Kiwi Chronicles

Copy and paste

Copy and paste is such a huge time saver and a wonderful feature of computer programs, however, readers can be excused for thinking that Kiwi Chronicles has used this shortcut, regarding Trelawney Stud’s results, a little too often just lately.

It may look like copy and paste but the fact is, the success of their operation, during the preceding weeks, has been phenomenal.

In a whirlwind eight weeks their small team, comprising Two Illicit (Jimmy Choux), Pareanui Bay (Lonhro), and Cheaperthandivorce (Savabeel) have plundered black-type races here in New Zealand. Within the same period, their Zayydani (Savabeel) is in the best form of her career over in Victoria.

This season, the above four runners have had 15 starts between them, collecting a Group 1, two Group 2s, three Group 3s and two Listed races.

Kiwi Chronicles spoke with Trelawney’s Brent Taylor about their marvellous run. “It’s been wonderful. Some years you can go the whole season without winning one stakes race. To achieve eight is just so satisfying for what is essentially a family operation,” he said.

“We have access to the best stallions, some great partners with that access and we have a program which involves trading where necessary and racing. Cherry and I love our racing and where we can we will retain fillies to race and hopefully breed from. We have 38 mares on the property, 36 of which we own outright and we have quite a few fillies in work.”

Trelawney’s colours of green torso, red sleeves and cap started their run at Hastings, on October 16, with Two Illicit’s commanding win in the Red Badge Sprint (Gr 3, 1400m). The 24 saw Cheaperthandivorce bag Trentham’s Thompson Handicap (Gr 3, 1600m) and the very next day, at Te Rapa, Pareanui Bay took out the James & Annie Sarten Memorial (Gr 2, 1400m) quite impressively.

On to November and the Australian arm of the operation kicked into gear with Zayydani’s brilliant finishing run along the inner to snare the Matriarch Stakes (Gr 2, 2000m) at headquarters, Flemington. That was November 6 and she followed that up, two weeks later, with a similar effort in the rich Ballarat Cup (Listed, 2000m).

That same day, November 20, the New Zealand arm experienced a frustrating sequence of high quality placings. Their Vamos Bebe (I Am Invincible) was fourth in the Counties Bowl (Listed, 1100m), Cheaperthandivorce stormed to the front at the 200 metres in the Counties Cup (Gr 3, 2100m) but was run down for third, while Two Illicit was a fast-finishing third in the Auckland Thoroughbred Breeders’ Stakes (Gr 2, 1400m).

A week later, at Te Aroha, Pareanui Bay kept his unbeaten record intact with a tough win in the Listed Trevor and Corallie Eagle Memorial (1500m).

Summer arrived in December but the story remained the same. Underscoring her top form, Two Illicit was very convincing against a quality field in Saturday’s delayed and re-venued Captain Cook Stakes (Gr 1, 1600m).

Quickening at the 200 metres, she took over in a couple of strides and inside the final 100 metres was away on her own. At weight-for age, her opponents had few excuses.

It is every owner’s or breeder’s dream to secure a Group 1 and Two Illicit is certainly worthy. The decision, by her breeders, to retain her for racing, is a lesson in faith (no pun intended re co-breeder, Faith Taylor).

Copy and paste. The writer unashamedly revisits an interview with Taylor regarding Two Illicit’s dam Gemini, after the Hastings win. “Gemini was a nice type and by a sire I have a lot of time for, in Tale Of The Cat. She showed some ability but Two Illicit, being by Jimmy Choux, would not have been popular commercially so we decided to keep her to race as she was the best style of foal that Gemini had produced thus far,” Taylor said, since adding: “Two Illicit has developed into a ripping type.”

‘Go with your gut’ is one way of explaining that decision and the mare is repaying that faith in spades. It is easy to forget that Two Illicit finished a gallant and game second in the 2020 New Zealand Derby (Gr 1,2400m) and that was after she gave the boys a thrashing in the Waikato Guineas (Gr 2, 2000m) the start prior.

She heads to the Zabeel Classic (Gr 1, 2000m) and a clash with Concert Hall (Savabeel), the Cal Isuzu Stakes (Gr.2, 1600m) victress earlier in the day. Interestingly, Concert Hall, the Zabeel Classic winner last year, was foaled and reared at Trelawney, as was Prise De Fer (Savabeel), second to Two Illicit in Saturday’s Group 1 contest.

Two Illicit boasts an impressive record. Her 16 starts have brought seven wins including a Group 1, two Group 2s, a Group 3 and a Listed race, bolstered by a Group 1 Classic second and two Group 2 placings.


Repeat, no change

Danielle Johnson’s comment further amplifies Trelawney’s great run when she stated: “I love these colours. I might have to sleep in them,” in reference to her two Te Rapa victories in the green and red.

Lightly raced Cheaperthandivorce was all out at the end of the 2400 metres Waikato Cup yet rallied hard when it looked as if Starrybeel (Savabeel) might come back at her near the line.

Promising in some of the three-year-old fillies races last season, including a fourth in the New Zealand Oaks (Gr 1, 2400m), Cheaperthandivorce has grown into one of the country’s brightest staying prospects.

Saturday’s race was just her tenth start and her fourth win. This season she is three from four, with two Group 3s in the win column. The fact that she is comparatively inexperienced accounts for co-trainer Robert Wellwood’s comments about her immediate future.

“Give her another year and she will be a pretty fair horse. If she comes through this well, she will head to Ellerslie on New Year’s Day for the City Of Auckland Cup.”

Mention of a tilt at the Auckland Cup (Gr 1, 3200m) or the Sydney Cup (Gr 1, 3200m) was brushed off by Wellwood, who, in conjunction with Roger James claimed three of the headline races on the Te Rapa card.

Do not forget powerhouse Waikato Stud reminded us of their strength when Savabeel (Zabeel) sired, not only Cheaperthandivorce but also Concert Hall. This was a very encouraging return to form as 1600 metres is not her pet distance.

For good measure, Savabeel sired the quinella in the Waikato Cup, while in Sydney Mightybeel increased his sire’s individual stakes winners’ tally to 122 with a victory in Randwick’s Christmas Cup (Listed, 2400m) for the day’s total of three stakes winners in two countries.

Standing alongside Savabeel is the stud’s up-and-comer Tivaci (High Chaparral) whose Wolverine was so impressive in landing the Wakefield Challenge Stakes (Gr 2, 1100m). Tivaci never raced at two.

Inside the 400 metres she had five or six lengths to make up, accelerated quickly from the 200 metres and grabbed the lead before strolling clear in the final 100 metres, a length and a quarter in front at the post. The filly was having her second start and started favourite on the back of an easy debut victory in early November.

Wolverine was purchased by her trainer Royden Bergerson and bloodstock guru Chris Rutten at January’s Karaka Yearling Sale from Book 1 of the Waikato Stud draft for $50,000. After her debut win, 50 per cent was purchased by Australian Bloodstock.

The Eclipse Stakes (Gr 2, 1200m) and the Karaka Million (RL, 1200m) are the next targets for the Waikato Stud-bred.

As Tivaci’s second stakes winner, his first being Group 1 winner Never Been Kissed, both Waikato Stud and Trelawney Stud have an interest, bloodlines-wise, in the Wolverine’s pedigree.

Wolverine’s grandam Know All (Zabeel) and Zayydani’s grandam Sayyida (Zabeel) are three-quarter sisters. Sayyida is the dam of Waikato Stud’s Ocean Park (Thorn Park). They descend from Benazir (Vice Regal), a half-sister to Golden Slipper Stakes champion Courtza (Pompeii Court), herself the dam of champion sire O’Reilly (Last Tycoon).

Zayydani is, of course, by Savabeel, and her half-brother is Yulong Stud’s dual Group 1 winner Grunt, a son of O’Reilly. Waikato and Trelawney, almost joined at the hip.



Belle En Rouge (Burgundy) fought off a tough pacemaker in Achieve (Pierro) to secure the Eulogy Stakes (Gr 3, 1600m) at Awapuni on the weekend.

Having her sixth start, including a last start third in the New Zealand 1,000 Guineas (Gr 1, 1600m), the filly took her record to two wins and four placings, proving to be an honest, as well as talented, filly.

Although she was given the perfect trip, one out and one back, when she led at the 100 metres the pacemaker, Achieve, would not go away but Belle En Rouge gave as good as she got to fight her off for the win.

She is the seventh black-type winner for the late Burgundy (Redoute’s Choice) and is from a half-sister to Listed Brisbane winner Filante Etoile (Soviet Star) who ran second in the 2004 New Zealand Oaks (Gr 1, 2400m).

Another half-sister is Group 1 placed Vega Sicilia (Rodrigo De Triano), dam of Avondale Guineas (Gr 2, 2000m) winner Valbuena (Darci Brahma).


Chronicles on tour

Opulence (Danroad), the dam of Verry Elleegant (Zed), is safely back in foal and is looking as healthy as ever at Grangewilliam Stud.

The mare is one of a ‘verry’ short list nominated for the 2021 NZTBA New Zealand Broodmare of the Year, the delayed award due to be announced later this week. For as long as Zed (Zabeel) and Opulence remain alive, theirs will be an annual affair.

“She is no problem and is back in foal with one service,” said Grangewilliam Stud principal Mark Corcoran. “All we are hoping for now is that she produces a filly next year.” The mare looks very well and her colt foal is growing by the day.

“Don Goodwin, (Opulence’s breeder), hasn’t seen the colt yet as he is in lockdown behind the Auckland border until the 15th but it would not surprise me if he shows up on the 16th,” said Corcoran.

Opulence’s daughter Black Lace (Towkay), who is at Arrowfield Stud in NSW, has a filly foal at foot by Zed, making the foal a three-quarter sister to Verry Elleegant. She visited Dundeel (High Chaparral) this season.

Corcoran added that he was recently looking at an old photo of Eight Carat (Pieces Of Eight). “I can see similarities between Opulence and Eight Carat. Don’s decision to mate her with Zed was fully intentional. The double up to her own dam’s line was something he was very keen on,” he said.

Cocoran is also getting some excellent feedback on the first crop, two-year-olds, of resident sire Derryn (Hinchinbrook). “Over the last few weeks I did a ring-around to some of the trainers who bought last January and the feedback is very promising,” he said.

“The trainers I have spoken with are very happy with their purchases and their buys are showing some really nice potential.”

Allan Sharrock has a particularly smart filly which caught the attention at the Foxton trials last Thursday. The filly, from Listed-placed Miss Isle (Bachelor Duke), a half-sister to stakes winner Levante (Proisir), was quickly away, led them into the straight, and then drew away near the post in an eye-catching performance over 850 metres.

As yet unnamed, the filly is highly regarded by her trainer and will have her first start at New Plymouth later this month but she may not be the first Derryn to the races.

“After I sold the filly I bought back in, just a small share as she is a very nice type. Shaun and Emma Clotworthy have one, also won a jump-out quite well,” said Corcoran. “Fingers crossed that both will get the stallion off to a good start.

“Derryn was a very sound racehorse. He raced 20 times and 18 of his starts were in stakes races. He throws good, strong types and has stamped them. In his first two crops there are no chestnuts, three blacks and five greys. Otherwise, they are all bays or browns.”

Corcoran confirmed that that pattern has been repeated with his third crop.

“They’re all bays and browns. He had a solid book this year, the awkward year when buyers adopt the wait-and-see approach. Many clients sent their mares back to him just based on his first foals.” said Corcoran.

Meanwhile, at Little Avondale Stud today, December 14, Sam and Catriona Williams wave farewell (until next season) to Time Test (Dubawi). Completing his fourth season, shuttling from The National Stud in England, Time Test has made a huge impression with his first crop of northern hemisphere two-year-olds, siring four stakes winners across Europe.

His fee at The National Stud was increased for 2022. Here in Australasia, we are due to see a number of his stock step out. Reports are more than promising, according to studmaster Sam Williams.

Kiwi Chronicles visited the stud recently and can report that Time Test is a classic individual and comparisons, on type, have been made between him and Oncidium (Alcide), a champion who stood at Sam’s grandparents’ famous stud, Te Parae, for nine short seasons from 1966.

His barnmate, Per Incanto (Street Cry), is in magnificent order and is absolutely thriving. He is very full of himself and very professional in his obligations.

Sam’s father, Buzz, however, made an interesting observation, stating: “When PI, (Per Incanto) is given the choice of a good feed or a mare, he goes for the feed, every time. He’s a really good doer. The mare will just have to wait!”

Lightning Jack (Per Incanto) took his recent New Zealand form to Sydney on Saturday with a decisive Benchmark 88 win over the same 1600 metres as the Villiers Stakes (Gr 2, 1600m), causing his new trainer Annabel Neasham to regret not tackling the feature. Lightning Jack ran a faster time than the winner of the Villiers.


Danroad update

Kiwi Chronicles reported recently that Danroad (Danehill) is making quite a name for himself as a sire of broodmares. Opulence, the dam of Champion Verry Elleegant and Dreamlife, dam of high class sprinter Lost And Running (Per Incanto), are both from Danroad mares.

In the northern hemisphere Danroad’s daughter Aris is the dam of French Group 1 winner Aclaim (Acclamation) who has sired 28 winners in his first crop of two-year-olds.

“Danroad is alive and well,” said his current owner Patrick Adams of Warkworth. “He is living with my first mare, one I bought 19 years ago. She is the same age as Danroad. My partner and I have two colts and five fillies sitting in the paddock so the dream is still alive. No doubt his daughters are proving to be gold and he deserves a mention.”

Brent Gillovic, Highview Stud principal who stood Danroad, has two mares by him including the dam of Best Seller (Wrote) who rattled home for fourth in Saturday’s Wakefield Challenge Stakes (Gr 2, 1100m).

To my nine readers, I will be absent for next Tuesday and ANZ Bloodstock News is taking a break the following week. I hope you all have a lovely Christmas and New Year and I look forward to sharing our New Zealand bloodstock news next year.