New Zealand has provided an invaluable resource for decades when it comes to quality bloodstock - and its record is as strong today as it has ever been. Over the last five years, New Zealand-bred 3-year-olds have triumphed in 45 percent of G1 Derbys and 40 percent of Oaks in Australia.
Here are four outstanding New Zealand stud farms, all in the fertile Waikato basin on North Island, where owners and trainers are regularly on the look-out for fresh talent at reasonable prices. Punters would be well advised to stay on the right side of their graduates.
Windsor Park Stud
Windsor Park, which has been producing world-class horses and receiving top breeding awards for decades, was the brainchild of Ian and Jesse Duncan, who passed ownership to Nelson and Sue Schick and son Rodney in 1971. The operation now occupies around 1,300 acres of superb farmland across three sites.
Its constant supply of quality runners has included the likes of Victoria Derby winner Monaco Consul, New Zealand Derby winner Military Move, Hong Kong G1 winner Beauty Flash and South African G1 winner Gold Onyx.
One of its most famous alumni was dual Australian horse of the year and world champion stayer Might And Power, only the second horse ever to claim Australia’s Caulfield and Melbourne Cups (in 1997) and the Cox Plate (1998).
Current stallions include 2011 Epsom Derby winner Pour Moi, France’s triple 2015 G1 winner Charm Spirit, ATC Australian Derby, New Zealand Derby and Caulfield Cup winner Mongolian Khan, dual European G1 winner Rip Van Winkle, a son of Galileo, and star sprinters Sham Express and Falkirk.
The oldest commercially operated stud farm in New Zealand, Trelawney remains a power player in the country’s breeding industry. It started out from humble origins, but Seton Otway, who founded the operation in 1930, went on to produce many profitable Thoroughbreds over the years.
Trelawney Stud has been represented by seven Melbourne Cup winners: Foxzami, Galilee, Hi Jinx, Hiraji, Silver Knight, Macdougal and Polo Prince.
In 1990, the Taylor family took over the reins and continued to produce future stars. The stud sold its first million-dollar yearling (for A$1.5 million) at the 2009 Inglis Yearling Sale in Sydney.
Arc winner Carnegie was one of several top stallions who stood there in the 1990s, but Trelawney, which is still a working farm with sheep and cattle, now concentrates on its broodmare band.
Rich Hill Stud
Launched in 1994, Rich Hill Stud has transformed its 320 acres into a hub of quality Thoroughbred breeding. The strict physical and genetic criteria adhered to has brought great success in the sales ring and on the racetrack.
Among the distinguished names that have passed through Rich Hill’s world-class facilities are last year’s Melbourne Cup winner Prince Of Penzance, Australian Guineas winner Ferlax and Berkley Stud Stakes winner Mae Jinx.
The stallion roster is five-time G1 winner Jimmy Choux (New Zealand’s current leading first-season sire), champion stayer Shocking (a son of Street Cry), Prince Of Penzance’s sire Pentire (the country’s leading active sire of G1 winners - with 14) and Priosir, a high-achieving son of Choisir.
The internationally renowned Cambridge Stud has been New Zealand’s leading dealer at the National Yearling Sales for the past 31 years.
Owners Sir Patrick Hogan and wife Justine have been voted New Zealand Breeder of the Year four times. Sir Patrick is also a New Zealand Racing Hall Of Fame and Australian Racing Hall Of Fame inductee.
Cambridge Stud is famed for being the home of legendary stallion Sir Tristram (who produced 45 individual G1 winners) and his son Zabeel, who also sired 45 individual G1 winners.
The current stallion roster has Irish 2,000 Guineas winner Power, high-class sprinter-miler Burgundy, established sire Keeper and the hugely popular Tavistock, a son of Montjeu who has sired four different G1 winners in 2016.
WITH a combination of the ideal natural environment, good genes and outstanding expertise, New Zealand is sure to continue to produce quality Thoroughbreds. With 3,550 foals produced in 2014-15 (1,480 of them exported), punters can keep their eye on their performances via Sky Racing World’s latest stats and info on australianracing.com
David Haslett, a former Managing Director of Sportech Racing, was appointed President and CEO of Sky Racing World in April, 2014. The Louisville, Kentucky-based company, a subsidiary of Australian wagering firm Tabcorp, provides Australian, New Zealand, South African and South American content for simulcast horse-race wagering to multiple North America-facing ADW brands and race-tracks.