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Magical run for Mana Park

Maryanne Simon
Maryanne Simon

Group One times are continuing to roll for Mana Park with their trio of star graduates picking up where they left off last season.

The efforts of Suavito and Volkstok'n'barrell, the respective winners of the Futurity Stakes and the Rosehill Guineas last year, earned Dominic Li the New Zealand Breeder of the Year award and they have already added to their tallies this term.

The Hong Kong-based Li, whose thoroughbred interests are managed by Mana Park principals Maryanne and George Simon, has more recently celebrated Suavito's resuming victory in the C.F. Orr Stakes while Volkstok'n'barrell was back in business in the Haunui Farm WFA Classic.

His win at Otaki last Saturday preceded the success of the Simons' home-bred and sold Turn Me Loose in the Futurity Stakes at Caulfield, in which Suavito finished third.

"It's pretty special to see them all come back from last season," Maryanne Simon said.

"Dominic lost the mother of Volkstok'n'barrell, but he's still got Queen Cha Cha (the dam of Suavito), a Stravinsky mare, a mare by Fantastic Light and last year he retired Galaktika off the track."

When it comes to making decisions on the matings of the Li mares, lively discussions are inevitable.

"We have a round table and all put forward what we think and we can often have a friendly set-to," Simon said.

"Sometimes it's pretty logical and with Galaktika being a half-sister to Volkstok'n'barrell it made obvious sense for her to go to Tavistock. Dominic wanted Queen Cha Cha to go to Ocean Park and she's got a beautiful colt and she visited Charm Spirit last year."

Simon first met Li when she went to the Hong Kong International Sale a dozen years ago with Ascot Farm and he was then the club's international racing manager.

"It's gone on from there and Dominic now has a small trading, breeding and racing operation," she said.

As for Turn Me Loose, he was bred after the couple leased the mare Indomitable from Sir Peter Vela and sent her to Iffraaj. The resulting colt was sold through Mana Park's 2013 Ready to Run Sale draft for $52,500.

"Who would have thought that he would have turned out to be a super star and he was a very affordable horse," Simon said. "We were very fortunate to be given the opportunity to breed from the mare."

Indomitable's dam Kwan was one 20 European mares, all in foal to Danehill, purchased in 2003 by Sir Peter Vela and his late brother Philip from Coolmore to join their Pencarrow Stud broodmare band.


- NZ Racing Desk