Lot 203 bay gelding Almanzor – Oyster Island (Fastnet Rock) $57,500 (draft: Riversley Park)
He breezed up in a smart time (10.56) and displayed good extension in the process.
By one of the best credentialed stallions to shuttle to New Zealand in the last decade, Almanzor (Wotton Bassett) was European Champion Three-Year-Old and claimed the same titles in Ireland and France.
Commencing stud duties in 2018 at Cambridge Stud, Almanzor was immediately in lights through the deeds of Karaka Million 2YO (Restricted Listed, 1200m) winner and Group One placed Dynastic (Almanzor), purchased as yearling by David Ellis at Karaka.
His oldest crop three-year-olds were recently celebrated when colt Manzoice won the VRC Derby (Gr. 1, 2500m) earlier in November.
Revered Champion stallion Fastnet Rock (Danehill) is extending his influence as a broodmare sire, which seemed inevitable given the feats of his progeny including 42 individual Group One winners.
“We’ve been excited about the progeny of Almanzor from the outset and they have certainly been to the fore,” said David Ellis.
“This horse is a really good combination of the influences of both Almanzor and Fastnet Rock, with a lot of strength and muscle.”
Somewhat coincidentally, the purchase price ($57,500) is the exact amount Ellis paid for Melody Belle as a yearling at Karaka. The Te Akau star mare was twice voted NZ Horse of the Year and set a New Zealand record 14 Group One wins.