IN Our Horses
Valachi Downs proving popular at Karaka
It has been non-stop for the staff of Valachi Downs at Karaka this week.
NZ Racing Desk | June 16, 2022
Lot 1005, the Savabeel colt out of Bohemian Lily.

It has been non-stop for the staff of Valachi Downs at Karaka this week as they prepare to offer a quality line-up of young stock in their dispersal sale at New Zealand Bloodstock’s National Weanling Sale on Friday,

“It is quite unbelievable. I now know what it feels like to bring a yearling draft to a weanling sale, and they have been accordingly popular,” Valachi Downs General Manager Gareth Downey said.

“It has been hectic, which is exactly what we wanted. It has been touch and go to make it work, but we have made it work.

“We have brought what we think are our 20 most commercial weanlings. There is not a poor horse amongst them. They are very appealing.

“You look at the sire line-up and it is made up significantly of US Navy Flag and Ten Sovereigns progeny. They have been really well received.”

While a large portion of their draft is made up of their former shuttle stallions, Downey said they are also offering some quality stock by established sires.

“We have got two Savabeels, with the clear standout being the Savabeel x Bohemian Lily colt (lot 1005),” Downey said. 

“I think there is no doubt that he will be our sale topper and he should make really good money.

“As a yearling he would have made really good money and should be well-received by end users. If it doesn’t quite make that money, he is still a great pin-hooking opportunity.

“There is a Savabeel filly out of Quest (lot 1018), who is a very nice filly.

“There is also a stunning Almanzor filly out of Sister Celeste (lot 1019).”

Downey said he is looking forward to offering stock by U S Navy Flag and Ten Soverigns in what will be his last physical sale at the helm of Valachi Downs.

“U S Navy Flag was very satisfying to stand. We loved him and we had him for two seasons at Valachi,” Downey said.

“We were very keen to see him come back to New Zealand (and stand at The Oaks Stud). I think it was important that he didn’t get lost.

“It was a real shame that Ten Sovereigns did get lost to New Zealand. I think we will end up regretting that.

“What we have seen in the progeny of U S Navy Flag we have loved and they are now at the breakers and with trainers in the early stages. We have received positive feedback.

“The way they are running in the northern hemisphere is extremely encouraging. He continues to tick all of the boxes.

“Ten Sovereigns and U S Navy Flag have such a similar profile and Ten Sovereigns arrived at a difficult economic time. He didn’t get the size of book that he deserved, but we have been impressed by his foals. 

“He himself is a wonderful, physical animal, and he has left a line of really nice physical foals.”

Later this month, Valachi Downs will continue their dispersal, through their Gavelhouse Plus broodmare sale. 

Valachi Downs Unreserved Broodmare Dispersal Catalogue:

Valachi Downs New Zealand Bloodstock Gareth Downey US Navy Flag Ten Sovereigns Savabeel Quest Almanzor