The Eliza Park International team were active in Europe last week buying a total of 14 mares at the December Sales conducted by Tattersalls and Arqana.
The purchases included Group 3 winner Moment in Time (Tiger Hill) for 350,000 guineas (AUD 667,665) at Tattersalls and Listed winner Festoso (Diesis) in foal to Galileo for 420,000 euros (AUD 643,540) at Arqana.
Eliza Park CEO Alvin Lui was accompanied by the stud’s long-serving bloodstock advisor David O’Callaghan. “The mares will all foal down in Europe next year,” O’Callaghan said. “Then, subject to what type of foals they have, the foals will be resold in Europe. We will then assess whether the mares get bred back in the UK and resold, or whether they go to Australia.
“Eliza Park International has about 35 – 40 mares now, and some of those will be sold, so that will come back to around 20. Over time, we would like to get the broodmare band to around 100. It will take some time, because you can’t always buy what you want.”
O’Callaghan said that it was the strength of the pedigrees, as well as the market, in Europe that encouraged the Eliza Park International shareholders to get involved.
“There are different pedigrees, different families and different physical types,” he noted. “The European mares have done very well in Australia. They give you a bit of an outcross to what you have at home, so again it’s just something a bit different. It enables you to use different types of stallions and different pedigrees, and have access to a different marketplace.
“As we saw last week it’s so strong in Europe at the moment that it seems silly not to be involved in it somehow.”
O’Callaghan added that the Eliza Park International expansion could also includes forays into the shuttle stallion sector. “That’s certainly something we’re keen to look into,” he said. “We’ve shuttled quite a few stallions from the Northern Hemisphere over the years, and that’s something we want to continue to do, but probably more in our own ownership.
O’Callaghan also stated that Eliza Park International could expand into markets in the East. “Eliza Park International is listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange, and their other businesses allow them access to a very big client base in Asia and China,” he explained.
“That’s something we’re certainly aware of, and in the event that something happens in China, we’re well positioned to be able to take advantage of it. Certainly, we can continue trading horses in Singapore and Hong Kong, as we have done in the past.”
Eliza Park International owner Cheung Ting Kong, 37, is popularly known as the “Sunshine Man” in Asian racing circles where he has dozens of horses in work. His Sun International Group is a Hong Kong based business operating in Natural Resource Development, Online games and Leisure Resorts.
Cheung Ting Kong purchased Eliza Park from former owner Lee Fleming shortly after it was placed in receivership in April.