The opening Book 2 session of Tattersalls October Yearling Sale was an opportunity for Kia Ora Stud to snatch a well-bred filly by Zoustar. We caught up with Shane Wright, Kia Ora’s bloodstock manager, about what might be a proverbial steal.

Park Paddocks was alive with activity once again on Monday, with Book 2 kicking off for the Tattersalls October Yearling Sale. As a Sea The Stars (Ire) colt took top billing at 800,000gns (AU$1.47 million), Australia’s Kia Ora Stud put up its hand for Lot 627, a Zoustar filly.

It was the second purchase of the sale so far for the Hunter Valley farm. In Book 1, Kia Ora purchased Lot 400, a French-bred Wootton Bassett (GB) filly from the Canford Cliffs (Ire) mare Charm Appeal (Fr), who was twice a stakes winner in France. On both occasions, Irish trainer Joseph O’Brien signed the ticket on Kia Ora’s behalf.


Lot 400 – Wootton Bassett (GB) x Charm Appeal (Fr) (filly), Kia Ora’s purchase from Book 1 of the Tattersalls October Yearling Sale | Image courtesy of Tattersalls


On Monday, Lot 627 fetched 110,000gns, a price that equates to about $202,000 and one which Shane Wright, Kia Ora’s bloodstock manager, was pretty pleased with.

“We’re always looking at catalogues from around the world, and a big key to it is finding pedigrees that you really like but that also might have an Australian angle,” he said. “What Zoustar has done throughout his career, but in particular the last few months, is hit a new height, especially with his fillies.

“Nicely bred fillies that are a good physical type won’t be picked up for this sort of money (110,000gns) at Magic Millions or Easter next year, you can be sure.”

Zoustar has 20 yearlings in Book 2 this week. Five were sold on Monday, with Lot 627 the highest-selling of them.

In Book 1 last week, the Widden resident, who began reverse-shuttling to Tweenhills Stud in 2019, had 12 lots catalogued, with the highest-selling being Lot 442, a filly consigned by Chasemore Farm that sold to Karl and Kelly Burke for 325,000gns, or just shy of $600,000.

Compare this to Zoustar’s top-selling filly at this year’s Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale, Lot 236 from Jolie Bay (Fastnet Rock), who sold for $950,000.

Zoustar’s overall average in Book 1 last week was 128,636gns (AU$240,000) for 11 yearlings sold, with his best-selling colt selling to Blandford Bloodstock from Tally-Ho Stud (Lot 244) for 200,000gns (AU$367,500).

Kia Ora’s purchase on Monday was a neat bay filly from the draft of Egmont Stud. She is from the mare Madernia (Ire), a daughter of Duke Of Marmalade (Ire) that was twice-placed in Listed company in France.

Madernia is also a half-sister to Salouen (Ire) (Canford Cliffs {Ire}), who was a Listed winner at Ascot and Group-placed multiple times, including a second in the G1 Coronation Cup and G1 Prix Jean-Luc Lagardère.


Lot 627 – Zoustar x Madernia (Ire) (filly) | Image courtesy of Tattersalls


“Her Zoustar factor was a big-selling point, but it’s a solid pedigree the whole way down,” Wright said. “There’s a French champion on it (Keltos, the 2002 Champion Older Miler in Europe), and there’s a lot of upside in the first dam. Munch looks to have potential as well.”

Munch (GB), a filly by New Bay (GB) and bred by China Horse Club, is a half-sister to Kia Ora’s new purchase. She’s a 2-year-old with trainer David Menuisier, and she’s had three starts for a win and a second. Her win came at Goodwood on September 6 when she clattered home in a Class 2 by 2l.

“The Duke Of Marmalade factor probably isn’t that well-known in Australia, but you can’t deny that relevance and toughness in the breed,” Wright said. “In Europe, it goes a long way, so I think we’re lucky with speed in Australia. If you can add that little bit of tenacity, it goes a long way and we’ve had good success doing that before.”

More shopping for Kia Ora

Kia Ora hasn’t yet nailed down its immediate plans for Lot 627, but it’s likely she’ll begin her racing career in Europe. After that, it’s highly likely she’ll wind up in Kia Ora’s paddocks as a broodmare.

“When you buy fillies like that, hopefully she’s got a long, successful racing career ahead of her, but you’re also looking at the residual value at the end of it,” Wright said. “There are a multitude of stallions down this direction, including our own that we stand here at Kia Ora, that could suit her.

“She’ll definitely begin her racing career up north and we’ll see how she goes from there. There’s a lot of water to go under the bridge and she’ll tell us along the way.”

Kia Ora is remaining optimistic about the rest of the Tattersalls catalogue. With two purchases in the bag, it still has a shortlist of yearlings on the way through this week and next.

“We’ve got a little list that we’re looking through,” Wright said. “At this stage, we’re seeing how it all unravels. Trade in England has been very, very strong and you can see what an amazing job Tattersalls is doing.”

Story courtesy of TDN Aus NZ