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Cheval Stud's day in the sun

Meeska Mooska wins the Westbury Club Mile 27/8/16 - Race Images

Meeska Mooska wins the Westbury Club Mile 27/8/16 - Race Images
Sun-kissed Hastings played host to the first premier race day of the 2016/17 flat season on Saturday 27th August with the $200,000 G1 Makfi Challenge Stakes taking centre stage on a quality filled 9 race card .The gallant 6 year old Kawi (Savabeel(Aus)-Magic Time(NZ)) took his career earnings to $771,441 with his 4th G1 victory.

Cheers of jubilation were not only reserved for Kawi's winning connections as those of 2nd El Pescado (El Hermano(NZ) - Annchips(NZ)) and 3rd placed Farm Boy (El Hermano(NZ) Lady Of Oakview(NZ)) also revelling in post race celebrations. None more so than Frank Drummond, who with his wife Faye co bred and own El Pescado, also stand El Hermano (Pins (AUS) – Palos Verdes (NZ)) at their picturesque Cheval Stud in the Waikato for $4,000 + GST. Both 6 year old geldings hail from the first crop of this well bred stallion having initially stood for a humble $500.

El Hermano (Spanish for "The Brother") was a A$500,000 Inglis Sydney Easter Sale graduate full brother to 2007 Cox Plate winner El Segundo. He suffered a misdiagnosed paddock injury resulting in premature retirement. Under the guidance of co breeder and part owner Philip Brown of Ancroft Stud Matamata, El Hermano was saved for stud duties. El Hermano hails from the tough and ultra game Ancroft bred mare Palos Verdes (Oak Ridge (FR) - Raumancer (NZ)) who won 10 races from 24 starts and has passed these durable qualities through to her progeny.

The golden day for Cheval Stud continued with a quinella in the following Westbury Club Mile as Meeska Mooska (El Hermano (NZ) – Kerkebi (NZ)) held off the challenge from Underthemoonlight (El Hermano (NZ) – Midnight Dip (NZ)) in a tight finish. The classy Meeska Mooska was recording his fourth consecutive victory having been kept busy over the winter months by co trainers Graham Thomas and Nick Smith.

The Cheval Stud team of Frank and Faye Drummond, along with long serving assistant Shelley Patterson, are delighted with the upsurge of interest for El Hermano having previously flown under the radar of most breeders. Trainers have allowed the youngsters time to grow and strengthen into the finished article, giving their patient owners an athlete which can stand up to the rigours of race day. Success for El Hermano is spreading far and wide with numerous domestic winners and further afield from Australia, Macau and Malaysia.

Whilst never counting his chickens, Frank Drummond's optimism for the forthcoming season has risen due to numerous enquires over the weekend .The ever approachable Frank is looking forward to a return trip to Hastings with his beloved El Pescado in the G1 Windsor Park Plate. Success would see El Hermano cement his position on the New Zealand Leading Sires table on which he currently sits second. - Richard Wright