Kiwi Broodmares Shining on the Australian Stage

15 November 2021

New Zealand-breds are enjoying a golden run in Australian feature racing, winning a quarter of all Group One races last season and seven since August, despite making up only 7.3% of runners. But the (NZ) suffix has also been a recurring theme among blacktype broodmares.

New Zealand-bred dams have produced the winners of 39 stakes races in Australia so far this season. Eight of those have been at Group One level (29% of Group One races in Australia to date in 2021-22), along with nine Group Twos, nine Group Threes and 13 Listed wins. There have also been more than 50 blacktype placings.

These statistics are all the more incredible considering that horses produced by New Zealand dams have made up just 16.8% of total runners in stakes races in Australia this spring.

The eight Group One victories range in distance from 1400m to 3200m, and, in an exciting pointer for the future, four of them have been first-time Group One winners.


Mo’unga (NZ)

Dam: Chandelier (NZ) (O’Reilly) 

Mo'unga (NZ) (Savabeel x Chandelier)

Trained by Annabel Neasham and racing in the colours of Aquis Farm’s Fung Family, Mo’unga (NZ) (Savabeel) powered home to win the first Group One race on the 2021-22 Australian calendar – the Winx Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on 21 August.

Mo’unga was bred by Waikato Stud and was a $325,000 purchase from their Book 1 draft at Karaka 2019. Also a brilliant winner of last season’s Group One Rosehill Guineas (2000m), Mo’unga is a son of Waikato Stud’s homebred mare Chandelier (NZ) (O’Reilly), who is the dam of two winners from her first two foals to race.

A full-sister to the Group Two winner and Group One-placed Irlanda (NZ) (O’Reilly), and closely related to star pair Chenille (NZ) (Pentire) and Chintz (NZ) (Savabeel), Chandelier produced a filly by Savabeel in 2019, a Savabeel colt in 2020, and then was served by Super Seth. The 12-year-old is developing into one of the jewels of Waikato Stud’s top-class broodmare band.

Since his Winx Stakes heroics, Mo’unga travelled to Melbourne and ran a close second behind Incentivise (Shamus Award) in the Group One Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) at Flemington, followed by a fourth in the Cox Plate (2040m) and a third in the Mackinnon Stakes (2000m).


Sierra Sue (NZ)

Dam: Centree (NZ) (Centaine) 

Sierra Sue (NZ) (Darci Brahma x Centree)

Sierra Sue (NZ) (Darci Brahma) was bought for just $2000 at the 2019 Karaka May Sale by Te Aroha trainer Peter Lock, who subsequently sold her to Australian interests following a pair of promising trials performances.

Already a Group Two winner of last season’s Rose of Kingston Stakes (1400m) at Flemington, Sierra Sue has played a starring role in Melbourne this spring with victories in the Group Two PB Lawrence Stakes (1400m) on 14 August and the Group One Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) on 18 September. Trained by Trent Busuttin and Natalie Young, the five-year-old has now won eight of her 20 starts and more than A$1.1 million in stakes

The dam of Sierra Sue is Centree (NZ) (Centaine), whose dam placed at Group Three level and is a half-sister to the former New Zealand Horse of the Year Tit For Taat (NZ) (Faltaat).

Five of Centree’s seven foals to race have been winners, including Sierra Sue’s younger half-brother Oscar Glory (NZ) (Per Incanto), who was a last-start winner in Hong Kong on 20 June. Oscar Glory himself was a $21,000 weanling purchase at the 2018 Karaka May Sale and has earned HK$815,000 in stakes to date – the equivalent of more than NZ$146,000.


Verry Elleegant (NZ)

Dam: Opulence (NZ) (Danroad) 

Verry Elleegant (NZ) (Zed x Opulence)

Australia’s reigning Horse of the Year, Verry Elleegant (NZ) (Zed) has added more Group One glory to her glittering CV this Spring with a superb victory in the race that stops nations.

The New Zealand-bred star confirmed her champion status, cruising to victory in the Group One Melbourne Cup (3200m) by a stunning four lengths. The Chris Waller-trained mare landed her tenth Group One victory under a gun James McDonald ride, with the pair a match made in heaven.

Verry Elleegant has had 34 starts overall for 15 wins, nine placings and more than A$14.2 million in stakes. The champion mare also finished first with a come-from-behind performance in the George Main Stakes (1600m) in Sydney and second behind fellow kiwi-bred star Mo’unga in the Group One Winx Stakes (1400m) in August.

Verry Elleegant is a daughter of Opulence (NZ) (Danroad), who descends from the outstanding Eight Carat (Pieces Of Eight) family, made famous by the likes of Octagonal (NZ) (NZ) (Zabeel), Diamond Lover (Sticks And Stones) and countless more. Other relatives include champion sire Commands and a current prolific Australian sire in Deep Field.

Opulence is the dam of three winners from four foals to race, with Verry Elleegant’s full-brother Verry Flash (NZ) (Zed) winning eight races so far and placing at Group Three level.

Riversley Park are offering a relative to Verry Elleegant at the 2021 Ready to Run Sale on 17 and 18 of November at Te Rapa. Lot 91, the Shamexpress colt out of Diamantaire (NZ) (Montjeu) is a direct descendant from the famous Eight Carat family.


Never Been Kissed (NZ)

Dam: Movie (NZ) (Savabeel) 

Never Been Kissed (NZ) (Tivaci x Movie)

Waikato Stud’s Mark and Garry Chittick celebrated a supreme result with homebred filly Never Been Kissed (NZ) (Tivaci) in the Group One Flight Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on 2 October.

The filly became the first Group One winner for Waikato Stud’s young sire Tivaci with that impressive performance, which was the third win of just a four-start career. Never Been Kissed then backed up against male rivals the following Saturday, finishing a gallant second in the Group One Spring Champion Stakes (2000m). Trained by Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott, she appears to have a bright future ahead.

The dam of Never Been Kissed is the Savabeel mare Movie (NZ), who won three races and is a three-quarter-sister to the three-time Group Two winner Ocean Emperor (NZ) (Zabeel).

Both Movie and Ocean Emperor are out of Tootsie (NZ) (Pins), who won the Group Three Mannerism Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield and placed in the Group One Telegraph Handicap (1200m) at Trentham.

Tootsie is a full-sister to the Group Two winner Legless Veuve (NZ) (Pins), and is also a half- and three-quarter-sister respectively to the dams of multiple Group One winners Savvy Coup (NZ) (Savabeel) and Probabeel (NZ) (Savabeel).

Never Been Kissed is the very first named foal out of Movie, who has since produced a colt by Sacred Falls (NZ) and was served by Ocean Park (NZ) last season.

Lot 218 at this year’s Ready to Run Sale is a half-brother to Never Been Kissed. The Sacred Falls colt out of Movie will be offered through Ohukia Lodge's draft.


Probabeel (NZ)

Dam: Far Fetched (NZ) (Pins) 

Probabeel (NZ) ( Savabeel x Far Fetched)

Bought for $380,000 from Karaka 2018 by Te Akau Racing’s David Ellis, Probabeel (NZ) (Savabeel) has spent her entire career in the headlines.

She became the first horse in history to win both the $1m Karaka Million 2YO (1200m) and the $1m Karaka Million 3YO Classic (1600m), and since then she has scored four Group One victories in Australia for trainer Jamie Richards and Cambridge Stud owners Brendan and Jo Lindsay.

The first of those elite victories came in the Surround Stakes (1400m) at Randwick in February 2020, followed by the Epsom Handicap (1600m) at the same venue later that year. She added the Futurity Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield in early 2021, then took her career earnings past $4 million with an unforgettable triumph in this month’s Might And Power Stakes (2000m) at Caulfield.

In a weight-for-age showdown that was expected to be dominated by the boom horse Zaaki (Leroidesanimaux), instead it was Probabeel who drove through the inside and edged out the subsequent Caulfield Cup (2400m) runner-up Nonconformist (Rebel Raider) in a pulsating battle to the finish.

Probabeel was bred by Waikato Stud’s Garry Chittick and is out of another Waikato Stud homebred mare, Far Fetched (NZ) (Pins). A close relative to Group One stars Savvy Coup (NZ) (Savabeel), Never Been Kissed (NZ) (Tivaci) and several other stakes performers, Far Fetched won three races and placed in the Group Three (now Group Two) Lowland Stakes (2100m).

Probabeel is sadly the only foal out of Far Fetched, who subsequently died at the age of just seven. But Waikato Stud is continuing to breed from many branches of this exceptional family, and Probabeel herself is set to become a centrepiece of Cambridge Stud’s broodmare band in the future.


I’m Thunderstruck (NZ)

Dam: Primadonna Girl (NZ) (Edenwold) 

I'm Thunderstruck (NZ) (Shocking x Primadonna Girl)

One of the most exciting up-and-coming talents in Australia this season is I’m Thunderstruck (NZ) (Shocking), who won the time-honoured A$1m Group One Toorak Handicap (1600m) at Caulfield at just his eighth career start – and then added the A$7.5m Golden Eagle (1500m) at Rosehill in start number nine.

Purchased for Australian interests by Kiwi bloodstock agent Phill Cataldo after showing potential at the trials, I’m Thunderstruck is trained by Mick Price and Michael Kent Jnr for an OTI Racing syndicate. The four-year-old has now won six of his nine starts, with another two placings and more than A$5 million in stakes.

I’m Thunderstruck’s dam is Primadonna Girl (NZ) (Edenwold), who was bought by breeders Tony Forlong and Jennifer Jones for just $2400 from New Zealand Bloodstock’s Selwyn River Stud Dispersal Sale in 2010.

Primadonna Girl is the dam of two named foals, both winners and both black-type performers. I’m Thunderstruck’s older half-brother Cantstopthefeeling (NZ) (Swiss Ace) won two races and placed in the Group Two Auckland Guineas (1600m).

Since producing I’m Thunderstruck, the high-quality broodmare has produced another Shocking colt born in 2019 and a colt by Charm Spirit last season before being served by Ocean Park (NZ).



Dam: Rising Romance (NZ) (Ekraar) 

Yearning (Snitzel x Rising Romance). Photo: Racing and Sports.

One of the best-bred three-year-old fillies racing in Australia this season, Yearning (Snitzel) sent her value sky-high with an emphatic come-from-behind Group One win in this month’s A$1m Thousand Guineas (1600m) at Caulfield.

Trained by Michael, Wayne and John Hawkes and racing in the colours of owner-breeders Arrowfield Stud, Yearning has had eight starts for two wins, two placings and A$741,600 in stakes and is now worth considerably more than that.

By champion sire Snitzel, Yearning is the first foal out of Rising Romance (NZ) (Ekraar), whose dam Post Romance (NZ) (Postponed) was sold for a mere $800 at the 2011 National Weanling, Broodmare & Mixed Bloodstock Sale at Karaka.

Trained by Donna Logan for owner-breeders Carter Bloodstock, Rising Romance won five races and earned more than A$2.2 million in stakes. Her biggest win came in the Group One Australian Oaks (2400m), and she placed in another seven Group One races including the New Zealand Derby (2400m), Caulfield Cup (2400m), Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) and Australian Cup (2000m).

At the conclusion of her racing career, Rising Romance was purchased privately for around $900,000 and is being bred by Arrowfield Stud in conjunction with partners in Japan. Yearning is her first foal, and her second – a colt by Snitzel – was bought by the Hawkes stable for A$2.5 million as a yearling.

Rising Romance produced another colt by Snitzel last spring and was served again by the superstar sire.