Westbury Graduates Continue To Shine

24 January 2024

Sharp 'N' Smart

By Paul Vettise, LOVERACING.NZ News Desk

Westbury Stud has an enviable feature race roll of honour with graduates of the farm excelling to the highest level over a wide range of distances.

The Gerry Harvey-owned Karaka nursery has bred, raised or sold multiple New Zealand Horse of the Year winners, complimented by Australasian stakes success from 1200 to 3200m.

Westbury graduate Bonneval was a two-time Horse of the Year with the Harvey-bred and part-owned Sharp ‘N’ Smart the current titleholder following his stellar three-year-old season.

The son of resident stallion Redwood won at Group One level for Team Rogerson against his own age group in the Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) and the New Zealand Derby (2400m) and in between times beat the older horses in the Herbie Dyke Stakes (2000m).

“Sharp ‘N’ Smart is back on track and at 1600m (in the $1 million Aotearoa Classic) on Saturday you’d like to think he will be competitive, but ambitious to think he could beat Legarto,” Westbury General Manager Russell Warwick said.

“If he can run top four then he’ll be right on target to defend his Herbie Dyke title.”

Tarzino’s son Jungle Magnate was another Classic winner (Gr.1 South Australian Derby, 2500m) sold by Westbury at Karaka while Oaks winners Bonneval, Miami Bound, Sofia Rosa and Miss Mossman also originated from the nursery.

Renaissance Woman (NZ) pictured as a Karaka yearling

So too did last season’s Gr.1 Levin Classic (1600m) winner Romancing The Moon while the honours board further features the Karaka Million winner Ruud Awakening, Gr.1 Doomben 10,000 (1350m) hero Music Magnate, Gr.1 Railway Stakes (1200m) winner Julius and Mascarpone, successful in the Gr.1 Otaki-Maori WFA Classic (1600m).

Lucky Patch is a multiple Group Two winner in Hong Kong and at the other end of the distance scale, Platinum Invador claimed last year’s Gr.2 Auckland Cup (3200m).

The current crop of success stories includes the likes of Renaissance Woman, Tuchel, Just As Sharp, Renegade Rebel, Viva Vienna, Solidify, The Inferno, Lekvarte, Essonne and Expat.

“We had 12 stakes winners off the farm last year, but as everyone says the clock goes back to zero on August 1 and we’ve had four in the new season, which is great,” Warwick said.

Westbury will offer abundant opportunities to secure future stars at the upcoming New Zealand Bloodstock National Yearling Sale.

“Personally, I’ve got a real liking for the Redwood colt (Lot 570) out of Alta Floresta, he’s a really nice horse,” Warwick said.

“He’s a seven-eighths brother to Tuchel, who was narrowly beaten in the Hong Kong Derby (2000m) and we’d like to think he will attract a fair bit of interest, particularly from the Asian market.”

Warwick is also keen on Lot 528, a daughter of Reliable Man out of the Encosta De Lago mare Wednesday Rocks.

“She’s a really good filly and is a half-sister to Platinum Command (Gr.3 Winter Cup, 1600m) and Group performer Platinum Rapper,” he said.

El Roca 

“Reliable Man has already sired two Oaks winners (Miami Bound, Miss Sentimental) and there’s another two Oaks winners in the pedigree, Dizelle and Pinot.”

Westbury graduate Massive Talent was a timely winner in Hong Kong on Sunday night as the draft also includes his half-sister, Lot 665.

“She’s also by Reliable Man and a very good type and Roger James bought the half-sister by Tarzino last year for $240,000 and Kris Lees has the Swiss Ace half-brother Cloudland, who has won five of 11 and is obviously a talented horse.”

Warwick said both Westbury’s Book 1 and 2 drafts also featured quality representation of resident stallion El Roca.

“We have concentrated on getting consistency right across the drafts and we’ve got some really nice El Rocas in both catalogues,” he said.

“El Roca is doing a marvelous job and is currently ahead of Proisir, Per Incanto and Satono Aladdin on the New Zealand Sires’ Premiership. The only live stallion above him is Savabeel.

“He has appeal as he’s had two Group One-winning fillies and his colts have done exceptionally well with the likes of Lucky Patch and Mali Ston.

“That’s been borne out at the sales in the last couple of years with two of our El Rocas going to Hong Kong and in the Ready to Run Sale we got $400,000 for Lot 1 and later on Bjorn Baker bought a filly for $190,000.

“Australia and Asia have decent respect for El Roca as a sire.” – LOVERACING.NZ News Desk