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Exciting win for Windsor Park Stud

Photo: NZ Racing Desk
Photo: NZ Racing Desk

There is a certain sense of excitement at Windsor Park Stud at the moment brought about by the impressive win of Stratocaster (Mastercraftsman[IRE]-Very Musical[IRE]) in the recent Hawke's Bay Guineas Prelude.

The steely grey three-year-old was making only his second race day appearance when he took out the event by a length, previously he had finished an unlucky fifth in a two-year-old event at Ruakaka in June.

"It is very exciting to have a three-year-old like him going forward to races like the Hawkes Bay Guineas and ultimately the 2000 Guineas," enthused Windsor Park General Manager Steve Till.

"Just the other day his mother foaled a full sister to him, and a few of our good clients are involved in the large syndicate that races him, so we are delighted with the way things are turning out."

The appropriately named Stratocaster – a signature guitar made by legendary guitar maker Fender – is by Mastercraftsman from the Irish- bred mare Very Musical who was secured by Windsor Park at the Tatt's December sale in 2001 for 60,000 guineas.

"We thought that that was quite cheap at the time as she was by Green Tune(USA), a successful stallion in France from a well-bred European family and closely related to Last Tycoon (IRE). She had plenty behind her and that was the appeal.

"When we bought Very Musical, her mother Save Me the Waltz (IRE)(Kings Lake [USA]-Mill Princess[IRE]) who was a stakes placed winner had already left the French 1000 Guineas winner in Valentine Waltz (Be My Guest[USA]). She went on to produce a stakes winner in Dyna Waltz (Dynaformer).

"Subsequently, her half-sister Sense of Style (Thunder Gulch [USA]) came up and won a Group One race in New York and she in turn produced a stakes winner in Only a Pleasure (Montjeu [IRE]).Another half-sister Bal de Sirenes also made her way down to this part of the world and left the multiple stakes winner Britt Best(Danehill [USA]) in Australia.

"There were some smart gallopers in the family - another half-sister Waltzing Around left Street Tango and he was a stakes winner in England before he raced in the UAE.

"The third dam Mill Price was the dam of the successful stallion Last Tycoon, the stakes winners Astronef, The Perfect Life, (dam of Rabah), Flowedrum, Side of Paradie(dam of Immortal Verse), and Moon Flower (dam of Fantastic Love), Tender is Thenight (dam of Tie Black) and, Zelda the dam of Zipping, Nipping and Zelding all stakes winners.

" It was a European family that we targeted because it was one that has been successfully getting high class horses for generations. Very Musical had been placed in Europe, and we raced her briefly here, where she ran fourth at her first start but we didn't persevere and sent her off to Volksraad (IRE).

"Everything she has produced has been quite talented. Her first foal was by Volksraad and we called him Bono, we raced him out of Richard Collett's stable and he ran second first up, and then won his next two so we sold him to Hong Kong where he has won a couple more.

"The second foal was a filly by Montjeu that we sold to Japan and the third foal was Irish Golfer (High Chaparral[IRE]) who has been a winner in Australia. Roger James bought the next foal, a colt by Zabeel, but he went amiss and didn't race, and the next foal was Axl Rose by Thorn Park (AUS) that we race out of Emily and Jeff McVean's stable – the trainers of Stratocaster - as well. He has won one race and ran fourth in the Group Three Wellington Stakes.

"Her next foal was her second filly and she is by High Chaparral, called Musica Royale. She is trained by Darren Weir in Victoria. She looks quite smart and won at Sandown at her second start. She has only had three starts.

"Then we had Stratocaster and he is a pretty exciting horse. He was a beautiful yearling - a lovely grey similar to his old man. He is powerfully made and a very nice type of horse.

"Very Musical foaled a filly to Mastercraftsman just the other day, but we are unsure where we are going to send her this season. She missed to O'Reilly before so we may go back there, but on the other hand we may send her to Shamexpress, as physically he meets all her needs."
Stratocaster is from the first crop of Mastercraftsman the Danehill Dancer(IRE) stallion who shuttled to Windsor Park in 2010 through to 2013. He was a dual Group One winning two-year-old who was crowned champion European two-year-old, and went on to win the Group One St James Palace Stakes and Irish Guineas at three.

At stud he was crowned European Champion first season in 2013 and his current crop of European three-year-olds is just as exceptional with Grey Gatsby winning the Group One French Oaks and finishing second to the all-conquering Australia in the Group One Juddmonte International.

In New Zealand he was pipped for leading first season sire by his barn mate Thewayyouare(IRE) but still managed to leave three winners i
ncluding theLlisted winner Jackofall. Windsor Park are hopeful that he will return to New Zealand again for the 2015 breeding season.

"The family that owns a stud in Chile and has a lot to do with Coolmore, and have previously shuttled stallions like Dylan Thomas and Rock of
Gibraltar basically paid a large amount of money to Coolmore for him to shuttle to Chile for a season. It was purely an economic decision on Coolmore's behalf," according to Till.

"Hopefully we will have him back here next year. He has a smart future over here and is doing a very good job at stud - its exciting times and fingers crossed."


- Michelle Saba