The chief auctioneer at the New Zealand Bloodstock sales at Karaka likens the thoroughbred breeding industry to the economy - not brilliant.
Some 1400 horses are expected to be sold at the sales this week.
Prices so far are well down on a year ago, with a first-day average of $145,000, compared to $165,000 a year ago.
New Zealand Bloodstock chairman and chief auctioneer Joe Walls says sales could pick up later in the week.
''We were very confident we had a good bench of buyers,'' he said. ''There's every chance the sale will get towards whehere we were last year.''
A top price of $740,000 was paid on Monday for a Stravinsky filly from Sir Patrick Hogan's Cambridge Stud.