New Zealand-Sourced Stallions Starring in Australia

Thursday, October 22, 2020

The top flight of Australian racing is among the highest echelons of the sport anywhere in the world. Although, stallions sourced from the other side of the Tasman are more than holding their own.

New Zealand sourced sires boast the best credentials for success in that unique and high-intensity environment.

So You Think (NZ), Ocean Park (NZ) and Tavistock (NZ) were all Karaka graduates who won at Group One level on the racetrack and have become highly successful commercial sires, and all three of them sired Group One winners in Australia during the 2019-20 season.

So You Think (NZ)

So You Think (NZ) was a $110,000 purchase from the 2008 Premier Sale. He was a champion racehorse in both hemispheres, winning 10 Group One races and more than A$8 million in stakes. He now stands for a service fee of A$38,500. 

So You Think has sired 349 winners from 538 runners to date, with 26 individual stakes winners including Group One winners La Diosa (NZ), Quick Thinker, Sopressa, Nakeeta Jane, D’Argento and Inference.

His 2019-20 Group One star was the New Zealand-trained Quick Thinker, who captured the Australian Derby (2400m) at Randwick.

Ocean Park (NZ) was bought for $150,000 at the 2010 Select Sale. He won eight races and A$2.8 million in prize-money, headed by the Group One Cox Plate (2040m), Caulfield Stakes (2000m), Underwood Stakes (1800m), New Zealand Stakes (2000m) and Makfi Challenge Stakes (1400m). 

Ocean Park (NZ)

Standing at the world-renowned Waikato Stud for a $20,000 service fee, Ocean Park was New Zealand’s leading sire of 2019-20 by combined Australian and New Zealand earnings.

His progeny amassed more than A$10 million on Australian racetracks last season, with 45 individual winners including five at stakes level. Both Kolding (NZ) and Tofane (NZ) scored Group One triumphs, with Kolding also capturing the inaugural A$7.5m Golden Eagle (1500m).

Ocean Park’s promising daughter Oceanex (NZ) chimed in with three stakes wins up to Group Two level, while Star of the Seas (NZ) placed in the Group One Epsom Handicap (1600m) and Doncaster Mile (1600m).

The big-race performances by Ocean Park’s black-type Australian progeny last season came over a massive range of distances, all the way from 1100 metres (Tofane’s second placing in the Group One Galaxy) to 2800 metres (Oceanex winning the Listed Andrew Ramsden Stakes).

Ocean Park’s golden run has continued in recent weeks, siring a superb Group One quinella as Kolding and Star of the Seas fought out the finish of the George Main Stakes (1600m) at Randwick.

Tavistock (NZ)

Tavistock (NZ) was picked up out of the 2007 Select Sale for $85,000. He won six races and more than $500,000 in stakes, including two Group One victories. 

Standing at Cambridge Stud up until his untimely death last season, Tavistock has become renowned as a sire of classic horses, including exciting New Zealand stallion prospect Tarzino (NZ) in the Victoria Derby (2500m) and Rosehill Guineas (2000m), Volkstok’n’barrell (NZ) in the Rosehill Guineas and Tavago (NZ) in the Australian Derby (2400m).

Tavistock struck Australian Group One gold again last season with his impressive Australasian Oaks (2000m) winner Toffee Tongue (NZ), who recently ran a huge race for second in a star-studded Group One Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington.

Darci Brahma (NZ)

Darci Brahma (NZ) is another Karaka graduate who has become a successful stallion. The $1.1 million Premier Sale purchase won five Group One races and has become a prolific source of winners during his career at The Oaks Stud. He has produced 473 winners from 644 runners, with 48 individual stakes winners and 10 individual Group One winners, including the 2015 Australian Oaks (2400m) winner Gust of Wind (NZ). 

Darci Brahma sired last season’s boom New Zealand three-year-old Catalyst (NZ), and he was also represented by Group winners in Hong Kong and Australia during the 2019-20 season.

Now the up-and-comer Kermadec (NZ) represents the next generation. He was a $260,000 purchase at the 2013 Premier Sale, and he won four races and more than A$2.9 million. He triumphed in two Group One races over Sydney’s famous Randwick mile – the Doncaster Handicap (1600m) and the George Main Stakes (1600m).

Standing at Darley Stud, Kermadec has made an immediate impact with four winners in his first crop to date. The headline act has been Montefilia, who produced a stellar performance to win this month’s Group One Flight Stakes (1600m) and Spring Champion Stakes at Randwick.

Kermadec is the first member of this highly rated group of second-season sires to produce a Group One winner in Australia.

Dundeel (NZ) and Zed (NZ) are two other New Zealand-sourced stallions who sired Group One winners in Australia last season.

Dundeel (NZ)

Dundeel (NZ) was himself a six-time Group One winner, including the three-year-old Triple Crown of the Randwick Guineas (1600m), Rosehill Guineas (2000m) and Australian Derby (2400m). He has become a standout stallion at Arrowfield, producing 105 winners from 178 runners to date including 10 individual stakes winners. He has sired Group One winners in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. 

Last season his son Super Seth won the stallion-making Caulfield Guineas (1600m), while Castelvecchio won the Rosehill Guineas and placed in the Cox Plate (2040m).

Zed (NZ) boasts a blue-blooded pedigree, being by champion stallion Zabeel (NZ) out of the Group One winner Emerald Dream (Danehill). His own racing career was cut short by injury, but he has sired 139 winners from 249 runners including 12 individual stakes winners.

Zed (NZ)

His flagbearer is the exceptional mare Verry Elleegant (NZ), the winner of the Group One Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m), Australian Oaks (2400m), Tancred Stakes (2000m), Winx Stakes (1400m) and Turnbull Stakes (2000m). She has earned more than A$3.7 million in her 23-start career so far.

Now there are high hopes for some new additions to the Australian stallion line-up, Grunt (NZ) and Brutal (NZ).

Grunt (NZ) was a $220,000 purchase from the 2016 Premier Sale. A son of champion New Zealand sire O’Reilly (NZ), Grunt won five of his 12 starts including the Group One Australian Guineas (1600m) and Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m). He became the foundation stallion for Yulong in Victoria.

Brutal (NZ) is another son of O’Reilly and also cost $220,000, this time at the 2017 Premier Sale. He had 10 starts for five wins, headed by the Group One Doncaster Handicap (1600m) at Randwick. He also ran second to the champion mare Winx (Street Cry) in the Group One George Ryder Stakes (1500m). He stands for a service fee of A$27,500 at Newgate Farm.

Atlante

Meanwhile, Atlante is another stallion who was sourced from Karaka, and his short career is becoming a story of what might have been. He was a $200,000 purchase from the 2012 Ready to Run Sale, and he won the Group One New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m). 

Atlante stood for two seasons at Mapperley Stud before his untimely death at the age of just six. His two crops have so far produced 16 winners from 39 runners, with three individual stakes winners. The standout performer this spring is Callsign Mav (NZ), who won the Group One Tarzino Trophy (1400m) and placed in the Group One Windsor Park Plate (1600m).

With such impressive performance and potential among stallions carrying the (NZ) suffix, New Zealand and Karaka are the perfect places to secure a promising stallion prospect.