KARAKA 2012: Mouth-watering collection of Cambridge Stud fillies adds new dimension Wed, 25 Jan 2012
A diversion from normal marketing strategy by Cambridge Stud has added a whole new dimension to this year’s National Yearling Sales.
Cambridge Stud will be offering the most mouth-watering collection of fillies ever offered in a single draft at any New Zealand public auction and, of particular significance, it includes direct access to the internationally acclaimed Eight Carat family.
The obvious question to Cambridge Stud’s head honcho, Sir Patrick Hogan, was simple. “What’s the rationale?” we asked. “Pretty simple really,” was the response. “But we did put a lot of thought into it first.”
We then got to grips with the Hogan logic. Which was... er ... shall we say, pretty simple. Truth is the Cambridge policy of selling all its colts and retaining most of its best bred fillies had painted the operation into a corner.
“You only have to watch the television to see our horses racing all over the place both here and in Australia,” says Sir Patrick. “There’s heaps and heaps of them and we’d have had to buy another farm to give them all a home. It was time for some action.
“It wasn’t easy deciding what to keep, what to sell or whatever. So we decided not to muck around and sell off all the yearlings conceived in 2009 that met the selection criteria. The only two fillies missing will be a Stravinsky, who has pins in her back fetlock joints, and an Encosta de Lago with a serious injury to her hock.”
The inclusion of a super selection of fillies in the Cambridge draft virtually ensures Cambridge will be leading stud by aggregate for the 32nd consecutive time, but Sir Patrick is emphatic that has nothing to do with the composition of the draft.
“That never entered discussions”, he says, while tacitly admitting it’s not a bad place to be sitting on the ladder. “I remember taking the first Fencourt yearlings to Trentham for my father and leading them round the ring. When we packed up to come home it struck me we had been the least successful of all the studs.
“Then when I tried to sell the first Sir Tristrams after we had moved to this place (Cambridge Stud ) they weren’t accepted for Trentham and Wrightson Bloodstock told me I had to try to sell them at Claudelands. Still at the bottom of the ladder.
“Thank heavens for Geoff Murphy (leading Melbourne trainer); he was a good friend, bought some cheaply - for $4000 and $6000 - and made them into top horses and things began to happen.
“One thing in life I have been proud about is my ability to promote and market. I love it, especially the competitiveness. I think it’s the competitiveness that has made me excel and given me the self-confidence to succeed. To me nothing is impossible - give me the All Blacks and I’ll win a World Cup sort of thing.
Cambridge Stud has 74 yearlings catalogued for Karaka, 59 of them in the Premier session. There are 27 fillies in the Premier section and 11 in the Select. Sir Patrick says there has already been special interest in the top end fillies, especially those from the Eight Carat family.
He rates as the jewel in the crown the High Chaparral-Diamond Like filly, who will go into the ring as Lot 159. “She is magnificent”, he says of the filly whose black-type impregnated pedigree includes the name of Cambridge’s record-breaking yearling Don Eduardo, who sold for $3.6 million, became an Australian Derby winner and is now a sire of growing reputation. Last year the filly’s half-brother by Zabeel fetched $2 million.
New Zealand’s greatest living sire, the Cambridge Stud domiciled Zabeel, has 32 yearlings in the Premier catalogue, 18 of them being offered by his home-base.
However, in 2009 the large band of Cambridge Stud mares were spread far and wide, with the result being that the draft is also represented by the Australian-based sires Commands, Dehere, Exceed and Excel, Flying Spur, High Chaparral, Lonhro, More Than Ready, Sebring, Street Cry and Testa Rossa.
Other stallions included in the Premier draft include Zabeel’s associate sires Stravinsky and Keeper plus New Zealand-domiciled Alamosa, O’Reilly, Sahkee’s Secret and Pentire.
Among the powerful line-up of colts the one that his breeder has a special word for is Lot 353, a bay by Fastnet Rock from Nureyev’s Girl, which makes him a half-brother to 2011 New Zealand Bloodstock Filly of the Year, King’s Rose and a member of the immediate family also of the outstanding filly Anabandana.