for his clients.
“He was a lovely colt, a nice medium size, a good mover who had a great temperament,” he said.
“He had had a bit of a paddock mishap back in October and it was great that his x-rays and scope gave the buyers confidence in him.
“I think the timing of this sale in March also helped him from that perspective.
“This is also fantastic for my clients Christine Wilkinson and Craig Gray, who have been strong supporters of Haunui Farm and it is tremendous to get a great result for them.”
O’Sullivan and Scott, who had secured six individuals during Book 1, in addition to a Wrote colt earlier in Book 2, had to wait until near the close of play to secure Lot 796, a Vadamos colt from the Sir Percy mare Direct Star from the draft of Rich Hill Stud.
“He is a really nice horse who we hope will run a trip as a three-year-old,” O’Sullivan said.
“The stock of Vadamos are really sought after and at $110,000 I think he was pretty good value, as we were prepared to go a little higher.
“We had tried for one earlier in the day and weren’t so fortunate, but they are both nice horses and I would have been delighted to take either one back home to Wexford Stables.”
Rich Hill Stud principal John Thompson admitted he had high expectations for his colt (Lot 796) and for the progeny of Vadamos throughout the sale.
“It wasn’t a surprise for that money, but you just never know and when they get to that level it tends to be last man standing,” he said.
“I’m stoked that Lance O’Sullivan and Andrew Scott have bought him as I’ve known them for years and they also bought a lovely Shocking colt (Lot 121) for $240,000 from us on day one of the sale.
“This colt is out of a Sir Percy mare, and of course Sir Percy won the English Derby, and this guy has a lovely bit of length to him, a great walk and a very smart brain.
“You could tell that by the way he just strolled around the outside parade ring and again in the ring, just cruised over there, got sold and cruised back to his stall.
“We’ve been delighted with how Vadamos has gone so far this year and his service fee for this crop was just $15,000 so he has been a very profitable stallion for those who have sold here.”
Day five at Karaka will kick off at 11am on Friday.