Kiwi Chronicles

A weekend to remember for Waikato Stud

Waikato Stud’s Mark Chittick had many reasons to smile over the weekend, especially after the running of two Group 2s on both sides of the Tasman. 

The Travis Stakes (Gr 2, 2000m) at Te Rapa on Saturday saw Pierina (Savabeel) ring up her sire’s 114th stakes winner when the six-year-old bolted clear at the 300 metres and went to the line by a commanding five lengths.

The mare was backing up from a strong third in the Anzac Mile (Listed, 1550m) at Awapuni on Anzac Day, just six days prior. Wide all the way, she powered home and was clearly very fit for Saturday’s assignment. In the Travis Stakes she gave her opponents little chance once in the lead, taking her career record to five wins which includes an Ellerslie victory and two wins in three starts at three in New South Wales.

Pierina represents a truly wonderful family, largely due to Soliloquy Lodge’s Richard Moore.

Moore has been breeding from this family for more than half a century, beginning with his purchase of Gabardine (Gabador) in 1965. The mare was carrying a filly foal by the incomparable Pakistan II (Palestine), later named Princess Patine, an Ellerslie two-year-old winner and dam of the top class performer Soliloquy (Sobig).

The Sobig (Summertime)-Pakistan II cross proved magical with Soliloquy herself a 13-time winner, including the Lion Brown Sprint (Gr 1, 1400m). She would take her talents to the breeding paddock, establishing an outstanding family that can rightly be claimed as one of the best in the stud book.

The same year Princess Patine was foaled (1965), her close relative Prince Grant (Alcimedes) won the AJC Derby (Gr 1, 12f). He would later add the Sydney Cup (Gr 1, 16f) and the Queen Elizabeth Stakes (Gr 1, 10f). The same year that Soliloquy was foaled (1971), another close relative, (a three-quarter blood brother to Prince Grant), Silver Knight (Alcimedes) won the Melbourne Cup (Gr 1, 16f).

Princess Patine produced three stakes winners, Soliloquy, as well as the speedy Count Ajax (Bismark II), winner of 15 races including the Straight Six (Listed, 1200m) at Flemington.

Soliloquy would go one better with four: Solveig (Imposing), three Group 1s including the New Zealand Oaks; Soltanto (Tights), a Group 2 winner; Reasoning (Sound Reason), a Listed winner, and, Quibble (Ruling), also a Listed winner, dam of Sydney Cup (Gr 1, 3200m) winner Cross Swords (Grosvenor) and the third dam of Pierina.

There have been eleven Group 1 winners descend from Princess Patine yet nine descend from Soliloquy herself. They make a formidable list, including Victoria Derby (Gr 1, 2500m) winner Fiveandahalfstar (Hotel Grand), 2017 AJC Derby (Gr 1, 2400m) winner Jon Snow (Iffraaj), Sydney Cup (Gr 1, 3200m) winners Cross Swords (see above) and Gallic (Zabeel), plus 2015 New Zealand Oaks (Gr 1, 2400m) winner Savaria (Savabeel).

Caulfield Cup victor Master O’Reilly (O’Reilly) descends from Lady Patine, a Crest of the Wave (Crepello) half-sister to Princess Patine.

Princess Patine is responsible for 39 stakes winners comprising 11 Group 1 winners and 25 Group 2 and 3 winners. No wonder it seems as if every year another good one emerges from this superb family.

Pierina’s dam Quizzical (Carnegie) scored twice and is also the dam of Listed winner Showemup (Showcasing). The mare died after producing a Sacred Falls (O’Reilly) colt in 2019 having foaled six fillies before that. Her 2018 Sacred Falls filly has yet to race.

More smiles

On top of a stakes double achieved by Kolding (Ocean Park) and All Hallows’ Eve (Sacred Falls) at Randwick a week ago, Waikato Stud took their ongoing show to Morphettville for a nice quinella in the Queen of the South Stakes (Gr 2, 1600m).

Fabric (Ocean Park), part-owned by Chittick, and Shop Til I Drop (Savabeel) fought out the finish. Fabric got into a bumping duel at the 300 metres, balanced up to be a close third at the 200 metres, grabbed a narrow lead at the 100 metres then fought hard to hold on by a short neck. Shop Til I Drop was the unlucky runner in the race being pocketed to the 100 metres before flashing home when clear.

Fabric headed to Adelaide with four Melbourne victories (two each at Flemington and Caulfield) to her credit and was second at Group 3 level last October in the Ladies Day Vase (1600m) at Caulfield. From 26 starts she has six wins, this her maiden stakes success, bringing to 15 the total stakes winners for her sire Ocean Park (Thorn Park).

Her dam, Haberdashery (Pins), never raced but did her job well at stud, foaling seven winners from seven to race. Apart from Fabric she also produced Listed winner Sewreel (Savabeel). She died in 2018 but produced six fillies including Fabric’s sister Ocean Deep, a dual Melbourne winner, so the continuation of her line looks assured.

“We have (some of the family) out of Haberdashery. Of course, we own Fabric, so she’ll be coming back into the broodmare band this season,” said Waikato Stud principal, Mark Chittick. 

“As for Quizzical, she was a little bit different, she was purchased by John O’Shea. He purchased two mares at the sales where Halloween was one mare he bought and Quizzical was the other.

“They were both bought on the same day and they’ve both left Group winners a week apart. 

“We sold the fillies out of Quizzical and then she threw some colts, so we don’t have anything out her in our broodmare band right now.”

Haberdashery’s half-brother, Lachlan River (Desert King), won the 2005 Queensland Derby (Gr 1, 2400m) and ran third in the 2005 LKS Mackinnon Stakes (Gr 1, 2000m) behind Lad Of The Manor (Zabeel).

Grandam Viveasha (Last Tycoon) was a two-year-old winner in Melbourne and ranks as a half-sister to My Flashing Star (Snippets) who scored the Blue Diamond Prelude (Gr 3, 1100m). Another half-sister, My Crystal Star (Copper Kingdom), produced French Bid (Anabaa) whose four wins in nine starts included three stakes, her best being the Swettenham Stakes (Gr 2, 1200m).

“Iggy” turned loose

A week after Vadamos (Monsun) sired his first winner, Windsor Park’s Turn Me Loose (Iffraaj) joined the club when Turn The Ace put up a very good performance to take out the Maara Grange Two-Year-Old (1200m) on debut, backing up some winning trial form.

Turn The Ace shared the lead, one out to the top of the straight but once heads were turned for home he took over and maintained a strong gallop to the line.

Commentator George Simon, who, with his wife Maryanne, bred Turn Me Loose, could be excused for some emotion in calling the stallion’s first winner, announcing: “and Iggy’s on the board. A special moment there, the first win on the board for Turn Me Loose, a.k.a. Iggy.”

Windsor Park Stud’s Rodney Schick believes this win will be followed by many more by the stallion. “It’s just fantastic to see Turn Me Loose get his first winner over the line as he was a superior racehorse and has produced some lovely horses so far. There has been a great word around them and we’re very excited as we expect to see plenty more on the track from now on.”

Schick also noted George Simon’s commentary: “I think it was also a special moment for race commentator George Simon to call Turn The Ace home as he and his wife Maryanne bred Turn Me Loose and I’m sure he got a real kick out of the result.”

Co-trainer (with Murray Baker) Andrew Forsman was especially pleased. He purchased the colt (since gelded) for $30,000 from the Cambridge Stud Draft of Book 1 of the 2020 Karaka Yearling Sale. 

“Mum runs the syndicate and she put it all together with her and Dad taking a share in the horse,” Forsman said. “It was a super run and we were quite confident although you just never know what you are coming up against and whether you are going to get the luck you need to win a race.”

Turn Me Loose’s sire line is very much in demand. Wootton Bassett, from Iffraaj’s first crop, will shuttle to Australia this year, on the back of a power-play buy out last year. The latter’s son Almanzor, who shuttles to Cambridge Stud, sired his first winner last week. The stallion’s Southern Hemisphere book for the upcoming season is listed as full.

Turn The Ace’s dam Frescoes (Lonhro) has four winners from as many runners. She raced just three times herself, won her first two, and has some very healthy bloodlines.

She ranks as a three-quarter blood sister to Patinack Classic (Gr 1, 1600m) winner Mental (Lonhro) while her dam, Sunbeam (Grand Lodge), is a three-quarter blood sister to triple Group 1 winner Freemason (Grand Lodge). The latter claimed the BMW Stakes (Gr 1, 2400m) at Rosehill in 2003 and at three, the Queensland Derby (Gr 1, 2400m).

The next dam is Champion 2&3YO Shaybisc (Biscay). Her nine wins included six at two, her premier performance being her victory in the AJC Sires’ Produce Stakes (Gr 1, 7f). Turn The Ace has plenty to live up to yet plenty to fall back on.

Wry smile

It would have been a wry smile for Windsor Park Stud, who stood the late Rip Van Winkle (Galileo), had Subpoenaed got up in the TAB Classic Stakes (Gr 1, 1200m) at Morphettville on Saturday. But for the masterly riding of Craig Williams on the winner, Instant Celebrity (Not A Single Doubt), Subpoenaed may well have claimed her first win at the elite level.

The Chris Waller-trained 4YO didn’t receive the charmed run of the winner and 

sat midfield but three deep at the 800 metres, went wider from the 600 metres and rounded into the straight four wide in sixth. She shared second at the 200 metres, led near the 100 metres but the winner, who covered no extra ground, shot through along the fence.

Subpoenaed is proving to be quite the money-spinner, has sparkling form up to 1400 meters and has been tried at 2000 metres, however, sprints are definitely her game.

She began her career in New Zealand, winning her only start as a two-year-old at Te Rapa. Transferred to Chris Waller’s stable, she has amassed more than $600,000 courtesy of two Group 2 victories at Rosehill, the Golden Pendant (1400m) last September and three starts back, the Millie Fox Stakes (1300m).

Her future as a broodmare is assured and she represents some nice bloodlines, her dam an O’Reilly (Last Tycoon) winner of five, three of those wins in Melbourne.

Her grandam is a winning half-sister to Apple Danish (Danehill) whose five wins (two at two) were all stakes including the Group 3 Swettenham Stud Stakes (1200m).

Wish granted

Rich Hill Stud’s John Thompson was granted his wish on Saturday.

Interviewed a week ago after their Vadamos (Monsun) sired his first winner (Art De Triomphe at Riccarton), Thompson remarked: “We didn’t have any great expectations but if we can get another couple of two-year-old winners that will be really good.”

He didn’t have long to wait as Ivanka (Vadamos) solidified a promising previous second placing into her maiden win at Hastings on Saturday at start three. She was not headed once taking over the pace and had her opponents in trouble soon after turning for home. She had enough in the tank to score by a comfortable half-length.

Her dam, Alessandra (Fastnet Rock), has produced foals on both sides of the Tasman and has four winners from four to the races so far. She produced another Vadamos filly in 2019.

Alessandra is a half-sister to Queensland Derby (Gr 1, 2400m) winner Dariana (Redoute’s Choice) while her dam, stakes-placed Beldarian (Last Tycoon), is a half-sister to five stakes winners including Bahamian (Mill Reef), dam of Irish Oaks (Gr 1, 1m 4f) winner Wemyss Bight (Dancing Brave). Bahamian is also the grandam of successful sire Oasis Dream (Green Desert) as well as Group 1 winners Beat Hollow (Sadler’s Wells) and Zenda (Zemindar).

Distant kiwi connection to Kentucky Derby winner

The 2021 Kentucky Derby (Gr 1, 10f) winner Medina Spirit (Protonico) has two distant connections to New Zealand.

Sold for a miserly $1000 as a yearling and for $35,000 as a two-year-old in training, the colt may be the bargain buy of the century.

Now three wins in only six starts, he led virtually all the way in the Churchill Downs classic and has banked more than $2 million with likely more to follow as the Preakness Stakes (Gr 1, 9.5f), in Baltimore in two weeks time, can often be at the mercy of front-running Derby winners.

He is the first stakes winner in three generations of his family. His fourth dam, Scoop The Gold (Forty Niner) was a Listed winner at Turfway Park in Kentucky but at stud she produced the millionaire and triple Grade 1 Champion High Yield (Storm Cat), winner of the Blue Grass Stakes (Gr 1, 9f) at Keeneland.

Scoop The Gold’s half-sister, Forest Flower (Green Forest), was the top English three-year-old filly of her year, her premier performance being the Irish 1,000 Guineas (Gr 1, 1m).

Medina Spirit descends from Bellesoeur, a daughter of Beau Pere (Son-in-Law). Beau Pere stood two seasons in England and sired five foals. Bought by New Zealand studmaster John Donald of Westmere Stud near Wanganui for 100 guineas the stallion was a fabulous success and was twice Champion Sire here. 

When Westmere Stud dispersed due to Donald’s ill-health, Beau Pere was quickly snared by the Australians for 3300 guineas and stood three seasons in New South Wales at St Aubins Stud in Scone. He enjoyed the same great success, with three successive sire premierships. This caught the attention of Louis B Mayer, of Metro Goldwyn Mayer, who reportedly paid an unheard of $100,000 for him to stand in California. His service fee of $2500 in 1946 was the highest stallion fee in USA at that time.

Four half-brothers to Beau Pere would ultimately follow the champion to Australasia: Balloch (Obliterate), Dink (Nothing Venture), Gay Shield (Gay Crusader) and Mr Standfast (Buchan). The unraced Balloch would also become Champion New Zealand Sire.

Kentucky Derby hero (1989) and subsequent massive sire influence, Sunday Silence (Halo), descends from a sister to Beau Pere.

Bellesoeur had six lifetime starts, all at two and won four including the Spinaway Stakes (Gr 1, 6f). At stud she foaled Beau Diable (Devil Diver) who won the Display Handicap (Gr 3, 16f), the Long Island Bay Handicap (Gr 3, 13f), the Pimlico Cup (Listed, 16f) and eight further races before finding his way to Sir Woolf Fisher’s Ra Ora Stud in South Auckland where he sired five stakes winners during the 1960s.

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