Davis ‘Hopeful’ EU Call Will Impact

It might take a little time

Renowned New Zealand auctioneer Steve Davis – the backbone of Bloodstock SA sales for two decades – is ‘hopeful’ the reinstatement of the direct export of horses will have an immediate effect on this week’s National Yearling Sale at Gosforth.

However, Davis who left Auckland last Friday night on his umpteenth journey to Johannesburg via Sydney warned that “it might take a little time for the potential opportunities to filter through to buyers from Europe.”

Steve Davis – selling up a storm (Pic – Supplied)

David Mollett writes than on 25 March 25, Adrian Todd, Managing Director of SAEHP (South African Equine Health and Protocols) broke the ground-breaking news of the reinstatement of direct exports to Europe.

An outbreak of African Horse Sickness in 2011 led to a ban on exports from SA.

“SAEHP was formed due to the vision of Chris Van Niekerk and the Export Task Team which he jointly founded with Mrs Susan Rowett as a cooperative venture between the sales companies,” said Todd.

The big news on the bloodstock front in the last week has been the sale of a daughter of champion Winx for A$10 million – the highest-priced yearling sold at public auction in Australia.

Prior to this sale, the highest price for a yearling in Australia came in 2013 when a half-brother to Black Caviar made A$ 5 million.

“There was a lot of press prior to the sale featuring the American underbidder, John Stewart, saying he was going to A$9 million. An interesting ploy as it obviously meant Debbie Kepitis knew what she had to go to. She owns a third, but A$6,6 million is still a large outlay,” said Davis.

The highest price yearling Steve has sold is Forbidden Love at A$4,1 million at Magic Millions in Australia. He was on the rostrum when Simon Vivian sold New Zealand’s highest priced yearling Don Eduardo, a son of Zabeel, for NZ$ 3,6 million (2m Euros). “The horse won a Derby but was not overly commercial at stud.”

The highest price ever paid for a yearling remains Seattle Dancer, a half-brother to Seattle Slew, who made $13,1 million when sold at Kentucky in 2013.

As always, Davis has done his homework on the 2024 National Yearling Sale catalogue. “On paper this looks to be a strong catalogue. If the yearlings match up physically, it will be a good sale.”

A total of 393 will come under the hammer of Davis and his long-time colleague, Andrew Miller, and they will both be hoping to sell the top lot.

Apart from top sires such as Gimmethegreenlight and Vercingetorix, buyers also get the chance of buying the progeny of new sires including One World, Hawaamm, Buffalo Bill Cody, Erik The Red and Soqrat.

Royal Victory, winner of the Premier’s Challenge at Turffontein and now priced at 7.14-1 for the Hollywoodbets Durban July, was a 2021 BSA National Yearling Sale graduate. Ambiance Stud are offering his half-sister (by Querari) on the first day of the sale.

Another 2021 graduate is the Justin Snaith inmate, Mucho Dinero, and owner Nic Jonsson’s son of Twice Over is a 6.25-1 chance with the sponsors for the July.

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