Matamata thoroughbred nursery Valachi Downs is set to return to a boutique breeding and racing operation following a number of years of growth and business diversification.
“Kevin and Jo Hickman are refocusing Valachi Downs as a more private and smaller nursery and racing stable with the same goal of producing, selling and racing elite racehorses,”
Valachi Downs’ General Manager Gareth Downey said.
The move will see the broodmare band reduced to around 70 with a reduction sale to be offered on Gavelhouse next week, while the Stud will no longer stand shuttle stallions.
“The consolidation is an exciting move for Valachi’s future, allowing laser-like focus on the elements of the business that Kevin and Jo love the most, which is producing a top-class thoroughbred,” Downey said.
“A consequence of this is that our stallion roster will reduce to our three domestic stallions – Vespa, Zacinto and Savile Row.
“We are pleased for the New Zealand industry that Coolmore Stud has informed us of their intention to stand at least US Navy Flag in New Zealand following exceptional reviews from breeders from his first crop.”
Valachi Downs will sell approximately 50 mares with some foals at foot via New Zealand Bloodstock’s online auction website Gavelhouse Plus, with the auction set to go live next Wednesday, March 17.
Following the bloodstock reduction, Valachi Downs will also offer for sale the 100-acre pre-training property on State Highway 29, Matamata. It is likely to hit the marketplace by deadline sale at the end of March through Bayleys Real Estate.
Stephen Autridge and Kris Shailer will continue training for Valachi Downs from their Matamata-based stable.
Gavelhouse graduate (I’m) Captain Max provided trainer-driver Brad Hewitt with a special victory on his family’s annual memorial raceday at Goulburn on Sunday.
At what was his second start for Hewitt having been bought online in October for $10,500, the five-year-old son of American Ideal provided him with his 500th driving win with a dominant performance.
Heading into the race as odds-on favourite, (I’m) Captain Max stalked the leaders in a mid-field position before Hewitt let him stride around the outside, taking control of proceedings in devastating fashion. Hitting the front before entering the straight, the pair left rivals 11.9m in arrears on the line.
“We had been keeping an eye on each of the gavelhouse.com catalogues for young horses and racing stock and he was one we were keen to secure and if it wasn’t for the cost of freight we’d have added more to the team from the site,” commented Hewitt.
“He’s one of 26 odd that my father and I have in work and he went really well on Sunday, running 11:55:4.
“At this stage we have no set plans with him, we will just keep taking him through the grades.”
Bred and originally raced by Stonewall Stud, Captain Max won on two occasions in New Zealand over 2000m and 2200m before being offered for sale on gavelhouse.com.
Currently there are four Standardbreds for sale on the site with bidding ending from 7pm on Wednesday 13 January from 7pm.
Following are some bidding tips to help you navigate the process.
Lot 1 will close from 7pm. If a bid is placed in the final 30 seconds, another 30 seconds is added onto the auction and to all subsequent Lots. This will keep happening until there are no further bids placed.
If you are are outbid, you must type in the next bid amount, the site does not automatically update the bid amount for you.
There is no benefit in letting auctions run down to the last second before bidding as the auction will just keep auto-extending until no further bids are placed. This practice increases your chances of missing out on horse.
gavelhouse.com cannot identify loss of online connection, a slow internet connection or browser issues at the user’s end. Even a slight loss of internet connection that may not be noticeable can interrupt the user’s browser in following the sale in real-time therefore setting up an auto-bid is the best way to ensure your bids are placed. Google Chrome or Safari are the recommended internet browsers.
gavelhouse.com staff are able assist in actively supporting both buyers and vendors during the sale, if you need a hand with registration or bidding, we are available on phone +64 9 296 4436 or email firstname.lastname@example.org during our online auction to help.
The latest fortnightly gavelhouse.com Standardbred auction features a bumper catalogue of 25 Lots including a quality draft as part of a Heartland Farm Reduction Sale.
gavelhouse.com Standardbred representative Cam Bray is thrilled with the performance of the site and the momentum built over recent months “Judging by the site’s traffic people are now accustomed to tuning in fortnightly to see what our latest offering is like and we have been consistently clearing in excess of 80% of entries,” he said.
“As we approach the end of the year, this latest catalogue is going to be exciting to follow over the coming week with Heartland Farm entrusting us with some quality stock as they look to cut back on numbers,”
“There’s a good cross-section of stock and I believe something for everyone in the market looking to add to their operations.”
Some highlights from the Heartland Farm Reduction include:
Lot 1 – A colt foal by Betting Line from the black-print Art Major mare Spirit of Art. Her three to race all have black-print to their credit including Gr.3 Leonard Mem Stakes and Gr.3 WA Gold Bracelet winner Dracarys.
Lot 4 – Divine Light. A yearling Skyvalley filly from a sibling to black-print winners Mr Chin, (I’m) Light Hearted and Vibhuti.
Lot 7 – Perun. A yearling colt by Betting Line from the winning Dream Away mare Bianca.
Lot 23 – Cathar. An incredibly well-related mare who is the dam of two black—print winners and is a sibling to seven to have achieved the same.
Other highlights include:
Lot 8 – Lawyer Girl. A Always B Miki yearling filly who is the last foal from the outstanding producer Van Seraa.
Lot 10 – Carrera Sunshine. A two-year-old filly by Sunshine Beach, she is the first foal from the winning Bettor’s Delight mare All That Glitters.
Lot 20 – Waingaro Ideal (pictured). In work until last week, Waingaro Ideal is a lightly raced, winning four-year-old son of American Ideal from the black-print mare Waingaro Lassie.
The auction also features more broodmares, yearlings, unraced horses and racehorses. Bidding ends starting with Lot 1 from 7pm on Wednesday 2 December.
The revised fortnightly format of gavelhouse.com Standardbred auctions has been paying dividends of late with entries for the next sale due online today by 7pm.
Bolstering the domestic buying bench have been Australian and Canadian-based enthusiasts with gavelhouse.com Standardbred representative Cam Bray heartened by the consistently strong results.
“Our last three sales have resulted in clearance rates of 83%, 88% and 88% with the highest price fetched being $27,000 in these sales,” said Bray.
“It’s now widely accepted as a tried and true platform to sell all Bloodstock and what has been most remarkable lately has been the demand for racing stock from our Australian-based trainers and agents.”
The next auction will launch at 5pm on Thursday 15 October and will run through until 7pm on Wednesday 21 October.
After entering the digital auction-sphere for Standardbreds just under a year ago, gavelhouse.com is upping the ante by increasing the frequency of their popular mixed stock auctions to fortnightly.
gavelhouse.com’s General Manager Haylie Martin believes the change will benefit all.
“The fortnightly auctions have been incredibly successful on our thoroughbred site and at a time in the industry where every dollar counts more than ever, this gives owners the opportunity to trade out of horses faster,” Martin said.
“This will also spread the workload for transporters and staff more evenly over the months while building momentum with buyers tuning in more often.”
In its short time online, gavelhouse.com Standardbred has made a big impression on the industry, becoming a valuable addition to the trading landscape both domestically and internationally.
Recently the site played host to parent company NZB Standardbred’s 2020 All Age Sale, which saw 138 lots sell for a turnover of $1,042,310 and the clearance rate topping 97%.
The highest price fetched for on the site to date is $52,500 for Alta Debonair (pictured above), an Art Major colt sold by Alabar NZ.
Entries for the next auction are set to close next Wednesday 15 July at 7pm, with the sale going live Thursday 16 July at 5pm running through until the following Wednesday 22 July.
Bidding will close from the first Lot incrementally starting at 7pm on 22 July.
For enquiries contact representative Cam Bray by calling +64 21 737 199 or emailing email@example.com.
Following the temporary suspension of equine exports last week due to a positive case of equine piroplasmosis, NZB Airfreight is confident that travel will resume shortly with increased testing and pre-export protocols.
The single case of the tick-borne protozoal disease was detected by the Ministry of Primary Industries and grounded flights just two weeks following the resumption of exports post COVID-19.
NZB Airfreight has since worked closely with MPI, the Department of Agriculture Australia and Asure Quality to ensure minimum delay and impact on future exports.
While new regulations and safety plans are already in place due to COVID-19, flights are set to resume in the next two to three weeks with a slightly longer lead in time due to new requirements of pre-export blood testing specifically for piroplasmosis.
NZB Airfreight Manager Greg Northcott is hopeful that New Zealand can regain nationwide freedom from piroplasmosis and return to a simpler exporting process that owners and breeders are accustomed to, once the investigation is completed.
“Thanks to the detail and traceability procedures of Cambridge Stud and the MPI Investigation team, they were able to quickly respond and provide confidence to our trading partners that exporting of horses could resume,” commented Northcott.
“We are aware of the urgency to get horses across to Australia and further afield for racing and breeding commitments.
“Our clients have been extremely patient given the COVID-19 restrictions and now the piroplasmosis set back that has caused a significant delay in exports, so we appreciate that and the tireless work of many officials to get freighting back up and running as soon as possible.”
NZB continue to work closely with all regulatory bodies, airlines and governments around the world to get travel lines open to all of our major racing jurisdictions.
For any queries or to book your horses flight, contact NZB Airfreight Manager Greg Northcott on +64 27 459 4995 or email Greg.Northcott@nzb.co.nz.
NZB Standardbred’s highly anticipated 2020 All Age Sale saw New Zealand’s largest breeding stock go under the digital hammer on New Zealand Bloodstock’s online subsidiary platform gavelhouse.com.
Despite initial COVID-19 uncertainty, the first-ever sale of its kind saw 138 lots sell for a total turnover of $1,042,310. The average reached $7,553 and the median settled at $4,550.
The confidence in the market over the past week of bidding has been reflected in the strong clearance rate, which topped the 97% threshold at the close of selling.
NZB Director and Operations Manager James Jennings was delighted with the outcome of the Sale.
“I think it’s a great result in light of recent and unprecedented circumstances.
“The support and commitment we received from vendors was echoed by the remarkable clearance rate and their enthusiasm to meet the market.
“There was a strong, international buying bench present and we are thankful for their participation in the Sale,” said Jennings.
The top-priced Lot of the session was an Art Major weanling colt out of Alta Camilla (Lot 75). The colt was secured for $52,500 by Stonewall Stud’s Jill Stockman from the draft of Alabar Farms.
“He is from a great family and is a very nice looking colt, we are happy to have secured him,” said Stockman.
Stockman had completed her research prior to the Sale taking place.
“The online bidding experience has been really good overall, it was certainly a different experience but Steve Telfer had gone to look at the horses first, so we knew exactly what we were bidding on.”
First season sires were in hot-demand this evening, highlighted by Stonewall Stud’s purchase of Lot 35, a Downbytheseseaside filly out of Revere Me for $50,000 from the draft of Woodlands Stud.
“She is a lovely filly and I think given her pedigree she would have made six figures had she gone through the ring next February.
“She definitely ticked all the boxes for us,” said Stockman.
Over the Tasman, prominent buyer Jean Feiss locked in Lot 26, another Woodlands Stud colt by Downbytheseaside out of Panforte for $26,000.
Feiss was pleased with her purchase, “normally I don’t go for first season sires but I just liked the type of weanling he was, that’s what attracted me to him.
“He could have been anything, I truly thought he was an outstanding weanling.”
The previous owner of Vincent herself, Feiss also secured two of his offspring, Lot 44 (ex Sheza Monkee) filly and Lot 103 (ex Delightful Lover) filly for $19,000 and $26,000 respectively.
“I really liked these two fillies, their breeding stood out to me as well as their exceptional type.
“Overall Vincent has produced some outstanding types and I hope they are going to represent his results on the track.
Feiss was pleased with the outcome of the digital format but is looking forward to getting back into the physical auction ring.
“I think given the circumstances it went very well, it has been great to see vendors rewarded and buyers being able to secure good stock but I think we are all looking forward to when things can go back to normal,” said Feiss.
Alabar Farms (NZ) General Manager Graeme Henley was elated with the result of his resident first season sire Vincent.
“We thought the Sale went great overall, the biggest thing we were thrilled about was how Vincent’s progeny sold.
“It was a great outcome for us and it was nice to see them receive the prices they deserve.
“It’s been a lot of work and a bit of a roller coaster leading up to the Sale but the results we achieved today has made it all worthwhile,” commented Henley.
First-time digital buyer Shane Sanderson was pleased with the simple online process on the gavelhouse.com Standardbred platform.
“It was easy for me to get verified as a buyer and a good experience. I ended up purchasing Lot 59, a Rock N Roll Heaven filly from a good producing family for $20,000. I actually trained one of the half-sisters so I was pretty happy,” said Sanderson.
Bidding is set to close on New Zealand Bloodstock Standardbred’s online All Age Sale today.
Final bids on the first Lot closes at 1pm and when this auction closes, final bids will then be taken on Lot 2 and so on and so forth as we work our way through the 148 Lot catalogue.
Those planning on bidding must familiarise themselves with the bidding tips below and can call +64 9 269 4436 should they have any questions.
As of Wednesday morning, just over half of the horses on offer have met their reserves. The two highest priced Lots thus far are Lot 75, a colt by Art Major in Alta Debonair and Lot 103 a filly by Vincent. Both sit on $26,000 at this stage.
Buyers will recieve an invoice this afternoon and have five working days to settle their accounts.
Make sure you’re registered and your account is set up properly, well before the auction is set to close.
If you are bidding from the listing page or your shortlist and are outbid, you must type in the next bid amount. The site does not automatically update the next bid amount.
Each auction will auto-extend by adding extra time on if a bid is placed in the final 30 seconds. This will happen indefinitely until no further bids are placed and will also add more time onto each of the subsequent Lots. Please note, there is no benefit in last second bidding as the site will only extend the auction for longer. Bidders are encouraged to get their bids on early.
Use auto-bids to take the stress out of the final countdown and use the refresh button to make sure your page is keeping up with the live auction.
gavelhouse.com cannot identify loss of online connection or browser issues at the user’s end. Even a slight loss of internet connection that may not be noticeable can interrupt the user’s browser in following the sale in real-time. Setting up an auto-bid is the best way to ensure your bids are placed.
Google Chrome or Safari are the recommended internet browsers.
gavelhouse.com staff are able assist in actively supporting both buyers and vendors during the sale, if you need a hand with registrations or bidding, we are available on phone +64 9 296 4436 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to help.
New Zealand Bloodstock Standardbred bosses are seeing the last-day flurry they expected as New Zealand’s largest ever online sale comes into the home straight.
NZB Standardbred’s All Age Sale finishes tomorrow on gavelhouse.com, the first time a major catalogue of standardbred horses has been sold on that platform in New Zealand.
Will gavelhouse.com has been active in in the standardbred market for over a year, the migrating of the entire All Age Sale catalogue with it’s very strong weanling component came about because of COVID-19 and has enormously boosted the registrations to the site, with 205 new potential buyers registered in the last week.
And there has been plenty of clicking in the last 24 hours as the Sale draws to it’s conclusion starting at 1pm tomorrow (Wednesday).
“The Sale starts the countdown to closing off at 1pm on Wednesday,” says NZB Director James Jennings.
“At 1pm the first lot starts its one-minute countdown to being sold but if anybody bids in the last 30 seconds that lot will auto extend for 30 more seconds.
“That is to stop somebody waiting until the last second to bid and other potential buyers not having the chance to counter bid.
“So once that lot is sold the next lot starts to countdown for its last minute and so on until the sale is complete.”
Jennings and his team have been thrilled with the response to the Sale, with 52 horses already having met their reserve.
“That is not only great for their vendors but also for the buyers because it shows that reserves have been realistic.”
Jennings says the Sale has been typical of Trade Me-style auctions when buyers know they have a week to bid.
“We saw a flurry of activity over the weekend when people have had more time to study the catalogue and bid.
“And we have been helping some of the newly registered buyers through that process.
“So the next 24 hours should be really exciting. But already we are thrilled the Sale has gone so well.”
One of the key attractions of the Sale is any weanling purchased will be eligible for the Harness Million series.
Pinhookers will also have the opportunity to re-enter their purchases for next February’s National Yearling Sale, at an unmoved entry fee of $950 plus GST for the Auckland Sale or $925 plus GST for the Christchurch Sale.
Entries for those sales open in June and will be made through the new NZB Standardbred portal which enables online entry, so no more paper forms.