Karaka Patrons Making their Mark in Australia
14 June 2022
Australian racing is currently among the most vibrant and competitive in the thoroughbred world, and a group of high-class New Zealand sires – whose progeny can regularly be sourced from Karaka – are right in the thick of the action on that lucrative stage.
Five New Zealand-based sires feature among the top 30 in the Australian sires’ premiership in 2021-22 – more than in any other season in the last decade. In an exciting pointer for the future, there are also four promising kiwi stallions among the top 25 in Australia’s second-season sire standings.
At the top of the tree, as he has been for most of the last decade, is Waikato Stud’s kingpin Savabeel. The winner of the last seven consecutive New Zealand sires’ premierships, he also consistently makes his presence felt across the Tasman, where he currently sits in 11th place on the premiership with almost A$10m in combined earnings.
Overall, Savabeel has sired 429 winners from 619 runners in Australia, with 53 stakes winners in that country including the likes of four-time Group One winner Probabeel (NZ) and dual Group One-winning rising star Mo’unga (NZ).
Savabeel has been a dominant force at Karaka in recent years, and out of his overall total of 27 individual Group One winners, 20 of them have been sold through the Karaka sale ring – Probabeel, Lucia Valentina (NZ), Sangster (NZ), Soriano (NZ), Scarlett Lady (NZ), Savvy Coup (NZ), Mo’unga, Costume (NZ), The Chosen One (NZ), Diademe (NZ), Amarelinha (NZ), Hall Of Fame (NZ), Brambles (NZ), Sword Of Osman (NZ), Nicoletta (NZ), Savaria (NZ), Cool Aza Beel (NZ), Noverre (NZ), Hasahalo (NZ) and Embellish (NZ).
Every sale at Karaka gives buyers access to a quality selection of sons and daughters of Savabeel, including this month’s National Weanling Sale, which features a well-related group of two colts and a filly by the superstar sire.
Rich Hill Stud stallion Shocking made his name in Australia as a top-class racehorse, winning seven races including the Group One Melbourne Cup (3200m) and Australian Cup (2000m). He is doing it again at stud, siring 76 winners in Australia to go with his 98 in New Zealand, and he is currently ranked 17th on the Australian premiership this season.
His standout performer has been I’m Thunderstruck (NZ), whose spectacular spring campaign featured victories in the Group One Toorak Handicap (1600m) and A$7.5m Golden Eagle (1500m). He has also picked up Group One placings in this season’s Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) and Doncaster Handicap (1600m), along with the A$5m All-Star Mile (1600m).
His other notable progeny include Group-winning Karaka graduates Surprise Baby (NZ), Nerve Not Verve (NZ), The Hassler (NZ), Hezashocka (NZ), Dragon Storm (NZ), Ticket To Ride (NZ) and Soleseifei (NZ).
Shocking features in the National Weanling Sale with Lot 64, a filly from the family of Group One winners Precious Gem (Econsul), Alynda (Nassau), Turffontein (Johannesburg), Penny Gem (NZ) (Pentire) and Hit The Roof (NZ) (Maroof).
New Zealand’s stallions have always commanded international respect over distances of 1600 metres and beyond, but Little Avondale Stud’s Per Incanto is developing into one who can match motors with Australia’s world-renowned sprinters.
Per Incanto’s 24 individual stakes winners include seven in Australia – all of them over 1400 metres or less.
Roch ‘N’ Horse (NZ) heads the list with her historic victory in this year’s prestigious Group One Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Flemington, while Lost And Running (NZ) has won at Group Three and Listed level and also ran an outstanding race for fourth in this season’s A$15m The Everest (1200m). He is set to be among the leading contenders for the world’s richest sprint again this coming October.
Saracino (NZ), Justacanta (NZ), Lanciato (NZ), Belluci Babe (NZ) and Amanaat (NZ) have been Per Incanto’s other stakes-winning speedsters in Australia.
Per Incanto regularly has quality offerings at Karaka sales, and the National Weanling Sale promises to be no different with three colts in the catalogue.
Cambridge Stud stallion Tavistock (NZ) sadly died in 2019, but he has left a lasting legacy as one of Australasia’s greatest sources of classic three-year-olds in the last couple of decades.
Tavistock has sired no fewer than seven Derby winners across Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and Hong Kong. His list of Derby triumphs is continuing to grow, with the latest additions being Asterix (NZ) in the New Zealand Derby (2400m) in March and Pinarello (NZ) in the Queensland Derby (2400m) on May 28.
While Tavistock’s progeny are no longer progressing through the Karaka sale ring and on to Australasian racetracks, his influence is now spreading into the next generation – particularly his first sire son, the Victoria Derby (2500m) winner Tarzino (NZ), who has already sired two Group One-winning Karaka graduates in Australia this season alone in Gypsy Goddess (NZ) and Jungle Magnate (NZ).
While many stallions begin their stud careers with memorable racetrack performances behind them to boost their profiles, Zed (NZ) had just four starts before his career was cut short by injury. But he has elite bloodlines, being by Zabeel (NZ) out of Group One-winning mare Emerald Dream (Danehill), and that quality has shone through in the Grangewilliam Stud sire’s progeny.
Zed has sired 159 winners from 286 runners, including 16 individual stakes winners. Four of those black-type stars have shone in Australia, and none more brightly than the reigning Australian Horse of the Year Verry Elleegant (NZ). The incomparable mare has won 16 races, 11 of them at Group One level including a dazzling performance in this season’s Melbourne Cup (3200m).
Many of his well-performed progeny have been sold at Karaka for modest prices, including Waisake (NZ), who cost $1,100 as a weanling and $28,000 as a yearling. He has won eight races and more than $297,000 in stakes, including the Wellington Cup (3200m).
Standing at Westbury Stud, Tarzino (NZ) is the first son of Tavistock (NZ) to go to stud. Himself a Karaka graduate, bought for $45,000 from the 2014 Select Sale, Tarzino won four races including the Victoria Derby (2500m) and Rosehill Guineas (2000m). He earned over A$1.6m in stakes.
With his oldest progeny now three-year-olds, Tarzino is making an ever-increasing mark on Australasian racetracks with 18 winners to date. While his New Zealand runners have included a number of winners including black-type performer Te Toki (NZ), it has been across the Tasman that Tarzino has really taken off.
Tarzino has soared into the top 10 on Australia’s second-season sire standings with a spectacular Group One double over the last few weeks. Jungle Magnate triumphed in the South Australian Derby (2500m) at Morphettville, and Gypsy Goddess added the Queensland Oaks (2200m) to a pair of Group One placings in Sydney earlier in the year.
Both of Tarzino’s Group One winners were offered at Karaka, where Jungle Magnate cost $75,000 and Gypsy Goddess was passed in with a $20,000 reserve. Tarzino has three weanlings in the catalogue for the National Weanling Sale.
Waikato Stud’s Tivaci has had a breakthrough season with Group One performers on both sides of the Tasman. Two-year-old filly Wolverine (NZ) has been the headline act on home soil, winning the Group Two Eclipse Stakes (1200m) and Wakefield Challenge Stakes (1100m) before finishing second in the $1m Karaka Million 2YO (1200m) and Group One Manawatu Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m).
In Australia, Never Been Kissed (NZ) rose to stardom in Sydney in the spring with a triumph in the Group One Flight Stakes and a second placing in the Group One Spring Champion Stakes (2000m).
Outfit (NZ) and Just Maybe (NZ) have also been stakes-placed, and Tivaci has sired a total of 22 winners including 16 in Australia.
Three colts by Tivaci feature in the National Weanling Sale catalogue.
TURN ME LOOSE
Turn Me Loose (NZ) (Iffraaj) won the Group One New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m) and later added another two Group Ones in Melbourne in the Emirates Stakes (1600m) and Futurity Stakes (1600m). Now standing at Windsor Park Stud, Turn Me Loose has begun his stallion career in superb style.
He has sired 19 winners from his first crop and another three in his second, with five stakes winners headed by Lickety Split (NZ) in the Group One Sistema Stakes (1200m) at Ellerslie and his standout Australian performer Prix De Turn (NZ) in the Group Two Alister Clark Stakes (2040m) at Moonee Valley.
Turn Me Loose is the sire of two weanlings in the National Weanling Sale catalogue.
Rich Hill Stud’s Vadamos has quickly collected 76 winners worldwide, 23 of them from his two New Zealand crops including stakes winners La Crique (NZ), Art De Triomphe (NZ) and Grace’s Secret (NZ).
Vadamos has sired 13 winners in Australia, headed by Caboche (NZ), who ran third in the recent Group One Queensland Derby (2400m).
Vadamos has five weanlings in the 2022 National Weanling Sale catalogue.
Although he is currently further down the Australian second-season standings than the names mentioned above, multiple Group One winner Preferment (NZ) is also showing enormous promise with his early runners.
The Brighthill Farm stallion has sired eight winners to date including highly talented filly Smirk (NZ), who finished third in the recent Group Two The Roses (2100m) and fourth in the Group One Queensland Oaks (2200m).
Preferment features in the National Weanling Sale as the sire of Lot 4, out of the Group Two-performed Ulfah (Encosta De Lago).
Meanwhile, the New Zealand influence is also being felt in Australia’s second-season sire ranks through the feats of the Australian-based star Xtravagant (NZ), who currently sits in sixth place on the premiership.
Himself a Karaka graduate who was bought for $375,000 by Te Akau Racing’s David Ellis, Xtravagant was one of New Zealand’s most spectacular racetrack talents of the last decade. He scored dazzling eight-length wins in the Group One New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m) and against older horses in the Waikato Sprint (1400m).
Standing at Newhaven Park, Xtravagant has sired 26 winners in his first two crops including Group Two winner Lavish Girl, big juvenile winner and million-dollar earner Xtravagant Star, and Listed winners Devoted and He’s Xceptional. Xtravagant’s progeny have earned more than A$2.8 million on Australian racetracks this season.
NZB’s 2022 National Weanling will take place as a physical sale at Karaka on Friday 17 June.
View the full catalogue online here.