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Te Akau land seven-figure Savabeel colt out of star filly Katie Lee

Second day of Karaka Book 1 also sees Fastnet Rock colt reach a million

Lot 301: the Savabeel son of Katie Lee was the star of day two at Karaka
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Te Akau Racing’s David Ellis showed his strength on the buying bench when he went to NZ$1.025 million (£534,000/€607,000) for a Savabeel colt out of the history-making filly Katie Lee, one of two lots to reach seven figures on day two of the New Zealand Bloodstock Karaka Yearling Sale.

Ellis, who also paid NZ$900,000 for a Savabeel filly and NZ$625,000 for a Snitzel colt on Monday to maintain his position as the sale’s leading buyer, had to fend off Debbie Rogerson and then retired trainer Peter Moody to land the high-priced colt.

In a tense bidding process which slowed when Ellis went to NZ$975,000, Moody then chimed in at NZ$1 million before the Te Akau Racing chief went one last time to win out.

Catalogue and results

The top-priced Savabeel colt joined a Fastnet Rock colt who made NZ$1 million earlier in the session as the two horses after two days of selling to reach the mark.

Te Akau Racing’s new acquisition is the fourth foal out of the 2009 New Zealand champion three-year-old Katie Lee, who was the first filly to complete the New Zealand 1,000 Guineas and New Zealand 2,000 Guineas double.

“I see him as a colt that could win a Sires’ Produce and a great option for the 2,000 Guineas later,” Ellis said.

“That was my last bid to win him. I knew when I got on the wrong leg the other guy would go to NZ$1 million and the next bid was my last.

“We will get the rest of the colts for the syndicate during this sale. With the record of the New Zealand horses, why would you want to go anywhere else?”

Savabeel filly also joins Te Akau

Not long before striking for the Savabeel - Katie Lee colt, Ellis went to NZ$900,000 for another Cambridge Stud-consigned yearling, a filly from the family of La Sizeranne, by the Waikato Stud-based champion sire.

Catalogued as Lot 290, the Savabeel filly is the second foal out of the twice-winning, stakes-placed Redoute’s Choice mare Joy’s Choice, who is a half-sister to Group Two winner La Sizeranne and the stakes-placed pair Imperial Lass and Napa Sky.

Another half-sister, Sara Ann, is also the dam of ATC Australian Derby winner Tavago, while Group Three winner Weregoingtogetcha is out of the winning half-sister Sweetness 'N Light.

Sale Results - Days One and Two

Catalogued: 320
Sold: 232 (77%)
Aggregate: NZ$38,307,500
Average: NZ$165,119
Median: NZ$120,000
Top Lot: NZ$1,025,000

Ellis said the filly stood out when he undertook on-farm inspections at Cambridge Stud and he formulated a plan to buy her to add to his Te Akau stables team at Matamata, overseen by Stephen Autridge and Jamie Richards.

“It was ten years since I had seen a filly of her quality,” Ellis said. “At that stage I didn’t have a buying order for a really top filly and I wasn’t prepared to spec a filly of that sort of value.

“I went home and each night I would wake up at 3am thinking about how I could get a filly like that in the stable for the boys to train. I thought I would put a fillies syndicate together, similar to the colts and this is the first filly I have bought for this syndicate.

“Fillies like her have huge residual value regardless of their racetrack performance, with individuals from this family very hard to find.

“I’ve grown up loving this family and to think we now have one to train is a huge thrill.”

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With the record of the New Zealand horses, why would you want to go anywhere else?
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