ThoroughBred Racing

NZ ends mandatory isolation periods in time for Karaka Yearling Sale

NZ ends mandatory isolation periods in time for Karaka Yearling Sale

Expatriate Kiwis have jumped at the chance to return home for the New Zealand Bloodstock Karaka Yearling Sale after the country’s government ended mandatory isolation periods for those jetting in from overseas.


NZB last year made the call to delay its 2022 national sale, traditionally held in late January, to March in the hope that the international border would be reopened but they were resigned to having a solely domestic buying bench on the grounds until the sudden change in protocols.

Prime minister Jacinda Ardern announced on Monday afternoon that all New Zealand citizens could return home from Australia at midnight tonight while those from the rest of the world will be able to return from Friday.

All unvaccinated travellers will still need to enter hotel quarantine. Agent Bevan Smith had only last week decided not to undertake the isolation period in order to attend the Karaka sale but he immediately changed his mind upon learning of the PM’s decision.

“With the isolation period being removed as of midnight Wednesday, it makes it viable to do the sale. I can be out on the grounds first thing Thursday morning and do my job properly,” Smith said yesterday.

“The key factor was the isolation period and I wasn’t going to be able to get out of isolation until the sale started and then I wouldn’t have been doing my clients any justice by not being able to look at the horses. e situation means now that I can get there on the grounds and see everything and provide the full service that I normally do.” Smith will return from New Zealand in time for the Magic Millions Adelaide Yearling Sale, which starts on Tuesday, March 15, while Pinhook Bloodstock’s Dave Mee will also now complete the Auckland-South Australia sale double.

“It has been extremely frustrating up until now, but it is great for everyone. I’ve had a lot of calls from friends in New Zealand and they’re all delighted to see us come back,” Mee said. “Most of the Kiwis (trainers and agents) can’t wait to get there.

I am pleased to say that I’ve got some orders and I will probably pick up a bit more business over there. “I’ve got a great mate over there in John White who will be helping me, too.

” Dean Hawthorne, who has been acting for Lindsay Park at the Australian sales so far this year, is also heading to Karaka. Fellow Kiwi agent Paul Moroney had already made the trip to Auckland from Melbourne to undertake seven days of isolation to allow him to attend the NZB sale, but he will now be allowed to attend the Karaka complex from tomorrow morning.

Australian agent Craig Rounsefell of Boomer Bloodstock, who represents the Hong Kong Jockey Club, won’t be at Karaka but he will be paying close attention to the auction.

He will rely on the experienced eye of Ascot Farm’s Bruce Harvey who has been doing the legwork in New Zealand for Rounsefell and the HKJC. “Bruce Harvey, who has obviously been associated with the Club for many years, has been working hard on the farm with the current restrictions,” Rounsefell said.

“It looks like I won’t be able to make it on the grounds, but I’ll be coordinating with Bruce, so hopefully I’ll be able to snag some good ones out there.”e six-day NZB Karaka Yearling Sale starts on Monday.