Proven Graduates Give Buyers Group One Confidence ahead of 2024 Sale
12 January 2024
Outstanding success at the elite level has continued to prove today’s stars of the NZB Standardbred sales ring are the stars of Australasia’s racetracks tomorrow.
Bloodstock investors will get their chance to select from the next crop of elite racetrack achievers at the NZB Standardbred National Yearling Sale 2024 at Karaka and Christchurch on February 18 and 20-21.
Buyers can bid with confidence knowing an outstanding line up of Group One performers has been selected in the NZB Standardbred sales ring in recent years.
From brilliant fillies to classic colts and outstanding trotters, NZB Standardbred’s National Yearlings Sale has proven to be the number one source of elite performers in Australasia.
Millwood Nike (NZ) (Captaintreacherous) took her owners and her fans on an incredible ride as she stretched her unbeaten record to a staggering 17 wins from 17 starts in 2023.
Offered on account of Millwood Farm and purchased at the National Yearling Sale at Christchurch for $75,000 by the All Stars Stable, the filly earned superstar status with her domination of her rivals as both a two and three-year-old.
After being crowned New Zealand Two-Year-Old Pacing Filly Of The Year following her brilliant first season on the track, Millwood Nike took her game to a an incredible level in 2023.
The superstar pacer’s winning run included three Group One titles last year, plus a lucrative Harness Million victory.
As 2023 drew to a close, Millwood Nike’s record stood at a staggering 17 wins from 17 starts with $690,932 in earnings and six career Group One victories.
Merlin (NZ) (Art Major) unleashed a rare combination of speed and stamina on his dual-Derby winning crusade in 2023.
The blueblood colt was secured by Dean Shannon’s Montana Park at the 2021 National Yearling Sale in Christchurch for $120,000 from Broadfield Lodge's draft, before brilliantly winning his first eight starts.
He went on to win the Group One Northern Derby (2700m) early in 2023 before claiming derby number two to close out an outstanding year.
On Grand Prix Day at Addington the brilliant Barry Purdon and Scott Phelan trained pacer produced arguably his greatest performance in the Group One New Zealand Derby (2600m).
Merlin also produced another remarkable double along the way, taking out both the two and three-year-old pacing colts and geldings Harness Million Finals.
With his three-year-old season now compete, excitement is building as Merlin is set to continue his career in the open class ranks.
Don’t Stop Dreaming
Don’t Stop Dreaming (NZ) (Bettor’s Delight) built up an incredible rivalry with Merlin which began early in their two-year-old seasons, and has continued ever since.
Both incredibly talented colts have taken their turn to defeat each other in the most epic of harness racing clashes.
He has compiled a brilliant record since he went through the sales ring at the 2021 National Yearling Sale at Christchurch in Studholme Bloodstock Ltd draft, selling for $250,000 to All Stars Racing.
The pacer was crowned New Zealand Two-Year-Old Pacing Colt Or Gelding Of The Year after wrapping up his brilliant first season with back-to-back Group One victories.
Don’t Stop Dreaming added two more Group One trophies to his haul in 2023.
The brilliant colt then wrapped up his age group racing with a staggering total of nine group race victories among his 12 career wins from just 16 starts.
In the most recent of those, he won the Group Two Franklin Cup (2700m), downing a field of established open class stars while signalling what a force he will be in Australasia’s open ranks.
Akuta (NZ) (Bettor’s Delight) had a massive reputation before he even set foot on a racetrack. Purchased by All Stars Racing for $170,000 from Broadfield Lodg's draft.
It was clear as soon as his career began on a winning note in stakes company, that the pacer had the speed and power live up to the hype.
By just his fifth start, Akuta was a two-time Group One winner and had bagged a lucrative Harness Million title.
In the latest of those conquests, the pacer produced what is considered one of the greatest performances by a two-year-old in New Zealand, with his breath-taking win in the Group one Harness Jewels Two-Year-Old Emerald.
Akuta’s brilliance shone just as brightly as a three-year-old, winning the Group One Northern Derby and the Group One New Zealand Derbies, as he clearly held his position as the best male pacer of his age group.
Group One victories in the Taylor Mile (1609m) and Auckland Cup (3200m) showed Akuta had the star quality to continue his dominance against older horses.
A certified racetrack superstar, Akuta’s record stands at 16 wins with seven at Group One level with a huge bankroll of $1,137,165.
Lovemeto (NZ) (Love You) started adding to the already outstanding record of his family as soon as he hit the track as a two-year-old.
A standout type, the trotter was knocked down to Rogerson Bloodstock at the 2021 National Yearling Sale at Karaka at an affordable price from Breckon Farm's draft.
With a pedigree page that featured the outstanding family of champion trotter Icandoosit (NZ) (Muscles Yankee), Lovemeto was destined for racetrack success.
After building excellent form, the squaregaiter shot to stardom when claiming two of the biggest prizes up for grabs New Zealand’s young trotters.
The brilliant youngster won the Harness Million Three-Year-Old Trot (2200m) and the Group One Northern Derby (2700m) within a matter of days in 2023.
The trotter then embarked on a successful Australian campaign before returning to New Zealand and being freshened ahead of what is sure to be a big 2024 season.
Highgrove (NZ) (Love You) showed sizzling speed from the moment he stepped foot on a racetrack.
That speed has been the trotter’s signature attribute during his brilliant progression through New Zealand’s age-group trotting ranks.
Highgrove was knocked down to Robert and Jenna Dunn’s Diamond Racing Stables at the 2020 National Yearling Sale at Christchurch for $34,000 from L. Smith's draft.
During an epic run, the brilliant squaregaiter was crowned both New Zealand Two and Three-Year-Old Trotter Of The Year.
Highgrove not only captured accolades, he banked lucrative purses when winning lucrative Harness Million Final in both his two and three-year-old seasons.
Group One glory came Highgrove’s way in the most impressive fashion, with the trotter smashing a New Zealand record when taking out the Group One Northern Trotting Derby (2700m) at Alexandra Park.
True Fantasy (NZ) (Bettor’s Delight) was the dominant filly of her crop as she bagged big purses and Group One titles in two outstanding seasons on the track.
The star pacer’s resume backs up that claim, as it features more than $500,000 in earnings, five Group One titles and a Harness Million Final victory.
True Fantasy was purchased was secured at the 2020 National Yearling Sale at Christchurch for Studholme Bloodstock Ltd for $70,000, before he brilliant two-year-old season.
In just her third and fourth career starts, True Fantasy ran to brilliant victories in the Group One Sires Stakes Championship (1700m) and the Group One Caduceus Club Classic (2200m).
During a dominant three-year-old season True Fantasy added the Group One Sires Stakes Championship (2200m), the Group One Northern Oaks (2700m) the Group One Nevele R Fillies Series Final and the Three-Year-Old Fillies Harness Million Final to her glittering record.
At the end of her three-year-old season, True Fantasy then went to the broodmare paddock a certified racetrack star.
Krug (NZ) (Bettor’s Delight), Rock N Roll Doo (NZ) (Rock N Roll Heaven), Chase A Dream (NZ) (Captain Treacherous), Coastal Babe (NZ) (Downbytheseaside), Allamericanlover (NZ) (American Ideal), Nazareth (NZ) (Love You) and Republican Party (NZ) (Bettor’s Delight) are more big names among the long list of graduates to go onto Group One success after being offered in the NZB Standardbred yearling sales ring.
The Sale will kick off with a mega Harness Millions race meeting confirmed for Alexandra Park on Friday 16 February, with the running of the $200,000 Harness Millions 3YO Colts & Geldings Pace and the $150,000 Harness Millions 3YO Fillies Pace.
All yearlings will be available for inspection during the on-farm parades, with the North Island schedules now available here. The SBSR tour will commence February 12th and 13th. For more information or to book your place on the SBSR tour please contact: David Kennedy +64 27 6881522 or Katrina Price +64 21 369097.
NZB Standardbred and New Zealand-based agents and trainers will be available to inspect on behalf of prior to the Sale and on the grounds at the Karaka Sales Centre and Canterbury Agricultural Park.
Buyers wishing to purchase remotely can participate via NZB’s user-friendly online bidding platform standardbred.bidonline.nzb.co.nz, while all buyers and agents are welcome to attend the physical sale sessions in person at Karaka and Christchurch.
All unbroken yearlings purchased at the 2024 National Standardbred Yearling Sale are eligible for the lucrative $1 million Harness Million Sale Race Series for graduates.
The catalogue for Karaka and Christchurch are now available to view online at www.nzbstandardbred.co.nz, with printed copies due to arrive in mailboxes soon.
For general sale enquiries or more information, email [email protected].
2024 Auckland Sale at the Karaka Sales Complex
- Day 1: Sunday 18 February, 11am (NZT): Lots 1 – 126
2024 Christchurch Sale at Canterbury Agricultural Park
- Day 1: Tuesday 20 February, 11am (NZT): Lots 127-260
- Day 2: Wednesday 21 February, 11am (NZT): Lots 261-393