Kiwi Chronicles

‘Cranky’ is a positive

What better way to hail the surging stud career of your young stallion than to have your own colours aboard his first stakes winner? That is the case for Waikato Stud, their exciting Tivaci (High Chaparral) and his Flight Stakes (Gr 1, 1600m) winner Never Been Kissed.

Having her fourth start, the filly is owned by Waikato Stud’s Garry and Mark Chittick. A debut win at Hawkesbury in August was followed by a second win at Newcastle last month. 

Stepped up for the Tea Rose Stakes (Gr 2, 1400m) two weeks ago, she faded on the softer track after being trapped wide, however, co-trainers Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott were not too concerned and pressed on.

Returning to a Good 4 surface in the Flight, she was third starting the run home as well as at the 200 metres, but soon took over and looked to have the race won. However, she had to dig deep in the last few strides to hold out a rails challenge from Hinged (Worthy Cause), eventually beating her by a neck. 

Kiwi Chronicles spoke to Mark Chittick, who reported that the celebrations, honouring the win and the brilliant start Tivaci has made this season, have finally wound down: “If you’re not going to celebrate Never Been Kissed and Tivaci, what would you celebrate?”

“We have a building, a converted container actually, that is more central to the overall property which is a refreshment hub for our crew. We call it The White Horse Inn because it has the sign that was outside the original White Horse Inn at Longburn, where we were based before moving here,” said Chittick. “The place was humming for some considerable time after we all watched the race.

“Reagan Bayliss rode her a treat. It was a very efficient ride and when she went into the clear we all rose up and yelled her home. This is such a huge thrill, for the mare and the stallion,” continued Chittick.

“Gai (Waterhouse) called to say that the filly has pulled up well, but also said that she learned something about her. In the days before the race the filly was very cranky, but she was well so they proceeded. Apparently, if the filly is cranky it means she is ready to go. 

“It is possibly a bit early to say, but the Thousand Guineas at Caulfield might be her next race,” revealed Chittick. “I am not so sure that she will get the Oaks distance as I think her best distance is a mile.”

A great result for the Chitticks is also a great result for the New Zealand industry. Saturday’s breakthrough is exactly the sort of boost it needed. For what seems like an age, our top performers have been by sires that have passed. This new brigade has been bubbling under, but a stallion siring a Group 1 winner from his first crop is a signal that things are on the rebound.

The August 17 edition of Kiwi Chronicles contained a report card on the eleven stallions whose first crops, like Tivaci, are now three.

Haunui Farm’s Belardo (Lope de Vega) was the first to sire a black-type winner, that being Avonallo, who landed the Welcome Stakes (Listed, 1000m) in November 2020. Westbury Stud’s Telperion (Street Cry) sired Stormy, who took out the Wakefield Challenge Stakes (Gr 2, 1200m) the following month.

Meanwhile, Windsor Park Stud’s Turn Me Loose (Iffraaj) chimed in when Turn The Ace landed a Listed event at Te Rapa in May. Tivaci’s great 2020 Karaka Sales rival Vadamos (Monsun) joined the party when Art de Triomphe took out the Canterbury Belle Stakes (Listed, 1200m) last month.

Tivaci’s rise has been dramatic. His first winner, Celevacci, was successful when he broke his maiden in Perth on August 11. His second, Mascherata, won the next day at Scone.

Barely two months into the current season Tivaci has now sired six winners, including The Landing, an impressive first-start winner at Te Rapa last Friday. From second last into the straight he powered home and looks to have a bright future.

The icing on the cake, however, is the elite level performance from Never Been Kissed, at the same track where her sire achieved his premier victory in the All Aged Stakes (Gr 1, 1400m) in 2014.

Mark Chittick takes up the theme: “When I first saw Tivaci I was sure he’d be perfect for our Savabeel mares and bought him off his first start as a four-year-old. His win in the All Aged was a game changer. He himself didn’t perform until he was three and his stock are the same.”


Policy Paying Off

Never Been Kissed’s family was featured just last week when Forgot You (Savabeel) bagged the Stutt Stakes (Gr 2, 1600m) at Moonee Valley. Georgina Belle (Pakistan II) continues to add quality winner after quality winner, Never Been Kissed being the 34th stakes winner to descend from her.

This season alone she joins Probabeel (Savabeel), Forgot You and Bellacontte (Burgundy) as Groupwinning descendants.

The stud’s policy to retain at least two fillies from their younger mares has certainly paid off. Never Been Kissed is the first foal out of Movie (Savabeel) and the stud has a virtual monopoly on this family, one that has served them so well.

Of the 34 stakes winners, 23 are by sires that stood or stand at the stud, led by Pins (Snippets) and Savabeel (Zabeel), each with five. O’Reilly (Last Tycoon) has four and Centaine (Century) three. Tivaci has a goal.

One of the messages of congratulations was from Mary Burgess and Tim Barton of NZTR who pointed out that Georgina Belle won her first race, the Hastings Stakes, fifty years ago to the day.

Mark Chittick added: “Georgina is buried at the stud and as you reported recently, we have a paddock named after her. My eldest son, George, is also named in her honour. Now, if he’d been a filly…”

Movie herself won at Moonee Valley, one of her three wins, and being by Savabeel (Zabeel) she is a three-quarter sister to three-time Group 2 winner Ocean Emperor (Zabeel).

Movie is also bred on identical lines to multiple Group 1 winner Probabeel. Both are by Savabeel from the Pins three-quarter sisters to Group 3 winner and Tootsie and Group 3-placed Far Fetched respectively.

“Movie is still very young, just nine, so she has a huge future. She is ready to drop a foal to Ocean Park any day now,” Chittick concluded. 

There are no prizes for guessing which stallion the mare will visit this year. 

New Zealand Oaks (Gr 1, 2400m) winner Savvy Coup (Savabeel), whose dam Eudora is also by Pins, makes Movie and Savvy Coup sisters in blood.

The formula appears set. If you want a stakes winner, look for a Waikato Stud sired foal that descends from Georgina Belle. It is a grand family and one that Garry Chittick can look back on as being well worth the effort to repatriate her to New Zealand from California.


Different family, similar results

The Randwick undercard saw Wairere Falls (Savabeel) land his fifth and biggest win yet in the TAB Benchmark 88 Handicap (1600m).

The five-year-old, who is part-owned by Mark Chittick, is bred in the purple being a Savabeel (Zabeel) half-brother to the ill-fated former Waikato Stud resident Sacred Falls (O’Reilly), whose four Group 1 victories included two wins in the Doncaster Handicap (Gr 1, 1600m) in 2013 and 2014. 

He, too, is from a family nurtured by Waikato Stud. His granddam, Iguazu (Carolingian) won 12 including eight stakes races, while his third dam, Clermont Lass is by Centaine (Century) who was an early success story for the stud. 

Sacred Falls’ three-quarter sister Splashing Out (O’Reilly) has produced the Group 2-winning sisters Shopaholic (Savabeel) and Splurge (Savabeel) and they are among eleven stakes winners that descend from Clermont Lass.

Clermont Lass’s half-sister, Bourbon Lassie (Mellay) is the fourth dam of current Melbourne star Elephant (Shocking).


Double blow

Aussie riches are simply too hard to ignore and New Zealand has seen the last of Callsign Mav (Atlante) for a while. His connections cannot be blamed. 

The five-year-old has well proved himself here, but when the same or similar effort can be rewarded with twice or three times the prize, the gelding must be given his chance.

In very workmanlike style, Callsign Mav added Group 1 number three and career win number seven in Saturday’s Windsor Park Plate (Gr 1, 1600m) and, while not flashy, he had his opponents covered once he took over soon after straightening for the run home.

After last season’s surprise win in the Tarzino Trophy (Gr 1, 1400m), Callsign Mav ran several first class placings against the best in New Zealand. Stronger now at five, he leaves for Melbourne at the top of his game. Certainly the competition will be far tougher but you won’t know if you don’t go.

In a double blow, his sire Atlante (Fastnet Rock) was lost to the industry before the stallion completed his second season.

A bargain NZ$3,000 purchase as a weanling, Callsign Mav’s winning dam Raadisi (Volksraad) is a sister to Group 3-placed Crimson Lady and a half-sister New Zealand Stakes (Gr 1, 2000m) winner The Party Stand (Thorn Park).

His family beyond his granddam is very much Australian and includes recent Group 1 winners Arcadia Queen (Pierro), her brother-in-blood Regal Power (Pierro) and Mr Murphy (Danehill). Two that were bred in New Zealand are Zonda (Zabeel) and Surprize Surprize (Prized).


Continuing pattern

The late Jakkalberry (Storming Home) has a more than promising three-year-old filly in Melbourne, Elusive Express, whose victory in the Edward Manifold Stakes (Gr 2, 1610m) could see her a big chance in the upcoming Thousand Guineas (Gr 1, 1600m) at Caulfield later this month.

She signalled a bold effort after her third in the Guineas Prelude (Gr 2, 1400m) at her previous start. That day she was last at the 400 metres but flew home for a very strong third, showing longer races would suit.

At Flemington, over 1610 metres on Saturday, she was a handy fifth at the 800 metre mark and got a nice split at the 400 metres, before taking over at the 100, proving too strong to claim victory by three-quarters of a length.

A win in the Thousand Guineas could subsequently see her bid for favoritism for the VRC Oaks (Gr 1, 2500m) and if any filly is bred to see out the distance, she is.

Sadly, her dam Braided (Elusive Quality) died after producing just four foals. Her first, Condo’s Express (Rubick) has won three races, including the 2019 edition of the Mitchell McKenzie Stakes (Listed, 1200m) at Moonee Valley. Elusive Express is her only other foal to race. 


Famously related

Kiwi Chronicles contacted part-owner and breeder Luigi Muollo, who purchased the mare in 2017 for a mere NZ$5,000. She had slipped her foal at that time and was sent from Australia to his Novara Park in Cambridge to be mated with Jakkalberry, resulting in Elusive Express. 

“What I love about breeding horses is that a good horse can come anywhere. The mare produced two stakes winners but, sadly, she died last year after foaling a beautiful colt by Staphanos,” said Muollo.

“In 2019 she foaled a Sweynesse filly which sold at the Inglis Classic Yearling Sales earlier this year, making $140,000.”

Braided is a half-sister to South African Listed winner Wild Ash (Dylan Thomas) and her unraced dam, Wild Orchid (Giant’s Causeway) is a half-sister to Gold Academy (Royal Academy), a Listed winner at York and third in the Ascot Queen Elizabeth Stakes (Gr 1, 1m) and the St James’s Palace Stakes (Gr 1, 1m) at Royal Ascot.

Braided’s granddam Paris Royal (Mill Reef) won the Italian Oaks (Gr 1, 2200m) and the next dam, Place d’Etoile (Kythnos), is a half-sister to Pantoufle (Panaslipper).

Before arriving in New Zealand as a 13-year-old mare, imported by James Sarten, of “Belle Family” fame, Pantoufle left Sunbittern (Sea Hawk), granddam of triple Group 1 winner and leading sire In The Wings (Sadler’s Wells) and, perhaps more significantly, is the fourth dam of the outstanding sire Dubawi (Dubai Millennium).

Age no concern

Not many horses wait until their sixth season and 50th race to break through for a maiden stakes win, but eight-year-old Justacanta (Per Incanto) did just that in the Paris Lane Stakes (Listed, 1410m) at Flemington on Saturday.

The stock of Per Incanto (Street Cry) have proved rather durable and Justacanta is not alone in racing on for many seasons.

He took four races to break his maiden and was seven, with five wins, before claiming his first stakes placing when running third in the Concorde Handicap (Gr 3, 1200m) at Ellerslie in January of this year.

The Paris Lane was his seventh win and the way he finished who is to say there won’t be more. His wins nearly always feature strong late runs and the long Flemington straight was right up his alley.

In winning the race, he became Per Incanto’s 21st stakes winner and his dam is a winning sister to New Zealand Derby (Gr 1, 2400m) winner So Casual (Casual Lies). Diamond Stakes (Gr 1, 1200m) winner Kaaptan (Kaapstad) is out of Fanny Black (Chem), a half-sister to So Casual.


Hastings wrap up

Mana Nui (No Nay Never) looks a strong candidate for next month’s New Zealand 2,000 Guineas (Gr 1, 1600m) after his comfortable victory in Saturday’s Hawke’s Bay Guineas (Gr 2, 1400m).

Mana Nui won big at his previous start, at Te Rapa, bolting away after leading from the jump. This time he trailed, rounded into the straight four wide but at the 200 metres changed gear and levelled up effortlessly before going on for a dominant win.

Bred and raced by Tony Rider of Milan Park, Mana Nui was offered and apparently sold at the 2020 Karaka Yearling Sale yet races in the Milan Park colours.

Although sired in Australia, Mana Nui was foaled here and his dam Alpine Julz (Keeper) is a winning half-sister to Trentham Stakes (Gr 3, 2100m) winner Alpine Heights (Spartacus), the winner of 12 races.

His granddam, Alpine Delight (Bluebird) won nine including two Listed races and her dam is a half-sister to Lover’s Knot (Khozaam), the dam of Melbourne Cup (Gr 1, 3200m) and Caulfield Cup (Gr 1, 2400m) winner Viewed (Scenic).

This the famous “Heights” family, best known due to the great campaigner Battle Heights (Battle-Waggon).

Also headed for Riccarton?

Westbury Stud’s Tarzino (Tavistock) has an exciting three-year-old in the shape of Te Toki who might also find his way to next month’s New Zealand 2,000 Guineas and Saturday’s bold win, to remain unbeaten in two starts, should not to be overlooked.

The gelding had to be used early after being trapped wide but soon went forward to sit just back of the leader. In the straight he shot to the front but from the 200 metres put them away with something in reserve.

Te Toki is a graduate of Book 2 of the 2020 Karaka Yearling Sale and was scooped up by his trainers Simon and Katrina Alexander for NZ$45,000. He was entered for last year’s NZB Ready To Run Sale but withdrawn. We may now understand why.

Te Toki’s older half-brother, Packing Victory (Reliable Man) was also sold at Karaka the previous year although he was in Book 1.

In four starts in Hong Kong, Packing Victory is a rising star as he has yet to be beaten. His most recent win, on September 26, saw him head former New Zealand Group 2 winner Stormy (Telperion), who now races under the name of Five Elements.

Westbury Stud may have a good one in Te Toki, but may have two more in Hong Kong.