Kiwi Chronicles

One that won’t get away

The future broodmare roster at Cambridge Stud received another boost after Bella Waters (Sacred Falls) scored the Rotorua Cup (Gr 3, 2200m) during the past weekend.

Brendan and Jo Lindsay’s gold and black colours are on a roll. Fillies and mares representing the stud are winning at black-type level and their Almanzor (Wootton Bassett) delivered, yet again, when Positivity claimed her second Group 3 win this season, in the South Australian Fillies Classic (Gr 3, 2500m).

Pleasingly, the results achieved by the stud’s female representatives are only going to benefit our New Zealand breeding scene in the long run as Cambridge Stud is in the fortunate position of not having to sell in order to put food on the table. Bella Waters is one that won’t get away.

New Zealand owners and breeders cannot escape the potential riches available on the other side of the Tasman. That fact has been with our breeding industry for more than a hundred years. If not for the Australians attending our sales year after year, our industry might not even exist.

Stakes are on the rise here yet it remains to be seen whether that will be sufficient to stem the flow of well performed fillies and mares to Australian auctions. Battling syndicate shareholders cannot be blamed for wanting to cash in. For every black-type mare there are probably fifty that don’t make it. It’s a lottery.

While stakes have been increased, the strengthening of the fields, especially for stakes races, will take some time simply due to the falling foal crop numbers, year by year. Breeders need encouragement to keep breeding from their mares and producing foals but the process operates at a snail’s pace.

Mating decisions are taking place about now, evidenced by the volume of stud announcements regarding service fees. Successful foal-producing matings will take place in the spring of 2025 but those foals will not see the sale ring until January of 2027.

That is some serious lag time to see if the recent uptick in stakes will have any effect. Even if breeders do react this spring we have a long wait to see if they get the returns they so badly need to keep the process going. We can only hope they do.

From the studs’ perspective, they are looking at the scene positively. The prospect of Chaldean (Frankel) and Paddington (Siyouni), two of the highest-profile stallions imaginable, standing in New Zealand is hugely encouraging.

Nice blood
Bella Waters made a good impression in the Rotorua Cup, aided by a heady ride from Masa Hashizume, who settled the four-year-old back of midfield past the 1000 metres. Approaching the 600 metres the mare improved quickly and was handy to the pace but behind a wall of runners as they straightened. Showing great patience, the jockey waited for a split and with plenty in reserve Bella Waters drove through and had the race in safe keeping over the final 100 metres.

At only her ninth start Bella Waters has now won three, rising through the ranks rather quickly having scored her maiden win just last November. Win two at New Plymouth took place in late March and she indicated that another win was close with a solid finish for second at Ellerslie in mid April, albeit at Rating 75 (2100m) level.

At each of her last five starts she had finished strongly and her winning time of 2:16.08 on a Soft6 surface was good for this time of year.

The Lindsay’s retained Bella Waters for racing after her dam But Beautiful (Pivotal) had produced four colts. By the late Sacred Falls (O’Reilly), Bella Waters is the tenth stakes winner for the late Waikato Stud stallion.

When the Lindsays took over the ownership of But Beautiful the mare had produced two winners. Since then she has foaled two stakes winners. Her first, Immediacy (Tarzino), won his first three starts culminating in the Autumn Classic (Gr 2, 1800m) at Caulfield this past February. In two starts since then Immediacy ran fifths in the Rosehill Guineas (Gr 1, 2000m) and Australian Derby (Gr 1, 2400m). He has a bright future.

In January, prior to Immediacy’s Group 2 win, the Trent Busuttin and Natalie Young team, in conjunction with Andrew Williams Bloodstock, bought the Hello Youmzain (Kodiac) – But Beautiful filly from Book 1 of the New Zealand Bloodstock Karaka Yearling Sale. Clearly, they knew something and now they own a half-sister to two Group stakes winners.

To follow up with a second stakes winner within weeks puts But Beautiful in a special category. The Lindsays bought well but they also bought some nice blood, full of quality, not to mention intrigue.

She is by Pivotal (Polar Falcon), a grandson of Nureyev (Northern Dancer). Pivotal’s sons have staged a strong attack on world bloodlines over the last couple of years. His son Siyouni is especially influential via the performances of European Horse of the Year and five-times Group 1 winner St Mark’s Basilica. With four Group 1s is Paddington who shuttles to Windsor Park Stud this season. Another recent big winner is Sottsass whose three top flight victories included the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (Gr 1, 2400m).

All three are now at stud and are certain to make a lot of noise over the next few years while 17-year-old Siyouni, sire of 75 stakes winners and whose service fee is €200,000 (approx. AU$326,300), will no doubt continue to chime in from time to time.

But Beautiful is a half-sister to two Listed winners but her blood is intriguing. You can see what her breeders were attempting when they mated her dam, Sweet Firebird (Sadler’s Wells) to Pivotal.

Group 3placed Sweet Firebird’s half-brother is Stravinsky who was by Pivotal’s grandsire Nureyev. The cross was desirable. However, the intrigue is that Sweet Firebird’s sire Sadler’s Wells (Northern Dancer) and Nureyev are three-quarter brothers. The cross was already in existence yet the breeders chose to double up again.

Stravinsky, the champion three-year-old sprinter of his crop, has a strong connection to Cambridge Stud too, having shuttled to the stud for 11 years earlier in the millennium, siring a total of 75 stakes winners in both hemispheres. He too was beautifully bred, out of the Group 1 mare Fire The Groom (Blushing Groom), winner of the Beverly D Stakes (Gr 1, 9.5f) at Arlington Park.

Precious blacktype
Black-type is precious. Even lower case black-type is considered a victory for those breeders who have one or maybe just a few mares.

Flashing into third place in the Arawa Stakes (Gr 3, 1400m) at Rotorua was Imprevu (Wrote), bred by David Lunn and raced by Lunn, his wife Jill and several members of the Lunn family.

The five-year-old daughter of Wrote (High Chaparral) is very honest with five wins, two seconds, six thirds and two fourths from 21 starts and has banked $182,090. She was tried at three but broke her maiden at four at Rotorua in October 2022, her third start.

Working through the grades she scored in open class in the Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Pukekohe last Boxing Day, was a good fourth in the Concorde Handicap (Gr 3, 1200m) on Karaka Millions night then found the BCD Sprint (Gr 1, 1400m) a bit rich despite trying hard.

As a Group 3placed open class winner of five races, Imprevu is an inspiration to those breeders who battle away just trying to improve their breed.

Lunn bred Imprevu, the third foal out of Imprint (Sufficient). In 2021 Imprint produced Impetuous, an as yet unraced filly by Ace High, a son of High Chaparral (Sadler’s Wells), as is Wrote. Lunn is clearly a fan of High Chaparral. Imprint produced a filly by Eminent (Frankel) in 2022 and last year a brother to Imprevu.

Lunn also bred Imprint who only raced twice yet won on debut at Te Rapa. She showed great promise but had to be retired after cracking a hind hoof. Her dam, Pure Timing (Jahafil), was owned by Lunn and won twice, both wins taking place, coincidentally, at Rotorua.

Pure Timing was a daughter of Pure Lust (Pompeii Court), a well performed winner of eight races including twice at Listed level. Pure Lust also recorded a number of high class placings, the best of which were thirds in the Doomben Cup (Gr 1, 2000m) and Ellerslie’s Championship Stakes (Gr 1, 2100m).

Pure Lust’s owner had nowhere to board his mare but learning that the Lunns had land he suggested that they might breed a foal from her and Pure Timing was the result. The Lunns have bred from the family for several generations.

This little story is taken up by Jill: “When Pure Lust’s owner was at the door making the suggestion about boarding the mare here and talking of breeding a foal, all of a sudden a clock which belonged to David’s father Harry started going bonkers. It was a sign. It was Harry saying to go for it!”

Pure Lust’s great-granddam Pure Luck (Golden Plume) was one of the better two-year-olds of her crop who landed the Wakefield Challenge Stakes and Eclipse Stakes.

Breeding and racing the odd racehorse runs in Lunn’s blood. His father Harry owned Lavish Countess (Count Rendered) to win 11 times including the Manawatu Cup and Hawke’s Bay Cup.

As a teenager Lunn rode trackwork for Alf McDonald in Gisborne and won a number of point-to-point races. The Gisborne connection is not lost either as Imprevu is trained by Janenne Dalley who just happens to be Alf McDonald’s granddaughter.

Lunn’s first venture into breeding was Cornwall Handicap winner Hasty Queen (Hasty Cloud) and has been a passion ever since. It is a true family operation and as Jill suggests, keeps them young and involved.

No shock
A heavy Newcastle track and lesser opposition than he has faced in some time saw Hezashocka (Shocking) back in the winner’s circle, maintaining a strong run the length of the straight to take out the Gosford Cup (Listed, 2200m).

Not since his third start, when scoring the Ellerslie Championship Stakes (Gr 2, 2100m) as a maiden has Hezashocka found such track conditions and on Saturday he lapped them up.

The gelding, now six, was sent to the Mick Price and Michael Kent Jnr stable soon after his Ellerslie win and at four landed two good handicaps at Flemington, one in open class. However, until Saturday he had not won since. In the meantime he has recorded a number of top class placings. One was behind Zaaki (Leroidesanimaux) in the 2022 LKS Mackinnon Stakes (raced as the Champions Stakes) (Gr 1, 2000m). He was second across the line but was relegated to third after causing interference to Mo’unga (Savabeel) with Anamoe (Street Boss) coming home in fourth.

At five his best efforts were fourth behind Dubai Honour (Pride of Dubai) Mo’unga and Anamoe in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes (Gr 1, 2000m) and second in the Mornington Cup (Listed, 2400m).

This season he has taken quite some time to find worthwhile form but now that he has and with winter tracks on the horizon he could have a rewarding Brisbane carnival should the stable head that way.

Hezashocka was bred by Anne Corcoran at Grangewilliam Stud and purchased by Shaun Clotworthy for $18,000 at Book 3 of the 2019 New Zealand Bloodstock Karaka Yearling Sale. He has banked $1.24 million qualifying him as yet another New Zealand bargain buy.

He is the sole winner from his dam Shezakiwi (Brilliance), a sister to Brilliant Kiwi, the dam of eight times winner and Group 1placed Brilliant Terror (Guillotine). Shezakiwi is a half-sister to Kiwi Lady (Ruby’s Jester), the winner of four races and three times Group 3-placed. His granddam, Luscious Lady (Al Akbar) was a Group 3-placed winner of four races. Her Listed placed sister Hi Yo Wassup (Al Akbar)  is the granddam of recent Cuddle Stakes (Gr 3, 1600m) winner Hi Yo Sass Bomb (Complacent).

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