The desire to buy yet another world-class equine athlete will see seasoned Australian-based Bloodstock Agent, Duncan Ramage return to New Zealand Bloodstock’s Karaka Sales Complex for the 2019 edition of the annual National Yearling Sale series next week.
Ramage has been coming to Karaka since the early 1990’s and uses a simple philosophy in his buying process.
“As always we hope to find the individuals that develop and mature into the fast race horses,” he said.
“If you do your homework, have a good look and be creative in your thoughts, they are there.”
Ramage will arrive four days out from the opening sale session and will cast his eye over a wide array of individuals that he has ear-marked in the Book 1 catalogue.
“We used to do all the parades leading into the sale for years but I decided that was unfair on the horses,” he said.
“I found it is better judging them all within a few days rather than having an impression of one from three weeks ago.
“At a January sale they are still very much babies and one to two months is a big portion of their life in that time, so I’ve given that away.”
Ramage remembers all-to-well one of his first forays to Karaka back in 1994 as he returned home with an upstanding Kaapstad youngster who, under the name Catalan Opening, went on to win twice at Group One level in Australia while also capturing the prestigious Hong Kong Bowl at Sha Tin.
Since then Ramage has never missed a Sale with some of his most notable purchases including multiple Group One winners So You Think and Norzita along with tough-as-teak stayer Precedence.
Along with the (NZ) moniker behind the name of each individual, denoting them as New Zealand-bred, each of those three carried the unmistakeable racing colours of leviathan owner, Dato Tan Chin Nam and were trained by the master, Bart Cummings.
Ramage has been heavily involved in sourcing horses for the wealthy Malaysian entrepreneur over many decades and that will continue even after his passing in October last year.
“I bought Catalan Opening for Dato Tan Chin Nam in one of my first sales at Karaka,” Ramage said.
“We had many many great years buying for him.
“With Dato’s passing his horses now race under the Think Big Stud banner, which is a company.
“That company has a budget to continue racing although it probably won’t race in the expansive nature as he once did, but we will be more selective with a smaller pool of horses going forward.”
While Ramage will continue to buy for the Think Big Stud operation he is also quick to welcome other potential clients.
“My shingle will be out, I’m a gun for hire,” he quipped.
Ramage is also looking forward to getting back to New Zealand and the Karaka environment which he describes as world-class.
“It’s still the best sale-ground and the hospitality is second to one,” he said. – NZ Racing Desk