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Fairy tale continues for New Plymouth scrap metal dealer

Photo courtesy of Daryl Sherer
Photo courtesy of Daryl Sherer

A fairy tale story for New Plymouth-based scrap metal merchant Graham Meredith got even better on Saturday evening as he and his mates gathered to cheer home Gr.1 Victoria Derby winner Tarzino.

A stroke of ill-fortune saw Meredith become involved in the world of thoroughbred breeding and led to the purchase of the three-year-old classic winner's dam Zarzino at the 2014 New Zealand Bloodstock Broodmare Sale at Karaka.

Tarzino was the last foal bred by Cambridge Stud supremo Sir Patrick Hogan and wife, Lady Justine, before they sold his dam, who was in-foal to the then unproven sire Tavistock.

That decision now sees Meredith living the dream that so many small breeders aspire to as the value of the colt the mare produced for Meredith skyrockets through the deeds of his elder sibling.

Meredith was quick to admit he was still somewhat in a state of confusion as to what it all means for him but is loving the opportunity to live a journey that he had initially planned for his father.

"My old man was dying of cancer and he couldn't do much," Meredith said. "To pass the time he'd sit there and watch the races.

"I thought I'd buy him a horse to give him a greater interest. Unfortunately, Dad died and I was stuck with this horse, and that's how I got started.

"The last thing he said was get rid of that bloody horse, it's costing you too much money."

Ignoring his father's advice and with one mare in foal on his 20 acre property, Meredith decided she needed a companion.

Good friend and local breeder Jeff Bliss was heading to the Broodmare Sale at Karaka and Meredith's instructions were fairly simple.

"I said to Jeff, just go to the sale and get me a cheapo. When this one came up for $1500, he thought that was a good deal."

That selection will now provide Meredith with the chance to multiply his initial investment many times over at next year's National Yearling Sale Series at Karaka.

"Her yearling colt is an absolute cracker. He's a lovely, big horse," Meredith said.

"I had the chance to speak with Sir Patrick after Tarzino started showing so much promise and that relationship has seen us send the colt to him to get ready for the sale next year.

"We also had the mare served by Tavistock again and she is ready to foal any day now so not only do we have the opportunity with her yearling colt we've hopefully got another one on the way."

That mix will change however this season with Meredith having decided to try something different with Zarzino.

"The mare will foal down at Rich Hill Stud this time as we are going to send her to Jimmy Choux," he said.

"He was a champion racehorse and I really like what I see with him so I thought we'd have a wee change this year."

With his victory in the Derby Tarzino becomes the fifth individual stakes winner for his sire Tavistock and the second at the elite level after Volkstok'n'barrell was successful in the Gr. 1 Rosehill Guineas earlier in the year. – NZ Racing Desk