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Bluebloods : Karaka 2010 Yearling Sale Preview
READY FOR A PERFECT START 22 Demand for his weanlings at Karaka in May 2009 was strong, and he achieved the top price of that sale when Wellfield Lodge paid $56,000 for the colt from Axislass, with an average of $25,117 for 15 lots sold. The reasons for Perfectly Ready's appeal to breeders and buyers aren't hard to find. He's the only New Zealand-based stallion by two- time champion Australian sire of two-year- olds More Than Ready, responsible for the last two Golden Slipper Gr. 1 winners, Sebring and Phelan Ready. As a grandson of recently deceased champion Argentine sire Southern Halo, Perfectly Ready represents the Turn-to sire-line that has already worked spectacularly well with New Zealand female families, through Sir Tristram, Zabeel and Grosvenor. The distaff line of Perfectly Ready's pedigree is equally familiar to New Zealanders. He's from the famous "Belle" family developed by the late James and Annie Sarten, and maintained into this century by their daughter Marie Leicester and many other breeders. Perfectly Ready's dam Elle Duccio is a winning half-sister, by Danehill (sire of five Golden Slipper winners) to Belle du Jour, who won the 2000 Golden Slipper with a whirlwind finish after missing the start. ick King's excitement about Perfectly Ready's first-crop yearlings is palpable, even two months out from Karaka 2010. The 43 yearlings catalogued for the New Zealand Premier and Select sales represent three years of careful planning and enthusiastic promotion by Nick and his wife Anne-Marie at Brighthill Farm. Nick says, "There's a great feeling around this horse and it's building all the time. He's getting every single opportunity he needs to succeed at stud." The brilliant Group One-winning son of More Than Ready was raced by Vinery Stud and Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Maktoum who remain majority owners, in partnership with several successful New Zealand studs and private breeders. Nick says, "All his owners have supported him with numbers and quality in each of his first three seasons. We also set his fee at $12,000 with the aim of attracting big strong books of mares and we're absolutely delighted to achieve that." Perfectly Ready covered books of 135 and 149 in his first two seasons, and his 2009 book will close off at more than 135 mares. N Perfectly Ready is also the only stallion standing in New Zealand who won Australian Group races at two, three and four, which Nick says highlights just how hard that is to do. "He showed precocity at two, but also the toughness to keep winning in Group company for two more seasons. That kind of form is usually very difficult to secure for New Zealand." In all, he recorded five wins and three placings from 15 starts, all but one in Group or Listed races, and eight of them in Group One events. That consistent competitiveness is reflected in Perfectly Ready's Timeform ratings of 118 at two, 122 at three and 120 at four. Asked to name Perfectly Ready's career-best performance, Nick notes the merit of his SAJC Goodwood H. Gr. 1 victory at three, but plumps for his second-start MRC Blue Diamond Prelude Gr. 3 win. "He showed blistering speed, kicked away from a top- drawer field, including four subsequent Group One winners, and simply left them to it." Nick adds that Perfectly Ready was very unlucky in his final race, in the 1600-metre VRC Emirates S. Gr. One. "He had no luck at all in the running, and still ran fourth to Divine Madonna, Niconero and Valedictum." Nick says breeders have generally taken one of two approaches to selecting mares for Perfectly Ready. "They have either doubled- up on his damsire by sending Danehill-line mares, or have sent mares by stallions from outcross sire-lines, such as Mr Prospector. He's also served a number of Belle family mares, so it will be interesting to see what they produce." Four of More Than Ready's six Group One winners are from Northern Dancer-line mares, and three of them (Sebring, Benicio and Perfectly Ready) are out of mares by Danehill or his son Flying Spur. However, Sebring's pedigree features inbreeding to both Mr Prospector and Northern Dancer; and Carry on Cutie's dam is by Conquistarose, a grand-son of Mr Prospector. Brighthill Farm faces the next, crucial stage of Perfectly Ready's stud career with confidence based on a pedigree full of early- maturing speed, a quality race record and two crops of athletic, powerful, short- coupled horses with a relaxed temperament, just like their sire. Nick says, "We're happy to position him as a sire of get-up-and-run two-year-olds likely to contest the Karaka Million, and his racing owners intend to buy several of his yearlings at Karaka to place with leading Australian trainers. "Perfectly Ready has had every opportunity at stud and has left wonderful types to build on this. We are very confident that not only will buyers be impressed with the yearlings, but also that his progeny will go on to impress on the track!"
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