NZB Group 1 Winning Graduates Galore

25 July 2005

This season saw the Karaka auction ring lay claim to 20 individual Group 1 winners around the world during the 2004/05 season.

The 20 New Zealand Bloodstock graduates won a total of 25 Group 1 races, including 6 in Australia and 3 in Hong Kong.

Perlin's victory in the Group 1 Doomben Cup in Australia last month was an exciting prelude to the glory that was to follow shortly after at the Brisbane Carnival for other Karaka Sale ring graduates.

Darci Brahma was one of four Group 1 winning victories for New Zealand horses at the Brisbane Carnival, with Lachlan River, St Basil and Portland Singa also taking Group 1 honors. Also in Australia, earlier in the season, was Econsul's starry victory in the Caulfield Guineas.

While he dominated the 2YO racing scene in New Zealand the blueblood colt, Darci Brahma, last year's Karaka sale topper, ran every bit like a million dollar horse. He won at his first two starts in New Zealand and then placed second to star 2YO filly, Mi Jubilee before commencing his assault on Australia. This culminated in the win in the Group 1 TJ Smith at Eagle Farm over the Brisbane Carnival sending him to the top of the 2YO rankings in New Zealand for the season.

In Hong Kong, Champion Stayer and Champion Middle distance horse, Vengeance Of Rain took a hat-trick of Group 1 wins in his stride. After completing the never before attained, Queen Elizabeth II Cup, Hong Kong Derby double, he rounded off his season by winning the prestigious Hong Kong Champions & Chater Cup. A Karaka Premier Sale graduate, he was a $300,000 purchase by Graeme Rogerson for Crown Casino principal, Lloyd Williams. He was subsequently sold for a substantial sum to Hong Kong in a deal brokered by New Zealand Bloodstock's Melbourne agent, Brent Thomson and New Zealand's Highview Stud owner, Brent Gillovic.

Back at home, Cape Cross colt, Kindacross, was hot in Darci's heels at the end of the season, finishing up the second top 2YO following a Group 1 win in the Ford Manawatu Sires Produce. His progress will now be followed from afar, with great anticipation, after his subsequent sale to Hong Kong.

Champion filly, Justa Tad, won the hearts of the nation with her courageous wins in the New Zealand One Thousand Guineas and New Zealand Oaks. A mere $1,000 purchase as a weanling by her owners and trainers, Rudy & Megan Lefting, she has now returned them in excess of $650,000 as well as joining the prestigious New Zealand Bloodstock Filly of the Year Hall of Fame after her string of consistent performances throughout the series.

Joining Justa Tad as a likely prospect for this year's Horse of the Year title is the dual Group 1 winning Karaka Premier Sale graduate, Xcellent. Xcellent's effort to clinch two Group 1 wins was highlighted by his astounding performance in what was only his third start, the New Zealand Derby. He then continued his unbeaten record by taking out the Darley Stakes. The title of Horse of the Year will be awarded at the 2005 Mercedes Thoroughbred Racing Awards dinner in Christchurch on the 12th August, following New Zealand Bloodstock's South Island Sale of 2YOs and Mixed Bloodstock.

For a full list of Group 1 winners go to NZB's Group 1 gallery at: