Valachi Downs mares attracting strong interest

Off the back of strong results at their weanling dispersal sale at Karaka last week, Valachi Downs are heading towards the business end of their unreserved broodmare and stallion shares dispersal sale on plus.gavelhouse.com.

It was an emotional sale for the Valachi Downs team, headed by General Manager Gareth Downey (centre).
It was an emotional sale for the Valachi Downs team, headed by General Manager Gareth Downey (centre). Picture: Angelique Bridson

The Matamata Farm is offering 51 quality broodmares to the public and they have already received strong interest, with bidding set to conclude on Friday night.

"We are very happy with the level of interest," Valachi Downs General Manager Gareth Downey said.

"We have been very busy at the farm hosting the parades. There appears to be good bidding interest online and registration interest.

"It looks like the catalogue will attract the level of interest it deserves and we are feeling confident of that."

Downey has been particularly pleased with the interest shown in three mares who hail from the Bohemian Blues family, with her Group Two winning daughter Bohemian Lily the dam of last week's sale-topping colt at the New Zealand Bloodstock National Weanling Sale.

"Bohemian Lily has already left a stakes-placed horse (Lily's Lady) and that Savabeel colt at the weanling sale was outstanding and sold accordingly for $360,000 to very good judges and a very good home in Te Akau," he said.

"Honfleur has now left two foals, one, a U S Navy Flag colt, sold for $340,000 as a yearling, and the U S Navy Flag filly sold as a weanling last week for $160,000.

"It is a great endorsement of the type of horse she is leaving. Now being in-foal to Savabeel, she looks like a wonderful opportunity to enter into that family.

"Lily's Lady was Group Two placed and just retired off the track and is a maiden mare. She is gorgeous physically. The family is so reliable in both the quality of runner it leaves and also the type it leaves."

Downey is also intrigued to see what Baggy Green, the dam of four-time Group One winner Tofane, will fetch on Friday evening.

"If you tried to pick the flagship of the sale it is probably her alongside Bohemian Lily," he said.

"Baggy Green is quite exceptional in terms of how well-related she is and her production record.

"In her first five foals she has left a multiple Group One-winning sprinter (Tofane), a Group-winning middle-distance horse in Sydney (No Compromise), and a horse (Benaud) that very nearly beat Hitotsu in a Derby.

"She is a truly exceptional broodmare and she is now carrying a full-sibling to Tofane. Mares like her hardly ever come to the market, and she is an opportunity for someone to try and get themselves a prized collection."

Group Two winner Needle And Thread is another that has garnered strong interest.

"Needle And Thread is the other obvious standout," Downey said.

"There has been a lot of interest so far. She has a gorgeous family behind her and she was a high-class race mare herself, winning a Group Two and she had so much ability."

The sale also includes eight stallion shares.

"There is a range of stallion shares available and there has been a fair bit of bidding interest," Downey said.

"The Savabeel share is the standout and there are a range of other stallions there which should have good interest. It will be interesting to see what they get to."

It has been a busy time for the team at Valachi Downs and Downey said he has been proud of their efforts over such a trying time.

"I am very proud of the team in the way we are conducting the sale. It is a very difficult time emotionally to be saying goodbye to these mares and the property," he said.

"The team fronts up every day smiling like we have always done. I am very proud of the team and very appreciative of the buying bench that are showing the level of interest that they are.

"We are keen to go out in a way that honours Kevin (Hickman, farm principal) and his legacy, he has made such a big contribution to the industry, and it would be nice to see the final sale of his bloodstock show that appreciation."

Bidding on Lot 1 will conclude at 7pm on Friday. 


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