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End of an era at Cambridge Stud as Zabeel passes away

A remarkable era in New Zealand thoroughbred breeding history has ended with the death of the champion stallion Zabeel.

The son of another great sire in Sir Tristram, Zabeel passed away peacefully overnight in the paddock he has occupied at Cambridge Stud since 1991.

"What a loss for Sir Patrick and the team at Cambridge Stud, it must be a sad day for them and our thoughts are with them," stated NZTBA President John Fokerd.

"Zabeel produced a lot of outstanding stayers and we will miss him, he was a leader of his time and a great replacement for his father Sir Tristram. He certainly kept the flag flying for the New Zealand breeding industry, and hopefully his sons will do the same.

"His impact on the thoroughbred industry in Australasia in his life time was phenomenal and we were lucky to have him standing in New Zealand and keeping our industry on the map."

An emotional Sir Patrick Hogan announced Zabeel's passing this morning.

"Cambridge Stud is sad to report that during the night Zabeel passed away peacefully in his paddock. The sire already of 44 Group One champions, Zabeel was 29 years old.

"He was a sire who excelled at the very highest level and was able to carry on where his own great sire Sir Tristram had left off.

"Zabeel contributed to the thoroughbred industry and excelled above all expectations and having enjoyed his retirement for the past few years he will be sadly missed by all here at Cambridge Stud.

"He will be buried alongside his sire Sir Tristram in the very same tradition, with his tail facing the sunrise and his head facing the sunset.

"Zabeel gave so many people though his progeny the greatest thrill of winning so many races at the highest level. He surpassed all stallions that have come before him, past and present in New Zealand. Four Cox Plates and three Melbourne Cups – what more can you say?"

Zabeel's 44 Group One winners – one less than his father Sir Tristram - included the Melbourne Cup winners Might And Power, Jezabeel and Efficient. Might And Power also won the Caulfield Cup and the Cox Plate, and the latter race was also claimed by the Zabeel progeny Octagonal, Savabeel and Maldivian.

To his credit he has a host of titles includes champion Australian sire twice, champion New Zealand sire four times, champion Dewar (New Zealand and Australia stallion 15 times, and champion Australian broodmare sire and New Zealand broodmare sire three times each.

His Cox Plate winning son Savabeel is leading the way as a sire for the next generation established by Sir Tristram, having taken his first New Zealand premiership in 2014-15 and compiling a progeny record headed by 10 Group One winners. Zabeel's sire sons also include Reset (30 SW), Octagonal (25 SW) and Don Eduardo (10 SW).

The New Zealand thoroughbred breeding industry joins with Sir Patrick Hogan in saying.

"A big thank you from us all and God bless, rest in peace."


- NZ Racing Desk