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Pure Champion’s wow factor wins over stud

Totara Park Stud weren't in the market for another stallion until they recently laid eyes on Pure Champion.

First impressions counted for everything and the handsome Group One winner will stand his first season at the Whangarei operation of Les Donaldson and his daughter and son-in-law, Nicci and Dirk Oberholster.

"We had no intention of getting another stallion, but Pure Champion is such a magnificent looking horse, kind and genuine with the most beautiful walk and a great pedigree," Dirk Oberholster said.

"We all know what the European-bred horses have come down and done to our stayers here so we're excited to have a horse of this quality and performance."

An Irish-bred son of the English 2000 Guineas winner and Group One producer Footstepsinthesand, Pure Champion is out of the Danehill mare Castara Beach.

It is a pedigree that has made an international impact with Group One-winning family members that include the champion English miler Nannina, Hong Kong Horse of the Year Indigenous, Sydney Cup winner Jessicabeel, Adelaide Cup winner Water Boatman and Fenomeno, who headed the extended 2013 world thoroughbred rankings, as well as successful sire Sea Anchor.

Pure Champion began his career in his native Ireland where he won the Gr.3 Solonaway Stakes, the Listed Ruby Stakes and ran Group One fourths in the Dewhurst Stakes and the Irish 2000 Guineas before he continued his career in Hong Kong.

He was the multiple stakes winner there of the January Cup and the Centenary Vase and also runner-up to Military Attack in the Gr.1 Hong Kong Gold Cup.

Pure Champion subsequently raced six times in New Zealand as an eight-year-old and despite his Gr.1 Windsor Park Plate success, victory in the Gr.3 Manawatu Challenge Stakes and a placing in the Gr.1 Makfi Challenge Stakes, co-trainer Lance O'Sullivan still wondered what might have been.

"We basically got him after he had been retired," he said. "Who knows what he might have done if we had him two or three years earlier. He still did an outstanding job and he's a beautiful animal who deserves his chance at stud."

The O'Sullivan family raced Pure Champion in New Zealand and they have entered into a shared ownership agreement with Totara Park in the stallion, who will stand the 2015 season alongside associate sire Buffalo Man at a fee of $5000 + GST. – NZ Racing Desk.